CBS’s 60 minutes had a great story last week on drug use among college students. Most people think of college students as binge drinkers and maybe occasional pot smokers, but it turns out many college students are increasingly using illegal drugs to help them get through school. Prescription drugs like Adderol, Ritalin and Provigil can help students focus during exams and late night study sessions, but they also have some serious side effects. Adderol has a high abuse potential, can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of seizures and heart attacks. Ritalin often causes nervousness and insomnia, both of which can be a big problem when you have a big exam the next day. Provigil might be a bit safer than Adderol and Ritalin, as it is not an amphetamine and no deaths have occured from its use. However, it too has side effects, including excitation or agitation, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, aggressiveness, confusion, nervousness, tremor, palpitations, sleep disturbances, nausea, and diarrhea.
In addition to the side effects from these drugs, they can be expensive and are illegal. College students who want something safer without any known side effects have also been hearing about Think Gum. In the last few years we have been seeing more and more students using Think Gum to help them make the most of their study time.
I only wish 60 Minutes would have plugged Think Gum as an alternative to illegal prescription stimulants on their show!