When summer holidays are over, it's time to prepare for the upcoming school year. For you, this means more than buying notebooks and new shoes if your child is going off to Kansas State University or another institute of higher learning. You may need to purchase supplies for your child's dorm room, get a tune-up for your child's car and schedule a checkup for your child at the doctor.
One item about which you may want to ask the doctor is the Ritalin or Adderall your child has been taking since middle school for attention deficit disorder. While the drug may have done wonders to help your child succeed in school, you should be aware of the risks your child faces when arriving on campus with a prescription for a drug that is greatly in demand.
The new drug on campus
Along with alcohol and marijuana, drugs like Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse are growing in popularity on college campuses, although for different reasons. Students refer to these drugs as "study drugs" because the drugs' components allow them to focus for longer periods of time while in class or working on assignments.
Study drugs allow students to pull all-nighters, and many students are so pleased with their resulting grades that they continue using the drug. Your child and others with access to the drugs may feel pressure from their peers to share or sell their pills. As enticing as it may be to win friends this way and make some easy money, your child may not realize that selling study drugs is a serious crime.
Consequences of sharing study drugs
If your child is lured into selling his or her prescription, the consequences can be life-altering. Study drugs fall under the federal heading of Schedule II controlled substances, which includes such drugs as cocaine, meth and opioid painkillers like Vicodin. Penalties for conviction of selling Schedule II drugs can be harsh and often include jail time. In addition to criminal penalties, your child may face other consequences, such as these:
- Loss of on-campus housing
- Loss of scholarships
- Disqualification from federal student loan eligibility
- Suspension or expulsion from school
- Elimination from consideration for many jobs and professional certificates
- Disqualification for government benefits
For a first offense, you may think it is better for your child to accept a plea deal. However, this includes pleading guilty to some criminal charge, and even a conviction for a lesser offense could be detrimental to your child's future.
Impressing upon your child the importance of keeping his or her prescription safe and secret may be the best way to avoid these consequences. However, if your child gets caught up in the sale or distribution of study drugs on campus, it will be important to secure quality legal representation.