Daily Dispatches

Adderall - playing with fire

Education

Eddie Mora, the protagonist in the 2011 film Limitless, transforms from a struggling, pathetic writer to a brilliant, successful millionaire almost over night after taking a little pill offered to him by a friend. The pill gives him mental superpowers, allowing him to use 100 percent of his brain's capacity. Mora is suddenly able to focus intently on whatever he's doing. He can read twice as fast as normal and digest every intricate detail of his research. His brain is super-charged. But as Mora's dependence on the drug increases, unexpected side-effects outweigh the greatest of his accomplishments.

Mora's pill is fictional. But a very similar drug is making the rounds on college campuses, helping students get better grades and pushing the limits of what they can do on their own. Although it's become known as the "study drug" among high-achieving students, the pharmaceutical psychostimulant Adderall was never meant to give mental superpowers.

Because it's a prescription drug, many students think Adderall is harmless. Researchers estimate 30 percent of college students have used the drug at least once. But experts say the drug is highly addictive and can cause anxiety, exhaustion, and rapid weight loss. The long-term effects of Adderall abuse can be just as crippling as an addiction to crack cocaine. ... COMPLETE STORY >>

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Read Ruth Gibson's complete report at WORLD on Campus.

This story is part of a WORLD on Campus series on Adderall abuse.

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