Volume 75
Volume 76
Volume 77
Volume 78
Volume 79

Special Report: Vitamin R

Grade Enhancing Drugs?

Published (Volume 77, No. 13)


Many people know ADHD children that have been placed on a drug called Ritalin.

Across some campuses in the United States, students are taking Ritalin, also known as Methylphenidate, the night before a test so they can “cram” or study more efficiently.

But why would students take Ritalin?

The National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Web site (www.nida.nih.gov) says, “Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant. It has a notably calming and “focusing” effect on those with ADHD, particularly children.”

In other words, if a student takes Ritalin the night before a test, the student becomes more focused.

Ritalin works because it increases the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and increasing the dopamine levels improves attention.

Ritalin is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. That means Ritalin has a high potential for abuse and abuse of Ritalin may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

The NIDA also says, “Because of its stimulant properties, however, in recent years there has been reports of abuse of Methylphenidate by people whom it is not prescribed. It is abused for its stimulate effects: appetite suppression, wakefulness, increased focus/attention, and euphoria. A large survey at a public university showed that 3 percent of the students has used Methylphenidate during the past year.”
Some people refer to Ritalin as “Vitamin R” and “R-Ball”. Ritalin tablets can either be taken orally, crushed and snorted, or mixed with water and injected.

Where did Ritalin abuse begin?

According to an article called “The Ritalin Racket” from Student.com, “Ritalin abuse was first noticed at New England prep schools, where access is so easy because so many students have Ritalin prescriptions.”

With so many people prescribed to Ritalin, it’s easy for a student to find someone with a few extra pills.