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Study Drugs

It’s midterm time, and I hear left and right people on the hunt for Adderall. Adderall, along with many other types of stimulants such as Vyvanse, Focalin, Concerta, and Ritalin, are drugs that use many different methods to stimulate the brain in order to increase concentration. These drugs are thought of often as very overprescribed, as well as addictive and dangerous. This is mainly because there are so many harmful side effects to these drugs. ADD and ADHD medicine is very controversial topic because there are many different viewpoints on the definition of the disorder.

To begin, the margins at which this disorder is classified are changing. The DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a book published by the American Psychiatric Association which classifies all mental disorders, is in the process of updating the definition of these disorders because the diagnosis is becoming too widespread. In the future, it is speculated the symptoms of ADD and ADHD will have to be increasingly more and more severe in order to be diagnosed with these disorders and consequently prescribed stimulant drugs as a treatment plan. Most doctors are on board with this move, however some still believe that their patients who have lesser symptoms have the disorder and have the right to the drugs. The diagnosis of ADD and ADHD is subjective, which makes it difficult to classify the disorder exactly and not over diagnose.

A different issue is the actual action of prescribing these drugs. Because these drugs have not been around a very long time, although there has been short term testing (the process of drug testing is a very serious and long process, so they really have passed through many levels of short term testing) there has still not been a conclusive study on the long-term effects of ADD/ADHD stimulant drugs. Will the drug end up decreasing lifespan? Will they cause memory problems? Will they increase chances of disease x or disease y? The point is that until the drug has been around long enough to see, doctors will not know.

These drugs are immensely helpful to many children, teens and even adults. They have been prescribed to many people who show large success rates. But the side effects are rough and can often outweigh the benefits. Most teenagers and adults on these drugs consistently must also take anti-depressants to counter the side effects. Just about everything related to ADD is controversial, and I find it especially relevant to us right about now because students decide to take these drugs to study better for exams. What are your thoughts on ADD medicine? Do you or your friends take it? Do you or your friends have prescriptions? Do you think these drugs are good or bad? Do the benefits outweigh the side effects?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 26, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    The author brought an interesting topic about our study habit. It is relevant to us because many students do take study drugs to fight through exams and papers . And I hate any kinds of stimulate substances.
    Well, I do not have nay problems with it, and how is using ADD drugs controversial in our study habits? I think it is just like tobaccos and coffees.

    First There are drugs which are addictive and contains stimulants out in the public market, such as nicotine, protein and caffeine. Caffeine is an addictive substance from the nature world and it is given out to the students through this amazing franchised coffee store named Starbucks.

    Also, I do not see any ethical or moral issues with the usage of the drugs.
    Study drugs are not magical. They do not grantee an A in your final exam anyway, so what is the big deal? If the students started kill each other like crack-heads, yes that is a problem.

    I have no clue about the side effects and how the users feel after using the drugs. And like the authors says, that there had not been studies on these drugs.

    • February 27, 2012 at 2:07 am

      I disagree. Using drugs, especially ones that haven’t been perscribed to you, is a big deal. There are clearly those restrictions for a reason; if they were safe for everyone they would be out on the shelves with Advil. I think because so many college students use Adderall and other such medication, it becomes sterotyped that it’s normal or fine, but if you think about it, would you trust the kids living in your dorm to medicate you for strep throat?

      In terms of other stimulants available to us, I think everyone on campus is at least someone aware of the consequences and dangers of using nicotine. And as for caffeine…it is definitely addictive, but I think if any serious issues were going to develop, I would have faced them long ago.

  2. Leila Mafoud
    February 27, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Honestly, I don’t know why chemical pills and stimulants are even used to begin with when there are so many natural ways to enhance concentration, memory, and mental alertness. Naturally found herbs such as Ginko Balboa have been suggested as study tools by homeopathic doctors seeking to provide alternative treatments for ADD/ADHD. In addition, studies have found that playing Mozart or Beethoven while studying actually creates the same effect as taking Ritalin because the music syncs with the brain waves in order to allow concentration to ensue. These are just two of many different study methods that can be tried before one should turn to prescription medication. In my opinion, trying to get prescribed should be a last resort, not an initial reaction. As mentioned above, we have yet to fully understand the long-term effects these drugs have on the body and until sufficient tests can be performed it is best not to engage in such risk-taking.

    • March 1, 2012 at 12:09 am

      I don’t agree with this argument. Stimulants for ADHD have been used for many decades, and there has been extensive research on the effectiveness of Ritalin – it was first synthesized in 1944, and they began testing it on humans in 1954. While there are side effects (none of which are permanent) the drug has proven to be safe. In fact, many doctors believe that ADHD prescription medicine is the first line of defense for people with ADHD. There are seconds lines of defense (like behavioral therapy), but there is no serious medical evidence that any herb relieves symptoms of ADHD.

  3. February 29, 2012 at 6:51 am

    There ARE restrictions for a REASON. Side effects of Adderall can be anything from vomiting and weight loss to dizziness and muscle spasms. There are a lot of drugs and medicines that clash directly with Adderall, which is why a prescription is so important to keeping people who use it safe. In several cases, kids have even died from Adderall overdosing and when it clashed with other pills they were taking. Adderall is very additcive, both physically and psychologically. In 2005, Canada suspended all prescriptions of Adderall after it was linked to the sudden deaths of 12 teenagers. There is a prescription needed for a reason- because it is prescribed to people who are deemed to need it, after an evaluation of them and other drugs they are taking. The bottom line is, anyone who takes it without cause is messing with their bodies and with dangerous drugs, and it is a stupid move to do so.

  4. March 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    While I was a counselor over the summer a few years ago, I had a conversation with one of the senior directors about ADHD and gained insight as to how he has dealt with his ADHD throughout his own life as a child and adult.

    As a preteen he was diagnosed with ADHD, and began using prescription drugs to help with his concentration. Yet the part that was the most interesting to me was that over a period of years he eventually was taken off the drug after behavioral therapy that helped him deal with his diagnosis. His opinion was that prescriptions were meant for short-term use until the individual could control their condition after therapy, and that many people use prescriptions for their whole life when it was a short-term solution until they learned control.

    I don’t have any scientific evidence to back up his opinion, but I thought it was an interesting viewpoint and it made me think about how necessary drugs are – and if therapy and training are the long-term keys to a solution for different diagnoses.

  5. leimaf
    April 23, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Honestly, I don’t know why chemical pills and stimulants are even used to begin with when there are so many natural ways to enhance concentration, memory, and mental alertness. Naturally found herbs such as Ginko Balboa have been suggested as study tools by homeopathic doctors seeking to provide alternative treatments for ADD/ADHD. In addition, studies have found that playing Mozart or Beethoven while studying actually creates the same effect as taking Ritalin because the music syncs with the brain waves in order to allow concentration to ensue. These are just two of many different study methods that can be tried before one should turn to prescription medication. In my opinion, trying to get prescribed should be a last resort, not an initial reaction. As mentioned above, we have yet to fully understand the long-term effects these drugs have on the body and until sufficient tests can be performed it is best not to engage in such risk-taking.

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