Experiments outside the classroom

Experimentation with drugs and alcohol happens on every college campus no matter where you go to school. The problem starts when those experiments change from being on the outskirts of academic society to becoming a part of everyday life. At UVM, there is a large percentage of the population that consumes alcohol and smokes cannabis on a regular basis, and they are considered normal and functioning members of society. However, it seems that a growing percentage of students are also trying drugs for which the penalties are greater. Students who try drugs such as ecstasy, LSD, Psilocybin (mushrooms) and several other prescription and harder recreational drugs not only face the peril of side effects and lasting mental damage, but also felony charges and expulsion. Yet, somehow, these drugs also seem to  be becoming commonplace among students. Taking the drug Adderall for its power to enhance focus, has become so widespread that many students say they need the drug to write a paper or study for a test. In reality, Adderall and stimulants like it are really just brand-name amphetamines that are still considered illegal narcotics by the law. Unfortunately, being above the influence isn’t as easy as just saying no. The more students are exposed to this sort of behavior, the more they feel it appropriate and do not speak out against it. This culture of looking the other way tells students that their actions are acceptable. This, in turn, leads to increased use. At some point, we must grow up to realize that college is not just about partying and getting through the classes to get to the weekends. How can you risk an investment of thousands of dollars a year for a night or two of being out of your head? I hate to be a downer, and I love sticking it to the man as much as the next guy, but when I see someone doing something outright dangerous, I let them know that they are in danger. If you see a friend dangling off the side of a building for fun, would you just sit back and laugh? Of course not. Ultimately, if you see someone doing something that you know can have serious repercussions, it is your responsibility as their friend to speak up and at least let them know how you feel.