In today’s competitive world, most parents nurse a strong desire to see their children win in every sphere of life. They put their heart and soul to help their children develop the necessary life tools they find important. Sadly, not many children are able to keep pace with the ever increasing competition and eventually lose focus on the important target of building self-confidence to combat the ups and downs of life. Many of such children resort to off label “brain-boosting drugs” to improve their academic performance.

It has been found that some children are more nervous and jittery just before exams than others. While there is a constant pressure from parents and teachers to excel in academics, a child can feel extremely burdened under the increased expectations of near and dear ones. Therefore, a lot of emphasis is given on sharpening memories through memory-enhancing exercises, a good diet and medicines. But the use of “smart drugs” to enhance one’s cognitive skills is certainly the riskiest thing in a student’s life.

Effects of performance-enhancing drugs

Researchers believe that the students who take new-age cognitive enhancers can improve their mental functions only to a certain extent, while regular intake can expose them to numerous health risks. Commonly prescribed for serious conditions like Parkinson’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), smart drugs have a significant bearing on the lives of the students.

According to the experts, three medicines, including modafinil (marketed under brand name Provigil), methylphenidate (better known as Ritalin) and donepezil are selling like hot cakes among the students. While modafinil is used for the treatment of narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, Ritalin is commonly prescribed to patient with ADHD to increase their alertness and donepezil helps treat Alzheimer’s disease.

These memory-enhancing drugs tempt students owing to their potential to increase cognitive agility, alertness and the ability to concentrate on a particular task. Surprisingly, it is not always the students who are inclined to use these smart drugs. Many parents nowadays suggest and coax their children to take such medications to excel in their academics. Researchers have also noticed some users persuading the doctors to prescribe these drugs or getting them illegally over the internet.

Studies have shown that of all the smart drugs, modafinil is relatively safe as it does not cause any serious side effects. The drug was reportedly found to help students perform complex and difficult tasks by enhancing their cognitive functions. However, a regular intake of brain boosting drugs without any medical supervision can potentially lead to several health complications, such as insomnia, headache and stomachache.

Studies have shown that the drug affects the same areas of the brain involved in substance abuse, which in turn increases the risk of prescription drug abuse among regular consumers. The results also highlighted that the disruption in sleep pattern caused by the drug is similar to that caused by cocaine. Disturbance in sleep pattern can lead to development of various mental disorders.

According to researchers, more effective compounds might develop in the near future, which are expected to encourage “academic doping” among school students and collegegoers in the United States.

Leading a drug-free life is possible

According to the 2016 Monitoring the Future Survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription opioid abuse has declined among the high school students over the past five years. However, youngsters need to be better informed and should be offered alternate therapies to handle stress, since misuse of prescription drugs may prove to be a gateway to addiction.

If you know someone who is addicted to prescription medications, seek help from the Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline to know about various rehab centers in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-450-1557 to learn more about the prescription drug addiction rehab in your vicinity and find immediate help regarding any prescription drug abuse issue.

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