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Amit1

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I just found out a lot of people are taking this drug to increase their performance on the MCAT. They have been taking it every practice test to get used to the results. Is this putting me and everyone else at a disadvantage???

On an up note I study 1/3 as much as those guys and have been ripping them on the practice tests.
 

steve007

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well, if it's a stimulant, it might work against them. think of it, if you have 1 cup of coffee b4 the test, you'll get a little pep and feel good. if you have 6 cups b4 a very stressful test, you'll probably panic. that might happen to those pple taking the drug. besides that, the test is mostly about abstract thinking, i don't think there's any drugs that really help yuo do that. in fact, i think you need a "quiet" mind to see the simple science behind the fancy questions.
 

buggy

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Maybe they should set up a drug test booth there. ;) I've never taken any, how wonder how it feels? Does it make your head crystal clear, or just make you jittery? I'm already jittery enough on the MCAT thing, no more, thanks....
 

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I had a friend here who swore by aderol at finals time. It seemed that it helped him stay up for like 3 days in a row to write papers but he tended to not do well on science exams. That could be that even with the drugs you can't cram a whole semester of chemistry or physics the night before when you've done almost nothing all semester. I don't think you're at a disadvantage cuz if you're desperate enough to use drugs to try to do well, you're probably not doing that well to begin with.
 

Kovox

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I do not advise you take Alderol or Ritalin. If over abused, it will
produce side effects such as a racing heart, confusion, disorientation and even psychotic behavior. Taking or snorting 200-250 mg a gajillion times aday will have you running about like a total moron and you will experience a mild heart attack.

These students, if you can, advise them to stop. If they are overdosing, they will break down and cry during the exam. You will notice that their speech pattern is faster, they will shake (literally), and not keep still.

I've witnessed several of my friends do this to themselves despite my warnings. Stay away from Alderol and Ritalin. You are taking the MCATs, you don't need drugs as a stimulant, just believe in yourself - that should be enough motivation and potential to do well.

Aderol and Ritalin = Prescription for trouble.
 

closertofine

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I don't know anyone who takes stimulants (besides caffeine) without a prescription...maybe because I'm a goody-goody in general...but as I've posted before, I personally take Adderall, and now Ritalin too, to help with sleepiness...they do have some bad side effects, like faster heart rate, jitteriness, etc. if the dose is too high...I do worry about the long-term effects of taking these, but if I didn't I wouldn't be able to function at all...and I am taking relatively low doses...so hopefully no heart attack for me! :confused:
 

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med school.. mcat its all a game.... if your not doing everything you can to win the game.. its your fault.. ya snooze ya lose suckers
 

enamine

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When I take Adderall I feel completely calm and organized. It shouldn't make you feel jittery... maybe you are taking too much. I dunno... but I'll definitely be taking it next Saturday.
 

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Yep I have a legal prescription for Ritalin and I will be taking it as well... I did practice tests with and without and found to have done a bit better with the ritalin. I dont give a crap what anyone else says about it, I dont abuse it and if anything its a psychological edge.....
 

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That's just unbelievable. Medicine is the profession with the highest incidence of drug abuse and you guys are getting started already. :(
As premed students, you should already know that there is o such thing as smart pills. You can take drugs that make you more awake, but if you are already a moron that just makes you a wide awake moron. I hope no one seriously considering taking drugs to "help" their MCAT testing gets into med school. The profession and the patients would be ill served by someone like that.
 

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Adderall is an amphetamine, like speed. Unless you have severe ADHD, don't use it, it will fizzle your brain, shizzle your kidneys, and give you the worst perpetual runny nose ever.
 

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these are the same people that are going to hit up all the drugs during rotations.
 

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these are the same people that are going to hit up all the drugs during rotations.
At least we'll get there.....
 

enamine

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Originally posted by indo
Oh well...it is your organs.
I don't think there have been any long term studies to date showing that there are long-term effects from taking Adderall (amphetamine salts) as an adolescent/young adult.
 

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i dont have ADHD. i took adderall during my practice tests and when i actually took the mcat. it dont usually take it unless i have a ton of work to do and i cant afford to lose time daydreaming. i am not going to speak for everyone, but i am glad i did it, because i didnt lose focus at all during the test and it got me totally concentrating on the work at hand.

btw, Kovox, you have no clue. im not saying adderall abuse isnt a real problem, but you are ignorant of the issues.
 

