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America the Beautiful: The A.D.H.D Era

To most, it’s no surprise that American children and young adults are over prescribed stimulants for so-called learning disorders like “Attention Deficit Disorder” and “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. Aside from the fact that those disorders sound completely made up, they are coined by doctors as existing on a “spectrum”, which justifies the massive production and prescription of pills tailor made to give children the perfect dosage of pharmaceutical grade amphetamine their parents desire.

What makes this parental paradigm even more ironic is the fact that many students that don’t exhibit the supposed “symptoms” necessary to obtain a prescription for A.D.H.D. medication actively take these medications as performance enhancers in academic environments. If the smartest student in the room is taking the same medications the stupidest kid in the room is given just to keep up, then the performance gap will still exist.

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The prolific amount of amphetamines flooding college campuses every year can be seen in the street price of the drugs. Anecdotally, even the biggest doses of Vyvanse and Adderall sell for only $5 on large college campuses. On DNMs, a single 70mg Vyvanse has an average price of $30. While an entrepreneurial college student with steady access to these “study drugs” could make a killing using arbitrage, this stark price gap is proof that young Americans are pharmaceutically targeted with this drug. A generation of helicopter parents trying to give their kids a leg up only instigated further performance gaps as bright students took to using these study drugs as performance enhancers.

The DNMs, and grey net sites, along with PGP encryption and Bitcoin have aided the rise in “academic doping”. A non-amphetamine based drug, Modalert, has rapidly grown in popularity among college students. Vice recently interviewed four students that discussed how easy it was to order Modalert directly off gray net sites. One of their writers claims that it’s even better than Adderall, while another said it made them feel detached from people but addicted to work. What’s clear is that the A.D.H.D era is maturing into adulthood, and with that increasingly competitive millennial workforce many are turning to stimulants for performance enhancement. Without the darknet, and the ability for goods to be bought and sold openly, I doubt we would see such wide spread use of these “smart drugs”.

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Lets talk about something you might not already know. Modalert is the brand name for the drug modafinil. Modalert is manufactured by Sun Pharmacy, a drug manufacturer in India. Most DNM acquired Modalert likely passed through the hands of crooked employees at an Indian pharmacy or distribution center before finding its way to consumers. While these pills come in original packaging, and experience quality control, their quality lags behind American counterparts.

First, Indian Modalert comes in pill form, but deteriorates much faster than the American equivalent Provigil. Once removed from its original packaging, the pills leave a thin layer of white powder on anything them come into contact with.  This didn’t occur with the American equivalent. This is likely just a product of the pill pressing process. Second, a Vice reporter that documented his experience with Modalert reported red lumps similar to ant bites on random parts of his body. This is a confirmed side effect that only appears to be present in the Indian branded Modafinil.

As the rise in off-label smart drugs continues, it’s important to remain an informed consumer. DNMs actively sell street manufactured amphetamine sulfate, which is pressed to look like Adderall. Some vendors openly advertise them as fakes, while others don’t. Adderall has a specific ratio of active amphetamines (25% L-amp/75% d-amp), and when pharmaceutically produced it undergoes quality control to ensure an effective dosage. Street pressed amphetamine sulfate can contain contaminants and is nearly guaranteed to have a 50% L-amp/50% D-amp ratio, making it chemically identical to “speed”.

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The Telegraph reports, “’Smart drugs’ are becoming a staple of student life.” Over a quarter of all students surveyed said that they had taken or planned to take smart drugs during their tenure in college. Many of the surveyed students said that processing so much dense material in the spam of a 12-week semester, while judging life and work, means that taking smart drugs is a necessity. But, just like caffeine, a tolerance builds quickly, which can turn a crutch into a dependency.

 

8 comments

  1. agent amsterdam

    (…) so-called learning disorders like “Attention Deficit Disorder” and “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. Aside from the fact that those disorders sound completely made up, they are coined by doctors as existing on a “spectrum” (…)

    If it sounds made up to you, that means you are either completely uninformed, or you have a disturbing ability to ignore wh everyone else nows.at. Being uninformed is one thing, but having strong opinions too is usually not a glorious combo. It makes a person write things like:

    ” If the smartest student in the room is taking the same medications the stupidest kid in the room is given just to keep up, then the performance gap will still exist.”

    …which is a 3-in-1, super-efficient demonstration of how multi-level-clueless you are about the subject.

    I do agree that there’s something fishy about the scale ofamphetamine intake in the US. But that has been everyone’s opinion since the early 90s.

