ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

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Jeffort
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby Jeffort » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:21 pm

Unless you have a legitimate medical need for it, taking adderall is dumb and is not going to help increase your LSAT score, instead it will probably decrease it. Plus it can really mess you up since it's a highly addictive amphetamine.

For UG exams that are mainly regurgitation of information tests that you can cram for the night before to pull off a good grade it will certainly keep you awake overnight to go over the stuff you blew off learning during the semester, but so will coffee without all the risks involved with adderall. However, the LSAT is not a test you can cram for at the last minute the way you can do to achieve good grades on many UG tests.

In over 10 years of teaching and tutoring people to help them perform well on the LSAT I've never seen or heard of a case of somebody taking adderall to help their score and it actually helping them improve. Instead, I've heard many crash and burn disaster stories about people that decided to pop some on test day and/or decided to start taking it off and on to be motivated to study for the LSAT.

It will not help you improve your performance on the LSAT, only take it if you have a legit medical need and are taking it according to the doctors orders. The drug messes lots of people up in various ways since it's basically just a pharmaceutical form of speed/meth/amphetamine!

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radar714
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby radar714 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:33 pm

I'm prescribed Adderall but didn't take it to help with LSAT prep because I actually thought it hampered more than helped.

I found that when I was on Adderall (10-20mg IR) I had trouble keeping track of the intricacies of arguments (things like modality, etc) in LR, and my reading speed was thrown off drastically in RC and I'd also get randomly hung up on some portion of the passage. I would absolutely massacre games however, finishing with ~8-10 minutes to spare and consistently -0.

Although it made me a little more focused and driven, I didn't think it helped much at all with the nitty gritty of answering questions. I have friends that will take only 5mg for the "mood boost" it gives you, but didnt work for me.

I think it is more useful for learning concepts and reviewing tests but I wanted to keep my state of mind consistent from study to drilling to PTing, so I avoided it.

Ioannis
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby Ioannis » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:44 pm

happened to me when i took them as prescribed for three months. fucked up my sleep schedule too-- i ended up pulling an all-weeker at one point.

now i take them on and off. feels like shit the day after taking them, but its way better than being cracked out all the time.


ouch, i only had insomina, which was only for one night, if i took it after 1-2pm and i took low dosages (10mg XR, sometimes 20mg XR)if i was really tired

it helps me in a lot of ways that most people wont feel though, sometimes I feel like it "Fixes" me. I'm awake, I don't feel drugged up when I take it I just feel awake like a normal person does.

im always so tired and i dont know why. my blood work is great and i wouldnt say im depressed, i have troubles in my life, a bit rough, but i dont hate who i am or want to truly die. i think well of myself

i'm really hesitate about taking it more because of these addiction stories. but sometimes i feel should be prescribed it...

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SumStalwart
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby SumStalwart » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:47 am

I took adderall a few times, in undergraduate, to help me pull all nighters or blast out a paper (I had a roommate who was prescribed it). That type of usage works. However, the benefit of adderall is the degree of concentration that it allows you-- the absolute focus that you can derive from it. The downside is that you would become too focused on the LSAT and most likely get caught up on the wording of certain passages or the stimulus of one of the LR questions. I doubt that it would add anything to your LSAT abilities, more likely, it would be detrimental.

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togepi
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby togepi » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:47 am

It's only really good for busy work, at least in my experience. The main problem with it is that it tends to make you feel like the smartest person in the world for its duration, which leads to you to "feel" that you've mastered whatever topic you're studying. I used to use them for tests because I was a huge procrastinator in undergrad, and it never really worked out.

Unless you have a shit ton of cleaning to do, it's not worth it.

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HuskyHopeful
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby HuskyHopeful » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:12 am

First and foremost, Adderall is not addictive. I have been taking it sporadically (with prescription) when my workload becomes large or when I need to get a lot of work done fast.

