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S E C R E T / / R E P O R T SECRET TO SUCCESS The rise of prescription drugs by John Knight, editor; illustrations by Sarah Wool, editor W hen Calvin Snipes* was in sixth grade, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and mild dyslexia. Immediately, he was prescribed a 10mg daily dose of Adderall and eight years later as a Colorado College senior, he still keeps a bottle of the blue pills in his desk. Some blocks he takes it often, some blocks almost never, but he is certain that his college experience would have been different without the drug. “If I hadn’t had it,” Snipes says, “especially on the block plan, everything would have taken much longer and I would have been more stressed. It has made my time here manageable.” Snipes is what one might call an average Colorado College student: he attends class, does his homework, parties on weekends, goes skiing, and enjoys block breaks with his friends. He acknowledges that doing his work is an important part of being at school, but maintains that it’s not the only worthwhile activity at CC. Like the old motto, Snipes works hard to play hard, and like all *Name has been changed. 24 CIPHER good workers, he knows what tools to use to get the job done. Adderall, Ritalin, Vivance, and other prescription amphetamines increase activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the area responsible for higher levels of cognitive thinking, thereby increasing the brain’s capacity to focus on a given task. They are most often prescribed to people diagnosed with ADD to help them follow one activity through to completion and resist both internal and external distractions. Since there are unlimited venues for procrastination and entertainment on a college campus and also limitless pressure to perform and succeed, the “I try not to depend on it—you never know when you’ll have to do it on your own.” use of attention-enhancing drugs has infiltrated campuses across the nation and, in some cases, have become the norm. “We are so conditioned to be entertained all the time,” Snipes says, “of course it’s hard to sit in class for three hours and pay attention.” Ad-

Secret To Success

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