Abuse of Drugs on College Campuses Today on college campuses, it is not possible to make it through college without knowing someone who has at least tried a prescription drug or recreational drug for either party uses, to help them study and keep up in school, or simply to help them get by day-to-day essay writer toronto. Maybe you have tried them yourself? College students all across the nation are abusing substances such as Adderall, Vicodin, Oxycontin, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc. Those students who drink alcohol are more likely to use prescription drugs for non-medical uses than non-drinkers.
The number one way students are getting their hands on these different drugs is from the help of their peers. As for prescriptions, others steal it from their family members in their medicine cabinets at home if it is available. Like any drug, your body will build up a tolerance when you take it regularly resulting in dependence of that drug and/or need of higher dosages. Some people even fake symptoms to get prescribed the drug needed. For example, there are multiple websites on how to fake ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) so your doctor will prescribe you Adderall.
Prescription Drugs All this talk and we do not know what Adderall even is. Adderall (amphetamine, dextroamphetamine mixed salts) is a prescription drug that is generally prescribed to treat people with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Some side effects are euphoria, restlessness, headache, dryness of mouth, insomnia, and even anorexia because of loss of appetite. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant which can result in stroke or even death if the proper precautions are not met.
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This stimulant causes an increase in average heart rate about 3-6 beats per minute and an increase of average blood pressure about 2-4 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) (“Adderall”). As for Adderall’s contribution to college students, it is known as “Brain Steroids. ” Some street names for it are addy, beans, black beauties, speed, double trouble, and Christmas trees. It is also known as cheap cocaine. Many students use it for late-night studying because the drug keeps you awake and alert for long periods of time. The problem is many students will do nything to get their hands on it in fear that they cannot do work without it. On the other hand, Adderall is also used as an all-night party drug. In the party scene, this is where Adderall is known as cheap cocaine. It is either taken orally or snorted before or while drinking alcohol, allowing the user to stay awake and drink for a longer period of time causing their BAL (Blood Alcohol Level) to continue to rise without the user falling asleep. This can not only lead to hospitalization but it can also lead to death. Adderall is being so widely used that the prescription is currently on a manufacturer backorder.
The reason is because more and more people are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD and in most cases I believe it is because people are faking the symptoms and doctors are too willingly writing out prescriptions. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) only releases a certain amount of the drug at a time in an attempt to prevent illegal abuse. With the demand of Adderall being so high at this time, its presence in the market is currently scarce. A story told in Texas showed that a man drove about 80 miles away from home to fill his prescription and paid $417 for the name brand Adderall (Keith).
This story comes to show how addictive this drug can be. The central nervous system stimulant Adderall is not the only form of prescription drugs being abused. Pain killers are also being abused by students, Vicodin being one example. It is used to treat mild to severe pain with side effects of nausea, sedation, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, confusion, and possible seizure (“Vicodin”). The abuse may begin when you break a bone and are in return prescribed Vicodin for the pain. You continue to take the drug until the pain goes away and may continue to take it after the pain is gone.
I have personally seen this happen with a friend who recently broke his leg. This particular person has no more pain from the injury, but continues to take the Vicodin for recreational purposes and sometimes drinks alcohol while taking them. When mixing alcohol and Vicodin it causes an enhanced sedated feeling and/or respiratory depression making the effects life threatening. In addition to Vicodin, the pain killer Oxycontin is also widely abused. It is used to treat severe pain that is expected to last a prolonged amount of time.
Oxycontin has many similar side effects of Vicodin along with sweating, itching, loss of appetite, and severe weakness. It works by blocking the brain from receiving pain messages. The reason Oxycontin is so dangerous is because it is highly addictive and is a central nervous system depressant. It is believed that a younger healthier college student is more likely to become addicted to the drug rather than an older adult taking it for pain reasons. This is because taking Oxycontin to get high has a completely different effect on the body (“Oxycontin”). Like most drugs, Oxycontin can be abused in many different forms.
It can be taken orally, crushed up and snorted, or dissolved and injected. By crushing it up or injecting it, it causes an instant feeling of euphoria when it enters the body. Oxycontin is often called “poor man’s heroin” due to the fact that they both have comparable effects. When the user is exposed to constant amounts of high doses, dependence of the drug is nearly inevitable. College students do not understand the dangerous and deadly outcomes of abusing Oxycontin. There are many cases where young adults in college have died from abusing it as a party drug.
