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Use of ADD medication to help with studying...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Chemdude, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Chemdude

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    I overheard a group of people talking about this today. The way they talked about it made it seem like the use of ADD medication(concerta, adderall, etc.) to help with studying is now rampant. Some of them were actually talking about the positive effects it had on their grades. I wasn't aware that people actually use this stuff to help with studying...are people this stupid? Is this now a natural phenomenon?
     
  2. 236116

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    You post here, and you wonder if people are really that stupid?

    Uh....
     
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  3. han14tra

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    It's common at my school. Don't do it. If you get caught, it is considered cheating here and it goes on the record that med schools see. The only people that use it are those who don't keep up with their work, and then get steam rolled during finals. You don't want med schools to know that you can't even do college work without Aderall.
     
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  4. LittleRocker

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    Talk about beating a dead horse :diebanana::diebanana::diebanana:
     
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  5. 236116

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    Those are bananas.
     
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  6. LittleRocker

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    I made do with the resources at hand, use your imagination :laugh:
     
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  7. Japika

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    A lot of people at my school do it. I have ADD and I don't even use the medication. To must crap to get it. There's a good chance those who are using it, are getting it illegally. IE out of country illegal suppliers.
    But yes, it does help you study.
     
  8. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    :beat: :beat: :beat:

    Fixed. :D
     
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  9. 236116

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    whacking the banana =/= beating a dead horse :eyebrow:
     
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  10. 236116

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    :D:love:
     
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  11. caveat87

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    It is unfortunate that some people are using amphetamines without a prescription in order to "gain an advantage" when studying or taking tests.

    But on the bright side, those that earn their grades and test scores without drugs can look back on their accomplishments as the manifestation of hard work and dedication.
     
  12. LittleRocker

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    The smiley face window scrolls to the right... missed that one, I feel dumb lol. :shrug:
     
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  13. NTF

    NTF PGY-6
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    :poke: I like this one.
     
  14. LittleRocker

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    I think once :bang::claps::prof::shrug::poke: is taking over a thread, then it's time to

    :lock::lock::lock::lock:

    teach this guy how to use a search function
     
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  15. drcarter77

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    I just found out my roomate was buying ritalin illegally and taking it to study yesterday. from what i can tell its pretty common at my school. People buy the pills from people who actually have prescriptions and then take it for studying. Its probably not horribly dangerous as drug use goes, but its still a schedule II drug so it can be somewhat serious I guess.
     
  16. 236116

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    mooooooooooooooooooooooooom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    little rocker's being meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    he won't let me use lots of smiliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
     
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  17. xx216xx

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    This just in: alcohol is being used to get drunk
     
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  18. silverlining1

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    Getting in on this thread just to LOL at this.
     
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  19. 236116

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    *curtsies*
     
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  20. MadEvans

    MadEvans is a warm gun
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    Makes them pathetic and you superior.
     
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  21. LittleRocker

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    Well suppose there were supplements that vastly increased your cognitive ability with few or negligible side effects, wouldn't everyone wanna be on this? For the sake of discussion, couldn't you argue that people who don't get polio vaccines are superior and people who do get them are pathetic? Isn't this cheating nature? So who's to say that cheating nature in one form is OK but in another (ie increased mental performance), it isnt?
     
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  22. GoBeers

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    dude everyone i know does it and all it does is get them good grades! arrggh:mad:
     
  23. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    okay, who else watches boston legal? This exact thing was on one of the recent episodes. High schooler takes ritalin before her SATs, she gets a perfect score. She was accepted to Harvard but they found out (she told them) and they took her acceptance away even though technically she didnt break any rules or laws....

    P.S. I cant believe that show is over. It was amazing.
     
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  24. iampremed

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    school admins, that's who.
     
  25. majahops

    majahops YOU are great.
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    I saw it. They painted some of the arguments in an interesting light. As a person with bonafide ADD - who can't work/socialize/study at ALL off of medicine, but can work/socialize/study reasonably well ON medicine - I'm not sure how I feel about people without ADD taking ADD medications to study. I certainly don't view it as "cheating," given that I do it every day... All I can say is that if I didn't absolutely NEED to take stimulants to study, I surely wouldn't. The side effects of sleeplessness, high blood pressure and resting heart rate around 100 bpm wouldn't be worth the marginal study benefits to me.

    ... Then again, there are SO many people out there with sham ADD diagnoses that distinguishing between "having ADD" and "not having ADD" is just one step above totally irrelevant.


     
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    #25 majahops, Dec 15, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  26. Decicco

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    #26 Decicco, Dec 15, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  27. iampremed

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    cool. when "cognitive enhancement" drugs become legal, a school's educational quality will be nothing more than measure of how much adderall or ritalin its students can afford. and to help the poor folks, these drugs will have to be offered as part of financial aid. damn. i think i graduated too early.
     
