Kieron Williams/Staff Writer
Students feel the pressure rising with finals week just around the corner. With grade point averages and scholarships on the line, some students may resort to taking study drugs like Adderall, which can be abused to enhance studying and retaining information.
“I’ve got some friends that take Adderall,” said Morgan Smart, junior communication arts major. “They say it helps them stay up and study better, and it must work for them because they’ve used it multiple times.”
The University is no stranger to Adderall use and abuse. Last semester, FIU’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter was suspended from campus for distributing drugs in what was called the on-campus “Pike Pharmacy.” According to screenshots of their secret Facebook group, one of the Pike Pharmacy’s most requested drugs was “addy,” or Adderall. One of the comments on a status concerning Adderall said, “Save me one!! I have a final tomorrow!!”
Assistant Chief of Police Alphonse Ianniello said students shouldn’t believe the hype, however.
“It’s just party stuff. I know people claim that they can stay more alert, but if that’s all you want just drink a Redbull. Don’t use something that’s gonna kill your body,” Ianniello said.“This is what I tell my own kids: tell me something positive that’s ever happened while abusing illegal drugs. I don’t know of anything. You either end up dead or you end up in jail. There are no positives.”
Despite information like this, students still find themselves in the library cramming for a final they may have in a few hours and in need of something they think will assure their success. These are the students most likely to resort to study drugs like Adderall.
Ebonie Parris, wellness coordinator at Student Health Services, said the key to avoiding study drugs is building healthy study habits to better avoid situations like this.
“One way to avoid cramming is by creating to-do lists and prioritizing subjects you haven’t studied as much,” Parris said. “And it’s really, really important to remember to eat food. You don’t want to eat once in the morning, study all day, and then eat again at night. You should be eating throughout the day because that actually helps fuel your studying.”
Sofia Pablos-Aguirre, senior English major and wellness assistant, had a list of brain foods that can aid in mental function.
“Blueberries are really good for memory function, flaxseed and salmon are really good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, and even dark chocolate in moderation has its benefits,” Pablos-Aguirre recommended.
Recharge for Finals Spring 2014
Monday April 21st: Midnight Breakfast — 11:30 p.m., Fresh Foods
Tuesday April 22nd: A Bite to Eat at — 7 p.m., GC Lawn.
Evening Supper at 7 p.m., Engineering Campus
Wednesday April 23rd: Yoga On The Lawn 10 a.m.-11:15 a.m., GC Lawn
Smoothie Time — 7 p.m., GC Pit
But the study habit that is most important, and ironically the most overlooked, is sleep.
“Set a time to sleep and stick to it as best as you can. It’s crucial that your brain has the space to refuel and the time to rest. I would say that rest is just as important as actually studying,” Pablos-Aguirre said.
Ebonie Parris’ office is packed full of goodie bags ready to be given away at Student Health’s upcoming event during Student Government Association’s Recharge for Finals week.
“We try to promote healthier behaviors when it comes to studying,” Parris said. “We try to provide tea instead of coffee, since it’s a lot healthier for you, and we also provide snacks, since there are a lot of people who come to school without planning their food options and end up eating whatever’s available instead of food that may help with studying.”
Recharge for Finals will be held from April 21 to 25.