Two Bowdoin College students who allegedly sold prescription stimulants to other students have resigned from the college, rather than face a disciplinary committee.
The two, who have not been publicly identified, left campus this spring, said Bowdoin spokesman Scott Hood.
An item in the college’s security report for February said two students “sold a quantity of prescription drugs to several students” in the period from Dec. 7 to Feb. 15. The item said the case was reported on Feb. 27 and was being investigated at that time.
Hood said the two students who resigned, and 10 who were given lesser punishments, were cited for violating the college’s drug policy. Under that policy, any student found to be using illegal drugs “will generally be referred to the counseling service or another drug treatment program,” and may be subject to discipline.
Those accused of selling drugs are automatically subject to discipline, and if there is a “reasonable presumption” that a student was selling drugs, he or she will be asked to resign. A student who refuses to resign can be suspended until the college’s Judicial Board holds a hearing on permanent dismissal.
According to The Bowdoin Orient, the student newspaper, the two students were selling Adderall, a stimulant prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says Adderall is among a group of amphetamines “having the highest potential for dependence or abuse.”
The drug’s popularity has been growing on college campuses, experts say, because students believe it enhances their ability to concentrate.
In 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said about 6 percent of college students used Adderall. More recent studies have shown that Adderall use on college campuses is as high as 25 percent, particularly at highly competitive schools. Bowdoin, in Brunswick, is one of the nation’s most competitive colleges.
Hood said Friday that Bowdoin’s own survey of drug use among its students suggests that Adderall is not a concern, although he didn’t provide an estimate for how many of the school’s 1,800 students may use it.
“Twelve students, to me, does not indicate a huge problem,” Hood said, but, “It’s, unfortunately, probably used by students all over, not just in colleges but also in high schools.”
Hood said Bowdoin security officials contacted Brunswick police after getting the report on drug sales, as is standard with criminal conduct on campus.
Brunswick police did not return calls late Friday seeking information on their handling of the incident, but Hood said the two students had not been charged before they left campus.
John Branch, a reporter for The Bowdoin Orient, said drug sales among students are unusual at Bowdoin but the resignations of the two students aren’t dominating campus conversations.
For his story, published Friday, Branch interviewed two students who said they had dealings with the two who resigned. Branch said they spoke on condition of anonymity.
One said she was approached by a friend who was looking to sell Adderall and she referred her to other friends “who I knew wanted it.” The other student said she didn’t think the students were selling many pills.
Each student who talked to Branch said a letter was sent to their parents about their involvement, but no other disciplinary action was taken.
Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: