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Medicated Education
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Medicated Education



Essay on Medication Abuse in college

Essay on Medication Abuse in college



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Medicated Education Document Transcript

  • 1. Medicated education By: Joshua Smith Because college is not a mandatory institution, it is safe to say that most undergraduate students are furthering their education by choice. In today’s fast paced, fuel-driven society it can be incredibly difficult to succeed without a degree. In fact, it is safe to say that our generation has come to think of college and graduate school as an obligatory step towards success. While there is nothing wrong with having ambition or striving to meet goals, many students have been turning to Attention Deficit medication in order to stay up and focus on their work. As curious children we worried less about having the best grades and were more interested in fun and games. Over the course of time we grew out of our simple-minded perspectives and into an advanced demanding society where who we are and what we know determines how far up the social-class ladder we are able to climb. College students have become the ultimate multi-taskers, most of whom are balancing extracurricular activities, social lives and a job on top of their hectic course schedules. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a condition resulting in symptoms of inability to maintain attention, impulsive behaviors and/or motor restlessness. Stimulants (medication used to treat AD/HD) increase alertness, attention, and energy, as well as elevate blood pressure and increase heart rate and respiration. Stimulants historically were used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems, obesity, neurological disorders, and a variety of other ailments. But as their potential for abuse and addiction became apparent, the medical use of stimulants began to wane. Now, stimulants are prescribed for the treatment of only a few health conditions, including narcolepsy, ADHD, and depression. Stimulants, such as dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta), have chemical structures similar to a family of key brain neurotransmitters called monoamines, which include norepinephrine and dopamine. Stimulants enhance the effects of these chemicals in the brain. Stimulants also
  • 2. increase blood pressure and heart rate, constrict blood vessels, increase blood glucose, and open up the pathways of the respiratory system. The increase in dopamine is associated with a sense of euphoria that can accompany the use of these drugs. As with illegal drugs, it is possible for individuals to become dependent upon, or addicted to many stimulants. Withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing stimulant use include fatigue, depression, and disturbance of sleep patterns. Repeated use of some stimulants over a short period can lead to feelings of hostility or paranoia. Further, taking high doses of a stimulant may result in dangerously high body temperature and an irregular heartbeat. There is also the potential for cardiovascular failure or lethal seizures. Looking at the recreational stimulant drug taker, forget your image of the stereotypical drug addict. The majority of non-prescribed, cognitive enhancement users are far from the dirty junkies who are associated with illegal drugs like heroin and crack/cocaine. Most stimulant abusers are college students, ranging from the procrastinating students who cram it all in at the last minute to the over achievers who are not satisfied with anything less than a 4.0 G.P.A. Whereas an athlete might turn to steroids to get an extra boost to overshadow competition, students enhance their academic abilities with stimulants. Unlike steroids, there have been no high-profile cases that put a negative connotation on cognitive enhancing prescription drugs. Steroids have been banned and outlawed in professional sports sending a message to the general public that they are bad and their use will not be accepted or rewarded. If we know that no one is perfect, then why are we so afraid to make mistakes? We are young college students obsessed with reaching the finish line even before the race has begun. Intelligence is far more than test scores, grades and what school you attend. Our academic careers have taught us far more than just how to memorize facts. It brings us face-to-face with the universal values of equality, diversity, responsibility and hard honest work. So I say to college students, put away the stimulants and allow yourself to truly be the best you can be. Embrace challenge, anything worth obtaining is worth fighting for. We are in college to show what we are made of and to display our commitment. We must remember, tenacity + patience = success.
  • 3. Cited sources Weber, Rebecca L. “A drug kids take in search of better grades.” Learning. Nov. 2004. The Christian Science Monitor. Dec. 2006. <http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1130/p11s02-legn.html> Kondrotas, Ona. “Speed culture in the digital generation: A commentary on amphetamine use at MIT and colleges nationwide.” Diss. Mass. U of Technology. Mar. 2006. Daley, Brooke. “Perspective: Miracle drug?” Daily Pennsylvanian. April 20, 2004. Office of Health Education. Dec 7, 2006 <http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/ohe/library/drugs/adderall.htm> Nunes, Joao V., and Elvin B. Parson. “Patterns of psychoactive substance use among adolescents.” American Family Physician Nov 1, 1995. Look Smart. Dec 8, 2006. <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3225/is_n6_v52/ai_17558654> Garreau, Joel. “A Dose Of Genius” 'Smart Pills' Are on The Rise. But Is Taking Them Wise? June 11, 2006. Washington Post. Dec 7, 2006. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/10/ AR2006061001181_pf.html> TULLER, DAVID. “Race Is On for a Pill to Save the Memory.” July. 2003. New York Times. Dec. 2006. <http://nootropics.com/smartdrugs/memorysave.html> http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2006/students-turn-to-smart.html http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2005/NEW01156.html http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/label/2004/021303s005lbl.pdf Rubin, Rita. “'Smart pills' make headway” July. 2004. USA TODAY. Dec. 2006. <http:// www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2004-07-07-smart-pills-main_x.htm> http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/About/NewsReleases/Generation_Rx_Teens_Abusing_R x_and_OTC_Medications
  • 4. http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/drug_guide/Prescription_Stimulants http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/abuse/5-stim.htm http://www.add-adhd-help-center.com/adderall_side_effects.htm http://polls.washingtonpost.com/cgi-bin/multi_poll? section=style&pollname=style/smartpills2.poll&template=style/smartpills2_results.htm& answer1=a&answer2=a&answer3=c&answer4=d&questio=4 http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/pubs/20061001.pdf After alcohol and marijuana, both High and Low Risk SRs perceived the prescription stimulants AdderallÆ and RitalinÆ to be the most easily available drugs misused on campus.