Across the nation, college students everyday wake up, go to class, return to their dorms and do their homework. Students strive for a good GPA and a job lined up for them after their four years. However, many students use alternative methods to achieve these goals. Stimulant abuse, like Adderall and Ritalin, has dramatically increased since 1990, and about 25% of college students claim to have taken stimulants illegally for exams. This has become a problem due to the negative societal effects such as grade inflation and an unfair academic field (Stolz). According to Matthew Varga, the widespread causes include external pressures, especially from the family, socio-cultural factors, college lifestyle, and easy accessibility. Throughout the course of this paper, the causes will be analyzed and several possible solutions will be proposed to correct the negative effects on society as a whole.
The stimulant drugs are not the problem. In fact, prescription stimulant drugs have a great success rate treating disorders like ADHD (Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder) and narcolepsy. The drugs act to enhance focus and settle the hyper activeness that many individuals experience (Stolz). The problem actually lies in the abuser and the society. Stimulant drugs have proven to show an increase in concentration and overall academic performance (Cannatella) so it makes sense why students want to use them – they want the competitive edge. To make matters worse, patients are often misdiagnosed with ADHD and prescribed the drugs increasing the supply to the black market (Stolz). But by far the most difficult challenge in solving the problem is the widespread causes and inability to eliminate them at the source.
The first and primary cause of stimulant abuse is external pressures (Varga), especially parental pressure on their college sons and daughters (Cannatella). Family values are instilled in children during an early age. Upper and middle class families that can afford college pressure their children to succeed. Therefore, students who fail to succeed end up disappointing their parents and receive a negative response. Hence students will find any possible way to succeed and not receive the negative response (Cannatella). This pressure begins even before college because parents tend to be aware of the academic success needed to be accepted into a university and thus pressure their children to succeed at an early age possibly resulting in stimulant abuse before college (Varga). Surveys done in Southern California questioned college students on alcohol consumption, smoking and other illegal use of prescription drugs and found that parental influence acted as one of the main sources of stress in young adults (Shillington). Other than the pressures from parents and the pressure of applying to college, the new pressure of collegiate workload tends to surprise many incoming first years that were not properly prepared in high school....