Given the rampant increase in the use of study pills or В«performance enhancersВ» in Canadian high schools and colleges, chances are that many of you have considered this option at some point or the other. First, let me congratulate those of you who resisted the temptation! Your friends who have been popping Ritalin (methylphenidate) or Adderall (amphetamine) before exams will confirm what the National Institute on Drug Abuse says these drugs come with serious side effects.
These drugs tend to have only a short term effect. For example, Ritalin only lasts four hours. So if you think it will give you unlimited energy, focus and enthusiasm as you pull an all-nighter, you are wrong. Also, since the body becomes tolerant to the drug rather quickly, overtime youll need to pop more pills to obtain the same effect. And the worst side effect of it all is that students get addicted to the drug and become dependent on it.
This addiction is due to the fact that like cocaine, study pills alter the norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain in order to achieve increased alertness, focus and energy levels. Their action also results in euphoria or a high. You may wonder why then are these drugs manufactured in the first place and approved by the government agencies? Adderall or Ritalin is usually prescribed as a treatment for Attention Deficit / Hyperactive Disorder. When prescribed by a physician in manageable doses, these drugs are considered safe and non-addictive but when abused, not only do these drugs cause dependency, they could also cause heart complications.
Apart from being dangerous, the abuse of prescription drugs is also wrong. We all know that the use of performance enhancing drugs is banned for Olympic athletes. Most of us would agree that if athletes popped pills in order to push their limits, they would be cheating. Then, we should also agree that the use of study pills to perform better at exams would also constitute cheating. And thousands of Canadian students seem to be harming their bodies and resorting to cheating through the use of these pills. Health Canada estimates that 145, 000 students take Ritalin and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse says that Canada is among the top fifteen consumers of prescription amphetamines in world. Considering that
Canada is a relatively midsize nation population-wise (34 million), the number of performance enhancement drug abusers is indeed alarming!
Unlike students in many developing countries, most Canadian students have access to nutritional foods, playgrounds and gyms. Several studies have shown that students who eat nutritional meals and get regular exercise are able to be energetic and enthusiastic and focus better. Meditation has also proved to be a fantastic way to increase focus and memory. And though exercise, healthy eating and meditation may seem old-fashioned and laborious, they yield long-lasting results and enable all-round wellbeing. So, in your race towards your goals, be a long distance runner and not a sprinter say no to study pills and chose conventional performance enhancement methods.