We all know the stresses of university life. The coursework, tutorials, deadlines and exams, not to mention the time keeping. It is no wonder then, that a new craze has started developing amongst students for a drug that’s been about for a while, Modafinil.

Those who take it claim that they are more alert and that they can stay for up hours on end studying. It is also claimed that your alertness increases and unlike other stimulant drugs you can retain the information you have accumulated during long periods of study. Users of this prescription drug claim that unlike coffee, Pro-plus, or even cocaine, you are not affected by the usual shakes and jitteriness.

Modafinil Smart DrugModafinil is referred to by the mainstream media as the ‘Smart Drug’. It has been branded a miracle cure for students. There have been reports from users that people experience an increase in their mental functioning. Numerous students from the top academic institutions, including Oxford University, took part in a poll which concluded that already 7% of students had already taken the drug. And some student newspapers condone using the drug, which is almost beyond belief and is certainly completely and utterly irresponsible, such as this article on student newspaper The Tab.

Modafinil Is prescribed for people with conditions such as narcolepsy. However, although it is supposed to be a prescription-only drug, students have been buying it online fairly easily.  And despite being a prescription drug, and like any drug, its effects are still not fully understood. There is no solid proof that these so called smart drugs have any neural enhancing abilities. Some have argued that it is just a natural part of human evolution to try and enhance our thinking and intelligence as humans. But is there ever such a thing as a miracle drug?

More importantly we have to ask why students are turning to artificial stimulants to cope with being at university.  We all know the feeling of fear when exam time comes, stress over deadlines, and the vast amounts of pressure we are faced with. Why are students willing to take risks with their health by using drugs that have not been prescribed to them?

It’s not surreptitious that students use drugs for a number of reasons. Sometimes, students want to try and increase their mental performance and dexterity so they do dabble in stimulant drugs. Conversely many people use depressants to help themselves relax; cannabis is the most widely used drug within university campuses. Aren’t there healthier ways to increase concentration and aid relaxation? Simple changes like making small changes to your diet, getting some mild exercise help with these issues. Meditation helps to both relax your body and make you more focused. Instead of trying to find wonder drugs to take – in the hope that we will perform better – we should look at why we feel the need to do this in the first place. We have to look at ourselves and realise that as long as we are doing the best that we can today, there is no need to try and find short-term fixes. Research is yet to be carried out to discover the side effects of Modafinil, so why take the risk? Inform yourself about children and students with addictions in our student addiction guide.

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