One case at the University of California, a student was not so lucky. Daniel Ashkenazy, a pre-law student was found dead at the age of 20 the morning after a fraternity rush party after taking Oxycontin while drinking alcohol. The shocking part is that a lot of times there are no signs of drug abuse and you do not have to be addicted to the drug for it to kill you. Daniel was a junior at the college with a 3. 8 grade-point average and frequently spoke with his mother. Another case at Colorado State University, 20 year old John Hunter-Hauck was found dead by his roommates the day after an off-campus party.
His autopsy revealed traces of Oxycontin and alcohol in his system which resulted in his death. Moving away from pain killers, Xanax is a highly abused prescription drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Common street names for the drug are bars, blues, peaches, and handlebars. Xanax has a calming effect that controls the chemicals in your brain that cause anxiety. Some side effects may include drowsiness, depression, dry mouth, constipation, and headache. Students turn to this drug because it has similar effects of alcohol. Also, it is used to help take the edge off the constant stresses and demands that college puts on a student.
When taking it in ‘bar’ form rather than the smaller dosage pill, the effects are so intense that you lose your ability to reason and think. When Xanax is mixed with alcohol, the effects are either intensified or reversed causing even greater anxiety because they are both central nervous system depressants (“Xanax”). Like Xanax, the prescription drug Valium is taken to reduce anxiety but it also used to treat muscle spasms and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some side effects may include dizziness, fatigue, and muscle weakness. When mixing Valium with alcohol you may experience difficulty breathing and it may cause you to pass out.
If too much Valium or alcohol is taken, it could lead to a coma. The effects of alcohol are stronger and you are unable to drink a much as you normally do. After long term use, dependence may form. Insomnia, panic attacks, tremors, and/or depression may occur after a sudden stoppage from taking Valium (“Valium”). Prescription drug abuse among college students has become so rampant that there are parties specifically intended for exchanging these drugs. They are known as “pharm parties. ” The basis of a “pharm party” is that everyone who attends brings their own prescription drugs and freely exchanges these drugs for other drugs.
They sometimes even put all the pills into a large bowl and ingest whatever pills they pick out. Being that many of these individuals are willing to try anything new, they do not always know what prescription they are taking which results in different forms of potentially dangerous highs (Alexander). Even places one would believe to be a safe route for help are not always so safe. Recently in Indiana County, PA, a doctor at the Indiana Walk-in Clinic was arrested and accused of exchanging powerful pain medications for sexual favors. This just shows what extremes people will go through to get the drugs that they need.
The doctor was providing prescriptions of Oxycodone to the patient despite the fact that he was aware she previously failed drug screenings at the clinic (“Indiana Co. Doctor”). So what happens when a college student is caught selling their prescription medication in the library during finals week or in the hallway of a school building? The consequence is that of a felony offense, although different states have different laws regarding the selling of a controlled substance. In some states you could be sentenced prison time or you could be let off on easier charges if you are a first time offender.
The same ramification is in effect if you are caught purchasing the drug as well. Recreational Drugs Prescription drugs are not the only substances where abuse is a problem. On college campuses, alcohol is by far the most serious issue. Almost half of college students drink to the point of binge drinking or drink in greater excess. Binge drinking means a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0. 08 grams percent or higher. The BAC generally reaches this after a man consumes 5 or more drinks or a woman consumes 4 or more drinks within 2 hours.
This kind of drinking is what effects students the most. When under this influence, students are more likely to fall behind with school work, skip their classes, engage is risky or illegal activities, or be injured. The issue of binge drinking is not easily controlled due to the fact that alcohol fits within a student’s budget and it is very easy to access(“Alcohol’s Damaging Effects”).. Alcohol is used in many social situations in college such as fraternity/sorority parties, house parties, tailgating for sporting events, or just going to the bar.
