Daniel Keating looks at the new trend of students taking unprescribed drugs to upkeep concentration for hours on end.
Students are turning to unprescribed drugs acquired illegally to help bump their grades. According to a report in the Journal.ie, it revealed that a number of students are turning towards the use of Adderal, Ritalin, Concerta to help them pass their third level exams. Some students are known to have studied up to 13 hours without any breaks while under the influence of these drugs. So what exactly are these so called “Study Drugs” and can they really help with passing exams?
 
Type of Drugs
 
Adderal: Medical records state that the drug contains a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is used to treat patients with narcolepsy and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). Adderal also carries a string of side effects including nervousness, restlessness, excitability, dizziness, headache, fear, anxiety, agitation. It is strictly prescribed on a medical basis by a medical professional due to the amount of side effects that it carries.
 
Ritalin and Concentra (methylphenidate) is also used to treat Narcolepsy and ADHD and also carries a string of side effects as above. This medication also carries a warning of causing serious side effects that may be life treating therefore it is important that the patient is assessed by a medical professional before being prescribed this drug. It is stated on the manufactures website that "Abuse of methylphenidate may lead to dependence. KEEP CONCERTA IN A SAFE PLACE TO PREVENT MISUSE AND ABUSE.”
 
According to the Health Products Regulation Ireland there is a checklist that must be adhered when prescribing these drugs and the patient must be monitored.
 
How can you get them?
 
The use of virtual pharmacy’s and currencies has made obtaining these drugs illegally easier. A quick search anonymously using Tor could get you up to up to 30mg Adderal pills for a very cheap price. Some students are using PayPal to buy virtual currency Bitcoin to acquire these drugs. This method ensures that noting can be traced and that the consumer remains anonymous.
Responding to this issue, the government have implemented a new drugs strategy for 2017 onwards. The new strategy will cover areas of prevention, treatment of substance abuse, addiction, promoting rehabilitation and reducing the supply of illicit drugs.
 
Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne, TD has called on service users, parents, families, young people, organisations and all members across society to provide their views on the drug situation in Ireland.