  28. I am the Stig

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    Were it not exam time, I think there'd be more responses. The Nature article is one that is making an ethical/moral argument and completely lacking in scientific evidence. Amphetamines, cocaine, and other dopamine re-uptake inhibitors do cause decreased natural functioning in the dopaminergic neurons. The most basic way of imagining it is as Le Chatelier's principle:

    Dopamine(in synapse) + receptors ---> signalling

    If you use amphetamine to increase the dopamine available in the synapse, over a short period of time the number of receptors decreases to account for the over-stimulation from the abnormally high levels of dopamine.

    So, when you're off the drug you may have normalish levels of dopamine but decreased numbers of receptors. So, now you've basically given yourself a problem with concentrating on your own that you previously did not have.

    Love your brain and its natural chemistry.

    Some will say that there have been no studies showing this over the very short term; however, I've seen studies that demonstrate this happening permanently over a period of one to two months.

    Personally, I do not think the risk is worth it.
     
  29. caveat87

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    I thought amphetamines worked by temporarilly blocking dopamine transporters as well as serving as MAOIs. Why would the number of receptors decrease if the binding was temporary and nascent dopamine levels were re-established?
     
  30. I am the Stig

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    I was a bit unclear in that first post. Amphetamine increases both the amount of dopamine released into the synapse and runs the dopamine reuptake transporter in reverse so that instead of recycling dopamine from the synapse back to the pre-synaptic neuron, it does the reverse.

    I'm not entirely certain of this, but I think the way it would act as an MAOI is by acting as a substrate for monoamine oxidase and thereby acts as a competitive inhibitor. I haven't read anything yet about how monoamine oxidase levels change (or don't change) in response to chronic exposure to amphetamine. I'll look into it after finals.

    I understand that the number of receptors decreases to counterbalance the over-abundance of dopamine when the drug is in effect (I think 12 hours is the duration of the effect). And this is, of course, with repeated use. Its been a few months since I read the details, but there are several receptors involved. So, while the dopamine levels are normal when amphetamine use is stopped, the denistiy of receptors/transporters may not return to prior levels if the exposure had been chronic. E.g. in cocaine and methamphetamine users, years after they've stopped taking their drugs of choice, the down-regulation of receptors/transporters does not appear to return to normal.

    Why their down-regulation is permanent? I do not know. I'll try finding some articles on that issue and post them here later (on Friday). Sorry that I can't offer anything more than the basics I remembered.
     
  31. Dulcina

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    it is quite quite common. I'm diagnosed as ADD and I used to take ritalin (in like 2nd grade lol) and then addrerall, but dont take anything now. It does help with studying, but I've found a way to structure my studying so i stay focused. Yes, it is used illegally quite heavily.
     
  32. M1medhr

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    Coming from someone with ADD and is currently on meds, I find it a little irritating that others are using it to make up for their laziness.

    Having said that, I don't think it's that big of a deal. While it is irritating to me personally, what others do or don't do has no other tangible effect on me. All I can ever really ask for is a treatment to help me concentrate on daily tasks and calm the chatter in my head so I can study, plan, organize, learn. If other people are taking it to stay up and cram all night then so be it. A lot of you are saying that it gives them the unfair advantage, and I can see where you're coming from. On the flip side, is the ability to cram really well an advantage? The drugs put someone like me on a normal functional level, and so the argument is that they must take people who don't need them to some higher level of functioning beyond what they are normally capable of. I just don't see that as valid reasoning.
     
  33. Chemdude

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    I'm aware that this topic has been discussed before. I just wanted to bring the topic up again...just because it has been discussed before doesn't mean we can't discuss it anymore.
     
  34. Rabbit36

    Rabbit36 Lagomorphadelic
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    You're right, we can discuss it as long as we like. I just think we don't like anymore :bang:
     
  35. MDman87

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    Ahhh, yes. Amphetamines. . . I have a friend who actually is ADD. He takes Adoral like they're candy in order to keep his grades up and maintain his scholarships. What's worse, he gives 'em away to anyone who asks. He'd always ask me if I wanted any when we were studying. . . I try to warn him, but what do I know. All he cares about is keeping those scholarships
     
  36. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    Thank you. ADD as it is defined currently in the DSM is a disorder that, untreated, would be crippling to even a modicum of academic success.

    There are multiple posters on SDN who will tell you, in all apparent seriousness, that they never realized they had ADD until they got to grad school. The current med-student definition of ADD seems to be "an inability to study biochem for more than 2 hours straight" or "an inability to get a 95% on every test I take."

    The use of the term "I'm ADD" has become like the phrase "I'm starving" -- exaggeration that is a bit insulting to people actually suffering from the conditions described.
     
  37. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    [​IMG]

    I hope all you people with ADD can overcome your serious mental handicap, and I hope all you people without ADD, but taking ADD meds can get rid of your drug addiction. I am rooting for you! :thumbup:
     
  38. majahops

    majahops YOU are great.
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    I hope you can overcome your appropriate-empathy handicap.

     
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  39. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    Whoa calm down buddy! I was being sincere...I guess it doesn't come across well on the internet. I mean those people are seriously addicted to drugs if they do not need it and can't get off the habit! Not to mention, casual use of ADD medications is an insult to those who really have ADD.