I actually took 5 PTs without Aderall and 5 on it. The 5 on it tended to be 1-2 points higher. Placebo effect or not was a slight increase. From 159-160 to 161-163 with the largest improvement on RC. LG decreased in every case that I was on Adderall.

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Balthy
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby Balthy » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:18 am

Ioannis wrote:
superdingle2000 wrote:
HeavenWood wrote:
sinfiery wrote:It's amphetamines. It isn't a placebo.

That's why they can/do fuck people up.



Yeah, they totally do. I became addicted one semester. It got to the point where I could not think about anything even slightly complex without first taking adderall. I haven't used anything but coffee to enhance studying since that experience.

how often did you take them before you became addicted?

I've been taken them on and off, only when I have like 3+ examsin a span of 2-3 days. I've never felt any withdrawal symptoms or anything



I had a full schedule of upper-level philosophy courses and took addy every time I had to read, write a paper, or study for an exam, so you can imagine how bad it got. I would take 3-4 any night I had a big paper or exam the next day. Though I had to increase dosage, it was always very intense and every time I could feel how well it helped me work, but I thought it was just an incredible aid and didn't realized how badly I depended on it until the last few weeks of school when my supplier ran out. By that time, I couldn't even construct complex sentences without the help of adderall, and I had one more paper due for one class. I realized how bad the problem had become, decided never to take it again, and took about a month to write that one paper (the prof was nice enough to give me an incomplete until receiving it).

I became intellectually dependent on addy, but a few of my friends experienced emotional dependency. It makes some people feel really good and then really bad afterwards, so there's an incentive to just keep taking it.

kckool7
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby kckool7 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:52 am

I've been prescribed various ADD and ADHD drugs since I was a small child. Like most intelligent adderall users, as I've become an adult, I don't take them exactly as "prescribed" (ie: every day, same time. There's just no reason to take adderall if it's Sunday and you're going to spend it with your girlfriend watching the NFL for example). Unlike most of the people in the thread, my diagnosis is definitely legitimate, and I usually struggle to maintain focus throughout an hour long period without it.

During my LSAT prep, I took many PT's on Adderall vs. off it. In the end, I averaged 5 questions better on the medication. +1 LR, -1 RC, +5 LG. For LR, t felt slightly useful for the type of question I struggled with most, parallel reasoning, and the data confirms that. For RC, it made me significantly slower, if more accurate. The accuracy boost wasn't worth the speed detriment for that section. Without medication I finished RC with about 5 min to spare, allowing me to go back and check questions. On Adderall, I finished at the buzzer.

The huge difference was in what is by far my worst section, Logic Games. I consistently made more deductions during the initial set-up on Adderall, and was much more easily able to retain the rules in my head. I'm never really able to finish all 4 games, but Adderall took me from finishing just two of them, to getting through 3 and a half on average.

Just my 2 cents, on a more scientific basis than the anecdotal evidence I've seen in this thread. Obviously, the fact that I actually have ADHD may be a mitigating factor here.

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vpintz
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby vpintz » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:39 pm

HuskyHopeful wrote:First and foremost, Adderall is not addictive.

Lolk

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Puffin
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby Puffin » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:25 pm

HuskyHopeful wrote:First and foremost, Adderall is not addictive. I have been taking it sporadically (with prescription) when my workload becomes large or when I need to get a lot of work done fast.


Ampehtamines are no longer addictive? :roll:

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IAFG
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:43 pm

HuskyHopeful wrote:First and foremost, Adderall is not addictive.

Citation needed (LinkRemoved)

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VUSisterRayVU
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:30 pm

IAFG wrote:
desiballa21 wrote:Doesn't make you smarter but keeps you focused and up. Don't see how that would help for lsat studying?

Focused is different than awake. Able to do higher order thinking is also different than awake. That is where I start to doubt how much adderall actually helps vs. how much people think it is helping them.


Being focused is necessary for doing higher order thinking. Adderall and amphetamines will help you in both. It makes you focused. You might get distracted and focus on something else, but that's your problem, not the drug's.

