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Impulse Rxn
 
Finals Period Discussion: Using Adderall as a substitute for motivation or drive

So, it's finals period around most of the universities in the countries (i'm about 3 days into mine,) and sure enough, countless numbers of students are popping adderall without a prescription. (For the sake of this conversation, exclude discussion about prescribed usage.)

It seems to me that for many college students, getting adderall from friends is a cop-out from real responsibility and effort. I'm not saying that studying, even on adderall, takes effort, but, if nothing else, it's synthetic attention.

How do you all feel about the use of adderall by those to whom it is not legally prescribed? Do you feel that, at the core, it's substance abuse and more importantly a means through which unmotivated students can still get that grade, or are you of the school of thought that believes that's its a performance enhancer designed to help a person perform at their peak efficiency- and there's nothing wrong with that.

I've never taken Adderall on principle. There have been plenty of times that, due to lack of motivation or poor planning on my part, I would've benefitted from the concentration that it may grant, but I feel that it's just a substitute for real work ethic. In my mind, it's the way of the weak- that they can't man up and do the work on their own accord, so they require synthetic drive. I realize that this is a 'high horse' view, and that because college is generally so competitive in nature, you'd probably be a fool not to use any advantage availed of you, but it is my view nonetheless.


So, in essence, Adderall: being your best or a way out for the weak?


AGAIN: Please, this discussion doesn't include students with ADHD/ADD who legitimately need the drug to function or are significantly handicapped without it
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:16 PM Impulse Rxn is offline  
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leo
 
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Effectively, it's no different than chugging coffee so that you can stay awake to study, but, abuse of prescription drugs isn't an option that's available to everyone, so I'd argue that it puts those who are law abiding or those who are unaware of or unable to obtain the drugs at a competitive disadvantage, thus making it unethical.
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:51 PM leo is offline  
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Impulse Rxn
 
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Originally Posted by leo View Post
Effectively, it's no different than chugging coffee so that you can stay awake to study, but, abuse of prescription drugs isn't an option that's available to everyone, so I'd argue that it puts those who are law abiding or those who are unaware of or unable to obtain the drugs at a competitive disadvantage, thus making it unethical.

I don't know if i necessarily agree with that. Again, I've never taken it- but i bet that many who have will argue that there's a difference in being awake (via caffeine) and being able to concentrate more (via adderall)
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:55 PM Impulse Rxn is offline  
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leo
 
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Originally Posted by Impulse Rxn View Post
I don't know if i necessarily agree with that. Again, I've never taken it- but i bet that many who have will argue that there's a difference in being awake (via caffeine) and being able to concentrate more (via adderall)
How is it any different? Neither drug makes you more intelligent. Both substances simply stave off natural tendencies of the body. One curbs the tendency to grow weary and become tired, the other curbs the tendency to grow weary and lose focus. Obviously, they both have different chemical reactions in your body, but at the end of the day, neither is going to help you pass the test if you don't study, and both are ultimately unnecessary if you have the will power to sit down, stay awake, and pay attention.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:25 PM leo is offline  
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matt00926
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Eventually adderall will fuck many of them over because they don't know how to use it properly in regulating their patterns properly before an exam. Have fun crashing hardcore a few hours before your test because you stayed up for 48 hours and don't know anything about it except "it makes you concentrate moar!11"
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:07 PM matt00926 is offline  
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bingstudent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leo View Post
Effectively, it's no different than chugging coffee so that you can stay awake to study, but, abuse of prescription drugs isn't an option that's available to everyone, so I'd argue that it puts those who are law abiding or those who are unaware of or unable to obtain the drugs at a competitive disadvantage, thus making it unethical.

Not everyone can get access to coffee either, I think calling it unethical because other people choose not to use it is a stretch.
Old 12-15-2008, 05:26 PM bingstudent is offline  
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Intuitiv
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leo View Post
How is it any different? Neither drug makes you more intelligent. Both substances simply stave off natural tendencies of the body. One curbs the tendency to grow weary and become tired, the other curbs the tendency to grow weary and lose focus. Obviously, they both have different chemical reactions in your body, but at the end of the day, neither is going to help you pass the test if you don't study, and both are ultimately unnecessary if you have the will power to sit down, stay awake, and pay attention.

Have you ever done it? There is definitely a difference.
Old 12-15-2008, 06:39 PM Intuitiv is offline  
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Renork
 
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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...earch&aq=f&oq=

Quote:
Scientists back brain drugs for healthy people
- December 07, 2008

NEW YORK - Healthy people should have the right to boost their brains with pills, like those prescribed for hyperactive children or memory-impaired older folks, several scientists contend in a provocative commentary.

