Study Drugs: America’s silently abused drug

It’s getting into the early hours of the morning in the library at the University of Denver. The sky is turning lighter shades of blue with each passing minute, a disconcerting  sight for the many students crunching for their impending final exams. A student sits, eyes locked into his computer screen typing a million miles an hour with sweat pouring from his armpits like Niagara Falls, he as taken the illicit “study drug” adderall. This student however, does not have a prescription for this legal medicine, he has purchased it for $4 from a buddy who does.

You may think he’s alone in the pack of early morning crunchers who are under the influence of this legally prescribed amphetamine, but you’d be dead wrong. A recent University of Kentucky study found, after interviewing around 1,800 undergraduate students, a staggering 34% had used the drug illegally (without a prescription). To put it in perspective the National Institute on Drug abuse reports only 4.4% of students nationwide say they use cocaine making it the second most abused simulate behind adderall.

“Everyday I see more and more high school to college level age kids come in and tell me they have abused adderall,” said Adam Becker, a drug and alcohol educator. Becker, an employee of the Salud Family Health Center in Denver, Colorado, is shocked by the numbers he sees come in but also left in no-mans-land. The center doesn’t take the use of adderall “very seriously at all” according to Becker. Limited treatment is available since the center is more concerned with those struggling with harder stimulants like methamphetamine and ecstasy.

Given its prescription status many students don’t feel theres any dangers involved with the drug. In the UK study mentioned earlier many students felt this way about the drug, “it could not be sold to the public if it wasn’t safe. I think it is the FDA, right?, that does all that… I mean who looks to see if coke or meth is clean? Nobody,” said Robert a undergraduate student taking part in the study. He wasn’t the only one, many in the study had very similar assertions about the drug. Another student in the study Caroline said, “Adderall is safe because how it’s made. When you get it, you know that it is not made in a bathtub by a bunch of dirty druggies. You get it at Krogers (a grocery store).”

The arguments  seem valid considering when you think that the students are selling it to them are prescribed to take it daily and most of these student used it for studying on occasion. Also on their side of the argument, overdosing on adderall requires an obscene amount of consumption. According to, a lethal dose of adderall for a male 150 pounds is 1,360mg of the stuff, meanwhile the average prescription is only about 10mg. Eating 136 adderall pills is obscene and purely suicidal as is taking an extreme amount of any prescription drug.

The dangers however, may not just be of deaths but rather the effects of the drug. “Any drug that is not prescribed to you is not safe to take,” Becker says with a stern tone in his voice, “those who are prescribed are closely monitored by their doctors to make sure they aren’t overusing or the drug isn’t having any horrible side affects on the patient.” Without this guidance many students are actually using the drug excessively and beyond its designed purpose.

I sat down with a senior at the University of Denver to talk about his experiences with the drug. In order to maintain confidentiality I will only be using his first name, Randy. When asked about the first time he used the drug the answer was rather shocking, “The first time I used it was in my junior year of high school and i snorted some at a party… I later used it for study purposes but still love to party with it here and there.” Randy is not alone in this respect however, the drug has a dual effect that many love.

I spoke over the phone with a Villanova University student, a junior there named Max. Max said he discovered the drug when he was a freshman at the university and in a desperate place with his final exams fast approaching. He exclaimed, “I felt like fuckin super man… not only was I able to tackle all my work with ease but I also felt like I could solve the problems of the word.” Its that second aspect the high of the drug that makes adderall very addicting to many. Max continued, “I then started using it to party… I felt so in the zone at the party, I was talking to everyone and was feeling great about life.”

This excess use for many is where doctors and health professionals become real scared for the users health. In a comprehensive study on multiple college campus’ Matthew D. Varga discovered the drugs dark nature. The study found that students who abused adderall were 20 times more likely to use heroin or cocaine once they had built a tolerance. This isn’t the only bad news however, both the short and long term effects can be catastrophic. Short term effects include insomnia, increased heart rate, and reduced circulation. Long term they aren’t any better, it includes hallucinations, psychotic episodes, and even ultimately death. While I mentioned earlier that it takes over 1,000mg to have a medical overdose any more than 70mg for a male 150 pounds is considered dangerous by doctors. Dangerous as in can, along with other factors, induce cardiac arrest and intense mood swings.

Adderall may seem harmless to a majority of students who use it illegal but the fact of the matter is it simply isn’t true. Since abuse is self reported the actual extent of the problem is still not fully known by medical professional and it deeply concerns them. In 2006 in February alone there were 51 deaths due to the over consumption of adderall or similar drugs. That was in 2006 too the numbers of people using illegally has only increased. Since they don’t know the extent of the problem it is hard to target the exact populations for therapy and education.

