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Stimulant Epidemic In Youth: A Rising Alarm

by Dr Prem Community Writer

Stimulant Epidemic in youth has raised an alarm for everyone. With the ever-increasing demand from the youth, a need to excel in studies and for a teen struggling to get through school, a magic pill is a stuff of legend, which helps them in boosting their grades and coping the stress of final examinations. Also with the incredible use of technology which is influencing in our daily lives every single minute, the culture of self-diagnosing, and self-prescription are rising tremendously. Today’s youth largely depends on the internet for the information and so they don’t feel the need for a prescription or doctor’s advice before taking any drug or a medicine.

A new trend of drugs epidemic in youth: ‘Nootropics’

magic pills

There has been an increasing trend of using smart drugs – also called as the magic pills by the teenagers. These may be in the form of supplements, medications, or other natural substances, which helps in boosting and improving the cognitive function of the brain. This category of drugs which are used for enhancing and boosting the cognitive function is called as ‘Nootropics’. These nootropics have become popular memory enhancers for all school-going students across the country. They are available in the form of tablets, capsules, soft-gels, chewable, liquid, and powders or concentrated herbs.

Stimulant Epidemic in youth popular for improving grades

deep thinking

‘Stimulant’, as the name suggests, stimulates the brain and the central nervous system, elevating the mood, alertness, and motor activity of the body. These stimulants are prescribed to the patient of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) to help them improve their focus, productivity, and alertness by making them calmer and helping them in organizing their thoughts better. The stimulant affects everyone in the same way, no matter if it’s ADHD patient or a normal student who already have normal levels of dopamine. But, there is a misconception among the youth that it helps in improving their concentration and focus which is not true.

Are these stimulant drugs really helpful or they make it even worse?

ADHD

A psychologist from Duke University who has been researching on ADHD and medications associated with the disorders reports that the stimulant doesn’t work. Instead, it creates a problem for the students who use these drugs to get better grades. They don’t allow you to sleep due to excess of neurotransmitters, whether you are studying or not. This ultimately has a negative impact on your body and also affects their performance in the school. There is a misconception among the users that the consumption of these stimulants improves the person’s ability to learn and think. Studies have shown that there is no specific improvement in people who consume these drugs without ADHD symptoms.

Medical students surviving on antidepressants and stimulants

medical student

It is reported that 75% medical students are taking antidepressants to cope up with their stressful life and to fulfill the endless demand of the patients. It becomes difficult for them to work without popping an antidepressant or a stimulant.  It seems that the epidemic of the depressed doctors begins in the medical college itself. Adderall and Ritalin seem to be more popular with the medical students. Though few of them are prescribed by the psychiatrist, there are also students who take it without any doctor’s concern.

Rise in prescription drugs epidemic in youth and adults

opioid addiction

Overprescribing of drugs is mainly done by the doctors who hardly know that the drug which they are prescribing may form addiction in that patient. The doctors began to prescribe more opioids in 1980’s with the increased concern and compassion towards the people who lived in intolerable pain. As the view of the medicine changed in this era, rather than treating the disease, they started relieving the pain for which they started prescribing opioids as a pain-killer on a long-term basis. Opioids are found to be non-effective when used for a long-term. It may even cause serious health issues – making the pain worse and impede the healing process.

Death due to drugs and stimulant epidemic rising tremendously

insomnia

A study has been conducted recently on long-term effects of opioid on the brain, which reports that it depresses the respiration inhibiting the amount of oxygen reaching the brain, which can lead to coma or even permanent damage to the brain. Opioid intoxication is very dangerous which ultimately leads to death. Ritalin, which is a stimulant, may lead to increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, rapid and irregular heart rate, insomnia, and heart failure, which may also cause death. So, even a doctor has to think twice before prescribing such drugs to the patient which has the potential for causing addiction and death. Over a past decade, there has been a terrific rise in the number of death due to drugs and stimulant epidemic.

Awareness has to be made to control the stimulant epidemic in youth

nootropics

Prescription drug abuse and the drugs epidemic in youth is a serious concern, which not only affects the clinical pharmacologists and the physicians but also affects the law-enforcement agencies as well. If these prescription drugs are taken non-medically, they can be dangerous and addictive. Hence, awareness should be created about the use of these stimulants and the prescription drugs, which will help in clearing all the misconceptions that they are safer to use. Teens and parents should be educated about the dangers of the prescription drug abuse and the nootropics, which are commonly used by all the students to achieve the desired results.

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