MrTee

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indyzx said:
i dont have ADHD. i took adderall during my practice tests and when i actually took the mcat. it dont usually take it unless i have a ton of work to do and i cant afford to lose time daydreaming. i am not going to speak for everyone, but i am glad i did it, because i didnt lose focus at all during the test and it got me totally concentrating on the work at hand.

btw, Kovox, you have no clue. im not saying adderall abuse isnt a real problem, but you are ignorant of the issues.
I'm thinking the adderall may help more for practice tests than for the real thing. My reasoning is that when you're doing practice tests, you're not under the gun to perform, and will therefore have a higher chance of having your mind wander. However, during a real mcat, your adrenaline will be pumping and you're going to be more focused than if you were chillin' in your room taking a practice test. So the gain in that situation may be less than during practice.
 

Cerberus

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you are fools if you start abusing adderall to score high on the MCAT. It wont help, it is meant to make people focus better, not take a massive timed test.
 

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I just got a message from south park's counselor Mr. Mackey, he said,


"drugs are bad..umm kay"
 

Kazema

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I don't take any drugs, for recreational reasons nor for school, but I have many friends who do. My personal opinion is that they're hurting themselves by doing so, but ultimately it's their choice. They know what I think, I don't need to or have any desire to preach to them.

Taking Adderall or Ritalin to increase academic performance is a touchy subject. I'm confident enough in myself to believe that I don't need substances to perform at my best. If it helps people concentrate, well that is, again, their choice. They have to live with the side effects to gain the benefits, and they have to be careful that the drug doesn't become a crutch; what happens if they ever have to perform without access to it?

Having no experience with Adderall, my intuition would be that taking it would help studying for something like the MCAT, and not necessarily for actually taking it. This of course only applies to people who do not have ADHD. It's easy to get sidetracked while studying. If you can get distracted while actually taking the MCAT, then maybe you should be getting a legitimate prescription anyway.
 

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Has anyone every tried using propanolol to help relieve anxiety and to increase your ability to focus and study? I have never tried ritalin but while studying for both finals and the MCAT a week ago I tried propanolol to reduce the anxiety. This completely reduces anxiety and makes it easy to focus on what you are studying rather than on the future and tests.
 

freaker

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Medicine is the profession with the highest incidence of drug abuse and you guys are getting started already.
As premed students, you should already know that there is o such thing as smart pills.
Abuse? Well, if abuse implies using a prescription medication for a purpose that would not normally be grounds for granting a prescription but for which the drug would prove beneficial with minimal side-effects, then yes, this was abuse. If you play by the books and not by logic.

I take some nootropics that enhance one's focus and improve short-term memory. And yes, meory retention increases under stressed conditions when taking these nootropics.

People, it's not abuse if you know what you're doing. You can't jump on these people without knowing whether they took the right precautions.

It's like the media getting into a frenzy over ephedra and prohormones when they are basically harmless when used as directed and are far less dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes (and unlike the latter two, can actually enhance one's health). It doesn't make sense to get in a tizzy over this.
 

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What the hell is going on? Is this some new trend that I've completely missed? Back in my day (2001), there was no mention of these things around MCAT. Then again, I didn't really have any pre-med friends, but still... what a sad and weird day we've reached where performance enhancers have made their way into standardized test-taking. Well, good luck to those that did, I guess.

How did all of you actually get the drug?
 

freaker

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what a sad and weird day we've reached where performance enhancers have made their way into standardized test-taking.
Why is it a sad day? People have been recommending carb loading or getting extra sleep for ages. These are types of supplements that best enable someone to perform at their prime. Some other performance enhancers are just that, though they'll never make up for lack of knowledge/mental capacity. The certainly aren't an easy ticket to a high score, and you still have to work your butt off to achieve your score.

It really doesn't suprise me. Supps have proven effective in athletics, though they won't make up for lack of skill or hard work.

I dont' really know about the affects of taking adderall. Possession of a prescription drug w/o a prescription written by a doctor is a misdemeanor, and I don't really think it's worth even the slim risk of getting busted for it, particularly as there are plenty of other effective nootropics out there that are available OTC at most health food stores or online.

Still, who cares if someone takes it so long as they aren't abusing it?