    • Drugs R. You

      Sorry, I don’t get what you are talking about. The former president of the American Psychiatric Association said they were fake, no science to back them up. Of course, tranquilizing an unruly child can be a godsend to fed up teachers and parents. But those kids wind up as psychopaths later in life. Who wouldn’t? Perturbing someone’s chemistry for so long can only result in tragedy.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/medicating/experts/exist.html

    • As someone who has a Adderall script for the past 17 years, I agree ADHD, like most “behavior” disorders, is just a classification of personality tendencies. There is no evidence of actual physical dysfunction. Simply put, you give anyone Adderall, they will enjoy mundane, boring, repetitive work and perform at a higher level.

      • Agent Amsterdam

        “The former president of the American Psychiatric Association said they were fake, no science to back them up.” – I couldn’t find that statement in your article.

        The article is pointing out that the classification of ADHD as a neubiological disorder is incorrect and that in the US probably a lot of ADHD diagnoses are false positives. Another concern is the treatment of ADHD with stimulants: these don’t cure the problem (oh so there is a problem after all?), they just mask the symptoms andt they are also addictive.

        Well, proof of ‘actual physical disfunction’ is not necessary for a syndrome to exist. Or would you also say schizophrenia is “fake”? Post traumatic stress syndrome, some made up bullshit? Psychosis, not real? (There’s a shitload more examples if you don’t think these two disorders are real).

        But it gets better: the scientific evidence for ADHD is, anno 2016, overwhelming. It also proves that there are indeed lots and lots of false diagnoses in the USA, and that stimulants don’t cure the problem but do mask the symptoms (if you have ADHD that is). Medical science is actually also pointing out the causes of ADHD by pinpointing it’s unique genetic patterns.

        So stims don’t cure the problem, just masks symptoms, OK, but what if the symptoms are addiction to sex, drugs, food, and/or booze, dangerous thrill seeking behaviour, conflicts at work and in relationships, financial mismanagement, general unreliability, lack of self esteem, depression? A “lively” child is OK in my book, debilitating ADHD is something else, trust me. Ever met a person who is in constant pain because he dislocated some vertebrae in a car crash but can’t stop hurting himself because of uncontrollable twitching? I did. I must admit there was something comical about it, until he explained that he didn’t really want to live anymore. He had kids and that’s what kept him from committing suicide. Would it be OK for that person to mask some symptoms and be able to get a good night of sleep again? Hell yeah.

        “But he’ll become a psychopath. Who wouldn’t”?

        Nobody would. Psychopathy is a completely unrelated disorder in the amygdala, read some fucking information before stating such ridiculous nonsense. You would have been surrounded by psychopaths since WWII if that were true.

        Do you mean psychosis, maybe? Sure, stimulant use can lead to temporary psychosis (not psychopathy) but within therapeutical dosage your chances are near zero for that to happen (< 0.01%). Heavy abuse of crystal meth might get you there but then, still, not the amphetamines would be causing it, but sleep deprivation.

        Your health care system is full of amoral lobbyists and greedy pills salesmen. That’s the problem. Why is nobody using cheap QB-tests for determining ADHD? Because you can’t fake those. The people want amphetamines, the industry wants to make money, end of story. But easy to fake syndrome =/= Fake syndrome.

        Some articles (there’s loads more, but I’m sure The Lancet is OK for those who appreciate highly reputable scientific publications)

        http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2810%2961109-9/fulltext#
        http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v44/n1/full/ng.1013.html
        http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/news/records/2015/november/brain-patterns-adhd-bipolar-disorder.aspx

        QB test (FDA approved stuff, boys.):

        https://www.qbtech.com/qbtest.html

        All in all, OP is rightfully concerned about stimulant abuse and the rotten system behind it. I can fully understand some viewpoints and I share some of these concerns.

        OP’s theories about ADHD, on the other hand, are so far from the truth that even his own evidence doesn’t support them.

        Finding some quote online, removing it from it's context and paraphrase it badly to be able to base a foaming rant on it is not that hard. But neither is finding systematical scientific evidence for ADHD in top tier medical journals. I’m guessing that either OP hasn’t been looking for it very hard or OP has been ignoring it very hard. Whatever may be the case, and however good hearted the intentions of this article, it’s a manifest of ignorance and, frankly, a bit insulting to people with serious ADHD, who should be able to try and cope with their problem without also having to deal with the contempt and disbelief of prejudiced nitwits telling them they’re just a bunch of phonies faking some syndrom to get free drugs or to shut up their offspring.

        To the guy with the 17 years prescription: if all you get from it is enjoyment in doing boring tasks, get a fucking life, man. With 10% of the US population on stims and only 2% of this population having ADHD (plus what your statement tells me), I’m guessing you don’t have ADHD and you don’t have a clue about ADHD either.

        • THANK YOU for this comment. That’s all I wanted to say, and perfectly supported by facts that can be checked.
          I was extremely bothered by this article, it’s horribly presumptuous and perfectly happy with its ignorance.

  2. Agent Amsterdam

    I would edit my drafty text and remove a bunch of obvious typos if I could. The argument is there as intended, though.

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