The primary ethical issue that is present in Augustine's case is whether or not to take the Adderall from his friend Ralph in order to concentrate and study for his midterms. There are many mitigating factors that go into this particular issue, namely Augustine's tendency to slack off in his schoolwork and classwork. Taking the Adderall would start a very unhealthy trend of continuing to reward laziness in favor of taking drugs at the last minute to power through. He would not be honestly rewarded for hard work that he had done.
The issue of taking the Adderall also deals with the ethical dilemma of stealing. Ralph may have offered the pills before in confidence, but would Augustine steal a pill if Ralph refuses this time? Should he take the pills from Ralph, who had offered pills to him in the past, or should he refuse it, and run the risk of doing poorly on his finals? A much more dangerous situation presents itself when one considers the possibility of addiction to Adderall that Augustine faces - in continuing to abuse prescription drugs "when he needs it," he may develop a dependency, which could offer significant health hazards.
In identifying Augustine's train of thought, it is possible to determine what he is going through. His purpose in taking the Adderall is to focus enough to do well on his midterm. In his point of view, he has no choice, since he needs to maintain his scholarships to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer. The question at hand is whether or not to take the pill in order to do well. The assumption that Augustine has is that taking the pill will equate to doing well on the midterm; he is assuming that, since it happened before, the Adderall would successfully help him focus on the material and do well on the midterm.
Brizer and Castaneda (2010), in their book Clinical Addiction Psychiatry, denotes the use of stimulants in college students increases the chances of them becoming addicted. There are many more types of stimulants used in the college culture, making their use not completely uncommon. Non-medical use of Adderall is high, as well as its potential to be abused. College students, in particular, are at extremely high risk of dependency, also making their risk for stroke or heart attack very high. This emphasizes the extreme physical danger Augustine is in just by risking dependency with this ethical dilemman.
A National Public Radio story on Adderall's use in college sheds some light on the drug culture of college students, and the reasoning behind its popularity. Trudeau (2009) states that the drug is commonly referred to as a "smart drug" or a "study drug," and is commonly applied to prescriptions for attention deficit disorder. The use of Adderall as a study aid is a growing trend among college students, as the high-pressure life of college can often leave students underprepared for their studies. It is a felony to use or sell these drugs without a prescription, making...