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For those who do not know: Ritalin is a drug originally developed to enhance the concentration of children with ADHD. The idea was that they would no longer be educationally/academically disadvantaged for life because they'd not been able to concentrate in school. Anyway, the drug definitely works (and is widely prescribed for kids with the condition as it has few side-effects). So somebody had the bright idea that it be tested on the elderly in order to help with conditions such as dementia in terms of continuing good brain functioning for as long as possible - and indeed it worked for that too! It's not yet widely given to the elderly suffering from these problems (to my knowledge) but the potential is there. Finally it was tested on "normal" people in neither of the other two categories and lo and behold it helped improve their concentration too.

Ritalin is frequently (apparently) taken by academics and students, most notably in the US, and is available on the internet for people to buy in order to help them with studying, papers and their exams - its use is on the rise. There's some sort of scary statistic about 2-3% of 13-14 year olds in the USA having used it to help them with a test! Similarly there are high statistics for people in slightly more important years (e.g. the IB years or University). Naturally the group whose views on this subject are most important are the group of users - students! Which is all of us.

Obviously Ritalin has the ability to confer certain advantages on those who use it. Do you consider it acceptable to use it? Should it be available only on prescription? Have you used it? Would somebody who used it to study for or take an exam be "cheating"?

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Haven't used it, never would use, don't know anyone who has used it.

I consider it cheating unless you're taking it for a legit reason (as in you actually have ADHD). Learning to prioritize/not procrastinate too much/having self-discipline and motivation are important life skills that need to be learned which people won't if they rely on a drug as a crutch to help them out when they find it difficult to concentrate.

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In Australia Ritelin is used only for children with ADHD and only then sparingly as 1. Many people feel that the control of a child through the use of drugs is wrong and 2. The rates of depression and suicide generated from ritelin abuse (and normal use) is too high for comfort. Ritelin may give ADHD students an advantage at school, but prolonged exposure may have detrimental effects, particularly if it is as liberally used in the States as you imply. A few students while studying in their senior year take caffine pills, but I have only heard of that once or twice. Stay away from enhancing drugs at all cost. They may hinder your real intellectual and study habits from developing.

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Obviously Ritalin has the ability to confer certain advantages on those who use it. Do you consider it acceptable to use it? Should it be available only on prescription? Have you used it? Would somebody who used it to study for or take an exam be "cheating"?

Hmm well I don't want to tell someone that he/she is forbidden from using it as long as the individual is educated. And if we don't know the possible side effects of long term use, then I don't think it should be an over-the-counter medicine. Once that's all been fleshed out, and people are aware of the possible harm it can do, then it should be their choice. However, I'm not comfortable with 8 year olds taking them. I can just imagine some parents wanting their kids to be spelling bee champions and training them as infants, and I don't want them to be able to give their kids ritalin. ughh

Is it cheating? If an entire group is given the access and means to buy the drug, then it levels the playing field. I would actively choose to abstain. Using the drug might help in the short run, but like people mentioned, it would probably become a dependency. If people choose to take the risk, then that's their mistake. We tried to ban certain drugs which only lead to widespread usage. It's the better of two evils to be able to regulate it. And you can always tax the shizz out of it as a deterrent, if it comes to that.

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As someone who takes a prescribed stimulant similar to Ritalin for my ADHD, I can definitely understand why some people would abuse it. For myself, in order to focus much longer than a couple minutes, I need to take the medication. However, for someone who already has the ability to focus, large amounts of stimulants would probably make them insanely focused.

Do you drink coffee before morning classes? How about tea or soda? Caffeine has essentially the same effect on your mind as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dextro-stat. Thus, I would say that taking Ritalin before a test would not be cheating because it would simply be focusing what you already have in your head. It doesn't make you smarter or better able to do anything besides help you stay on the task at hand. If you think taking Ritalin is "cheating", then drinking a coffee is also cheating.

Either way, if a person without a prescription for Ritalin is going to use it, I beg them to rethink their actions. If a professional has not decided a correct dosage for your specific body (heart conditions, genetics, other medications, etc) then you run a risk of messing up your heart. Example: a resting pulse of 150 bpm for 6 hours straight.

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There was a TIME article about this very subject.

Of course there would be risks involved with taking any sort of drug - but for the sake of debate, let's assume that scientists develop a drug which has absolutely no side effects, which increase your mental abilities (memory, concentration) etc. Would you take it?

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I'd be totally cynical. I wouldn't take it, thinking there might be some unknown long term effect that isn't noticed until years after you've taken it. Plus why strain your kidneys and liver? & "drug" has such a negative connotation that I can't really overcome my instincts without a compelling reason.

