Currently, not one of the state's five major public universities' policies on academic dishonesty refers to illegal amphetamine prescription use as cheating. Yale and Trinity College's academic honesty policies do not mention these performance enhancing drugs either.
Officials at Wesleyan University, Central Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University declined to answer questions on the issue. Questions about drug use at Western Connecticut State University were not answered by its substance-abuse clinic or its police department. Finally, Trinity College chose not to comment on the matter.
One official, Eastern Connecticut State University's Deputy Chief of Police Gregory Sneed, responded to an interview request by email, saying, "I have been employed here at the university for over a year, and in that time, I have not received any information or complaints about our students using 'Study Drugs.'" He also added that he would be interested in any issue pertinent to student well-being.
While school officials' general lack of interest in such a widespread problem is surprising, it is explainable. Catching a study-drug dealer is much more difficult than catching a street-drug dealer. The majority of study-drug sales are made to personal friends or acquaintances.
James is a prescription amphetamine dealer at the University of Connecticut. He is a veteran dealer in illicit drugs on campus, and says that within the past 3 months he has sold marijuana, cocaine, LSD, magic mushrooms and prescription amphetamines. Of all these drugs, he sells his ADHD medication mostly to close friends.
James says his profit margin on Adderall pills is more than double the profit he makes selling marijuana on campus. A one-month supply of a study-drug prescription on campus costs about $45, and can be resold for up to $150 at five dollars a pill, at a 230 percent profit. Weed, on the other hand, sells at just a 60 percent profit.
Because of this, dealers like himself do not need to sell much of their supply to break even. This drives what can be called an acquaintance-based market economy. The acquaintance-based economy does not encourage dealers to establish the wide-ranging network of clients that other illicit drugs require due to their lower profit margins.
"There are people who sell Adderall in bulk like other drugs. It's less common, but it's present," James said. "Because there is a limited supply, people are more selective as to who they choose to sell it to. It's safer, and nice to help a friend."