By the time you hit college, the phrase “Say no to drugs” has surely been ingrained into your mind. However, things are also a bit different in college. Of course you know what to say no to (you know, your general meth, crack, inhalants, etc.), but there’s a whole different breed of drugs that you might be considering. After all, they’re supposed to be good for you, right?
Wrong. The following are still drugs, and if they aren’t prescribed to you (and even if they are prescribed to you), taking them incorrectly can have disastrous consequences.
1.) Ritalin. It’s been around for several years, but the adverse effects of it have been fairly swept under the rug. The drug affects chemical secretion in the brain as well as specific nerves that affect impulse control and hyperactivity. But you probably already knew that…I mean it is prescribed to help with ADHD. But you should know that those nerves can be permanently damaged, especially when combined with caffeine or alcohol.
2.) Adderall. Also prescribed for people with ADHD, Adderall kicks things up a notch. It’s a sister drug of speed, and is also prescribed to people with Narcolepsy. Adderall, however, is much more dangerous. It can be easily abused and is quite addictive, with withdrawal side effects including depression, aggressive behavior, mania, and even psychosis, heart attack and death. So no, it’s not worth it to pass a final exam.
No sharing. You’d think that borrowing your roommate’s prescription might be harmless, but there are much bigger risks than you might realize. For example, I found out I have a heart condition my sophomore year of college. Had I tried taking Adderall or Ritalin during my freshman year, the results could have been catastrophic. Of course if I had gotten a prescription myself, my heart condition would’ve been taken into account. At the least, the dosage at least would’ve been adjusted.
And let’s not forget, that sharing prescription drugs is illegal; both for you to take and for your roommate to share with you (or sell, as is more likely the case).
Keep in mind that both of these drugs are not meant to increase one’s intelligence. All they do is delay the onset of sleep, allowing someone to stay up for hours on end cramming for exams and writing research papers. Of course, along with the side effects of the drugs themselves, are also the side effects of sleep deprivation, including increased anxiety and the inability to focus (the very problems the drug is supposed to fix). In fact, in terms of reaction time and decision making skills, a sleepless person can be compared to an individual who has an alcohol consumption above the legal limit.
So just don’t. Please get some sleep and develop some time management skills before turning to either one of these drugs for help.
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