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I'd be totally cynical. I wouldn't take it, thinking there might be some unknown long term effect that isn't noticed until years after you've taken it. Plus why strain your kidneys and liver? & "drug" has such a negative connotation that I can't really overcome my instincts without a compelling reason.

A compelling reason, such as... having two more tests to study for by tonight and it's already midnight?

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Nope. If that was the criteria, I'd be popping pills right, left, and center :D

More like if "I don't take this, I'm gonna hurl"-ish reasons. Plus, if I don't own it, the temptation isn't there, ya know?

But think about it - this drug has no side effects. Unrealistic, but we're talking about the future, where presumably this is possible. Not taking the drug would be honorable, but I mean, why not? You're only putting yourself at a disadvantage versus the other students.

Edited by purple

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I think I said this somewhere above, but I've grown up with the negative image of taking drugs. I don't even like to take Advil or Tylenol or Ibuprofen unless I'm about to cry from pain or something. Even if there were no negative effects, there would still be my negative perception of it, so I still wouldn't take it. Now if I was born when taking these risk-free pills was already the norm, I wouldn't have any compunctions about it.

Let me see if I can draw a parallel. Last year, I never used Sparknotes in English. When we were asked to review a book, I manually went through it. I ended up getting a worse grade once than my peers, but my grade didn't really suffer much for it, so it wasn't a big deal. And I got the benefit of knowing I didn't need Sparknotes. I don't know how valid of an analogy that is, but whatever

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I think YAY.

I have witnessed and experianced the effects of ritalin. IT WORKS MIRACLES. And I don't think it is cheating, because all ritalin does is calm you down and make you focus. It doesnt give you extra answers or make you super smart.

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I say yes.

Firs of all, im not saying it is exactly like coke, but very similar comedown. (depression) so dont go posting these things, under 16s may also be reading this and may go to their dr. saying i have ADD give me stimulants.

I don't think it is really cheating, and if it helps, it should be used. Its nothing like steroids.

Steroids... thats not the problem here.

Its not about cheating, its about brain cell popping, which is irreversible-

Obviously it depends on your age and how far developed your brain is.

We all have two eyes, two ears and a nose.

But not one person in this world has the same chemical levels in their brain as the other = difference of personality

It depends on you, but i would not recommend it. It is a stimulant! depending on you taking Adderal, or Ritalin, Ritalin has a very similar (not exact) effect on your personality as speed, cocaine and other stimulants. Many students abuse it, thats true. But dont think that if the others do it, you can too. You may end up not being to concentrate at ALL without it. It doesnt get addicting, but (significantly) when you come down off of it, you become depressed, anxiety attacks etc... you get the gist

Narcotics and other non mentionable (as this is a students forum) medicines may do something healthier and better for you.

The internet is bad, i repeat, the internet is badder than bad. Students who snort ritalin, found out from the internet. Thats why i really hate technology, even though im only 20.

If you want to just test it to see how it feels, listen to deadmau5. Thats how it feels, dark vibes, mixed with an uncomfortable awake. Life speeded up.

If you want to use ritalin for this, go ahead. But i would only use it for cleaning up the apartment in a rush before my parents come in.

And it is always the little kids who say "its just for studying" who end up in the drug culture.

The problem is, parents in our generation dont see the harm and say, well it better than mary jane and it will improve your grades, so go ahead.

You see what the IB does to you? Dont do it, say #§!* the IB and just do your best naturally. What has our world come to...

And if you dont listen to me and decide to use it for study, MAINTAIN doctor supervision, dont drink alcohol and take B-complex apatite stimulant and receptor blockers (for tolerence).

My brother takes it for ADD and i study neurobiology, so i know what im talking about.

Any other Q's feel free to email me.

PS. fellow IB students, dont think that every IB student takes it so you can too. You are wrong and this is a mistake you will regret. Dont be fooled by the above posts.

You are playing with fire, jobs don't care about how will you did in IB.

Edited by fali2009

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Sorry for hijacking your thread Sandwich, but the problem is not about cheating. First remind yourself that stimulants "stimulate" the activity of neuro-junctions. Unnaturally. There is an even higher statistics for IB'ers and i would estimate 30% from what ive seen and heard. I personally only tried it once to clean myself up after night with a major hangover and to clean up before my parents got there. It works but understand why.

As someone who takes a prescribed stimulant similar to Ritalin for my ADHD, I can definitely understand why some people would abuse it. For myself, in order to focus much longer than a couple minutes, I need to take the medication. However, for someone who already has the ability to focus, large amounts of stimulants would probably make them insanely focused.

