BRUNSWICK, Maine — Bowdoin College officials said Friday that two students have left the college after an internal investigation into the illegal distribution of the prescription drug Adderall to students.
Brunswick police said no criminal charges were filed, due in part to a lack of physical evidence and the amount of time that passed before police were notified of the incident.
“It’s a confidential matter involving students, and it’s been handled by the college,” Bowdoin College spokesman Scott Hood said. “Bowdoin is a private institution, and we have policies and procedures for dealing with situations like this. The college has very clear and high standards of conduct and responsibility for their students, and when they violate that, there are consequences. And in this case, those two students are no longer Bowdoin students.”
According to The Bowdoin Orient, a student-run newspaper, 10 other students were disciplined for “misuse” of Adderall, a prescription stimulant typically used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
Hood declined to comment further on the matter.
The incidents took place this semester, and an internal investigation was conducted within the last month, according to Randy Nichols, director of safety and security at the college.
Brunswick police Capt. Mark Waltz said Nichols called him sometime in February and shared with Waltz “the basics” of the college’s investigation.
Waltz said he asked Nichols if college officials had physical evidence of illegal drug activity and was told they didn’t.
“I told him that, based on that, we wouldn’t be able to prosecute,” Waltz said.
Brunswick police did not launch their own investigation, Deputy Chief Marc Hagan said.
“We didn’t have enough for a case,” he said.
Assistant Attorney General Jamie Guerrette said Friday that he had not been notified of the case. While there is no law that requires a private entity to report drug cases, he said, “The Brunswick Police Department would have the authority to investigate crimes committed on Bowdoin College property because it is in the jurisdictional limits of their town. Ordinarily, the olice department would be the ones to collect the evidence and determine whether to file charges.”
“My only concern would be if Bowdoin conducted its own investigation and then brought in the police department,” Guerrette said.
But a senior state drug enforcement officer said that type of collaboration with local police is rare.
“I can tell you this: I’ve been [with the MDEA] 27 years,” Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Cmdr. Scott Pelletier said Friday. “With most of the schools, from high schools all the way to colleges, I can’t remember any major cases that have come out of these [schools]. It’s usually not something that’s brought forward.”
The Bowdoin Orient reported Friday that newspaper staff spoke to two of the implicated students on the condition of anonymity. One sophomore reportedly said she was approached by a friend who wanted to sell the drug.
“I directed her toward people who I knew wanted it,” the student told the newspaper. “We bought twice, and I wouldn’t say it was that much, but after the second time, I sort of realized that it really wasn’t smart.”
The other student told the campus newspaper that she acquired pills from a friend who had obtained them from a first-year student. In an email to the college newspaper, the student wrote, “I didn’t know that the main dealer was selling to a large amount of people. I only knew that she had sold to a couple of my friends.”
Both anonymous students told The Bowdoin Orient that they used Adderall primarily to study.
“I know of others snorting it at night, but I rarely did that,” one said.
Tim Foster, the college’s dean of student affairs, was not immediately available to comment Friday.
According to The Bowdoin Orient, Foster said the students who distributed the drugs had the option of leaving the college or facing the school’s judicial board.
“There’s no place at Bowdoin for dealing drugs,” Foster reportedly said. “People need to know that, because if they choose to do that, to run a business, so to speak, then Bowdoin doesn’t want them here.”