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ADD News News from around the world about ADD/ADHD, other disorders, and some rather bizzarre & strange stories.

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  #1  
Old 10-01-03, 08:09 PM
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Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?



Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

By PHIL DUREZA

As the school year's first set of prelims approaches, many Cornellians will be tackling the academic challenge by once again relying on perennial sure-fire foundations of success. The gist of such strategies includes completing all assignments, studying diligently, and, let's not forget, taking a lot of drugs. Yes kids. It's test time at Cornell again, which means that in the ensuing weeks, more Ritalin and Adderal will be consumed than would be in a month-long national reading convention for kids with ADHD.

If you ever wonder why, as exam day draws nearer, some students get more and more hyped and energized -- instead of having the normal reactions like panicking, randomly cursing out loud, and making up tragedies about terminally-ill third cousins to professors -- it's not because of a particular love of learning. That's just unheard of. More than likely, they are probably doped up on powerful stimulants and hence can find even the behavioral spawning of earthworms exciting.

During this intense studying period before exams, Cornell is transformed from a benign educational institution catering to upper middle class, privileged kids, to a drug-flowing wonderland where libraries become drug havens, study groups hook fresh members into Ritalin addiction, and desperate students barter their parents' SUV in exchange for a 'quick fix.'

It's a scene right out of Trainspotting: sleepless, fetid students in an unkempt graduate lounge, wired from Adderal, clutching their textbooks tensely, unable to stop answering Orgochem problems sets. Oh the Horror.

The pervasiveness of stimulant use on campus is so regular that many students assert that acquiring prescription stimulants is relatively simple. One even hinted at a network of drug suppliers and alleged, "You can have an easier time finding Adderal [in Cornell] than you can finding a party." But then again, the chances of striking oil in Cornell are greater than finding a party.

In addition, the prevalence of Ritalin and Adderal consumption at Cornell has been noted by researchers to have caused some ecological changes in the environment. For example, our local squirrels, which have been inadvertently getting coked-up off the fallen pills from students' pockets, have become increasingly more aggressive, turning into a super breed of squirrels that are fearless of humans and have even been known to heckle engineering undergrads on the way to class. If you think I'm joking, try charging at one of these tough little critters and see who backs down.

With the heavy student consumption of prescription stimulants, one might say that Cornell has a serious drug problem in its hands and thus should start sending the University police to patrol Uris Library and arrest those seen blinking too rapidly. However, this particular drug dilemma is really quite unique and unorthodox by nature.

For one, prescription stimulants are not exactly illegal. Individuals with learning disorders such as ADHD can gain regular access to these drugs, which means that, in America's world of over-diagnosing psychiatrists, three year olds who can't sing along verbatim to Sesame Street can be diagnosed with a learning disorder and consequently qualify to have a wheelbarrow full of Dexadrine mailed to their house.

Secondly, prescription stimulants, unlike other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, are rarely consumed as social drugs which enhance a social experience, but, instead are taken to increase one's studying ability. A particular student, for instance, told me how after four hours of work, he was able to study extensively for another four hours because of Adderal. In cases like this, the consumption of prescription stimulants is induced by students' desire to do well academically, bringing this drug issue to a whole new ball field.

Just as some athletes take performance-enhancing drugs to play better, many students who consume prescription stimulants -- barring those who legitimately have learning disorders, of course -- do so to improve their intellectual prowess. Are psychostimulants like Ritalin, Adderal, and Dexadrine then the steroids of higher learning? As one student claimed, "If I had discovered [Adderal] a few years ago I'd be working for NASA right now."

Arguably, psychostimulant users artificially become unfairly juiced-up, all-star students of academia. With their brain-enhancing drugs giving them an extra boost, they soon may dominate the competition, acing all the tests, taking all the cool jobs, getting all the hot girls, and leaving the sober rest of us to be marginalized in society and employed by a weather channel in Siberia. "Temperatures for this week: Freezing."

On the other hand, some students who use prescription stimulants contend that their rampant drug consumption is really not their own fault but instead place the blame on -- what else -- the University's hyper-stressful environment. With Cornell's cut-throat, competitive atmosphere driving otherwise normal individuals to pimp out their siblings for extra credit, those who simply can't do the work use prescription stimulants as a way to level the playing field. As another student stated, "[stimulants] help me keep up with all the nerds around here."