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IAFG
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:34 pm

VUSisterRayVU wrote:
IAFG wrote:
desiballa21 wrote:Doesn't make you smarter but keeps you focused and up. Don't see how that would help for lsat studying?

Focused is different than awake. Able to do higher order thinking is also different than awake. That is where I start to doubt how much adderall actually helps vs. how much people think it is helping them.


Being focused is necessary for doing higher order thinking. Adderall and amphetamines will help you in both. It makes you focused. You might get distracted and focus on something else, but that's your problem, not the drug's.

You are assuming what you seek to show. I don't believe that it actually helps you very much with focus and perform on complicated mental tasks. That is my personal belief that is shared by at least some others: --LinkRemoved--

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VUSisterRayVU
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:39 pm

IAFG wrote:
VUSisterRayVU wrote:
IAFG wrote:
desiballa21 wrote:Doesn't make you smarter but keeps you focused and up. Don't see how that would help for lsat studying?

Focused is different than awake. Able to do higher order thinking is also different than awake. That is where I start to doubt how much adderall actually helps vs. how much people think it is helping them.


Being focused is necessary for doing higher order thinking. Adderall and amphetamines will help you in both. It makes you focused. You might get distracted and focus on something else, but that's your problem, not the drug's.

You are assuming what you seek to show. I don't believe that it actually helps you very much with focus and perform on complicated mental tasks. That is my personal belief that is shared by at least some others: --LinkRemoved--


Memory and recall don't necessarily correlate to focus on an exam like the LSAT or to one's ability to write a paper.

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SnapSnapSnap
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby SnapSnapSnap » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:04 pm

HuskyHopeful wrote:I actually took 5 PTs without Aderall and 5 on it. The 5 on it tended to be 1-2 points higher. Placebo effect or not was a slight increase. From 159-160 to 161-163 with the largest improvement on RC. LG decreased in every case that I was on Adderall.


I improved as well.

PT Without Adderall: 159-163 (barely finishing)
PT With Adderall: 164-166 (finishing with 1-2 minutes to spare)

Actual LSAT (I've always done well on standardized tests because the adrenaline naturally makes me more focused) with Adderall: 170 (finished with 2-4 minutes to spare on LR/RC, 8 minutes to spare on LG at -2).

170 is not 180, but it's not 159, either. :P

Disclaimer: I am the only person I've ever heard of who had this big of a jump and it makes me wonder if I really do have ADD because, as we've established, Adderall does NOT make you smarter, just more focused. Most people either crash and burn, or have little to no positive effects.

Yeah, I probably have ADD. :(

Theopliske8711
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:10 pm

I have actually had pretty solid experience with adderall. I took it while studying for the GREs a year back. It actually made me wonder if I have ADD as well, even though I am highly sceptical about it. I'm going to try and take it with one of the preptests I take to see how I fare. I never took that much, just a 10 mg an hour before studying every once in a while. I have a tough time keeping my focus while doing the RCs but I am afraid about the other sections. I think you also need to be conscious that your on adderall. If it gets away from you, you will lose tract of time and speed. If you understand and can internalize the fact that your on it, it can help you better, IMHO.

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CalAlumni
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby CalAlumni » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:18 pm

Adderall is absolutely addictive, especially for those without ADHD, for its' strong-effects on the central nervous system engender an intense sensation of well-being, which for many become a state that they cannot live without. In fact, individuals are going to rehab in record numbers for addiction to Adderall and other ADHD stimulants.

Let me explain what ADHD feels like. Imagine being strapped to a chair, forced to sit down for 15 hours without the ability to stand up--you're going to feel really restless, right? Also, imagine that you also just got a call that both of your parents are dying in the hospital, and you can't visit/talk to them--you must sit in the chair. Now, imagine trying to study in this context, you'll feel restless like you can't sit for a moment longer and you can't read more than a sentence without losing concentration....that is what my ADHD feels like.

