By Chelsea Moran
Blog Content Contributor
The pressure for students to go above and beyond is at an all time high in today’s time. The problem is that there isn’t enough hours in a day to study, write papers, work and keep up with extra curriculars. So what do you do to pull through and get everything done? Some students have turned to study drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse. Some students are using these prescription drugs without a prescription for their unintended purpose. Some say that it helps their study habits and helps them to maintain focus, others say that it actually made them smarter. Taking drugs without a prescription and without a doctor to give you proper dosages is illegal and extremely dangerous but the pressure to perform well goes even further beyond the basic study drugs currently floating around college campuses.
Ever heard of Nootropics? They are basically advanced smart drugs meant to improve or increase cognitive function, short or long term memory, creativity and motivation. Imagine a drug like the one in “Limitless.” The most popular nootropic is called Modafinil. It is a prescription-only drug in the U.S. used for narcolepsy. Other popular nootropics
are Piracetam, Adrafinil, Aniracetam, Phenylpiracetam, the list goes on. These particular brain enhancers do not require a prescription and are not illegal to possess. However, none of these drugs are FDA approved. There are also other well-marketed brain enhancing supplements such as Optimind and Neurofuse and although these products seem less shady than the nootropics listed above, they too are not approved by the FDA.
So how are sketchy drugs, both legal and illegal, making their way across campuses nationwide? Simple. Some students with prescriptions for drugs that may be abused as study drugs sell their prescription for extra cash or share them because they see a friend in struggle and want to help. That is just one scenario but not everyone knows someone who has a prescription to Adderall or Modafinil so they turn to the darkest parts of the web and to these drugs online, usually from another country. You can get nootropic drugs the same way. The issue with ordering any type of drug online is that you never truly know what you’re getting: You could get a bad batch; The drugs you receive could be laced with something impure; The provider could literally be sending you death in a vile, you never know. Some people doing these drugs recognize these exact dangers and instead of leaving it alone, they have taken matters into their own hands and decided to make their own nootropics. It is cheaper in the long run, they can personalize the ingredients to suite their bodies specific needs and it is a grey area when it comes to legality.
There is not a lot of research on the long term effects of these drugs on people who are not prescribed to them if they are prescription drugs and there is even less research on the long term effects of nootropics on the brain. Some people who have taken modafinil for long periods of time reported having headaches. Studies have shown that adderall does not actually increase the performance of the individual but rather gives them a sense of euphoria about the task at hand.
The bottom line is that these drugs, legal or not, are dangerous and not recommended. If the stress of school and work are getting to you, try stress relievers like yoga, bubble baths or a nap. If you can’t stay awake during class or if you’re trying desperately to pull an all nighter, drink an extra strong cup of coffee and make sure you’re taking all the proper vitamins that your body needs. There are many healthy and legal alternatives to nootropics and prescription drugs.