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Authorship: Elisabeth Hildt, Klaus Lieb and Andreas Gunter Franke

Discuss about the Stimulant Use Of The College Students.

ADHD is a brain disorder that requires that makes the students to concentrate on studies and makes behavior impulsive. Use of prescribe stimulants helps to reduce the symptoms. Some people, especially the college students have started using this drug for non medical purposes such as for improving academic excellence in studies.  Many of them are of the conception that use of these drugs helps them focus and stay awake. These study drugs can be dangerous and the consumer of the drugs may be subjected to legal punishment. Use of these drugs may lead to many adverse health conditions in patients such as hypersensitivity in patients and other lethal situation. The wide spread use of these study drugs among the college students have become alarming. Hence, it is necessary to conduct extensive researches regarding the affectivity of these drugs in enhancing the academic performances.

This paper focuses on the use of the non prescribed drugs by the college students. In support of the given PICO question, six articles have been critically analyzed. It was also mentioned how the analysis addresses the PICO question, and provided insight regarding the alarming use of psychotic drugs among the college students.

Research Aims: This paper aims to focus on the effect of the stimulant drugs on the enhancement of the academic performance or cognitive improvement among the university students. The paper sheds light upon the experience of the students, who have been using the drugs frequently.

Design: In order to understand the effect of psycho-stimulants on the cognitive function among the university students, an extensive face to face interview was organized. The participants were chosen from the students of the University of Mainz, who had used prescribed illegitimate stimulants The questions that were asked were mainly related to the intake of the prescribed stimulants, to what extent they can be really helpful, the factors associated and the complications due to the use of these drugs (if any).

Findings: It was found that in most of the cases, students use psycho-stimulants to cope up with excessive stress during exams or special projects.

In accordance with the results obtained from the study, it can be guessed that the psycho-stimulants has a positive motivational effects which fosters receptiveness, concentration, self confidence in a student, which in turn helps a student to perform well in the exams.

Authorship: Bailey A. Munro

Strengths and weaknesses: there are several limitations that have to be considered in this study. One of them is that only 18 interviews were being considered for the survey. Secondly the students with psychiatric disorder might lead to bias because then that study will not represent the normal students. Furthermore, the answers given by the participants can be affected by the time frame or the social desirability.


In a word the study emphasizes on the fact that enhancement of academics by the use of stimulants cannot enhance the cognitive function in a student, but there are several factors associated that is important for an overall improvement in the academics.

Authorship: 1. Bailey A. Munro , Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, University of Rhode Island, United States

  1. Lisa L. Weyandt, a Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, University of Rhode Island, United States,c Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, United States.
  2. Marisa E. Marraccini, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Bradley Hasbro Research Center, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  3. Danielle R. Oster, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, United States.

Research Aims: The aim of this study is to find out the relationship between the non prescribed use of the stimulants and the executive functioning among the population of college going students.

Design: The study was conducted in various schools from different regions. The students are contacted via email and phone calls to participate in the survey. The social media sites were also being used for the recruitment of the participants. The stimulant Survey questionnaire was prepared to measure the non-prescribed use of stimulants during the college career.  The type of questions that were asked were- ‘How long you have been taking the drug?’’

‘Are you under any medical therapy?’, ‘How did you come across these drugs?”, “Are your family members aware of this?”,” How are your feeling after the use of the drugs?”, “Did the medications bring any improvement in the academic performance?”

Findings: The results revealed that students with self reported executive functioning deficit have got a higher rating in the SSQ, which signifies that students with lower level of executive functioning are more susceptible to the use of non- medical  prescribed stimulants.  Previous researches have suggested that healthy individuals do not get any benefit from the stimulants, although those having EF deficit might get some benefit from those stimulants.  It was not clearly known whether the use of these stimulants have any cognitive advantages.  When the long term outcomes were considered the use of the medications were associated with the probability of generating depression among the child. there was no such evidence that the deterioration was due to the medications, but no such proof was also found, which supports the usefulness of these drugs in enhancing the cognitive values  in the children with ADHD.

Strengths and weaknesses- This study was the first to determine any relationship between the use of psycho-stimulants, executive functioning of the brain and academic excellence in college students. Limitations were lack of generalizibility of the findings. The participants of the study contained disproportionate number of females and whites. Since this study was based on self reported data, the chance of response bias and social desirability bias was also there.

  1. There are several barriers to the application of the research evidence in health care. The different barriers are the complexity and the size of the research, poor access to the guidelines and the evidences, organizational barriers, lower rate of adherence of the patients to medications and treatments, difficulty in application of evidence based policy (Curie et al., 2014). Resistance often comes from the organizational settings, as they are accustomed to the old methods, and therefore does not want to implement changes in the previous conventional rules (Hall & Roussel, 2016). Clinical settings often are not equipped with computer systems or other It technologies to do the possible researches. In this case it is evident that Wasim has taken the initiative to do the research regarding the use of the stimulants, in order to reach a fruitful conclusion regarding thee affectivity off the stimulants (Hall & Roussel, 2016).
  2. All the research papers were relevant to the Pico question as the samples taken in most of the papers were college students. The findings from the paper could provide no such valid evidence that the stimulants can increase the academic performance in the university students (Dussault & Weyandt, 2013). One such paper even discussed about the negative impact of this stimulants on the cognitive function of the ADHD teens. The non medical uses of the stimulants are becoming an important part of the drug use among the college students and are of concern for the family members and the physicians. The following articles thus provides with the evidences that the psycho-stimulants can self motivate a student to enhance his studying skills, but it does not pose any clinical benefit to the cognitive functioning of the brain (Mazanov et al., 2013). Most of the papers indicated long term use of medication is associated to improvement of the academic scores, although the rate of improvement has been found to be too low, and its clinical significance is questionable.

Conclusion

As per the findings from the articles, it can be said that although every drugs comes with some side effects, the medications for the ADHD have more risks compared to many of the commonly used medications.

The paper provides a critical analysis on the use of psychotic drugs among the college students to achieve academic excellence. Most of the papers suggest that there are no valid evidences regarding the role of the stimulants in increasing the cognitive function in college students. Some of the papers could support the fact that the medications helps them to concentrate or stay awake during their exams, but none of the medicines can impose long term benefits on student, rather some of the findings indicated the increasing irritability in students receiving the study drugs. No such paper could actually provide any evidence regarding the role of the stimulants in increasing the cognitive function, but in turn indicates the alarming rise of non prescribed stimulant use among the college students.

References

Currie, J., Stabile, M., & Jones, L. (2014). Do stimulant medications improve educational and behavioral outcomes for children with ADHD?. Journal of health economics, 37, 58-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2014.05.002

Dussault, C. L., & Weyandt, L. L. (2013). An examination of prescription stimulant misuse and psychological variables among sorority and fraternity college populations. Journal of attention disorders, 17(2), 87-97. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1087054711428740

Hall, H. R., & Roussel, L. A. (2016). Evidence-based practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Hildt, E., Lieb, K., & Franke, A. G. (2014). Life context of pharmacological academic performance enhancement among university students - a qualitative approach. BMC Medical Ethics, 15(1), 23-23. doi:10.1186/1472-6939-15-23

Mazanov, J., Dunn, M., Connor, J., & Fielding, M. L. (2013). Substance use to enhance academic performance among Australian university students. Performance Enhancement & Health, 2(3), 110-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.peh.2013.08.017

Munro, B. A., Weyandt, L. L., Marraccini, M. E., & Oster, D. R. (2017). The relationship between nonmedical use of prescription stimulants, executive functioning and academic outcomes. Addictive Behaviors, 65, 250-257. doi:https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.08.023

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