adderall
Photo Courtesy of John Steckroth

BY JOHN STECKROTH, Staff Writer

Joshua Evan Levine, a graduate of the University of Michigan and former student manager of the football team, died this past summer from a deadly mix of alcohol and Adderall. He was 22.

Like many students across campuses nationwide, when Levine was an undergraduate student, he began a routine of aiding binge drinking with Adderall.

“Thankfully, the UM-Dearborn campus does not have a big drinking and prescription drug abuse scene in comparison to other college campuses,” said Director, Debra Hutton, of Counseling and Disability Services.

The practice of abusing stimulants to trick the body into staying awake while binge drinking is nothing new. In fact, it has been happening on college campuses for decades.

“In the late seventies, it was crystal meth that students used to study and binge drink with, and then it was speed,” said Hutton.“Now, it’s Adderall.”

Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat those diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but often times, it is used by college students looking for a boost during finals.

On the morning of July 20, Levine was found unconscious on a sidewalk in the neighborhood of Wicker Park, in Chicago. He spent the previous Saturday night pushing his body to limits through binge drinking and snorting crushed Adderall. This was enough to stop his heart. He was taken to the hospital where he was put on life support in intensive care. The ventilator was turned off the next day.

Levine graduated from U-M last April, with a degree in sports management, was active in Greek life, and worked close with the football team. Levine had also recently taken a sales job in Chicago as an Account Executive in the Commercial Group at North American Corporation.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 15 percent of college students have illegally ingested Adderall or similar stimulants, though other studies show this statistic to be somewhere between 30 and 40 percent.

The prescription amphetamine provides speed-like feelings, enhanced concentration, and a slight euphoria, making it popular among over-worked students. The increasingly accepted stimulant comes, however, with some serious dangers including heart attacks, cerebral aneurysms, seizures and many severe others.

Julie Buckner, Levine’s mother, wishes that her son’s death deters students from abusing prescription drugs.
“What my son did isn’t out of the norm of what’s going on in campuses, and it’s gotta stop,” Buckner told the Free Press.
Although prescription drug abuse may be less of a risk on our campus, it is still a dangerous and potentially fatal activity some students are engaging in, especially to those who pair it with alcohol.