Video: Using drugs as a study tool

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“Berkeley is hard. Sometimes you need something extra to help you out,” said Willa Peng, a sophomore majoring in political economy.  With exam season upon us, words like Adderall are commonly heard around campus. The meaning of the word “drug” during dead week and finals week is no longer limited to marijuana or alcohol but covers an array of study drugs that are prevalent on college campuses.

A recent Time article revealed that about 20 percent of the students at an Ivy League institution have used Adderall to help them study and that about 33 percent do not think using it qualifies as cheating.  A survey done on the UC Berkeley campus by University Health Services​ revealed that about 17 percent of  Cal students misuse prescription medications. According to Cathy Kodama, the health promotion director at UHS, although the survey doesn’t track when students use prescription drugs, “it makes sense that (the) small percentage of students who use these medications for nonmedical purposes — 17% of (undergraduates) — are more likely to use during times of academic stress.”

We wanted to know what students at UC Berkeley thought about taking drugs to help them study, so we went to Sproul Plaza and asked students, “What’s your opinion about students taking drugs to cope with the stress of exams?” Here are their responses:


Contact Mina Abdullah at [email protected].