Friday, January 13, 2006

Pill Popping to Gain an Edge

You’ve heard of athletes popping pills to gain a competitive edge, but college students too? Today students are turning to prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin to get them through late nigt study sessions, risking potential and unknown side effects for a chance at a better grade. Some students say it’s a “super-achiever thing”.
Adderall, for example, is an amphetamine prescribed to improve focus and attention in people with ADHD. But the drugs have become popular for those looking for an occasional mental boost. Students say that caffeine will keep you awake, but Adderall will actually increase your ability to concentrate. Stimulant use varies widely. In the journal Addiction, which studied nearly 11,000 students, colleges with more competitive admission standards have the highest rates of non medical use-up to 25 percent. Nearly 7 percent had taken a stimulant without a prescription. Dr. Carol Milam, psychiatrist at the Vanderbilt University Student Health Center, says that students believe these types of medications aren’t really dangerous. Bt she warns that not only can they become addictive, bit they have other side effects that include loss of appetite, difficulty falling asleep, stomach ache and dry mouth. The manufacturer’s also warn that it’s not recommended for people with heart problems, high blood pressure, significant anxiety, or a history of drug abuse.

No comments: