Posts Tagged study drugs
A light but highly informative video released by the American Chemical Society (ACS) discussed the famous study drug Adderall and how it works to treat narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and loss of concentration.
Highlights of the video posted in the ACS YouTube channel “Reactions” are as follows:
- More than 25 million people in the U.S. are using amphetamine, the active ingredient in Adderall.
- The drug was first released in the market in 1933 under the name “benzedrine”.
- Military troops across many countries have used amphetamine to boost morale and concentration of personnel. Hitler was even rumored to have taken daily shots of the drug!
- Adderall is a study drug that stimulates the central nervous system by increasing the level of dopamine (or the reward hormone) in the body.
- Amphetamine is the safer and much more useful cousin of methamphetamine, or meth for short.
The White House Office on National Drug Policy declared prescription drug abuse as the fastest-growing drug problem in America. A recent study showed that in just five years the number of teens who are misusing prescription medicine had climbed to about 5 million, with 20 percent of them saying they started abusing Rx medications before age 14.
Surprisingly, teenagers can tell you dozens of reasons why they are turning to prescription drugs even though they are in perfectly good health. Adderall and Ritalin, for instance, are getting widespread attention lately because some teens are using them to improve academic performance. But aside from understanding teenage angst it is in your best interest to also know the pills that could attract your child’s attention.
This pain-reliever is often prescribed in people with arthritis, cancer, and other medical conditions whose symptoms include chronic and sever pain. It effectively eases pain if taken under prescribed dosages. However, the drug can be abused by being snorted or injected, producing a quick and powerful “high” that is said to be comparable with the feeling of taking heroin.
Among the negative side effects of OxyContin include drowsiness, weakness, nausea, impaired coordination, confusion, addiction, coma, even death due to overdose.
Although getting high is what drives many teens to abuse prescription drugs, others do so to address personal issues. Ambien abuse, for example, can occur because a person wants to experience sedating effects. But some teens are taking their spontaneity to a higher level by taking the drug with alcohol, which proves to be even more dangerous. Among the side effects of the drug include slowed breathing, lowered blood pressure, memory loss, hallucinations, unconsciousness, confusion, impaired coordination, coma, and death.
This brand of stimulant is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Teens are especially prone to abuse the drug because it is believed to help them lose weight or study better. What teenagers don’t know is that taking Concerta outside of the prescribed method can be very dangerous and lead to paranoia, schizophrenia, or psychosis. Other negative side effects of the drug include increase or decrease in blood pressure and digestive problems.
A prescription medication classified as a benzodiazepine, Xanax is used to treat panic disorder as well as manage anxiety disorder or temporarily relieve anxiety symptoms. One of the reasons teens abuse the drug is because it gives feelings of well-being and lowered inhibitions. But it could also lead to irritability, drowsiness, memory problems, lack of focus and coordination, confusion, tremors, depression, hostility, seizures, chest problem, and hallucination.
Anyone who’s gone to school can accurately describe the challenges of being a student. But unlike in highschool the pressures that come with those pursuing higher education are much more unbearable, prompting some college students to use certain prescription drugs to gain academic advantage.
Lately, we have been hearing news about the increasing number of students who are using Ritalin and Adderall to help them study for finals week. But this problem isn’t exactly new and so are the ways students access the drugs. A 2005 New York Times report cited surveys that showed 20 percent of college students were relying on Ritalin and Adderall to study, write papers and take exams.
In 2006, another study emerged concluding that more than 75 percent of college students were using Ritalin and Adderall to boost academic competitiveness.
NPR has also run a story in 2009, highlighting the illegal use of Ritalin and Adderall, with one student confessing how Adderall makes her excited and motivated in doing her school work.
Then in 2011, CNN interviewed University of Kentucky professor and researcher Alan DeSantis who said Adderall is abused more than marijuana. He found that 30 percent of students at the university have illegally used Adderall and Ritalin to handle academic demands. His study also showed that the use of ADHD drugs were more prevalent in upperclassmen.
But whether or not Ritalin and Adderall are effective in improving academic performance experts say their side effects shouldn’t be taken for granted. Under federal law, these drugs are Schedule II substances which means they can only be obtained with a prescription. And there is a reason for that: both drugs pose a risk of abuse despite their high level of usefulness.
Dr. Raymond Kotwicki, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University’s school of medicine in Atlanta, told CNN that while Adderall or Ritalin could make a student’s life easier it’s onyl temporary. “…in the long run there are significant problems both in terms of thinking, mood problems, maybe even functionality,” he explained.
And like other stimulant drugs, the so-called study drugs could result to increased heart and breathing rates. For some students with no legitimate reason to use Ritalin or Adderall, the drugs could make them feel excited, happy, and energetic. For others, they could cause agitation, irritability, and anxiety.
Last week, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged New York colleges and universities to tighten their standards so that it would become more difficult for college students to obtain ADHD drugs, saying that at least 14 to 35 percent of college students nationwide are taking Ritalin and Adderall as a study tool.
“When used properly to treat a legitimately diagnosed attention disorder, drugs like Adderall and Ritalin can help students focus and learn, but all too often these cases are the minority on college campuses. Plain and simple: using Adderall as a study drug is academic doping, and what’s more, it can lead to abuse and serious negative effects like depression, anxiety, and in some cases, psychosis,” Schumer said at a conference call.
Other side effects of the drugs include hypertension, seizures, mydriasis, elevate blood pressure, depression, and even psychosis. And even if the drugs are not abused common side effects include lack of appetite, increased blood pressure, headache, dry mouth, insomnia and weight loss.
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!