Actual benefits and the moral acceptability of using 'study drugs' such as Ritalin and Adderall.
Do these drugs actually aid Uni students or self-learners learn materials quicker and with less issues? Or are they mostly placebo.
Further, is it morally acceptable for a student to use one of these drugs when studying or going for an exam?
Does it even matter?
Have you ever done it?
>Do these drugs actually aid Uni students or self-learners learn materials quicker and with less issues? Or are they mostly placebo.
Why don't you read the literature and find out for yourself? Or better yet, fucking try it you nimrod.
>Do these drugs actually aid Uni students or self-learners learn materials quicker and with less issues?
Depends on the psychology, and physiology, of the individual. Personally I think methylphenidate is absolute garbage, regardless of the intended use. Adderall (dextro and levo amphetamine) goes either way. I've found drugs to be dualistic, they take to both give and take. While adderall inhibited a lot of modes of thought, and creativity, irt improved other functions. I found it to be net unhelpful though as far as learning and memory, though that wasn't why I was taking it. There are much better ways to learn to learn well.
>Or are they mostly placebo.
No. While a person's expectation of a drug's action can change the effect of the drug (heavy self suggestion), it has a defined pharmacological action no matter what you think.
>Further, is it morally acceptable for a student to use one of these drugs when studying or going for an exam?
Is it morally acceptable for me to eat when I'm hungry? After all, this augments the functionality of my body and mind, and offers a major advantage. Is it moral for people to drink caffeine? Is it moral to eat chocolate?
Questions like these are nonsense.
>Does it even matter?
See above. We're talking about natural law.
>Have you ever done it?
Yes. For a year and a half. Stopped when I entered early stages of amphetamine psychosis.
>Could you elaborate on that.
I'd been taking in a decent dose for a while. The first strange thing that happened was getting a test back and having all the answers be wrong. They were definitely correct themselves though, I'd just answered questions that weren't there. I knew exactly what the paper had said, and I knew exactly what questions I answered and yet... 0/100 and a bunch of irrelevant calculations in the margins. I got a bit paranoid and thought they were somehow fucking with me, but couldn't imagine how they transcribed my writing so flawlessly.
Over the next two weeks I started doing 3 times the dose. It screwed with my motor functions and made me feel an extreme sense of calm, changed my time sense, and almost made me feel like I wasn't quite there. Or the context I perceived around me was somehow false. Was kind of sloppy and zombie-like, spent a lot of time rambling to people and slumped over in chairs. I have visual snow as well, and it made me see grainy rainbow waves cascading down monochromatic surfaces and spatial distortions elsewhere, things had a sense of greater depth and reflections became extremely easy to process.
When I really noticed something was awry was when I considered pulling up the floorboards to search for treasure that I just knew something had to have placed there long ago. Even the second story must have a great abyss to search through! Never actually did that though. Next I noticed I was incapable of much of an erection (still eventually came though), probably from vasoconstriction. Started hearing things whispering and seeing flashes of things that either weren't there, or were a different version of what was actually there. In some instances I saw symbols form in the grain I mentioned. It was then I stopped. Was sick of feeling like shit during the comedown every single day either way.
>Also do you feel any permanent damage (or just changes) from long-term stimulant use?
This was when I was in my mid teens, and I was a bit fucked up in general. (Started having mixed states, hypomania, and severe depression even before the amphetamine.) Hallucinations and odd episodes weren't that out of the ordinary, but they weren't anything like what I described.
I can't tell if anything was "damaged", if I was changed, or if the course of my development was discernibly altered. When you do something over a long period of time it becomes hard to tell signal from noise, and what actually caused your self experience to shift. I will say for a while my brain was very prone to getting stuck in a hyper-elevated state. I'd be walking in the dark and seeing flashes of lights and feeling as though the world had a false intensity. As far as I can tell, all my faculties, memory systems, frameworks I built beforehand, and general core personality were intact.
Free radical damage and or dopamine toxicity might have happened to some extent, but I don't really have any profound emotional or motivational problems. In any case, it was probably trivial, I don't feel any sense of emptiness or an odd void. I stopped well before real damage would happen, and it wasn't meth, which to my recollection has different properties as far as neurotoxicity goes. Though I wouldn't call myself or my drives too normal to begin with, but that's for other reasons.
Sorry if this response is a bit cluttered. I'm tired, drank a lot of tea, ate a lot of chocolate (salsolinol, cannabinoid reuptake inhibition, cAMP inhibition in some regions, etc). Guess I can't do it, not even if sober. Can't get that engine turned over.
It will increase your focus and short term success BUT after a while your body will become used to it, need more and not be able to focus without it.
Personally, id recommend maybe once a week have a looong study day and use it. Keeping in mind the insomnia which follows (amphetamines is about 12hours since last hit before you can get some shut eye). A small amount on exam day and you'll do great.
Source: Former speed addict
>answer to morality question
I'm not saying your answer is wrong, but the reason you give is exceptionally short-sighted. The comparison with hunger and food simply does not hold. A better analogy would be steroids in college footbal (the competitive element is there, and the use of steroids goes beyond the basic necessities of life).
No, the comparison is just fine. Learning, if framed in terms of competition, leaves you only up against your own nature. It's not a competition. You eat certain things to become a certain way, and this allows you to tap different affordances around you.
I think to delineate drugs and food is to bring in unnecessary aspects that are often more illusory than anything else. It only confuses things. The sentences I'm typing right now are generated via a physiology augmented by tea and cocoa beans, and more recently, green beans as well. It really makes no difference in this context. The idea of competition is entirely self imposed, which is why I said the conversation becomes more about natural law.