BTW: Did anyone really believe that Mark McGwire was taking andro? Please, that guy was straight juicing.
 

lynnier79

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i had NO IDEA this stuff went on. and i took the MCAT this week!

maybe its because i live in vermont, i dont know.

but aside from the personal and medical benfits and major risks with taking these drugs -- is it legal what you are doing?

if you have gotten the stuff from friends who have a prescription, or if you have somehow gotten it by impersonating a condition and having it precribed for yourself -- that is not just dangerous, its actually illegal.

basically, it seems like that says to me that you are willing to put your friends, your doctors and yourself at risk by lying and evading the law. am i wrong? does everyone else think its totally ok to use drugs that are not prescribed to them? i guess from working in the industry i naivly think that there is a reason certain drugs are only available by prescription -- they are more dangerous than the ones that we get OTC.

now of course, thats not to say that 20 tylenol is never going to cause a problem, but i think my point is clear.

we spend a lot of energy and time on MCAT day fingerprinting and verifying that the work we are doing is our own -- things that seem ethically and legally important. it seems to me that the illegality of using drugs that are not prescribed appropriately should also raise concern.

thats just my $0.02, and of course im sure that people who use this stuff will explain away everything that i have said here.... but i think that its worth thinking about the consequences.

as physicians were going to be expected to help people make tough choices about their lives and the lives of those they love. it might behoove us all to start by being honest with our own bodies.
 

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Really guys, this is pitiful, and dangerous. Adderal is a dangerous amphetamine and it shouldn't be taken as a performance enhancer. To freaker... your statement that "it's not abuse if you know what you're doing" is very reminiscent of the language of people who become addicted to prescription medication. This is a bad road to start down, and success on the MCAT is not worth the terrible risks of drug abuse.

I really encourage you people who use Adderal or Ritalin at your own discretion to stop, because you're only hurting yourself in the long run. This is really nasty guys.
 

freaker

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To freaker... your statement that "it's not abuse if you know what you're doing" is very reminiscent of the language of people who become addicted to prescription medication.
Well, seeing that adderall is addictive (I didn't know this before, but I never considered using it.) would imply that you don't know what you're doing if you start taking it on a regular basis. None of the products that I take have been found to be addictive. I know to take acetyl-l-carnitine with strong antioxidants (usually R-ALA, Vit. C, and vit E), as it has oxidative properties. I also know to take piracetam with choline because it can deplete the body's choline stores. And to take biotin when taking large quantities of R-ALA.

In other words, read the scientific literature before coming down so firmly against a supplement.

I guess my statement is aimed more at the morons who run out and ban products and speak out against them without reading the scientific data or thinking rationally. Again, products like ephedera and now prohormones are being banned when they can actually promote good health when used properly with adequate knowledge of their actions. Please, two cows keel over and die because they overdosed on ephedra, so we ban it. And obesity causes how many health complications? At what cost?

Meanwhile, alcohol and tobacco--two essentially worthless recreational drugs (please, grape juice is just as good as wine)--are still legal and cause far more deaths and health complications. If danger were the primary factor, possession of alcohol would be illegal.

Why are they still legal? Because the government can drain tons of money from taxing them and they've become part of our culture. And some drugs are definitely prescription drugs because prescription drug companies need to make money off their sale to compensate for funding their research and also to profit--not because of safety.
 

Cerberus

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I'd say most the people here are over reacting to the adderall thing. The benefit of taking it isnt as great as you think and the chance at addiction also isnt as great.
 

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Cerberus said:
I'd say most the people here are over reacting to the adderall thing. The benefit of taking it isnt as great as you think and the chance at addiction also isnt as great.
yeah...just start making meth, I've heard that's 10 times as effective as adderall, there's a larger market for you to sell it to, and your apartment will get cleaned at least once a day :)

to all those that are getting their panties in a bunch over this, chill...if you really feel the need, just spare us the espousing of your judgements here and keep on thinking of yourselves as intellectually superior for not using a drug as a crutch as you seem to imply that everyone who does use it is doing...
 

Shrike

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Many of the replies on this thread are pretty good evidence that you can apply to med school and still not have a clue. Ritalin, Aderal, crystal meth, whatever, will not necessarily send you into a violent tizzy, fry your brain (what does that mean, actually?), or make you go to hell. If taken when it's not appropriate, they can be risky, and there are probably going to be adverse effects on even the best of days. Also, they may not have the effect you want. And none constitutes intelligence-in-a-bottle. But:

In some people, some drugs (notably the two you mention) can increase the ability to concentrate in some people. End of story about efficacy.