Do you drink coffee before morning classes? How about tea or soda? Caffeine has essentially the same effect on your mind as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dextro-stat. Thus, I would say that taking Ritalin before a test would not be cheating because it would simply be focusing what you already have in your head. It doesn't make you smarter or better able to do anything besides help you stay on the task at hand. If you think taking Ritalin is "cheating", then drinking a coffee is also cheating.

Either way, if a person without a prescription for Ritalin is going to use it, I beg them to rethink their actions. If a professional has not decided a correct dosage for your specific body (heart conditions, genetics, other medications, etc) then you run a risk of messing up your heart. Example: a resting pulse of 150 bpm for 6 hours straight.

You obviously haven't studied the Option E in your biology class so listen up.

Coffee is also considered a stimulant. Coffee is SUPPOSED to make you feel that way... Are you we clear until now?

RITALIN on the other hand, is used for ADD disorders.

If you are ADD and take R: you become calm, no distractions, can focus, will not become jittery, you will feel "normal"

If you have a normalized and balanced chemicals in your nervous system: **** jittery, psychological disorders such as lip biting, thinking about 1000 different things at the same time, change in personality, heart rate improved, anxiety, insomnia and sometimes even anorexia.

What do this to yourself? This is not the point of IB. Yes, the amount in MG will be defendant on the damage you do.

I am extremely defendant about this topic as i have seen to many people fall into this hole, and when you do. You will need more tools you can imagine to climb back up.

One last thing, if you are thinking of taking this, dont think; that since it has no smell, wont change the way you talk etc.. makes it safe for people not to notice. nonononono

Your friends may not notice, but you science teachrs will. Especially your bio teacher as your pupils will increase by 50X you will become jittery without noticing it, you will start changing subject every 30 seconds and will become aggressive/moody.

It wont help you get better grades, but it might help you stay up at night.

And if you ask if you can get high off of it? No. DOnt even try its stupid.

Study psychology, its the only thing left in this world that is interesting and will make you understand what to take, what not to take, and what to tell others not to take.

Edited by fali2009

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Haven't tried it.. yet.

Plan on it. In the near future. To see if it will be worth taking for the IB exams :blink:

I dont really consider it cheating or bad. Someone brought this point up as well, and then someone used a similar example. Some kids I know have taken cocaine to feel calm about long projects they have delayed, and stayed up for about 2 days working on them. Friend did that for his EE :) Took him 2 days to study it up, gather resources and write the paper and he is predicted an A. The biggest joke that week was that he got commended for exceptional historical analysis, and we all knew why. Sooo...

the point is that to those kids it wasnt cheating or unfair to take cocaine, but when someone did similar with Ritalin just for pure concentration on a chemistry lab write up, everyone thought it was unfair.

I dunno. In college no one cares what you do, as long as you have it done. I have been told from dear friends that in a IVY League school (wont put names because its omnipresent throughout), weed is a common traffic for concentration purposes.

The point is: As long as you finish the term report no one should care.

On the other hand, some pre-meds at local college ruin Physics labs for other people to get a bump ahead. That is cheating, Ritalin is not :)

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I'm walking on the same line as fali2009. Personally I don't think it's cheating, but I worry for them who use it.

* According to my experience there is ALWAYS negative effects to any medication/performance enhancers/anything thelike, even if there are none on paper. (If there is a way up, there's a way down; if the way up is steep and long, the way down is likely to follow).

* I personally would never buy any medication/drugs* off the internet unless it is a VERY trusted source (for medication, NEVER EVER if it is a medication that needs prescription where I live or if it's a drug). You can never know if you're getting the real thing. Fake medicines are often impossible to separate from the originals unless analyzing the contents in a lab. And IF you get fakes they are likely to have rests of other substances, colouring, dirt and not having the right ingredient balances. People can die by having just a 1/1000 part of the wrong substance.

* You will probably not get the right dosage. Of.c. you can calculate that for yourself if you have the proper dosage instructions in the packaging - but how can you be sure that they are correct? And what if they are and you just make a small calculation error?

I may (do) sound a bit dramatic, I'm not schooled in this else then what I've been able to find on the net (and we know how trustful we should be to the net..). I should also add that I'm extra cautious because one of my friends (or not quite a friend but someone in the same circle of friends) OD:d a medical drug and died. The police analyzed the drug and came to the conclusion that she died because of the impurities in the drug instead of the drug itself, that kinda scared my away from everything even slightly related to that.

To get back to the subject at hand: I don't think it's cheating but neither do I think that using enhancers of any kind should be encouraged for those who don't need it for medical reasons.

*actually I wouldn't buy drugs at all for the reason above. I don't think it's worth the risk of you not getting what you pay for.

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