Marcia Gibbs

Whether using Adderall as a study aid should be considered cheating is a question many students have trouble answering, but those with a prescription can feel like they are the ones being cheated.

Plan II freshman Michael Patison has trouble with day-to-day life if he doesn’t take his daily dosage of prescribed Adderall. The drug, which aids concentration in those with ADHD and ADD, is also used as a “study drug” because it enhances concentration for those without a diagnosis as well. Patison said that using the drug for study purposes takes away from those who actually need it. 

“I’m just caught up in taking my own, if you will,” Patison said. “I really have trouble functioning when I don’t take it. When other people that don’t really need it take it, it’s not something I really like — it sort of defeats the purpose of the whole thing.”

While he’s never been approached by someone to buy the drug, Patison said this is likely because he makes a point to make it clear from the beginning that his prescription is not for sale. 

“Anyone who knows that I do take it, they pretty much know [I won’t sell it],” Patison said. “I make it very clear from the beginning.”

Using Adderall without a prescription is treated the same way as using any other illegal substance, said Marcia Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Dean of Students.

According to University Health Services’ website, side effects of using Adderall include irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, diarrhea or constipation, impotence or changes in sex drive, among others. 

The drug can be extremely harmful if taken incorrectly, said a female law student who wished to remain anonymous and is prescribed Adderall. The student said people have approached her to purchase a prescription in the past. 

“It doesn’t actually help them process the information at all,” she said. “It just speeds up reading and helps with focus, and I think in the end anyone who takes it without needing it is actually going to end up doing worse on stuff. I don’t care, I try to avoid the politics of it all.”

It should be considered cheating because it cheats those with a prescription, Patison said.

“You’re using an outside aid that you haven’t been approved for,” Patison said. “And as a result, you’re putting somebody else at a disadvantage.”

Printed on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 as: ADHD students disapprove of  'study drugs' 

Austin Police Department and University administrators took extra precautions to ensure student safety at Roundup, the annual Greek philanthropy and social event. Despite such efforts, the event included a violent altercation at 25th and Leon Street, Friday at midnight.

APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito said the stabbing was non-lethal and occurred outside of a fraternity house in West Campus. Although officials have not confirmed if the stabbing is connected to Roundup, fraternity houses Pi Kappa Alpha, Omicron and Sigma Alpha Mu are all in the area.

Hipolito said the victim was transferred to Brackenridge Hospital, although the suspect was not apprehended. Hipolito said police have been interviewing witnesses and are currently investigating several leads.

UT spokeswoman Marcia Gibbs said Roundup has not been an official University activity since 1990. However, she said the Interfraternity Council and the University Panhellenic Council, concerned about campus safety and crime during Roundup, instituted a wristband requirement for the students’ own benefit and to prevent high school students from attending the events. Students could get a wristband at various locations by showing their college student ID.

“Over the years, at the request of the Interfraternity Council and University Panhellenic, the University has worked and continues to work with these organizations on developing effective risk management policies and measures to ensure safety at their events,” Gibbs said.

Psychology freshman Jacky Vorlop said security guards were present at several Roundup parties, checking to make sure that attendees had the required wristbands. She said the mandatory wristbands not only kept high school students out, but many college students too, as the University ran out of wristbands at one point.

“On Saturday the police were really on-call, and if you didn’t have a wristband ... but you had a student I.D., that didn’t work,” Vorlop said.

However, Plan II freshman Parker Berg said the crowds contributed to the positive experience of Roundup.

“If there are a million people milling around on West Campus, it’s going to be fun,” Berg said.

Berg said the wristbands might have been helpful in keeping some high school students out, but he did not think it kept them all out.

“I think it all comes down to who you know, just like any other party,” Berg said.

Nate Sokolski, vice-president of Alpha Tau Omega, said he felt the wristbands was an overkill measure taken by the Interfraternity Council.

“If the IFC wants to have no involvement with a fraternity party, they shouldn’t have a wristband that says IFC on it,” Sokolski said. “It’s silly, I understand they’re doing it because it’s something I guess they should do, but I don’t see the purpose of it.”

For example, Sokolski said he did not understand why wristbands were needed for philanthropy events.

“There are a lot of hypotheticals that really make these wristbands pretty imperfect, and I don’t think it’s done a good job,” Sokolski said.