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A CPA Exam Intervention: The Adderall Problem

After a few weeks of FAR, the studying can start to get to you. If your brain is a tad warped and you're starting to have crazy thoughts, why don't you reach out to us and talk about it? Or, you know, ask a question related to the CPA exam for a good distraction.

So it's CPA exam studying season again. What is up with all the people taking adderall without a condition and prescription for it to help in focusing? I'm not studying for the CPA exam "enhanced" with the assistance of adderall. I understand it if you have ADD but the others makes me feel like I'm at a disadvantage compared to these hyper-focused test-takers. Does Prometric need to conduct drug testing in order to become even more nightmarish for people? Is adderall and CPA exam studies the norm? Am I missing out?

If this subject looks familiar, it should as we've talked about it before. I assumed it was not all that common but the way this person writes it, everyone studying for the exam these days is cracked out on Adderall. Is it really that large of an issue? One 2009 study surveyed more than 3,400 undergraduates and found that 5.4% had used ADHD medication recreationally within 6 months.

ADD drugs were plentiful even in my high school days and ambitious college students have been popping them to focus ever since. It's cheap, readily available and far more socially accepted than doing rails of meth, that's for sure.

But is it worth throwing away your life over a study drug? Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, right up there with cocaine and heroin. While we're pretty sure these super-studiers have no intention to shoot heroin in Prometric bathrooms, it's worth noting that in the eyes of the law, possessing Adderall that isn't prescribed to you is the same as possessing street dope. So while it's a step up from meth, it's still an illegal drug if you're using someone else's prescription.

The problem is apparently so bad that one student had to avoid his "friends" at every turn and watch his back. "I have to deadbolt my door so that nobody breaks into my room looking for Adderall.  I carry my prescriptions around in my purse just to be safe. . . . People offer me money.  They guilt me and say, ‘I’m going to do so bad on this paper, I really need this Adderall.’”

Does that mean they should drug test at Prometric? Yeah right, do YOU want to stand in a tiny bathroom with a Prometric grunt watching your bits to make sure you're not sneaking in someone else's pee like a common criminal taking a piss in their parole officer's office?

I don't think Adderall is going away any time soon but I also don't think the problem is as widespread as it seems, at least when it comes to the CPA exam. No one feels pressured to score as high as possible on the exam, so they're less likely to go to extreme measures like popping legal speed to achieve. Are people still using it? Of course. Is everyone? I highly doubt it.