Is Study Buddy a friend or faux?

Neelofer Lodhy

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Image courtesy of MCT

Image courtesy of MCT

With the end of the semester and finals quickly approaching, it’s normal for students to endure the utmost pressure of completing the semester with stellar grades. When finals are just around the corner, the weight of stress and anxiety quickly follows. Students succumb to drastic measures and try to endure assignment deadlines and final exams with the help of caffeine, and sometimes drugs.

In fact, our very own Matador markets vend a drug (legally of course) called Study Buddy, which has been flying off the stands due to popularity, and apparently it works.

“I think that it’s mental,” said Kimberly Gutierrez, 18, undecided freshman, team member at the Edge market as to why students buy these pills. “But they sold pretty quick.”

“Study Buddy, the Original Study Aid,” is a dietary supplement, which is supposedly designed to improve memory, concentration, focus, and provide mental clarity and alertness. The package also mentions that the product is doctor recommended.

Gutierrez further said that the “Study Buddy” supplements are so popular that the market has sold about five boxes within two weeks, and that each box contains 24 packets of two capsules.

“Two people said that it works – like Red Bull. Basically it has what Red Bull has but in pill form. A lot of people think it’s Adderall,” Gutierrez said.

Although, of course, this is not exactly the case, since each pill has about the same amount of caffeine as an eight ounce cup of coffee.

“They’re (students) confused about it – they don’t really know what it is,” Dinesh Kumar, 24, team member at the Edge market and graduate student in engineering management. “I think they’ll sell better once they know what it is.”

How much of this can one believe? Especially when the packaging on the backside of the product states in fine print, “these statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.”

As if it wasn’t bad enough for our school to participate in selling such a product, it’s not uncommon for students to turn to drugs like Study Buddy, Adderall or Ritalin to help make it through the end of the semester. Though all three share the same purpose as a stimulant, Adderall and Ritalin are far more dangerous and potent, whereas Study Buddy has not yet had any known fatal side effects. Many of those who do choose to use the drugs, are not even taking them for medically prescribed purposes, but to help boost their mindset.

Adderall is a potent medication made up of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that is used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. It’s basically legal and doctor-prescribed speed. College students, among others, have been known to abuse Adderall during periods of intense workloads including finals, according to an article published in the peer-review Journal of Medical Internet Research.

In an article titled, “The Adderall Advantage: Students Taking Big Risk for Good Grades,” one in five college students admit to using Adderall without ever having been diagnosed with an attention disorder. The article further states that just as athletes use steroids to enhance their performance on the field, students use Adderall to enhance their concentration, their motivation and their performance in the classroom.

“You don’t need to consume pills or caffeine to fuel yourself to give you brain power,” said Taylor Kagy, Kinesiology major. “I understand everyone doesn’t have time to do it, but sleep and eating healthy is good for your body and will clear your mind to help you focus on finals.”

With the many alternatives available to students that are offered on campus to help decrease stress for finals, it seems as though none of them are being taken into consideration, but how can they when they are tempted with “doctor recommended” study improving pills and caffeine?

In an article by the McClatchy-Tribune, schools across the country are reporting an increase in the abuse of Adderall and Ritalin. These drugs are stimulants, which are supposed to enable students to focus more, but some students aren’t aware of the repercussions and dangers to indulging in the drugs.

The reason the drugs are prescribed in the first place is to be taken in specific doses recommended by a doctor. If increased doses are taken, many complications could arise which may cause increased heart rates, seizures and dizziness, which are only a few of the side effects.

Not only are students swallowing the pills, but they’ve found other alternatives to consume them by crushing and snorting it.

“If you are grinding Adderall and then snorting it, the stimulant goes right into your mucous membrane and gets into your bloodstream faster,” said Joye Dado, a nurse practitioner at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s Ghering Health Center. “That’s dangerous.”

It’s time that the knowledgeable students of CSUN take other alternatives into consideration before turning to drugs and stimulants during finals. As Kagy mentioned previously, though some may not always have time to eat healthy, and gain the right amount of sleep, these healthy alternatives need to be acknowledged.

Students, it’s your time to shine, just be well aware of the consequences and repercussions of your actions when consuming these stimulants. No matter what form they are in, pill or liquid, remember that in the end your health is the most important factor and that spending the holidays in the hospital shouldn’t have to be an option.