Pass The Addy: 4 Things To Consider Before Popping Study Pills

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Imagine a huge dim room, lined on every side with heavy first editions, filled to the brim with dark oak tables. Rays of sunlight peak through windows that reach from floor to ceiling, as if hoping to tempt the hoodie-clad students outside of the library and into the gorgeous day. But the students refuse to be swayed, each bent earnestly over laptops and textbooks, studying for finals.

At the fountain in the corner a girl sips from a stream of cold, metallic water. She straightens up, sticks out her tongue and places a peach-y orange circle on the tip, then bends back down and swallows with another mouthful of H2O. Rejuvenated, she rejoins her peers at the long study tables and continues the marathon of studying.

The use of study drugs runs rampant on college campuses. It doesn’t matter if you have a prescription or not— plenty of kids do, and they’re willing to share… for a price. A study by University of Maryland School of Public Health reported that while only 5.3% of college kids are prescribed ADD meds, 31% take them unprescribed. Students who blew off class all semester and are trying to learn all the material in one weekend, or students who cannot seem to give their iPhones a rest, are tempted to use focus pills (Aderall, Vyvace, etc) to give them a chance at an A that they believe they couldn’t get without pharmaceutical help.

Besides the debate over weather use of study drugs should be considered cheating, there are many factors to consider before popping pills to help you focus and work more efficiently. These are four things to consider before making the decision if you should or if you shouldn’t.

1. What Exactly Are You Taking? Even if you know you’re getting Aderall, there are a buttload of different types, including intensity and duration. AD XR is extended release, which means the effect is less intense but lasts longer, about 12 hours. This is similar to Vyvase, another extended release amphetamine that is frequently traded on campuses. IR is immediate release, the drug takes effect right away but lasts only five hours. You should also know the amount: 5 MG (a round white pill), 7 MG (an oval shaped blue pill), and 30 MG (a round orange pill) Addy are all available, and they dictate the intensity of effect. Look up pictures of the pills and know what you’re getting before you get ripped off by some Addy-dealing sketch ball.

2. Do You Want To Sleep Later? Aderall’s active ingredient is amphetamine, or speed, which ups your energy and helps you stay awake. That’s why study drugs are also used to treat narcolepsy (ya know, the disease where you randomly fall asleep places other than your bed). Taking Addy anytime after 3pm will basically guarantee you an all-nighter, definitely not a good plan if you have a final in the AM.

3. Do You Want To Get F***ed Up Later? If all your friends are done with finals and planning to party hard that night, and you’re the one black sheep with a Friday final, it can be tempting to think “alright, I’ll take a pill in the morning, study all day and I can still party tonight!” Basically the worst idea you’ve ever had. Alcohol and weed are depressants, slowing your system, while addy is an upper, which speeds up your heart rate and heightens blood pressure. The combo of uppers and downers can confuse the system, causing black outs and even panic attacks (along with this, don’t smoke weed to help you sleep after taking study drugs). Even if the effect of the pill is technically over, residual effects like high heart rate and blood pressure remain. Seriously, just skip the party or skip the drug. Choose one or the other. There will always be more opportunities to rock out with your cock out.

4. How Many Are You Taking? Let’s pretend you’ve made the decision to get some unnatural help studying. As is the case with basically every substance, once you take one you will inevitably want more. Addy involves a hard crash when the drug wears off, and many people who are prescribed take one in the morning and one in the afternoon to ward off sleepiness. Are you gonna be taking two a day for five days before the exam? Or is just one pill the day before enough? If you chose the former, remember that buying pills is not easy on the bank account. On most campuses, it’s $10-$12 per pill, depending on the intensity and seller. If you’re planning on buying 10 pills, ask yourself if you really need that much, or if you’d rather buy a cute bikini later to award yourself for finishing finals sober.

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