A look at Ritalin and Adderall dependence on campus

According to a survey from February 2010, 8.8 percent of students at Geneseo have used Ritalin or Adderall – drugs prescribed for ADHD, ADD or Narcolepsy – without a prescription.

Melinda Dubois, administrative director of health and counseling, explained that the pressure students feel from parents' high expectations is often a cause of drug use.

 "When grades are lower than normal, students don't want to tell their parents or when they do tell their parents, their parents are upset," she said.

"I think that people feel so much stress from classes and their parents and just expectations of their own that they feel like they have to resort to using these drugs," said senior Julia Passik.

"It's an academic steroid from what I've heard," said senior Thomas Van Orden. "I would like to try it to see its effects."

One student, who requested that her name not be mentioned, said that pressure comes from her own self.

"I really want to do well in all of my classes," she said. A double major with club sport practices during the week and matches on the weekends, she said that she usually takes Adderall during exam weeks.

Currently, she has two capsules of 15 milligram-dosages left and plans on obtaining more soon. She usually purchases five capsules at a time.

 "I don't feel a dependency … but when I do take it and do work, I can do so much more," she said. "It makes me more efficient time-wise. I feel like I can do three times more the amount of work in the same amount of time it would take me without it."

She added that although she'd like to use the drug on a regular basis, she can't without a prescription.

Concern is rising as use of these drugs grows on campus.

"[The drugs] are creating a false impression of what [the students] are truly capable of, and [they] are going to have to continue to maintain that now using medicine," said communication professor Andrew Herman.