In these social settings, students are more likely to drink more in a short period of time resulting in a blackout. A blackout is where you are intoxicated to the point where you cannot remember specific events that take place or you may not remember anything from a certain point on (“Alcohol’s Damaging Effects”). This stage in consuming alcohol is the most dangerous because the person may have little or no memory of risky actions like driving under the influence, engaging in unprotected sex, or committing illegal acts (“Binge Drinking”). Some students are less fortunate nd instead of blacking out, the consequence is death. Samantha Spady, a sophomore at Colorado State University, was found dead at a fraternity house at the age of only 19. The cause of death being binge drinking. Binge drinking also leads to a high risk for sexual assault, where women are mostly the victims. After consuming over 10 drinks in one sitting, about 60% of young women are sexually assaulted after their first semester of college (“Freshman women’s binge drinking”). Sexual assault can range anywhere from unwilling sexual interaction or even worse, rape.
Since alcohol is the most frequently abused substance, marijuana is the runner-up (Boyum). Marijuana, also known as pot or weed, is usually smoked either like a cigarette (joint), blunt/cigar form, or from a pipe. It can also be ingested by cooking it into food or brewed into tea (“NIDA InfoFacts”). Marijuana is considered a gateway drug that opens up users to even harder and more dangerous drugs. The effects of smoking weed can include paranoia, random thinking, short term memory, anxiety, and distorted sense of time (“Marijuana Uses”).
College students often turn to marijuana use because it helps to take the edge off of everyday college demands and responsibilities. Weed smokers are more likely to spend more time engaging in party-like activities rather than studying due to difficulty concentrating (Ray). Results from continued use will more than likely result in poorer grades, possible changes in personal relationships, inability to retain new information, or difficulty comprehending information (Ray). Some say marijuana is addictive yet some say it is not. So what is an abused drug that is addictive?
Cocaine. We have already found that Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant, and so is cocaine but highly more addictive and powerful. Cocaine (coke) is usually snorted but it can also be mixed into water and injected. Regardless the way it is used, it enters the bloodstream quickly and the effects only take seconds. The results are similar to that of Adderall yet much stronger causing very high levels of mental alertness and energy. It works by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain which is a chemical associated with pleasure.
Long term usage can cause addiction because it is disrupting the brain’s reward system and will not produce dopamine in a normal fashion as it did prior to using the drug. It may sound like an amazing drug that causes it’s user to have a feeling of euphoria each time it is used, but the problem is it is very easy to overdose. Over time, a tolerance may build up causing the user to take more and more of the drug attempting to achieve the euphoric feeling they had the first time they tried it. Needless to say, this can ultimately result in overdose and death (“NIDA InfoFacts”).
Cocaine can even effect life decisions as serious as what college to attend. Paige, a student at the University of Miami made her decision to attend there because she found that coke was cheap and very easy to get. Luckily for Paige, she stopped using the drug after her first year attending the college because it stopped being a fun thing for her to do (Shepherd). Another case was that of a former student of the University of Miami, who was identified by her middle name Xavier. She stated that using coke not only affected her grades, but also her relationships with friends.
Her grades were so bad that she was unable to continue attending the university. Another effect of coke is loss of appetite, and Xavier even admitted that was one of the reasons she continued to use it. “It’s so addictive that your life revolves around coke,” she said. “I was failing school, and I wasn’t going to class because you don’t really have the desire for anything [while] on coke. ” After leaving the university, she stopped using the drug and her grades have improved as she now attends Miami Dade in hopes to re-enroll at the University of Miami (Shepherd).
In Andria Ziegler’s case, she was found dead at her Paradise Valley Community College professor’s home. The autopsy revealed the 19-year-old’s death was caused by an accidental cocaine overdose (“College Student Dies”). Another popular drug among college students has a completely different effect than any of the previous drugs. These drugs are called hallucinogens. A common form is LSD (Lysergic Acid Diathylamide), also known as acid. It most often comes in the form of blotter papers, which are small paper squares that are dipped in LSD. Other forms include powder, liquid, pills, and capsules.
Taking the drug results in a “trip” lasting around 12 hours with feelings of mind-altering changes in thought and mood, distorted perceptions of reality, and can cause hallucinations (“LSD”). College students are attracted to acid because of its easy availability, cheap prices, and mind-altering perceptions (Loglisci). A user can either have a very pleasurable experience or have a very terrifying “bad trip”. Each time acid is taken the results are different and have extremely unpredictable outcomes. Not only does the trip affect you when you take it, but it may also result in flashbacks of the experience weeks or even months later.