Adderall gives me the ability to sit down and focus for more than 5 minutes at a time, something non-ADHD people take for granted.

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VUSisterRayVU
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:33 pm

CalAlumni wrote:Adderall is absolutely addictive, especially for those without ADHD, for its' strong-effects on the central nervous system engender an intense sensation of well-being, which for many become a state that they cannot live without. In fact, individuals are going to rehab in record numbers for addiction to Adderall and other ADHD stimulants.

Let me explain what ADHD feels like. Imagine being strapped to a chair, forced to sit down for 15 hours without the ability to stand up--you're going to feel really restless, right? Also, imagine that you also just got a call that both of your parents are dying in the hospital, and you can't visit/talk to them--you must sit in the chair. Now, imagine trying to study in this context, you'll feel restless like you can't sit for a moment longer and you can't read more than a sentence without losing concentration....that is what my ADHD feels like.

Adderall gives me the ability to sit down and focus for more than 5 minutes at a time, something non-ADHD people take for granted.


While this is true, it also has that effect on non-ADHD people as well. This is why it's a popular drug; it lets you focus and calm down. Granted, I've only used Vyvanse, I find it to be incredibly helpful both for work and psychologically/emotionally.

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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:35 pm

I can see how intense it is. My friend has ADHD, it really ruined his academic performance over the course of his life. Only recently was he able to read a book from start to finish (a short one). His ability to focus has always been very very weak (for instance, even remembering routes while driving is next to impossible if you change a single variable).

Another friend of mine just recently went off of an Adderall addiction. It was difficult as hell for him, he was doing 100mg a day by the end, and the psychiatrist was prescribing them even as it was obvious he did not show ADHD in his history.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby rickgrimes69 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:05 pm

IAFG wrote:
Ioannis wrote:
IAFG wrote:I do know someone who took adderall for a whole summer, locked himself away and studied for the LSAT. He didn't score well enough to get into John Marshall and is a waiter now. I don't really believe adderall is as "performance enhancing" as it's made out to be. I suspect a lot of it is placebo effect.

i've used adderall during my academic career

it helps a lot to maintain focus and not get distracted at all
also, you become more interested in whatever youre studying, allowing your memory to work a bit better.

but if you're stupid, no amount of adderall will save you
it will not make the stupid smart.

I would say it would help the smart learn everything more time effectively.

I think it has a small real impact and a big placebo impact.


Ioannis describes adderall pretty perfectly. It's not a placebo impact, it's medication.

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IAFG
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:10 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Ioannis wrote:
IAFG wrote:I do know someone who took adderall for a whole summer, locked himself away and studied for the LSAT. He didn't score well enough to get into John Marshall and is a waiter now. I don't really believe adderall is as "performance enhancing" as it's made out to be. I suspect a lot of it is placebo effect.

i've used adderall during my academic career

it helps a lot to maintain focus and not get distracted at all
also, you become more interested in whatever youre studying, allowing your memory to work a bit better.

but if you're stupid, no amount of adderall will save you
it will not make the stupid smart.

I would say it would help the smart learn everything more time effectively.

I think it has a small real impact and a big placebo impact.


Ioannis describes adderall pretty perfectly. It's not a placebo impact, it's medication.

lolwat. Every "medication" has a placebo effect. That is why we have double blind studies. We are looking for change OVER the placebo's. There are some real questions about what adderall is actually doing for non-perscribed abusers, particularly those with high cognative ability to start with.

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desiballa21
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby desiballa21 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:32 am

[quote="HuskyHopeful"]First and foremost, Adderall is not addictive. /quote]


loolwut. this is false.

HeavenWood
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby HeavenWood » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:11 am

CalAlumni wrote:Adderall is absolutely addictive, especially for those without ADHD, for its' strong-effects on the central nervous system engender an intense sensation of well-being, which for many become a state that they cannot live without. In fact, individuals are going to rehab in record numbers for addiction to Adderall and other ADHD stimulants.

