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It is the human nature of competitive people to always look for an edge – whether it is steroids for an athlete or "smart drugs" for a student. Scientists refer to certain drugs prescribed for attention-deficit disorder, such as Adderall – nicknamed "Addy" – and Ritalin, as "cognitive enhancers". In an alarming trend, high school and college students are increasingly abusing these drugs due to the belief that the drugs help them study more effectively despite the risk of serious physical and legal consequences.

Students seek out these drugs because they believe the drugs allow them to study for longer periods of time with less fatigue than their fellow drug-free classmates. The trouble is that since these drugs are amphetamine-based, they can become habit-forming. Scientists have found that the drugs increase the production of the brain chemical dopamine (much like cocaine), and can have as side effects severe sleep deprivation, heart problems, high blood pressure, exacerbation of mental illness, epilepsy, seizures, and/or tics.

It is illegal to take or possess Schedule II drugs like Adderall or Ritalin without a prescription. Also, you could face harsh fines and time in prison if you are caught selling or distributing the drug – not so smart.

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