Saturday, February 23, 2008
One Student's Adderall Story
Via Reihan writing at Andrew Sullivan's blog we learn of this article by a college senior describing her experiences of studying under the influence of Adderall. She thinks the drug was performance enhancing for her, at least if "performance" refers to grades. Here's a brief excerpt:
If the proof is in the transcript, then Adderall is hardly a self-punishing habit. Sometimes I think about how Marion Jones has to return all the prize money she earned while taking steroids, and I wonder whether I should be stripped of all the A’s I received for papers written on Adderall. This is a haunting or a comical thought, depending on my mood.Despite the grade enhancement, she stopped using Adderall in her senior year -- grades aren't everything. As for her ability to study and churn out papers while using Adderall, in her case, "It turns out that the feverish moral imperative to work was an effect of the drug, not a cause."
The use of pharmaceuticals for "recreational" purposes is much more prevalent in the US than is the use of cocaine and heroin and hallucinogens, combined. Yet another good reason to legalize and regulate the currently illicit drugs: it isn't that hard to find close substitutes among the legal drugs.
Here's a table reproduced from SAMHSA showing prevalence rates:
|Drug ||TIME PERIOD |
|Lifetime ||Past Year ||Past Month |
|2005 ||2006 ||2005 ||2006 ||2005 ||2006 |
|*Low precision; no estimate reported.|
a Difference between estimate and 2006 estimate is statistically significant at the 0.05 level.
b Difference between estimate and 2006 estimate is statistically significant at the 0.01 level.
1 Illicit Drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used nonmedically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used nonmedically.
2 Nonmedical use of prescription-type psychotherapeutics includes the nonmedical use of pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives and does not include over-the-counter drugs.
Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2005 and 2006.
|ILLICIT DRUGS1 ||46.1||45.4||14.4||14.5||8.1||8.3|
|Marijuana and Hashish||40.1||39.8||10.4||10.3||6.0||6.0|
|Nonmedical Use of Psychotherapeutics2||20.0||20.3||6.2a||6.6||2.6||2.8|
|ILLICIT DRUGS OTHER THAN MARIJUANA1 ||29.5||29.6||8.3||8.6||3.7||3.9|