Times certainly have changed. I was surprised to learn that these days college students are buying and selling drugs – not to get high but to study more and get better grades.  There is an epidemic in college campuses across the country where students are illegally purchasing “study drugs” like Adderall and Ritalin which are normally prescribed for ADA or ADHD in order to achieve better grades.  It may begin as simply as a student with a legitimate prescription giving a pill or two to a friend during exam period. You can watch more on the issue here in a clip about an Adderall drug bust at Columbia University in 2010.

The problem is that Adderall, Ritalin and similar drugs are amphetamines, a controlled substance, in the same category as cocaine for legal purposes.  Possessing or taking this drug without a prescription is a felony. Giving away or selling these pills is a serious felony and could be considered drug trafficking depending on the amount of pills involved. For example, in Florida a prescription bottle containing about 45 pills carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 3 years.

In my legal experience as a criminal defense attorney some of the most difficult cases involve bright, good college students who have never been in trouble before being arrested for a serious felony like drug trafficking.  The college student and their parents can’t comprehend that they or their child is viewed by the prosecutor the same as a street-level crack dealer – an undesirable – and nothing about their good background or family will change the charges or the minimum mandatory.

So a word of caution to college students and parents of college students who have a prescription for one of these “study drugs” – do not share or give or sell a pill or you could be soon sharing a cell.



photo by: Purple Penning