So where to take sides in all of this? Perhaps President Lehman, as the first act following his inauguration, should just ensure that every dining hall serve a healthy dose of Dexadrine in each meal doled out. And after that, we all get to go out in a booze cruise paid for by our academic advisors. Well, maybe in our psychedelic dreams.

Despite their widespread consumption, prescription stimulants are really far from miracle drugs that give users special intellectual advantages. Instead of the steroid analogy, using psychostimulants to study is more comparable to taking aphrodisiacs for sex. Some people need them; some people don't. Anyway, it's all in the head.

Phil Dureza is a senior in the College of Arts of Sciences at Cornell University.
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  #2  
Old 03-23-09, 11:50 PM
r0manescu r0manescu is offline
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

I take ritalin and/or dexedrine for my add, and I'm WAY worse of a student than my sisters who are drug and ADD free. I think smart people make their way to the top regardless of what other people do. Lol, I wish I could ace all the tests and get all the girls but because its in my nature to fail; I will inevidetably do so. inevetitably inevevitable GRRRRRRR!!!
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Old 03-24-09, 10:24 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

Not if you have ADHD.

tc

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Old 03-24-09, 11:48 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

I just wonder who drug tested the squirrels?
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Old 03-26-09, 06:07 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

I have wondered about the stimulants being the "steroids" of academics . . . but then again, everyone is expected to go to school . . . not everyone is expected to be a great athelete. . .

That said, the posted article annoys the heck out of me. I don't like the tone of it at all. I know that this is from a college paper, but really? All I can say is "show me the data". I'd like to know, even via anonymous survey how many college kids are abusing the stimulants?

And the squirrels? Really? Who are the "local researchers"? There are some crazy bold squirrels on college campuses, mostly b/c ppl feed them, and they get super aggressive. Coked up b/c pills are falling out of ppls pockets? That makes it sound like they're being treated like candy . . . IDK but even if I were paying $$$ for illegal stimulants, don't you think I'd want to just maybe, hang onto the pills so I could take them? (yes, I know you can get high off of them and just "forget", but that wasn't the implication of the article).

oops, just realized the article is from 2003.
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Old 03-30-09, 08:06 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

There's longitudinal data supporting the use of stimulants as decreasing the risk of a

Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

The caveat is that you have ADHD.

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Old 03-30-09, 09:07 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

I found this hilarious for some reason. Maybe it's supposed to be humorous?

Quote:
clutching their textbooks tensely, unable to stop answering Orgochem problems sets. Oh the Horror.
Quote:
For example, our local squirrels, which have been inadvertently getting coked-up off the fallen pills from students' pockets, have become increasingly more aggressive, turning into a super breed of squirrels that are fearless of humans and have even been known to heckle engineering undergrads on the way to class. If you think I'm joking, try charging at one of these tough little critters and see who backs down.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:34 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?



You know, you're probably right ozchris . . . I'm probably taking this way too seriously. . .
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Old 04-01-09, 12:38 AM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

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Originally Posted by TygerSan View Post


You know, you're probably right ozchris . . . I'm probably taking this way too seriously. . .
It's a pretty touchy subject for us that use meds. I used to get really upset when I heard someone I knew was getting stimulants for study, because it only makes it harder for us and puts a stigma on using meds for ADD.

These days I just kind of accept that it happens and there's not anything I can do about it. People have been using stimulants for performance enhancement longer than we've been using them to treat ADD unfortunately
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Old 06-30-09, 12:59 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

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Originally Posted by r0manescu View Post
I take ritalin and/or dexedrine for my add, and I'm WAY worse of a student than my sisters who are drug and ADD free. I think smart people make their way to the top regardless of what other people do. Lol, I wish I could ace all the tests and get all the girls but because its in my nature to fail; I will inevidetably do so. inevetitably inevevitable GRRRRRRR!!!
If you have ADHD it does not matter if you are "smart", you may still have difficulty.
I my self have severe ADHD, am in Mensa with a 132 IQ, and still have great difficulty completing tasks, staying on track, focusing and transferring memory from short term to long term.
A disability can be overcome however, it just takes more work, and more education, and perhaps therapy and medications.

Persistence got me my degrees in physics and a good job. It may have taken longer than many others, but I did it, and am still doing it. It was not my IQ that did it for me.
So, nothing is inevitable except death and taxes.
Don't be discouraged, and keep working at it.
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Old 04-21-11, 12:57 PM
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Re: Powerful Stimulants: Steroids of Studying?

I really believe any one who wants to should take whatever they like....adults that is
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