College students are already illegally taking prescription stimulants like Ritalin to help them study, and demand for such drugs is likely to grow elsewhere, they say.

"We should welcome new methods of improving our brain function," and doing it with pills is no more morally objectionable than eating right or getting a good night's sleep, these experts wrote in an opinion piece published online Sunday by the journal Nature.

The commentary calls for more research and a variety of steps for managing the risks.

As more effective brain-boosting pills are developed, demand for them is likely to grow among middle-aged people who want youthful memory powers and multitasking workers who need to keep track of multiple demands, said one commentary author, brain scientist Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania.

"Almost everybody is going to want to use it," said Farah.

"I would be the first in line if safe and effective drugs were developed that trumped caffeine," another author, Michael Gazzaniga of the University of California, Santa Barbara, declared in an e-mail.

The seven authors, from the United States and Britain, include ethics experts and the editor-in-chief of Nature as well as scientists. They developed their case at a seminar funded by Nature and Rockefeller University in New York. Two authors said they consult for pharmaceutical companies; Farah said she had no such financial ties.

Some health experts agreed that the issue deserves attention. But the commentary did not impress Leigh Turner of the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics.

"It's a nice puff piece for selling medications for people who don't have an illness of any kind," Turner said.

The commentary cites a 2001 survey of about 11,000 American college students that found 4 percent had used prescription stimulants illegally in the prior year. But at some colleges, the figure was as high as 25 percent.

"It's a felony, but it's being done," said Farah.

The stimulants Adderall and Ritalin are prescribed mainly for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but they can help other people focus their attention and handle information in their heads, the commentary says.

Another drug called Provigil is approved for sleep disorders but is also prescribed for healthy people who need to stay alert when sleep-deprived, the commentary says. Lab studies show it can also perk up the brains of well-rested people. And some drugs developed for Alzheimer's disease also provide a modest memory boost, it says.

Ritalin is made by Switzerland-based Novartis AG, but the drug is also available generically. Adderall is made by U.K.-based Shire PLC and Montvale, New Jersey-based Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., and some formulations are also available generically. Provigil is made by Cephalon Inc. of Frazer, Pennsylvania.

While supporting the concept that healthy adults should be able to use brain-boosting drugs, the authors called for:

- More research into the use, benefits and risks of such drugs. Much is unknown about the current medications, such as the risk of dependency when used for this purpose, the commentary said. Also, according to the Food and Drug Administration, Adderall, for example, is an amphetamine that carries warnings about possible sudden death, heart attack and stroke, especially for people with heart problems.

-Policies to guard against people being coerced into taking them.

-Steps to keep the benefits from making socio-economic inequalities worse.

-Action by doctors, educators and others to develop policies on the use of such drugs by healthy people.

-Legislative action to allow drug companies to market the drugs to healthy people if they meet regulatory standards for safety and effectiveness.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said she agreed with the commentary that the nonprescribed use of brain-boosting drugs must be studied.

But she said she was concerned that wider use of stimulants could lead more people to become addicted to them. That's what happened decades ago when they were widely prescribed for a variety of disorders, she said.

"Whether we like it or not, that property of stimulants is not going to go away," she said.

Erik Parens, a senior research scholar at the Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank in Garrison, New York, said the commentary makes a convincing case that "we ought to be opening this up for public scrutiny and public conversation."

One challenge will be finding ways to protect people against subtle coercion to use the drugs, the kind of thing parents feel when neighbor kids sign up for courses to prepare for aptitude tests required for college admission, he said.

And if the nation moves to providing a basic package of health care to all its citizens, it's hard to see how it could afford to include brain-boosting drugs, he said. If they have to be bought separately, it raises the question about promoting societal inequalities, he said.