In some people, these and nearly every other drug can do bad things, sometimes (rarely, if your dosage is sensible and you don't make a habit of it) real bad. End of story about medical drawbackks; get details before you decide.

Assessment of legal risks for possessing a controlled substance, and moral consequences, are best left to the individual.

If you want to risk it (including the whole legal issue, and that going to hell thing), just be sure to try it on a practice exam or two, well before the real deal. Don't do anything on exam day if you've never done it before.

Now excuse me, I have a shipment of PCP to sign for.


(OK, the inevitable disclaimer: I am not advising anyone to take any medication without the advice and consent of the Sena. . . [oops, wrong professional school]. I have not done so, and don't know whether I would even if I thought it would help. I happen to take Ritalin; ask the shrink who prescribed it whether he thinks it's appropriate.)
 

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mdsadler said:
Has anyone every tried using propanolol to help relieve anxiety and to increase your ability to focus and study? .
Propanolol = XANEX = highly highly highly addictive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

MrTee

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drlexygoat said:
Propanolol = XANEX = highly highly highly addictive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Who cares about addiction, it's worth it to squeeze out an extra point on my MCAT!!!!! :laugh:

Seriously though, I doubt most people who would take the stuff for a few practice tests and an MCAT would get addicted, but you never know.
 

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while an amphetamine will certainly enhance your supposed concentration, it also dulls your brain and your thinking becomes boxed in. i think it'd serve as a crutch for a thinking test like the MCAT.
 

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Lack of knowledge always leads to over reactivity; I?d expect this kind of behavior in other forums, but not in a forum full of future doctors. I personally think that it is best to avoid using drugs as much as possible whether it is Acetaminophen or codeine. But the truth is that society doesn?t know sh** about the real physiological impact of drugs, we have all heard such BS statements as ?steroids give you cancer?, ?smoking weed leads to loss of brain cells?, etc?
 

KatieOConnor

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Stimulants help your performance, whether or not you have ADD. I've been diagnosed with ADD many times during my life, and finally, during college, I decided to try out Ritalin (through a prescription!). The first time I took the MCAT, a few years ago, I wasn't on Ritalin. This time, I was, and I think my performance was much better this time. I mean, I was more prepared, but the Ritalin helped me to focus a lot.

I still have mixed feelings about taking the drug, even though I have a prescription. I keep thinking that I'm "cheating" or "using a crutch." Not enough to stop taking it though.

The problem is so many people take the drug illegally. Now I feel like people who dont have ADD and who DONT take a stimulant such as Adderall or Ritalin are at a disadvantage in some respects. It's kind of like going out for a sports team, and everyone else is on steroids.

But, these stimulants are not uncommon among med students and residents. I mean, who can pull those insane shifts and stay awake and alert naturally? Not many people. Some people stick with coffee, lots of people take something a little stronger.
 

daelroy

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Taking Adderall is one thing. Justifying it is something else. Adderall is a controlled substance. What most of you don't realize is that you can get addicted to it rather easily. Yes, Adderall will provide you with an advantage on the day of the MCAT. You will be able to focus for long periods of time and retain information with great efficiency. The problem with these drugs is that people begin to rely on them. It's easy to say that you will only take Adderall in undergrad to study for the MCAT to get into medical school. But once you are in medical school, you are going to remember that wonder drug that bailed you out during the MCAT. I have an anatomy final in a week, I better pop the Adderall. I'm taking Step I in a week, I better pop an Adderall. Damn, I have a tough time staying awake during this surgery rotation, I better pop an Adderall. And that's how people get addicted to it. They begin to rely upon it much like coffee which then leads to abuse. You don't want to get into a habit of relying on this drug. Adderall has several side effects that can be very detrimental.

My advice is this if you have any history of cardiovascular disease and/or high blood pressure in your immediate family, stop taking it NOW. It could actually be life threatening.

One more thing, if many of you future doctors are thinking of faking the condition to get a legalized prescription of it, be aware that you will have to report you were on Adderrall when you file for your license. Any controlled substances that you take must be reported. Adderall is a controlled substance and you will be forced to report if you want to legally practice medicine. And guess what, lawyers are privy to that information. If you are ever involved in a malpractice suit, that can be used against you in a court of law: "Oh, he is taking Adderall or he or she had a prescription for Adderall, they must have ADD." A lawyer would love to see that.

