Students Who Use Adderall for School Should be Punished
As the midterm season rolls around, students from all walks of life reach out for the only thing that can help them through this difficult and harrowing time: Adderall. Students who do not need Adderall but use it to help them study and do their school work should be punished in the same way as students who plagiarize and cheat during exams.
For those that do not know, Adderall is an amphetamine, which is a stimulant that impacts the central nervous system. It is often prescribed to children and adults with ADHD, as well as people with narcolepsy. However, a lot of college students take Adderall to help them study or do school work. In people with ADHD, Adderall allows them to achieve normal levels of concentration.
For people who do not have ADHD, Adderall allows them to study and concentrate for longer periods of time than people who are not on it. Not only is this drug an amphetamine — which is classified as a schedule II drug by the Controlled Substances Act and has a comparable type of addiction to cocaine — it is a form of cheating which allows for students to achieve results and grades that they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
According to the University at Albany guidelines regarding plagiarism and cheating, academic dishonesty can result in the faculty member present forcing the student to redo the work that was disrupted by the academic dishonesty, a lower grade, probation, suspension, or expulsion. These rules should also apply to those using Adderall to boost their performance without a prescription.
These kinds of rules are already in place elsewhere: in the world of sports. In 2013, when it was made clear that Lance Armstrong had in fact used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, it was decided that he would forfeit all prizes won and gave back his Tour de France medals. If prizes, medals, and careers are taken away due to unfair substances, then why not the same for students and their grades?
These grades don’t just show how smart students are, but they reflect what kind of people they are. Grades mean something. There’s a difference between A students who pull themselves up by the bootstraps, go to the library and study every waking hour, who barely sleep or don’t sleep at all to achieve an A, and those C students who don’t have the discipline to put in the work and achieve an A without Adderall. The former student shows hard work, perseverance, and initiative; so, why should the latter student — who did not put in the same type of effort — receive the same status as the former?
“But, what about other substances that students use to help them concentrate or do their school work, like coffee, energy drinks, and Scotch?” Again, I use the sports metaphor. It is not illegal for baseball players to drink energy drinks, drink protein shakes, or anything like that. It is, however, still illegal for them to be taking steroids, and so should be the same for students — who don’t need Adderall — who use it to improve their grades.