Like most freshman, Jimmy Jordan and one of his best friends came to Texas State with goals of obtaining a degree and having a good time in the process.
After a drug-fueled freshman year, only Jordan returned to work for those goals.
Jordan, undecided sophomore, said his friend’s life dwindled after the abuse of nonprescribed anxiety medications such as Xanax.
“He was one of my best friends, and pills completely changed who he was,” Jordan said. “He started stealing stuff, and his temper started flaring so easily. It’s almost like he became bipolar, and he got the shakes. He was not a fun person to be around.”
Jordan said his friend is no longer enrolled in college, moved home and is jobless.
“It’s like the anxiety medicine made him more anxious than he would have been if he hadn’t taken it,” Jordan said.
Jordan’s friend is not the first Texas State student to follow this path.
Sgt. Brian Carpenter of the University Police Department said Adderall and Xanax are the two most common abused pharmaceutical drugs at Texas State.
“I have been here for almost 12 years, and I’ve seen an increase,” Carpenter said. “I have seen more of it lately, especially in Xanax and Adderall. Those are the real big ones people tend to use.”
Trevor Smith, Texas State senior, has encountered both Adderall and Xanax in college.
Smith, whose name was changed to protect him from potential criminal charges, has taken attention deficit disorder medication since he was a child, but began to abuse it in college .
“I would take Adderall to study,” Smith said. “I would take Adderall to work out. I would take it to clean my apartment, and I would snort it with my friends to stay up longer when I partied. I would blow my nose and see nothing but orange powder.”
Smith said his doctor took notice of the rapid use and terminated the prescription.
“I felt like it was making me slower, not dumber, just apathetic,” Smith said. “I feel like I was a zombie, because I was abusing it, and I could have done a lot better if I had trained myself to study.”
Both Jordan and Smith agree finding drugs at Texas State is not difficult. Jordan said it is easy for college students to sell prescription drugs.
“I’ve heard Adderall going for $8 a pill, whereas in high school it sold for $3 or $4,” Jordan said. “It is more lucrative for students to be in a college town when they have these prescriptions.”
Smith said he has a friend who makes a considerable profit selling Xanax at Texas State.
“I went with him to the bank this last time, and he made about $800 from selling the pills to the students,” Smith said. “The students are his best customers.”
Smith said he has abused a friend’s Xanax prescriptions.
“When you take it and mix it with alcohol, you wake up the next morning and have no idea what happened the night before,” Smith said. “There are a lot of bad decisions I have made on bars, and later I think to myself, ‘I have no idea how I could have done that.’”
Smith said people who get “messed up” on Xanax disgust him.
“You don’t want to talk to somebody at a party who can’t converse or answer a question coherently because they are so ‘barred out,’” Smith said. “I mean, why would you talk to a person who is not going to remember you the next day?”
Jordan, however, learned about the on-going demand for Xanax in a different way. Jordan, who is prescribed anxiety medication, said his prescription was often stolen while living in Blanco Residence Hall.
“There were people who were always running around the dorm looking for the pills,” Jordan said. “People always wanted it.”
Jordan agrees Xanax and Adderall are the most commonly abused prescriptions on campus, but has seen other medications frequently abused by Texas State students.
“When I came to college I was offered Xanax, a lot of cough syrups, hydrocodone, Oxycontin, oxycodone and all types of Ritalin,” Jordan said.
Jordan said promethazine cough syrups were popular in the winter.
“There was so much of it going around, but everyone who had it was either taking it to get messed up or selling it, instead of taking it to get better,” Jordan said.
Jordan and Smith said they have both been pressured by friends to share their prescriptions.
“I am not going to lie, I never sold the prescription, but I have given it to my friends a couple times if they needed it,” Jordan said.
Smith said his friends have been caught with prescription drugs and were charged expensive fines along with court ordered rehab.
Carpenter said prescription drugs are popular with students because it is easily accessible.
“It is advertised everywhere,” Carpenter said. “It’s so easy to go to a doctor and say, ‘I’m feeling this way, and this medication said it can fix it. Can I have some of it?’”
Carpenter said students have a misconception about prescribed drugs.
“They think they are not doing anything wrong, because they are using a manufactured drug made by a legitimate company, and it’s not as bad as doing something like cocaine or heroin,” Carpenter said. “They don’t see that it’s as wrong as using a real drug.”
Carpenter said getting caught with non-prescribed pills can lead to a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor, or a felony depending of the amount and weight of drugs in possession.
“Having somebody’s prescription is an easy way to get into a lot of trouble real quick,” Carpenter said.
Jordan and Smith said seeing prescription pills at parties is common despite the consequences.
“When I see it at parties, it is not shocking at all,” Smith said. “I am used to seeing it all the time, especially on this campus.”