AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health


Doping is not only rife in sporting. Drug use by students as a means of improving memory and enhancing academic performance is on the increase too.

The question is whether the use of prescription drugs to achieve better grades can be considered cheating as it is in sports. There is no clear cut answer as yet, but discussions in this regard are on-going.

Caffeine When Caffeine Is No Longer Enough

Cambridge University, for one, has reportedly suggested that drug screening could be introduced if the use of performance stimulants turns into a problematic situation.

Drugs of choice

Modafinil is a drug that is used to treat excessive sleep disorders due to its ability to stimulate wakefulness. Ritalin, or Methylphenidate as it is otherwise known, is primarily used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adderall, which contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is used in the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD.

In the world of academia, however, students who otherwise don’t need these drugs use them for their cognitive enhancing abilities.

Right or wrong?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask because opinions vary. What is noteworthy, however, is that a survey by Penn State University revealed that out of 1200 male college freshmen, the majority believe that a student who uses a prescription drug to improve their focus during exams, could not be accused of being a cheat in the same way that an athlete who uses steroids in order to perform better in a race could be.

This study also suggests that the rationale is that in the case of a sports competition, only one person can win and their victory means that every other competitor has essentially lost. In an academic exam, however, one person achieving a high grade doesn’t necessarily mean that every other student hasn’t done just as well.

How safe are they?

In the quest to get to the top of their game, be it on the field or in the classroom, a growing number of students will go to any lengths to obtain their prescription drug of choice. Many are purchasing these pills online from unknown or illicit sources, and are using them without any proper medical supervision and without knowing the legitimacy of the ingredients.

One therefore has to ask, what pressure are students under nowadays to have to resort to these measures as a way of coping? Furthermore, would making the decision to approve the use of these drugs perhaps allow for better control measures to be put in place in order to prevent misuse?

Social impact

Vince Cakic, from the University of Sydney department of psychology, maintains that the use of performance enhancing pills is akin to having a private tutor and that barring the use of these pills would be the same as not allowing for private tuition. Following this premise widens the divide between wealthy and poor students, as it is generally only those with financial resources that can afford private tuition, or its chemical substitute.

As so many students are turning to prescription pills in order to perform better academically, scientists at Bristol University assert that in time schools may be forced to provide these pills to less privileged children who would not be able to afford them. The reason is to level the playing field between different social classes so that everyone can fairly compete in the educational arena.

As a caffeine, chocolate and late night draft junky

About Author : Eleni Hoplaros understands how it feels when the struggle to focus becomes more than just turning to a cup of coffee.
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