In my opinion, it's not worth it. There are other ways to help improve concentration. Take Coenzyme Q10, and Phosphatidyl serine which are legal OTC products. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and try to run 20-30 minutes per day. Get lots of sleep as that will improve concentration. And avoid television and try reading more. This advice might be generic. But take it from ex-Adderrall user, these healthy habits have allowed me to improve my concentration and stamina much more than these drugs.

Obviously, those people who genuinely have ADD or ADHD are sufferring from dysfunction and they NEED these drugs in order to function at any normal level. But it's rare that a person genuinely has this condition and often times this condition is intentionally misdiagnosed by an unscrupolous physcian. For every honest physician who refuses to misdiagnose a patient, you can find 3 of them who are willing to write anyone a script for it.

I'm not going to pass judgement, but I do ask that all of you educate yourselves on this drug so you can make an informed decision. Don't just listen to your friends and people like me. Do your homework if you haven't already.
 

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Feel free to take medications to take the mcat if you aren't intelligent or motivated enough to do well without them.

Its really not that hard to focus during the mcat.
 

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You can succeed on your own merit. Many of you think you need an "edge," but you really don't! Have faith in yourself and let that confidence carry you to your much deserved success, not the abuse of some drug. If you can't take the MCAT without relying on Adderall, I fear to think about the day you step into the operating room.
 

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TheFlash said:
You can succeed on your own merit. Many of you think you need an "edge," but you really don't!

Probably right. Everyone should just rely on his or her own inate abilities, even if others are doing things that help their scores. Good thing med school interviews go to everyone who scores well, rather than just the ones who do best.
 

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IcedCube said:
while an amphetamine will certainly enhance your supposed concentration, it also dulls your brain and your thinking becomes boxed in. i think it'd serve as a crutch for a thinking test like the MCAT.
Blacky, a "crutch" is something that supports, or helps, a person. Just thought you should know.
 

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jp_md2004 said:
Blacky, a "crutch" is something that supports, or helps, a person. Just thought you should know.
Right. But when used as a figure of speech, it is the thing that holds you back. (as in using a crutch instead of walking normally). Like the Verbal section was always my crutch on the MCAT.
 
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txguy said:
Right. But when used as a figure of speech, it is the thing that holds you back. (as in using a crutch instead of walking normally). Like the Verbal section was always my crutch on the MCAT.
Nope. It is never "the thing that holds you back." In your example above the crutch does not impede your walking -- your injured foot does. The crutch supports, or helps, you along.
Likewise, if the Verbal section was your crutch on the MCAT, then it was the section that supported, helped, assisted, sustained, etc. your performance on the exam. (And, based on what I've seen so far, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the Verbal section was definitely not your crutch.)
 
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txguy

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indyzx said:
well, at least the posters on this board are nice
lol :laugh:

You misunderstand what I'm saying. When you are on crutches, you are worse off then walking normally. Its a figure of speech, meaning do not take it so literally. I have never heard the expression "_____ was my crutch on ____" to mean support--it always means a hinderance, impediment, etc.

'll agree to disagree. Everybody has their own opinion. :thumbup:

:D
 

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jp_md2004 said:
Blacky, a "crutch" is something that supports, or helps, a person. Just thought you should know.
"Crutch is often used figuratively to refer to an inadvisable measure a person uses to bear up under stress, anxiety or depression. Crutches of this kind include alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and amphetamines."
 

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army brat
jp.org
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IcedCube said:
"Crutch is often used figuratively to refer to an inadvisable measure a person uses to bear up under stress, anxiety or depression. Crutches of this kind include alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and amphetamines."
Yes, Blacky! Now you're getting it! This is exactly how it is used. You, on the other hand, wrote:
"while an amphetamine will certainly enhance your supposed concentration, it also dulls your brain and your thinking becomes boxed in. i think it'd serve as a crutch for a thinking test like the MCAT."
Amphetamine serves as a crutch to enhance concentration.
Amphetamine does *not* serve as a crutch if it dulls your brain and your thinking becomes boxed in.
You conclude that it serves as a crutch because of its brain dulling/boxing in activity. This, Blacky, is incorrect.
 
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