Students taking a far too literal approach to "speed" reading


We have all been there: two in the morning, staring at that textbook with feverish frustration. If only there was something, anything, to help push through the piles of homework and overbooked schedule.


Today's students are pressured to meet standards well above what should be required to get into the college. Successful college resumes must include numerous extra curricular activities, clubs, honors classes, and of course, an exceptional GPA.


Society has set the bar unrealistically high, and when the stakes are that high, the risks become that much greater.


Drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, intended to treat ADHD, have become the gateway drug for yes, you guessed it, honor students!


Affectionately known as "study drugs," or "smart drugs," these little pills do more than just help one focus – they keep one focused.


According to a recent National Public Radio segment, the individuals using these drugs are simply students trying to pass classes, rather than taking the drugs for recreational purposes.


According to the website for Adderall, the drug has many positive effects for those with ADHD, but not so many for those who take it without a prescription. Misuse can lead to loss of appetite, anorexia, stunted growth, and even the possibility of sudden death for those suffering from heart problems or heart defects. Other precautions include warning against severe addiction to Adderall. Intense, right?


Well with so many downsides, why are so many students resorting to such extreme measures? It is highly illegal to possess the drug without a prescription, and yet many, smart, dedicated students continue to chance it.


One could argue that the root of the problem stems from students overloading their schedules with numerous extra curricular activities and heavy academic commitments. However, the problem lies deeper than the over-zealous students willing to risk it all for an A.


It is our educational system itself, to blame for the upswing in prescription, study-drug misuse.  It is the unrealistic requirements for college applications and overwhelming burden of attempting to access a quality, higher education that is truly responsible for this recent trend of studious substance abuse.

It must be understood that it is not the students to blame, not the drugs or even the pharmaceutical companies. It the societal ideal of ultimate and unattainable perfection that America has become addicted to.