EXPERTS urge parents to be vigilant as more and more students resort to illegal doping during the session and exam season.
Dangerous situation… schoolchildren are taking modafinil in an attempt to improve their mental abilities Modafinil, a drug currently available only by prescription for those who suffer from a sleep disorder, is used by a quarter of senior students to help them sleep, focus on their studies and improve memory.
Figures obtained exclusively for the Sun newspaper from the report of the agency Global drugs also show that SCHOOLBOYS get modafinil without a prescription – in an attempt to increase their thinking abilities, their 6.4 percent among the 16-17-year age group. The misuse of modafinil was associated with a number of serious health problems, according to the European Medicines Agency, its use is associated with thoughts of suicide, psychotic episodes and heart problems.
It is also believed to be addictive. However, only one of the 50 children taking the drug told their parents about it. Most of them bought it at an online pharmacy where they sell drugs illegally, potentially putting their health at risk. Andrew Parrott, a professor of psychology at Swansea University, says: “Modafinil in Netherlands has potentially dangerous properties. The drug has been reported to have some addictive qualities.
“A study of British students who took modafinil illegally found that they felt more anxious and nervous.”
Improper use was associated with a number of serious health problems.
However, according to an online survey, almost a third of students who did not take this drug would like to try it. Psychiatrist Professor Barbara Sahakyan says: “We must prevent our young people from taking modafinil. “We do not know about long-term effects – we have no such data. We cannot assume that the drug has a long-term health hazard, especially for the brain, for young people whose body is still developing. ”
Dr. Carol Cooper adds: “Modafinil is especially dangerous for people with mental health problems or heart problems. If there is not a single sign that tells you that your child is hooked on him, pay attention to the child’s mood swings, his anxiety, insomnia and upset stomach. “Medicines purchased online can be fake, so the effect can be from any other substance that is present in the purchase.”
How to determine if your child is using modafinil? Doctor Carol Cooper says: “Modafinil is called a smart drug, but not so smart to take it. His main medical purpose is to use narcolepsy, a condition in which a person has a need to sleep all the time. It is a stimulating drug that promises to improve mood, memory, and increases alertness and wakefulness. If we consider improving brain function, the side effects can be a huge problem, which, in fact, can lower the performance of the exam. A person may be anxious, agitated and easily distracted, for example, in computer games instead of textbooks.
Often, people taking the drug suffer from insomnia and inability to disconnect. Other adverse effects include headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, confusion, rapid pulse and blurred vision. Less common are serious problems such as hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and severe allergic reactions. And birth control pills can work less effectively. Modafinil is especially dangerous for people with mental health problems or heart problems.
Occasionally, signs such as mouth ulcers, taste disturbances, thirst, nasal congestion, excessive urination, skin itching appear. “If your child needs to get rid of the drug, or has mental health problems from this addiction, talk first to your doctor. The next step depends on the person’s age, as well as on what kind of assistance is available locally. ”
Larisa Mayer, a researcher at the University of Zurich, says: “If you find that your children are taking smart drugs, do not panic. Instead, try to engage them in talking about using modafinil. This includes an open dialogue about motives for use, current patterns of use (dose / frequency). Parents have the right to express their negative attitude. If your teen doesn’t want to collaborate and talk, offer support when necessary, and try to control the use of modafinil. Monitor any unusual behavior to identify problematic patterns in the use of psychoactive substances. ”