By Hannah Klarner
For Unwind magazine
As finals approach, students must face the end of semester stress and workload. For some, this means desperately turning to Adderall to help them complete their work.
Adderall can only be attained with a prescription at the University Health Center. However, there are other means that make it widely available on campus without a prescription.
“I don’t know anybody who couldn’t get Adderall if they wanted it,” sophomore student Colton said.
The pharmacy at University Health Center fills approximately 3,000 Adderall prescriptions per academic year, and 15 prescriptions go out in a single day, according to Darrell Murray, a health center office clerk.
Murray said he estimates about 40 percent of students being treated at the health center are there for ADHD-related treatment and prescriptions.
Colton, who asked to be identified only by his first name, has a prescription for Adderall, which he received after visiting the health center.
Colton said he notices a difference when he takes Adderall.
“I only take it on days I have to think,” he said, because of the side effects caused by the medication.
He said that he has tried to keep his diagnosis and prescription quiet because of the black market for pills.
“Within five hours of getting my prescription, about a dozen people texted [me] and genuinely wanted to buy, and about 20 or 30 people casually asked me about prices,” he said.
The current street value for Adderall, according to one source, is two 10 mg pills for $5, or three for $10. At this price, a one-month supply of 20 mg Adderall pills is worth between $150 and $175.
It isn’t clear how many students with Adderall prescriptions are selling their pills, but most of them rely on it to get their work done.
Kolin, a junior, has been taking medication to treat his attention deficit symptoms since the second grade, and takes his medication every day.
“I can’t focus without it,” he said. “I need it. It’s awful. It’s like a weird vicious cycle. I’ve taken it for so long, there’s no hope for me to study without it.”
But even those students who do need the medication occasionally sell or give some of their pills away.
Kolin said his friends know he has the medication and “if they really need it they can ask.”
If his friends do ask, Kolin said he asks them to describe the work they need to accomplish, listens to their response and then may or may not give them a pill.
Colton, who sells a small fraction of his Adderall prescription, also has requirements before providing anyone a pill.
“I’m not trying to be the Adderall kingpin of Maryland,” he said.
This allows him to make requirements before a sale. A potential customer must have taken Adderall before.
“I need to know it’s not going to kill them,” he said.