Every morning in America where I studied over 500 students climb aboard the prescription drug bandwagon and begin a regimen of pills ostensibly under the misbegotten belief that these uppers and downers will enhance their performance in studies. Others in larger numbers manage with consummate ease to obtain official documentation so they can begin to imbibe meds legally and become victims of a modern conspiracy that no one takes seriously even though there are more casualties than in a war zone. That is because campus is a war zone and the indiscriminate use of drugs is rampant. We just do not want to see it.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency nearly 12 percent of college students reported using one or more types of prescription drugs (including antidepressants, sedatives, and stimulants) that were not prescribed to them within the last 12 months. College students have a higher likelihood of misusing prescription stimulants, often referred to as “study drugs,” when compared to their non-college peers.
What a lovely sound that has: study drugs. Sounds so harmless and pleasant like a tutor holding your hand and taking you to your degree.
Well, get this straight. It is a death knell. If it does not kill you prematurely it will scramble your brains more effectively than a chef does his eggs for breakfast.
The DEA goes on to alert parents who, for some reason, dig their heads into the sands and do not want to see it. Oh, no, not our child, he or she would never. And we do not tell them because we are afraid to hurt them, afraid of their reactions, their dismay and disappointment, their shock and all that comes with it by way of recriminations. So, instead we go to great lengths to conceal the drama unfolding in our heads, sometimes exploding with the sheer pressure of it. And then, when we have become zombies we end up hurting them even more because now they cannot understand where it all began to go wrong and it is so difficult to explain that we didn’t tell them to protect them from the fallout. As difficult as it is to explain that we are no longer by then masters of our own minds, having sold it cheaply for a false haven. Now, we are propelled by a malevolent and inner force against which we are helpless. Even our screams for help are silent. How then can anyone hear us.
A person who is suffering from this darkness cannot enable themselves to get help.How can a person who is drowning and so far underwater even call out for help.
I did not decide at the tender age of 21 to leap off the mortal coil and end what could have been an exceptionally gratifying life. It was done for me by the goblins created in my mind. How can I explain that I had no say in it. I had been mentally kidnapped under the premise and the promise that this regimen of meds would be salutary and good for me, not scorch my brain and bruise my mind.
Which is why I keep going back to the responsibilities of the adults, especially teachers..and also parents. Get out of the sand.
This is what the DEA says:
Parents – be able to talk knowledgeably about prescription drugs with your children
Faculty members and staff – be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of prescription drug misuse, and know the available on- and off-campus resources to refer someone for help
Students – learn the facts and talk to your parents or another trusted adult (e.g., professor, coach, friend) about concerns you have about prescription drugs
Finally the big one, that underground marketplace: Don’t share your prescription drugs – they were prescribed to you, not someone else. That is bad enough that you are on them.