These recurrences are also unpredictable and will lessen over time(Hallucinogens). Another similar hallucinogenic drug linked to LSD is mushrooms. They are also known as magic mushrooms or shrooms which contain psilocybin (a hallucinogenic principle). Shrooms can either be orally ingested or brewed into tea and drank. They have very similar effects of acid being that they cause trips that can either be pleasant or terrifying but they also cause altered perceptions of sight, touch, and taste. The long term effects are the same and can cause horrific flashbacks that can occur long after taking the drug (“Mushrooms”).
The scariest aspect of this drug is that when you are around the students taking it, you do not know what is going to happen, depending on the outcome of the trip. I have personally experienced a friend “tripping” on shrooms and it was not a pleasant experience. It happened to be a bad trip and he was severely depressed and talking about life in a very serious manner. It was quite a frightening experience. Although I have never seen anyone take acid, I was told a story from another friend who tried it. They were two students at IUP who were bored one night and decided to try the drug.
My friend explained to me that the two of them sat in a room all night until morning writing their thoughts on post-it notes and sticking them all over the wall until it was covered. She said that the next day they read the notes and had not one clue as to what any of them meant because they did not remember what was going through their heads at the time of the trip. A case in New York showed that Michael Simmons, a 19-year-old student at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts was found dead after an 8-story fall from his dorm window.
Nothing was posted about the autopsy, but friends said that it happened after Michael and a few others consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms (Feeney, Gendar, and Lauinger). It is a scary thought to think that if you take a hallucinogenic drug you could possibly have a terrifying experience, jump out of an 8-story window to your death, or possibly not remember anything at all. In conclusion, it is clear from the sources displayed in this article that recreational drugs and prescription drugs will always be in demand for certain users.
As a responsible and sovereign society it is one’s personal responsibility to understand the threats and consequences of these substances. Recreational drugs and prescription drugs alike all have potentially harmful and sometimes fatal effect on the human body. The sad truth is that these drugs are all addictive and are easy to miss use in the wrong hands. Unfortunately this is a real and unfortunate fact of the world we live. Different individuals and personalities handle and make with decisions their own way. Drug use to some is a personal choice.
With new knowledge in drug awareness it is our responsibility as a society and individuals to educate, influence, and prevent the harmful and potentially fatal effects of drug abuse. To avoid potentially harmful or life threatening situations please consider the data and message displayed in this paper. Works Cited “Adderall. ” Rxlist. com. Rxlist, N. p. , Web 20 Oct. 2011. “Alcohol’s Damaging Effects On The Brain. ” Nih. gov. National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, Oct. 2004. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. Alexander, Deborah, “Pharm-Raised Teens Oxycontin Abuse Prevalent Among Adolescents,” alexanderlawoffice. om. N. p. , Web. 13 Oct. 2011. “Binge Drinking on College Campuses. ” Cspinet. org. Center For Science In The Public Interest, Dec. 2008. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. Boyum, Richard. “A Two Edged Sword: Marijuana Use and College Students. ” Selfcounseling. com. N. p. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. “College Student Dies After Overdosing on Cocaine at Home of Professor, Her Alleged Lover. ” Foxnews. com. FOX News Network, 5 June 2008. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. “Coroner: Alcohol Poisoning Killed CSU Student. ” Thedenverchannel. com. Denver News, 17 Sept. 2004. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. Feeney, Michael J. Alison Gendar, and John Lauinger. “Friends say mushrooms contributed to Brooklyn College student's fatal fall. ” NY Daily Times. 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. “Freshman women’s binge drinking tied to sexual assault risk. ” Jsad. com. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Jan. 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. “Hallucinogens. ” Justive. gov. United States Drug Enforcement Administration, N. p. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. “Indiana Co. Doctor Charged With Trading Drugs for Sex. ” Wpxi. com. 12 Oct 2011. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. Jacobs, Andrew, “The Adderall Advantage. ” Nytimes. com. The New York Times, 31 July 2005.
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