It’s the night before the biggest final exam of my college career and I’m nervous as hell. My lazy ass was too hungover to make it to Friday classes 80% of the time, which is directly correlated to the fact that I don’t know the first thing about corporate finance. Seconds, minutes, and then hours tick by as I blankly stare at a list of equations, hoping to draw meaning from them. With a sigh, I realize what I must do, pick up the phone, and make the call.
“Hey Donny, you still got some of that stuff?”
A handful of minutes and $30 dollars of my hard-earned money later (“supply and demand,” he says), I have it — XR Adderall. The next eight hours went by in a flash as I locked in on learning a semester’s worth of material. The following morning, I stepped up and passed a business exam that I had no business getting through. I felt like a superhero.
But now I’m being told that everything about that night was a lie.
Many college students who abuse ADHD drugs mistakenly believe that doing so will lead to better grades, a new survey suggests.
Past research has found that college students commonly misuse stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall as “study aids.” That’s despite the fact that there is no evidence the drugs help kids who do not have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The new study said that roughly 29 percent of students at nine U.S. colleges thought that stimulant medications boost school performance. Many others — 38 percent — were “unsure.”
And that misperception was especially common among students who admitted to abusing the drugs.
Just over 11 percent said they’d used stimulant medication for “non-medical” reasons in the past six months. And of that group, almost two-thirds believed the drugs would improve their grades.
Breakthrough study: college students will do anything to combat their bad decision-making abilities regardless of whether or not that thing has been scientifically proven. Even if it doesn’t physiologically do anything for non-ADHD sufferers, taking Adderall to study is no different than everyone getting behind all these holistic hangover cures. Drowning my Cocoa Puffs in Pedialyte probably doesn’t actually help much, but I still swear by it when I’m dying on Sunday mornings. The placebo effect — ever heard of it?
The findings came as no surprise to Dr. Jess Shatkin, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City.
But they do highlight an ongoing issue, according to Shatkin, who wasn’t involved in the study.
“When kids do not actually have ADHD, these drugs are not helpful for their school performance,” Shatkin said.
I guess it comes down to who you believe more: me, an actual college student who swears this shit works, or some “doctor.”
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if ADHD medication is making me better at studying. I think it does, and that’s what matters..
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