    As for people with ADD, all I meant to say was that it's a very serious and real disease which is a result of chemicals in the brain and therefore a mentally related disorder. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of that. I guess it came across differently, again...internet :\

    But regardless, my apologies if your feelings were hurt because you misinterpreted my post as any sort of bashing. Cheers!:thumbup:
     
  40. 202781

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    Seriously big guy? yeah Adderall does work to get you focused as crap! it is unethical though. I have friends who basically use it and neglect all their work all term until the final and cram with it. It works (I have not tried it). I think that if you use it, it will help in the short term but will not be "the way" you get through med school.


    CAN WE STOP WITH THESE ******ED THREADS ALREADY???? The question has been answered

    bottom line...Adderall makes you focused as ****...but if you use it that is your choice and I believe (as well as many others that in addition to being illegal for those without perscriptions that it is unethical and pathetic for someone to use...manage your time better and you dont need it)

    These threads bore me! I am bored
     
  41. Blesbok

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    Why is it ok for you to take it but not for them?

    If you can use it to gain advantage over your natural baseline, what makes them horrible people for wanting to improve on their baseline? Just because your cognitive baseline is lower than theirs does not mean that you should be able to take something then criticize someone else for doing the same thing.
     
  42. 202781

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    I agree with this. Everyone makes their own decisions. If you want to take it then take it...if you dont then dont take it I dont care. you are doing something illegal but I dont think all laws are just anyway so I dont really give a ****. Personally I dont need it to get into 4 medical schools pre-december but if you do then whatev.
     
  43. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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    Use search for the 20+ page thread on using ADD medication, and if it's wrong, good, helps, doesn't help.
     
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  44. Bacchus

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    He's impeded, the other's aren't. Reference a few posts above in which Amory quoted another such example. You basically just told this guy, "Sorry, you're stupid. Deal with it."
     
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  45. Blesbok

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    How do you figure? Maybe my impaired state is just the normal level for a medical student. Just because he is impaired to a below normal state doesn't make any difference. Just because a car has 500hp from a naturally aspirated engine doesn't mean that it doesn't need a turbo on top of that.


    The only thing stopping every single person in this thread from using Ritalin on a regular basis is the fact that it is illegal. If it wasn't illegal not a single person in this thread would have any problem with using it to gain the extra advantage and beat out the competition. I know I sure as hell would be using it right now if it weren't for the fact that it is illegal and getting caught is not worth the risk.
     
  46. M1medhr

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    Somehow I don't think you understand what I'm getting at. I'm also not entirely sure why you are being hostile or downright offensive. You're now talking about cognition? my cognition is well above average, my concentration is not. Please, don't insult me. I went into this before, but the bottom line is this: there is normal physiology, then there is pathology. Pathology is any system not functioning within the normal confines of what is considered normal. People who don't have ADHD can focus without assistance. Please who have it can't.

    Besides, Adderall doesn't increase cognition, and your use of the term leads me to believe that you don't know what the **** you're talking about, quite frankly.
     
  47. M1medhr

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    Right, lets forget about the fact that it's an amphetamine. Let's forget about the fact that it's highly regulated because it is addictive. That it stresses your cardiovascular system and makes you feel like **** all the time. But you're right, I LOVE taking adderall. I love not being able to eat, having a heart rate of 90, and having to balance my God damn life around a pill. If I could focus my thoughts on anything for more than 2 minutes I swear I would dump every pill down the drain. Or maybe send it over to you. Seems like you're struggling with some issues of your own.
     
  48. Blesbok

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    I apologize for my misplaced terminology. Concentration. Maybe if I had some ritalin I would have been able to concentrate on what I was typing rather than what I was studying.

    But the fact remains that just because you are below the normal limits does not make it ok for you to be hypocritical about someone using a drug to gain advantage over their baseline. You are using a drug to cheat the hand that you were dealt in life, so when someone else does the same judgment isn't warranted on your part.

    I don't mind someone taking it, but I find it funny that someone that is using a drug is so judgemental of anyone else that uses it.
     
  49. Decicco

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    :clap: It seems like there are arbitrary lines drawn for what is ok and what isn't when it comes to cognitive enhancement. Caffiene is OK? Is it OK for military members to use stimulants? Under what circumstances? And remember, cognitive enhancement is not just about adderall. There are many drugs out there that are used to treat neurological disorders that have some evidence of being helpful to healthy people as well. Sure, there are some short term problems of making these availible to everyone, even if they are regulated. But, this is the 21st century and I think that use of many of these drugs by the healthy is begining to lose its taboo. Furthermore, moderate and responsible use of these can be both safe and effective.

    Perhaps he or she was refering to the Nature article I posted that lists adderall as a medication that can serve in cognitive enhancement?
     
    #49 Decicco, Dec 16, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  50. Blesbok

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    I am not struggling with any issues. I am getting by just fine without any help, but I am not going to lie about it. If I could walk down to the grocery store and buy something that would make me a better student, I would do it in a heart beat and so would everyone else in this thread.
     

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