The Adderall Black Market

By Georgie Shaw

June 13 is coming close and this can only mean summer is around the corner. However, first is the the infamous week of finals, where all the work and information you were supposed to learn this semester is now having you kneel to it’s feet begging for forgiveness for never paying attention in class. An average student begins to go into this panic zone, where sleep is decreases and so does their attitude. They’re one of the students who hasn’t received a prescription the “study drug” also known as adderall, so they take desperate measures to receive this popular drug of choice. All they care about is that it’s a sidekick to studying when it’s crunch time, knowing a teenage brain this is exactly what we all need. Familiar to the student body being part of a potential black market system when June is near, several take it and many sell it. Three pills are bought for a total of nine dollars; one street pill of Adderall, will commonly cost you around $3-7 considering the mgs, since this is the “street price” of the drug the prices would vary between sellers. The student now plans to pull the endless all-nighters but ultimately have a greater chance in acceptable results to college’s, parents and teachers on the upcoming Final Exams. “Being able to take Adderall during finals week makes the work load and studying hours that much easier and possible to complete” An inside look into the world of adderall through a Tam High student who wishes to remain anonymous; This week students stop buying weed and start buying Adderall.

“Every week, school causes me stress, but these last few weeks I fall into a constant panic attack, with grade conscious parents and high expectations the levels of pressure are at its fullest, especially since this is my most significant year of my high school career” Junior, Abbey Hurley said. Added pressure caused by the stress that is provoked by our educational lives, through the tons of homework, study guides and upcoming tests or project, causes many to go to desperate measures whether it’s staying up past your typical bedtime or slanging attention deficit drugs to help ease the procrastinating habits.

Adderall and Ritalin are the main subjects. Adderall is a prescription drug that contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Both medicines are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control, commonly used to help with attention disorders. Ritalin on the other hand is closely similar to the drug Adderall, although it is said to be safer and less abusive. The drug Ritalin affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity as well as impulse control. Ritalin is known to treat and help attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also can be used in the treatment of a sleep disorder known as narcolepsy; a disorder that consists of uncontrollable desires to fall asleep.

Teenage life is filled with stress and pressure from the community, friends and most importantly parents and family members. To add to that, extracurricular activities such as being a part of sports teams, leadership groups, community service and maintaining a job etc. are just other sources of ones stress. Staying on top of school work and everything that consists in our lives throughout the long months of the school year only descend to the early days of June first, the start of finals week. Starting June 10th finals week will begin, finals week or “dead week” potentially the worst week of a high schoolers student life; “For myself, the amount of stress that succumbs me during these last two weeks is at it’s fullest” Said Hurley. “I won’t go out with friends, everything comes after finals and all the amounts of work we are given, whether it’s projects or tests during these last few weeks.” Causing the student body population to be forced to pull all nighters, involving extreme amounts of stress and no sleep. During this week, there is an increased amount of drug use amongst this student body. Adderall and Ritalin are drugs that will increase your attention and ultimately be there when it comes to study time. There’s a high demand amongst the student body for those in need of the drug, Adderall or Ritalin; in Universities and colleges the rates of Adderall usage and overuse have soared in the last few years according to an article written in the Pharmacotherapy published in 2012. Since 2007 there has been a 16% increase among the U.S youth and adolescent people, as well as a 41% increase in the last decade. 10% of girls and 19% about 1/10th of boys take ADHD medications.

College life has become increasingly more competitive which results in added levels of pressure on the student body, leading students to other ways to help them study and get the grades they desire. “Adderall makes me feel like i’m on “crack”, I feel way too hyped up and overly concentrated, my eyes are glued to the page.” a Junior who wishes to remain anonymous, source said. “I’m prescribed, but it’s too much for me. I don’t need it everyday, I don’t believe in it.” Visona said. “For those days with tough classes or especially finals week, it comes in handy with moderation” continued Visona. “I bought 5 pills for the week for 15 dollars, it’s completely worth it if i’m going to finally be able to concentration for more than 5 minutes” sophomore, anonymous source said.

The accessibility of Adderall has gotten higher through the years amongst high school students and U.S college students. However, Adderall is one drug that could be wanted for their children even if not medically applicable. “My sister would sell up to 300$ worth of ADHD pills during finals week” another anonymous Senior source said. She says people make a profit of the pills they are prescribed by selling them to those who aren’t.

There’s a question of whether or not these people who are being evaluated for ADD, truly do have the disorder; according to a series of tests run by a group of psychologist at the University of Kentucky, they wanted to figure out if this “ADHD test” was potentially rigged in favor of the patient. There were three different types of people who took the tests, some who legitimately had ADHD and were temporarily off their medication they had formerly been prescribed to, others who didn’t have ADHD and were not asked to fake it, and those who didn’t have ADHD but were told they’d get money if they could convince the assessor they did indeed have the deficiency. The testers were given several questions to look over answering various questions etc. First they had to self-report on themselves, describing symptoms etc. Secondly, the psychological tests that the psychologist asked the patient to perform a certain task (computer game etc) games that are built so that people with ADHD will make specific mistakes while playing because of the symptoms of the deficiency, impulsivity, inattention etc. Ultimately, all three tests were able to verify the difference between the fakers and the real sufferers showing that realistically it is much too easy to receive a dosage of the deficiency pills. What people don’t realize, Adderall can potentially produce bad symptoms to the taker as well as harmful effects.

Without the attention deficiency disorder, Adderall with which it’s main ingredient is an amphetamine salts, similar to substances found meth, it can become just as addictive to those who do not have the actual disorder this is why to safely begin using Adderall patients must be assessed for symptoms of the disorder, although ADHD is a common disorder, that doesn’t mean the patient automatically should think they hold the disorder. Health officials discuss the drug, an amphetamine that is much different from your average pill from a vitamin shoppe. William Graf a professor of pediatrics and neurology at Yale University School of Medicine believes doctors should talk with patients and parents about why they feel the need for academic performance stimulant enhancing drugs. He also believes they then should point out that there are other ways to deal with competition, pressure and anxiety. “We have to get back to the basics,” Graf said. “Sleep, exercise, and social interaction.”