---

On the Net:

Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Having been prescribed Ritalin and Adderall in the past, I also agree that there is no reason to not make such substances available over the counter. It will only lead to a net increase in human productivity and advancement.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:21 PM Renork is offline  
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leo
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intuitiv View Post
Have you ever done it? There is definitely a difference.
Yes, I have taken it quite a few times, and I can tell you that if I sat down and put my mind to it, I could achieve equal results while sober. My point in bringing up coffee is to draw a comparison between the effective use of the drug. Adderall helps you study by keeping you focused, but it won't magically open doors if you've never been able to crunch the numbers or comprehend the material, it simply makes you more efficient by focusing your thoughts and reducing distractions. In the same way, coffee won't lead you to any new insight, but it will increase your productivity by significantly extending your waking hours so that you can study and get more done. The end result is that both drugs simply increase your productivity, one by allowing you to get more work done in an allotted time, the other by allotting more time with which to get work done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bingstudent View Post
Not everyone can get access to coffee either
lol, there isn't anyone studying for finals that doesn't have access to coffee, it's available in just about any establishment where beverages are sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bingstudent View Post
I think calling it unethical because other people choose not to use it is a stretch.
That's like saying it's not unethical to use steroids because other people choose not to use them. If it were widely available and legal for all, you'd have a point, but if you're gaining a competitive academic advantage over your peers through the illegal use of drugs, it's effectively cheating and thus unethical. I'm speaking purely in principle, not in practice. The reality is, nobody gets drug tested before an exam, so the low risk makes the behavior more acceptable, but you can bet your ass that if universities drug tested before exams, the stigma associated with taking Adderall would be exactly the same as juicing up before a race.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:13 AM leo is offline  
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using amphetamines is stupid no matter what perspective you take

there are natural alternatives available to everyone that actually work better and are healthy for you
Old 12-16-2008, 01:34 AM ry_goody is offline  
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saberz
 
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Originally Posted by Renork View Post
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...earch&aq=f&oq=



Having been prescribed Ritalin and Adderall in the past, I also agree that there is no reason to not make such substances available over the counter. It will only lead to a net increase in human productivity and advancement.

Making a drug like this available OTC would be incredibly irresponsible. We're talking about giving out amphetamines to anyone would wants it, and the side effects of them are numerous.
Old 12-16-2008, 02:02 AM saberz is offline  
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Intuitiv
 
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Yes, I have taken it quite a few times, and I can tell you that if I sat down and put my mind to it, I could achieve equal results while sober.

Fair enough.

Adderal is school for lazy people.

There is no such thing as ADD that can't be cured without medicine.

That is just my opinion, so no one flame me.
Old 12-16-2008, 02:11 AM Intuitiv is offline  
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usemytoes
 
Sure, it may give you a little boost.. but wouldn't you just rather go buy a nice, quality bag of coffee that you could sip on all night while you study?


If you take the adderall and see that it works, you may continue to take it whenever you feel the need to get shit done in school when you could easily be getting similar effects from a case of energy drinks or a few cups o'jo.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:52 AM usemytoes is offline  
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Renork
 
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...be-feared.html

Quote:
Brain-boosting drugs 'not to be feared'

* 14 December 2008
* Magazine issue 2686. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
* For similar stories, visit the The Human Brain and Drugs and Alcohol Topic Guides

SOCIETY should embrace the use of drugs that boost brain power. That's the message from a group of neuroscientists, psychiatrists and ethicists.

A recent survey found that at some US universities, up to 25 per cent of students routinely buy Ritalin or Adderall - prescription drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - on black markets to boost memory and concentration. The stimulant Modafinil has also been touted as a mind enhancer.

However, studies of the effect of some of these drugs on cognitive function in healthy people have shown mixed results. Henry Greely of Stanford Law School in California, and his colleagues, call for more research on this, as well as into the drugs' safety. Cognitive enhancers found to be safe and effective should be welcomed, not feared, they say (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/456702a).

"This isn't like steroids and sports... enhancement is not a dirty word," says Greely, adding that using drugs in this way is not "unnatural".
This isn't like steroids and sports. Enhancement is not a dirty word

He and his colleagues argue that a safe pill should be seen as no different to other strategies we already use to improve our minds, like a good night's sleep or a strong cup of coffee. Inexpensive drugs may even have the potential to be a more egalitarian way to get ahead than expensive tutoring, they say.

Brain pills could give an edge to nations whose citizens opt to raise their intelligence, suggests neuroethicist Julian Savulescu of the University of Oxford.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:43 AM Renork is offline  
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Renork
 
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Originally Posted by usemytoes View Post
Sure, it may give you a little boost.. but wouldn't you just rather go buy a nice, quality bag of coffee that you could sip on all night while you study?


If you take the adderall and see that it works, you may continue to take it whenever you feel the need to get shit done in school when you could easily be getting similar effects from a case of energy drinks or a few cups o'jo.

Why is it OK, if not encouraged, to do this with coffee but not with adderall? Why is it bad to take adderall when you need to get shit done because it works but good to take caffeine to get shit done for its "similar effects"?
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:49 AM Renork is offline  
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