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Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, etc. are all substances used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
They are controlled substances; you need a prescription to get them. They mimic dopamine and give the individuals a sense of euphoria, they also increase focus and suppress appetite.
As education and the working world get more competitive, and entry exams becomes increasingly difficult, some people believe that taking Adderall will give them the edge to succeed short-term.
What people don't realize is that these drugs are quite addictive and they may develop long-term habits.
As a 23-year-old who's just completed grad school, I'm proud to say that I've never used a prescription drug to study, and if I'm being honest, I didn't realize the extent as to which people who don't have ADHD so frequently use them.
Perhaps this is because I went to college in the UK rather than the US, or maybe it's because I don't like taking any type of drug unless it's prescribed to me and I absolutely have to, but probably because it's cheating.
I don't mean to sound rash when I say that and I certainly don't mean to put down my readers who have ADD/ADHD. But in my opinion, users of study drugs who aren't prescribed to them are cheaters. Plain and simple.
It's a moral stance for me.
IMO, if I have to overcome my own Millennial procrastination, get myself organized and lose my social life for a few weeks to get good grades, then so be it. It's a slap in the face to know that what I assumed was a leveled playing ground is actually rigged.
Firstly, it's a moral stance for me. When the world found out that Lance Armstrong had been doping all along, not only were many upset because he cheated, but also because he was an individual that so many cancer survivors looked up to.
Just like that we didn't know who the hell he was anymore (I still can't believe it). For me taking study drugs wouldn't be showing my ability, it would be showing an ability that is bound to wear off just like the drugs used to show it are.
The reason so many people are even discussing Adderall and other study drugs to begin with is because they aren't legal, yet somehow every college student in America seems to have their hands on them. They are all under this impression that Adderall will make them star students.
If I take a study drug with the mindset that I'm going to be able to ace all of my finals and then do, I'm going to develop a habit of taking them regularly because I've been proven right with the results. This may then lead to an addiction because my brain can't properly function without them.
The longer you take these study drugs the higher dosages you will begin to need. Just like any other drug, Adderall won't have the same effect on you the first time you take it as it does the 20th time.
If that isn't enough reason to make me not want to take them, I also think about the effects drugs can have on other aspects of my body, such as altering my energy levels and my eating and sleeping habits. This can make it very easy to develop habits with other drugs to substitute for a normally functioning system.
Basically, the way I see it is that it's a downward spiral.
Lastly, I probably should disclose that the reasons I don't take them are also informed by the fact that my degrees are in the realm of science and health. I'm nerdy about all aspects of, and to do with, the body.
I do also think that it's important to highlight the fact that for many people the reason they take these drugs isn't because they're not smart enough, it's because the pressure of achieving unrealistic standards year after year are becoming very overwhelming for people.
As easy as it is to point the finger at everyone using study drugs illegally, educational institutions also have to point a finger at themselves. The causal reason of capable students falling through the cracks starts with these institutions.
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