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TOPIC: In Their Own Words: 'Too Much Pressure'

In Their Own Words: 'Too Much Pressure' 01 Mar 2013 17:11 #53

CAOOY Note: "In Their Own Words" is a series of editorials written by teens and young adults, male and female, from across the country, regarding their experiences with ADHD/depressive medication. We will continue featuring selections from the page, but if you would like to read more go here. Each will be prefaced by Alan Schwarz of The New York Times.

In Their Own Words: 'Too Much Pressure'


At high schools around the nation, pressure over grades and competition for
college admissions are encouraging students to abuse prescription stimulants.


A 16-year-old, determined to succeed on her own merits, who finally bends under the pressure. Students with legitimate prescriptions who are hounded for their pills. Young men and women whose use of stimulants spirals out of control.

After inviting students to submit personal stories of the abuse of prescription drugs for academic advantage, The Times received almost 200 submissions. While a majority focused on the prevalence of these drugs on college campuses, many wrote about their increasing appearance in high schools, the focus of our article on Sunday. We have highlighted about 30 of the submissions below, almost all written by current high school students or recent graduates.

In often vivid detail — snorting their own pills, stealing pills from friends — the students described an issue that they found upsetting, valuable, dangerous and, above all else, real. Most of them claimed that it was a problem rooted not in drugs per se, but with the pressure that compelled some youngsters to use them.
— Alan Schwarz
Too Much Pressure
Male, 20, Los Angeles

Let me say first off that I take full responsibility in choosing to take Adderall as a study drug. It definitely helped me get good grades during finals, but plenty of students get good grades without it, and I would understand if somebody in my classes felt cheated because I took it.

That being said, the immense pressure put on students by parents and educators has made taking speed a socially acceptable thing. I come from a family that gets disappointed and chews me out for B's or even B+'s and A-'s. My whole life I've been told that, no matter how smart I am, the only way to be successful (see: acceptable) is through academic excellence. Now, would my parents be upset that I've taken study drugs? Probably, and that's just symptomatic of the problem.

I'm sick of the expectation of a “perfect” kid. The parents and educators in this article who express shock at kids using study drugs ought to look in the mirror; they are equally responsible. College is harder to get into today than it was and it is much more stressful and difficult once you get in. Change your unrealistic expectations or take the My Kid is an Honor Student bumper sticker off your minivan.

...

Continue reading: www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/06/10/education/stimulants-student-voices.html
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