Popping pills to get an A

Posted By: Laura Casella · 4/12/2013 12:53:00 PM

Thousands of university students are taking their end of the year exams and a report says many are turning to prescription drugs to help get that "A".

The most popular choice is Ritalin, which typically is used to treat ADHD. However, it seems it makes students feel sharper on exam day and improve their concentration and memory. 

But CJAD medical expert Dr. Mitch Shulman says it may actually be having an opposite effect.

"Ritalin is a form of speed. And just like speed can cause problems, Ritalin can make you jittery, confused and irritable, and give you trouble to concentrate, in spite of the fact that many people take it to concentrate."

The drug also has long term risks that many people do not know about or pay attention to. Dr. Shulman says it can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke, and spike your blood pressure. 

He says doctors may be prescribing the drug inappropriately, or students may be sharing their prescription, or it could be stolen. 

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