Fifth of students use study drugs, says survey
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One in five students has taken ‘smart drugs’ in order to boost their productivity, according to a survey. Prescription medications, including modafinil and methylpheni, are used by a fifth of students – despite the fact that half of those taking them admit experiencing side effects such as sleeplessness, headaches, loss of appetite and increased need to urinate. These drugs are most often prescribed to patients suffering from brain disorders. One of the most common, modafinil, is a stimulant that prevents sleepiness during waking hours and is often prescribed to those suffering from narcolepsy. The effects of modafinil are not fully known – although it has been suggested that some smart drugs could lead to prolonged anxiety, digestive issues or symptoms of psychiatric problems. Of those surveyed, one in five claimed that they take modafinil drug every day. Students have described it as similar to caffeine, “just a bit more effective and with less jitters.” Maybe predictably, science students are most likely to use the drugs, and they are most commonly bought over internet - half of those questioned said that they purchased them this way. Professor of clinical neuropsychology at Cambridge, Barbara Sahakian, told Sky News in September last year that it "is a very unsafe way to get these drugs because you don't really know what you're getting and you don't know if it's safe for you as an individual."
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