Study drugs might become harder to buy, students may have to “actually study” over time


Photo by Tim Murphy | Assistant Photo Editor

Reimy Benitez, Assistant Copy Desk Chief

When it comes to public health, Tom Udall, D-N.M., has the best stuff on the market — at least according to him. Senator Udall is trying to cut the nation a huge deal with his proposal of Bill S.636 — titled “Increasing the Safety of Prescription Drug Use Act.”

While the bill is mostly geared towards curbing the abuse of painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet, its text is broad and applies to all prescription medication, including the college favorite, Adderall.

According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, 61.8 percent of college students were offered Adderall or other prescription stimulants by someone they knew by year four, and 31 percent used the drugs. FAU has upwards of 30,000 enrolled students, and nearly 10,000 of those — according to this study — will have used the drugs by the time they line up to get their degrees.

But with the proposal of Bill S.636, those Owls that have become reliant on the drugs to cram in as much calculus as possible the night before their exam might be stumbling to get their degrees — because Bill S.636 takes various measures to ensure that prescription medications in general aren’t abused.

Photo by Tim Murphy | Assistant Photo Editor
Photo by Tim Murphy | Assistant Photo Editor

Those measures include fostering “state-administered controlled substance monitoring systems,” which would make it easier for “healthcare providers [to] have access to the accurate, timely prescription history information that they may use as a tool for the early identification of patients at risk for addiction.”

According to that same study by the NIH, 73.9 percent of people who used the drug got it from someone they knew who had a prescription, bringing new light to the term “I know a guy.” In context, this means those pill-popping Owls may be taking less trips to sketchy dark alleyways in the middle of the night and more trips to the library instead.

More controlled and monitored prescriptions ultimately add up to less drugs given out, which in the case of Adderall and other study drugs might mean a drastic change in study habits. And a lot more people going back to the only socially acceptable method of staying up during finals, coffee, a whole lot of coffee.

The bill currently rests with the Senate Health Committee that will decide whether or not the bill will make it to the House and the Senate floor for enactment consideration.