Common Grounds, a coffee shop on Temple University’s campus, has come under fire for prominently displaying a neon sign that reads, “Up All Night on Adderall.”
The North Philadelphia coffee shop opened on Sept. 19 and was designed to be a destination for both Temple students and local residents. The glowing, neon pink Adderall sign illuminates the store's main interior and can be seen in several pictures posted on its Instagram page.
Some Temple students and faculty members have expressed concern that the sign promotes dangerous drug abuse since Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed by doctors to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is often abused by college students to help them focus on studying, Philly Voice reported.
"[I]t’s tone deaf to the racial and class disparities in our city, especially in neighborhoods with college campuses," Jillian Bauer-Reese, Temple assistant professor of journalism, told PhillyVoice. "As a college student, you can drink a $7 latte under a sign that says, 'Up all night on Adderall,' but up the street, cops will bust you for using drugs or similar low-level offenses."
Temple student Sarah Madaus also said the sign was inappropriate in an area heavily populated with college students.
"There are people very close to me that struggle with drug use and others that abuse Adderall," Madaus told PhillyVoice, "and I think it’s in very poor taste to make light of what is a very real struggle for many students."
A 2008 study found that 34 percent of the undergraduate students interviewed used stimulants prescribed to treat ADHD illegally. Other studies have estimated that the actual percentage of college students who use Adderall non-medically is lower, with some even citing numbers as low as 7 percent. Non-medical Adderall use can have adverse effects including hallucinations, cardiac arrest, and even death.
Common Grounds co-owner and Temple graduate Shawn Bullard defended the store's sign. “By any means we do not and are not promoting drug abuse," Bullard told PhillyVoice.
In an Instagram post on Aug. 21, Common Grounds issued an apology and said the sign was meant to be a "playful artistic display relatable to the young adult and millennial culture."
However, according to the Instagram post, the sign will remain on the store's walls.