Over the past decade, use of ADD/ADHD drugs has increased, especially among those who have not been diagnosed with the condition. Most popular with university students and young professionals, these prescription pills are usually used when an extended study session is being undertaken. The most popular of these pills are Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin. These drugs chemically alter the brain, putting the user into a state of hyper-concentration. Negative side effects include heart problems and dependency/addiction.
Recent Study Shows Abuse
A recent survey was conducted at an Ivy League university in the US, and out of the 600+ students who took part in the survey, around 20% reported that they used ADD/ADHD drugs. This rate of occurrence is much higher than the percentage of people diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. These students relied on the stimulating effects of these drugs to study for exams, write essays, and do research. The students in the survey reported that they felt they needed to be able to stay awake for all-night study sessions. This is not the intended purpose for these drugs, and off-label use is not recommended. Besides being illegal to buy and sell pharmaceuticals, use of ADD/ADHD drugs is not meant for people without ADD/ADHD. In addition, the effects of long-term use are difficult to gauge; however, the effects of prescription pill abuse and sleep deprivation are well known. These activities damage the body and take years off of people’s lives.
Alternatives to ADD/ADHD Drugs
Just as is the case with many medical breakthroughs, the advent of ADD/ADHD drugs has sparked interest in ways to enhance the brain. As an alternative to these pharmaceuticals, a number of all-natural supplements have been developed to provide the brain with beneficial substances that increase blood flow and synaptic communication. The right supplement will bring about the next breakthrough in cognitive development, since these supplements are natural and can be taken daily, for a gradual increase in brain power.