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Editor’s Note: Due to the nature of the subject, we have decided to provide anonymity to the University of Colorado Boulder student profiled below. A pseudonym has been entered in place of his real identity.
He started dealing Adderall when he was a freshman in high school. Now a junior at CU, John doesn’t have any plans to stop; business is good.
Before moving to Boulder, John was part of an operation that grew from selling to his high school peers to dealing to his surrounding towns. The operation eventually spanned his entire county.
“I started doing it for some extra cash,” he said. “Some people I knew actually needed it, and some just wanted to get high.”
Adderall and similar amphetamines are used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but recreational use and use as a study aid is popular on campuses.
Two students were recently arrested at the Center for Community for unlawful sale and possession of the drug.
“[Adderall] tends to make you more focused and attentive,” said Dr. Emily McCort, a psychiatrist at Wardenburg. “If you take too much, some of the side effects are psychosis and agitation, insomnia and tremor, an increase in heart rate or arrhythmia.”
On average, John sells approximately 60 pills a month for about $10 each. He sold to friends and other students when he still lived on campus, but now, living off-campus, he has expanded his pool of customers.
“I used to sell mostly to students when I was a freshman, those were the people I knew,” he said. “Now that I’m off-campus, the average person that comes over to my house is no younger than 28-50.”
Unless the people he’s dealing to are friends, John said he doesn’t sell to CU students so he can protect his identity and his reputation as a dealer. He said he equates being older with being trustworthy, and he trusts people out of college to keep his illegal activities from police.
“I don’t really sell to CU kids because they know me,” John said. “I sell to older people because they are either buying or selling other drugs, and they don’t rob or steal.”
With up to 180 pills on-hand at a time, John keeps a steady stream of business from the contacts he’s made. Proud of the fact that he’s hard to find, John is able to charge more to the people who do manage to initiate contact. He does get busy at certain times of the year.
“Last year during finals I turned my phone off because random people were calling me,” he said. “I turned it on right after finals. I could have filled 150 pills.”
He doesn’t take Adderall anymore, he said, because he doesn’t like the way it makes him feel, but the doctors who prescribe him the drug don’t know that.
John has been getting a lot of Vyvanse recently, which he trades for some of his supply of Adderall. He gets the Vyvanse in 70mg capsules and often cuts it with antidepressants.
“People I don’t like get Vyvanse with antidepressants,” he says. “It tastes the same and it’s not noticeable for several days. I can cut it up to six times, I’ve done more and I’ve done less.”
Vyvanse is another prescription medication that is used to treat ADHD. It comes in dosages from anywhere between 30-70mg and is prescribed to be taken once daily.
“Vyvanse is a more modern drug that was designed and released to help decrease the abuse of Adderall,”Dr. McCort said.
CU Police Department spokesperson Ryan Huff said CUPD sees an influx of cases involving prescription drugs this time of year.
“It’s important that students know that possession of drugs not prescribed to them is a felony,” Huff said. “It’s also a felony to provide your own prescription drugs to others who don’t have a prescription.”
John has been in the game for years and has not been caught, although he said he has seen police watching his house from time to time.
“I’ve been watched a lot by the cops, they’ve consistently done sketchy things,” he said. “I haven’t gotten caught and it’s because the people I know and who I associate with don’t do it out of common respect or fear.”
As a precaution, he uses an alias when dealing. He also owns multiple cellphones and email addresses that only his customers know of. Even though several layers of protection shield him, John still won’t answer the door unless he’s expecting company.
“If someone comes I don’t answer if I’m not expecting them,” he said. “I’m cautious, I’ve been doing this a long time so I’m good at it. I’m careful.”
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Bethany Morris at Bethany.firstname.lastname@example.org.