There are debates about adderall in the medical world today about its actual medical benefits and many believe American doctors are overprescribing it. In anyway we must look to the root of this problem if theres any hope to one day fix it. College culture is a “work hard, play hard” atmosphere. When many students end up playing too hard they look to drugs like adderall to appease the tough demand of their parents. It’s all seems a vicious cycle and something clearly needs to be done to identify this problem on campus’ across America.



Creating content at an astonishing rate, what it’s like to create content for multiple major media outlets

Sarah Ford, a fairly recent graduate of the University of Denver’s Media Film and Journalism Studies School. Ford, 23, Is the OnTopic Content Manager for in Denver Colorado. In this day and age many media outlets thrive off the “quick and dirty” stories that’s impact on the consumer is minimal but somehow captivating. This is true for both TV and online, articles seemed to be pumped out to fill a slot of interest like pumping gas for your car.

This trend in American media creates a large need for these “quick and dirty” pieces so many companies have come about to fill that need. Companies like, who Ford is employed by, is there to fill that space on the local nightly news or late morning talk shows. Ford admits, “these bit and articles aren’t anything to write home about… they fill a space in a broadcast.”

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Famous authors,Richard Kadrey & Stephen Graham Jones, share their writing experiences with DU english students and faculty


DENVER- DU students and faculty were given an amazing opportunity this Wednesday to meet two famous authors at Denver’s famous Tattered Cover Bookstore. Richard Kadrey and Stephen Graham Jones talked extensively about their career as writers and what inspires the ideas behind their best selling novels.

Jones was a vibrate character and told stories of his past with little to no filter, displaying his open and boisterous nature. When talking about what made him become a successful author he said, “The need to frame my brothers when we were younger… Being a fiction writer came from the crazy stories I’d need to make up to successfully frame my brothers for the bad things I’d done.”

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The Dutch propose a ban on all gasoline and diesel sales, could this be the worlds most progressive law?


DENVER- The Dutch Parliament passed through legislation on March 30th to ban the sale of all gasoline and diesel cars by 2025, according to This is one of the boldest moves to reduce harmful emissions by any country in the world maybe ever.

Nevertheless this bold move in legislation has not gone without opposition many are calling it unrealistic and outright stupid for the Dutch economy. Halbe Zijlstra, leader of the parliamentary VVD party a right wing dutch party stated, “It seems crazy to me to go ahead with this plan. I believe we should withdraw from the energy agreement.” The agreement he is referring to is “energy agreement” the government made with around 40 organizations to promote green energy and reduce carbon emissions.

While there are no major automobile makers in Holland there is one very historic one named Spkyer. They build crazy high-performance machines that look like the 70’s mated with an alien. The automaker would surely go out of business if this legislation goes through.

I ask some DU students what they thought of such a law being passed here in Colorado.


Alex Rupp

Sophomore, Undeclared

What would you think about a ban on all gas and diesel cars in Colorado?

“There’s no way that could ever work here… I like the concept but it isn’t at all practical.”




Eric HallIMG_2321

Sophomore, Marketing

Could you live with an all electric car in Colorado?

“No chance, as of now the technology is no where near what it needs to be for my weekend trips to the mountains and the greater southwest”






Clay CastanoIMG_2322

Freshman, Undecided

The Dutch are trying to ban all non-electric car sales by 2025 do you think it possible?

“I think its a good idea but practically I don’t think it will work… their economy is sure to take a massive hit as well as upset many large oil producers.”

The Dutch as we speak continue to draw up a contingency plan to make this a real law and the first of its nature at that. It seems the passion to stop climate change has gained greater ground than it ever has before. This law would surely be the one of the most revolutionary environmental law of the 21st century.

DU men’s lax cruises by Providence in first round of Big East tournament


Students tailgate outside of Peter Barton Stadium before Big East Lacrosse Tournament

DENVER- It was an electric atmosphere at the University of Denver during the years annual Big East Men’s Lacrosse Tournament on Thursday in early May. DU played Providence College all the way from Rode Island in the first round and the results were, well very expected.

This victory continued a 22 game winning streak at home for the Pio’s and left Providence the 4th seat rather embarrassed. The first half however, was well contended as the game was tied at 4-4 just with around 10 minutes left in the second quarter of play. The tables turned quickly though, as the Friar’s fell on the wrong end of a 5 goal rally by DU to make the halftime score 9-4. Continue reading