Lutz: Avoid drug use to pass that exam

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Every year, college students go through an extremely stressful, difficult end to the semester, when finals and term papers are in order. Overwhelmed with multiple papers, exams or a mixture of both, the stress can lead to some students resorting to heavy drug use.

This could equate to using amphetamines like Speed. While many college students drink and smoke marijuana, based on side effects and studies, neither really solve the problem of staying awake to study prepare or write papers. Drinking heavily significantly increases the chance of the person crashing/passing out. Meanwhile, marijuana slows and relaxes your system down; both are the opposite effect of what your body craves during that time period.

According to the website for the “National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence,” a survey from last October revealed that 29 percent of all college students think ADHD drugs can help improve student performance[s]. Among the 11 percent of students who said that they used stimulants for non-medical reasons from last April-October, almost two-thirds believed that the drugs would boost their grades.

Some students make flash cards and continuously review them ahead of time, some take frequent breaks in between studying, some wake up early to get the task done, while some students pull all-nighters prepping. Other students will resort to using drugs to solve the problem. While it may help temporarily, and entertainment tv makes it seem effective, (See The Sopranos’ episode ‘College’ for more info) it isn’t the right solution.

Last June, CNN reported a study that correlates college students’ grades and their overall sleep schedules. It’s no secret, there’s a higher probability of them getting poor grades [Ds and Fs] when they don’t sleep at all or if they only get so many hours a day.

On top of that, even if a student isn’t a user [or regular user], they may resort to trying drugs like Speed due to peer pressure, too. Even if coffee doesn’t work, it hikes up the chance that some students will try those types of drugs for a one-time-only deal during finals week.

Crystal meth has extreme side effects: increased heart rate, heavy blood pressure, chances of irreversible damage of blood vessels in the brain, increased breathing, convulsions and strokes.

Others use “study drugs” like Ritalin and Adderall. Adderall, like Speed, treats narcolepsy and ADHD. Both significantly affect chemicals within the brain.

Fortunately, most colleges nowadays have treatment/health centers for students who suffer from these dependency problems and are in desperate need of help.

The biggest problem is that it may take way past finals week before a student admits their problem or seeks a counselor about the addiction. By then, there’s a chance that the student missed the last class and failed the exam, since stimulants can lead to a huge crash.

Control what you put into your body. Seek guidance — even if it’s with a parent or friend.

Studies hardly ever lie. Do the math. If you take something like Speed and fail the test regardless, there will be heavy reparations: mentally, physically and financially. College isn’t free and neither is a clean bill of health. Whatever method of studying for an exam or writing a paper you resort to, do the right thing.

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