Let me explain what ADHD feels like. Imagine being strapped to a chair, forced to sit down for 15 hours without the ability to stand up--you're going to feel really restless, right? Also, imagine that you also just got a call that both of your parents are dying in the hospital, and you can't visit/talk to them--you must sit in the chair. Now, imagine trying to study in this context, you'll feel restless like you can't sit for a moment longer and you can't read more than a sentence without losing concentration....that is what my ADHD feels like.

Adderall gives me the ability to sit down and focus for more than 5 minutes at a time, something non-ADHD people take for granted.

A sense of well-being? For me, and just about everyone else I know, Adderall moderately increased my focus, but it also made me fucking nuts and I was a nervous goddamned wreck most of the time. Adderall is speed, pure and simple. Note that I have diagnosed ADHD, I was prescribed the drug, and I used it as directed.

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PDaddy
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby PDaddy » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:35 am

SnapSnapSnap wrote:
HuskyHopeful wrote:I actually took 5 PTs without Aderall and 5 on it. The 5 on it tended to be 1-2 points higher. Placebo effect or not was a slight increase. From 159-160 to 161-163 with the largest improvement on RC. LG decreased in every case that I was on Adderall.


I improved as well.

PT Without Adderall: 159-163 (barely finishing)
PT With Adderall: 164-166 (finishing with 1-2 minutes to spare)

Actual LSAT (I've always done well on standardized tests because the adrenaline naturally makes me more focused) with Adderall: 170 (finished with 2-4 minutes to spare on LR/RC, 8 minutes to spare on LG at -2).

170 is not 180, but it's not 159, either. :P

Disclaimer: I am the only person I've ever heard of who had this big of a jump and it makes me wonder if I really do have ADD because, as we've established, Adderall does NOT make you smarter, just more focused. Most people either crash and burn, or have little to no positive effects.

Yeah, I probably have ADD. :(


This is what I was looking for...very interesting, and scary! I understand that you're not trying to influence people to take these drugs (or are you?), but I now see why people are doing it. Please tell me that the next generation isn't going to have to submit to urinalyses at the LSAT testing site. :roll:

This is extremely informative. I'm not going to lie, I have often wondered what I might accomplish if I were to take one of the drugs, but my fear of addiction keeps me from experimenting. Who wouldn't want the advantage of being more..."focused"? We all wonder if we are doing our best.

I know lots of people who use caffeine to stay alert and others who use certain...uh..."plants" to calm them down. What the article appears to be promoting is the notion that these drugs bring people with attention "deficits" to a normal level, and possibly intensify the abilities of "normal" people to absorb information and perform in ways that they otherwise might not - with the obvious caveat that the drugs can be addictive, etc.

If what the article says is true, 98% of us (even the most intelligent) might actually suffer to varying degrees from some type of deficit. Otherwise, how can the drugs help people achieve things they wouldn't otherwise achieve? Maybe the deficit from which most of us suffer is psychological, but is a psychological issue, such as insecurity that one can do well, any less of a deficit than inability to focus because of ADHD?

And why should people diagnosed with ADHD be the only ones to benefit? It almost makes you feel like Tiger Woods watching another golfer with a disability take a cart all over the course. Only reason I won't test it out is because I am scared of drugs. But that could change. Lol.

HeavenWood
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Re: ADHD Drugs now called "Academic Steroids"

Postby HeavenWood » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:37 am

PDaddy wrote:And why should people diagnosed with ADHD be the only ones to benefit? It almost makes you feel like Tiger Woods watching another golfer with a disability take a cart all over the course. Only reason I won't test it out is because I am scared of drugs. But that could change. Lol.

Adderall fucks up a lot of people with ADHD. Taking it unprescribed without a diagnosed attention deficit disorder is just asking for trouble. There are plenty of other drugs that are far less harsh and nearly as effective (though you still shouldn't take them unless you have a legitimate reason).




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