The news was shared on ITV’s This Morning and revealed how teenagers are becoming reliant on prescription drugs to cope with the pressures of tests – and risking ‘serious side effects’ in doing so. The Daily Mail reports.
One student, Media Abid, admitted to taking amphetamines that she illegally bought online to help her stay up all night revising, describing the substances as ‘essential’, and ‘like jet fuel’.
Possession of commonly used ‘smart’ drugs like Ritalin or Modafinil is illegal without a prescription.
Resident medic Dr Ranj, who warned that the stimulants belong to the same family as amphetamines, said they ‘don’t make you smarter, just more alert’.
Speaking to presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Media said: ‘I had [more than] 13 plus exams. I was dependent on caffeine staying up all night revising. I was neglecting exercise and social life.’
‘I Googled any drug that makes you smart. There were forums talking about it. When I was taking the tablets, it gave me a tunnel focus. It was making me more awake and alert. It was essential like jet fuel.’
This Morning researcher Enya Quinn-Jarvis revealed how easy the drugs were to buy illegally online, saying she found them within 30 seconds of searching.
‘I saw a significant amount of students talking about their struggles with their GCSEs online and in a bid to cope with the pressures and demand of the exams they were talking about using “smart drugs” and these students were as young as 14 years old.’
This Morning viewers took to Twitter to share their concerns about the startling wave of ‘smart drugs’.
Georgia Graham wrote: ‘The fact that young people are willing to take drugs to pass GCSEs it shows how much pressure they are under, how can the government make these tests harder when this is happening?’
Alisha Valerie said: ‘Oh my gosh, taking ”smart drugs” are so scary. I don’t understand why anyone would sacrifice their health for a good grade? These websites need to be shut down!’
Are you aware of your students taking these drugs? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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