Posts Tagged study drugs
Several months ago, we shared the story about teens who were using attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs to enhance academic performance. The trend is said to have been occuring across the United States.
In the wake of the issue, the world’s largest professional association of neurologists released a position paper detailing why healthy kids should not be prescribed by doctors with Ritalin, Adderall and similar drugs.
According to the statement by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), which was published on March 13 in the online issue of Neurology, prescribing mind-enhancing drugs to healthy kids comes with numerous ethical, legal, social and developmental issues.
“Doctors caring for children and teens have a professional obligation to always protect the best interests of the child, to protect vulnerable populations, and prevent the misuse of medication,” author and AAN member Dr. William Graf, of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., said in a news release. “The practice of prescribing these drugs, called neuroenhancements, for healthy students is not justifiable.”
The report enumerated the reasons against prescribing neuroenhancement drugs which include the child’s best interest; the long-term health and safety of neuroenhancements, which has not been studied in children; kids and teens may lack complete decision-making capacities while their cognitive skills, emotional abilities and mature judgments are still developing; maintaining doctor-patient trust; and the risks of over-medication and dependency.
If young patients request for such medicines, Dr. Graf advised doctors to “talk to the child about the request, as it may reflect other medical, social or psychological motivations such as anxiety, depression or insomnia.” He added that physicians should instead encourage kids to maintain good sleep, nutrition, study habits and exercise regimens to achieve better academic performance.
Adderall and Vyvanese may be known to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but for some high school students across the United States, they are the new academic-enhancing drugs.
In New York, prescription stimulant abuse has found a niche among students in academically elite New York City private schools. DeAnsin Parker, a New York psychologist who treats many adolescents from affluent neighborhoods like the Upper East Side, says “It’s throughout all the private schools here. It’s not as if there is one school where this is the culture. This is the culture.”
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classified amphetamines like Adderall, Vyvanese, Ritalin, and Focalin as Class 2 controlled substances – along with cocaine and morphine. These medicines which are used to help calm ADHD patients are ranked as among the most addictive substances that have a medical use. Adderall, in particular, has been considered the most abused prescription drug in America. Its potential side effects include increased heart rate, insomnia and appetite suppression.
Despite warnings from medical professionals that the abuse of prescription stimulants can bring about depression, mood swings, heart irregularities, and acute exhaustion, it seems that high school students who are using the pills remain unperturbed.
Gary Boggs, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, adds “We’re seeing it all across the United States.”
Individuals taking the pills without the disorder may experience increased energy and razor-sharp focus — traits that any student would need to pull off the pressures during exams week.
Teenagers interviewed by the New York Times reveal that they are getting the pills from friends; buy from student dealers; or feign symptoms to their parents and doctors in order to procure prescriptions.
While ’study drugs’ have grown in popularity in recent years, this does not mean that it has become an accepted strategy to help improve memory and studying. ‘Study drugs’ are used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and are supposedly obtained only with a medical prescription. The risks of improper use of these drugs include paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, nervousness, dizziness, and rapid heart rates.
To help you study for that long test in school, you must adopt good study habits that will allow you to acquire skills and values that would assist you at work after school. Here are basic study tips that can help you improve your memory without resorting to the abuse of ‘study drugs’:
1. Pay attention and involve as many senses as you can. It is difficult to keep something in memory when you have barely grasped the information discussed. You need to focus and process the information carefully. When you read, you can read it aloud so you can hear it. Seeing and hearing will be better than seeing alone or hearing alone. It will also be more effective if you can feel it. That is why schools require laboratory work – to help learners retain information better.
2. Relate new information to old ones. Create connections between the information you recently learned to the ones you have long known. This will help you connect dots later on, when you need to remember something.
3. Take quick naps or quick breaks. You can either take a power nap or simply take a short stroll around the corner. Studies have shown that while naps help the brain to restore full function, taking a break while awake could also boost memory.
4. Eat natural memory enhancers, like salmon, dark leafy vegetables, peanuts, onions, berries, beans, whole grains and milk. Eating the right foods will help you sharpen your memory and ace future school exams!
A number of students experiment on prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs to help boost their mental ability and creativity. Adderall, a drug used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is the most common drug being used. The drug is said to stimulate bodily functions such as time management, persistence and problem solving which are uncommon for patients with ADHD. The increase in the brain activity is due to the increase in the dopamine and norepinephrine levels. These drugs were even tabbed as ‘academic steroids’ since they invigorate the mind to keep working even without sleep or rest.
Adderrall, Ritalin, Concerta, and other related drugs are formulated to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and are not for persons without ADHD. Regulated drugs are ideally accessed through the use of a medical prescription. It is alarming that this drug is easily accessible even without prescription.
Those who had been taking Adderall admitted that they have to increase the intake amount to maintain the effect of the drug. Ingestion higher than regular amounts, though, will cause paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, nervousness, dizziness, formication and rapid heart rates.
Addiction to Adderall and similar study drugs is brought about by the desire to improve grades in school. In reality, psycho-stimulant drugs do not improve grades. Discipline and hard work will.