Academic Steroids! Sex, Lies & Shopping! Beware Bag Build-up! The New Chaos Chronicles podcast #516

by Lian on June 11, 2012

Sorry, Ryan , you'll have to wait. I have to read this article on kids taking Good Grade Pills.

Like a lot of people, I started yesterday off with a cup of coffee, the French Open and the New York Times. My plan was to focus on my man Rafa while flipping through the style section which featured a nice spread on my man Ryan Lochte. But when I  saw the Page One, Above the Fold headline Risky Rise of the Good Grade Pill: Taking Stimulants not for a High, but for a Higher SAT Score, my intentions went out the window. Raf and Ryan could wait.  I was riveted by the story of high school juniors and seniors using stimulants prescribed for ADHD to stay on top academically while under tremendous pressure to perform at the highest levels all the time. Drugs like Adderall have become “Academic Steroids” with  he results being good grades and acceptances to top-notch colleges.

Maybe I was the last parent to know that kids did this, but I doubt it. I was stunned and shocked at the duplicity of the pill sellers and the matter-of-fact attitude of the pill takers. I was also incredibly saddened that  a small slice of this generation will grow up emotionally -dependent upon a magic pill to get them through a job interview or big presentation at work.


Read the article here and listen to the Chaos Chronicles. Then let’s discuss below. Is this prevalent in your community? Have you talked to your kids about this  kind of drug abuse? Is the pressure on high school kids real ( genuinely parent-driven) or is some of the drug-taking typical teen behavior?

Also on the show this week:

On the show this week:Teens on Academic Steroids: Students taking stimulants for Good Grades and High SAT scores. From the New York Times article.

Sex, Lies and Shopping: Self Magazine’s shocking survey on how we deal with money and spending in relationships

Bag build-up: The impending Plastic Bag Ban has Lian hoarding grocery bags

Plus, The Panini Generation: More on Aging Parents

Direct download: Chaos_516.mp3
Category:2012 — posted at: 9:02 PM
Embracing my Chaos, Lian


Chpdlivr June 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM

I have a ton of those reusable bags in my car…..but I hardly ever remember to bring them in the store! At our Trader Joes you enter your name in a drawing for a gift card every time you bring in your own bags. Really nice people working at the TJs here in MN!

Fascinating ( and disturbing) about the ADHD drugs and kids. I agree with your question, Lian. Is the pressure they feel real or perceived? One thing I know: there’s a college out there for every kid.

angi June 14, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I just heard of using ADD/ADHD meds this past Friday, the night before my daughter took the ACT (one week after the SAT IIs, and about 2 weeks after finishing her last AP test, just as you shared on the show!). She mentioned that her classmates were scrambling frantically to find Adderall, etc. to use for the ACT. As the NYT article stated, it’s the overachievers who were going this route at her public school. So sad!
Thank you for sharing this story.
Meanwhile, I know it must be difficult, but it really is helpful to many of us when you share your stories of helping your parents.

gilles June 14, 2012 at 3:37 AM

I was heartened to hear that I’m not the only one hoarding bags for doggie pickup in the upcoming banned plastic bag era. I use those big cat litter buckets for storage. People who use that sort of cat litter have the buckets piling up and often are quite glad to get rid of them. BTW very little breaks down in landfills.


Mari @Bookworm with a View June 13, 2012 at 5:40 AM

Very funny story about the plastic bags Lian. It drives me buts that I can’t organize plastic like I can paper. I probably have a version of ‘grocery OCD’ since I pack groceries by freezer, frig, pantry and like my boxed items stacked! I discovered this approach when I had to squeeze shopping in between sporting events/practices (I could drop off the freezer/frig bags at home and leave the rest to unpack at the end of the day). Ha!

Hope your parents are adjusting well. Thanks for a few more tears while walking yesterday :) … good tears though.

Lynn June 13, 2012 at 5:36 AM

Thanks for the show this week… I remember seeing a show a couple years ago on MTV talking about college students taking ADHD drugs to help study. Reason for that it was located at my Alma Mater, Miami University. I am amazed that student would do that but can understand in a little way with competition to get into college being high and then gettting that job after college is even tougher. We are told that only the strong survive!

Susannah June 13, 2012 at 1:41 AM

Lian i love your show! Please switch to biodegradable pet waste bags. The bags aren’t very expensive and that plastic from the shopping bags never breaks down in landfills.

Kathy in Atlanta June 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Lian, what a good show!

You have done a fine job of “chronicling” this generation’s forced march to college. Your show can reach so many adults around the country, and we can hope that this awful movement is approaching the watershed after which our country’s children can be encouraged to be true to their own gifts; to learn that happiness can be attained apart from the “top” schools.

Regarding your plastic grocery bags: they can be stuffed in an attractive printed “keenex” box [or a fancy one from a place like what Bart Simpson calls "Bloodbath and Beyond"]. They just pull out like a tissue.

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