Twelve students were disciplined before Spring Break for misusing the prescription drug Adderall, according to a source within the administration. Two of these students, both first years, were cited in last week’s Security Report for trafficking prescription drugs. 

Both of these students declined to comment to the Orient.

Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster declined to comment on the disciplinary situations of individual students. According to the Student Handbook, students involved in drug trafficking have the option of “resigning” from the College or having a hearing in front of the Judicial Board (J-Board) for permanent dismissal. 

Two other implicated students agreed to talk to the Orient on the condition of anonymity; their names have been changed in this article to protect their identities. 

Abby, a female sophomore, said that she was approached by a friend looking to sell the drug.  
“I directed her towards people who I knew wanted it,” she said. “We bought twice, and I wouldn’t say it was that much, but after the second time I sort of realized that it really wasn’t smart.”

“One of my best friends knew the first year and she got [the pills] from her and then gave some to me,” said Elizabeth, another female sophomore, in an email to the Orient. “I didn’t know that the main dealer was selling to a large amount of people,” she wrote. “I only knew that she had sold to a couple of my friends.”

Both said that a letter was sent to their parents, but they were not subjected to any other disciplinary action. 

“When I met with Security, I think they were really just most concerned with stopping whatever relationships had been made,” said Abby. “They really weren’t concerned with consequences or punishments—they didn’t even bring it up until I asked.”

According to Director fo Safety and Security Randy Nichols, the College makes a distinction between “furnishing” other students with drugs and “trafficking” them. The distinction, Foster said, is rooted in intent to make a profit. 

“There’s no place at Bowdoin for dealing drugs,” Foster said. “People need to know that, because if they choose to do that, to run a business, so to speak, then Bowdoin doesn’t want them here. And that’s where they’re given the option to say, okay, I’m gonna resign, or I’m going to go before the J-Board for permanent dismissal.”

Foster said that students can resign for a variety of reasons, but that the reason is not indicated on a transcript. 

“The transcript doesn’t say resigned, the transcript doesn’t say dismissed, the transcript doesn’t say medical leave of absence,” he said. “Bowdoin doesn’t do that. Other schools will do that, we won’t.”

The news of the bust has reignited conversation about the prevalence of Adderall and other prescription drugs on campus. 

“I think that the majority of students here have used Adderral [sic] to study at least once in their Bowdoin career,” wrote Elizabeth. “A lot of people with prescriptions willingly give some of their pills to their friends when they need them, sometimes asking for money in return.”

“I feel like who dabbles in drugs here really divides social groups, which I didn’t anticipate coming in,” said Abby. 

Foster had a different assessment. 

“I think there’s been a perception on campus that this is rampant, but when we’ve actually had students take the time to respond to anonymous surveys, we haven’t found that what the actual misuse is is as high as the perceived use,” he said. 

Foster cited a NESCAC-wide survey from Spring 2012 where five percent of Bowdoin’s respondents reported using prescription drugs like Adderall without a prescription over the past 30 days, and another two percent reported abusing prescription drugs they had legitimately. 

Meanwhile, over 10 percent of the respondents in a survey conducted last year by the Orient reported using Adderall or Ritalin recreationally or as a “study drug” on campus at least once. 
Regardless, Nichols said, “In a given year we’re not investigating a lot of cases of misuse of prescription drugs. We’ll have a handful.” 

Citing preliminary statistics from the federaly mandated Anual Clery Campus Crime Report, Nichols said that Security dealt 51 drug law violations in 2012, a 50 percent increase from 2012, when there were 34. Nichols said that most of these violations involved small amounts of marijuana.  

Both Abby and Elizabeth said they used Adderall primarily to study. 

“I know of others snorting it at night, but I rarely did that,” said Elizabeth. 

“Considering the drug’s general popularity and consumption on college campuses around America, I think that [its] illegality and immorality are being more and more overlooked by students,” said Elizabeth. “These pills have become sort of a norm, which is why I never really considered the repercussions of buying them.”

“I think that no one who was involved had any sort of real intentions,” added Abby. “I just don’t think anyone really thought about the consequences. The whole thing was just pretty naïve and stupid.”