Medication carries diseases along with cure

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By: Mary Queisser <mqueisser@hilite.org>

You can’t sleep. You can’t eat, even though you want to and know you should. You begin to sweat so much you always to wear jackets to conceal the sweat marks under you arms. Sometimes you can feel your heart pounding. All you can do is focus and work. These all sound like symptoms of a disease, but really they are side effects of a cure.

I remember being so excited when my doctor first prescribed me Adderall. I shook the capsules because they sounded like little maracas that could make me a better student. Then the symptoms listed above set in and the pills were no longer musical instruments. I was only on ten milligrams.

Medications such as Adderall are ironies of modern medicine. Everyone who doesn’t have it wants it and everyone who has it hates it.

I feel hypocritical writing this column since I still take ADHD medication, only a less potent one than Adderall. In fact, it’s what I’m known for. My friends have dubbed me “Meds on Board” so it’s practically a joke.

Despite my negative experiences, I don’t feel that these pills are poison. My little brother takes Concerta, another ADHD medication, and when he doesn’t he does things like beat the walls with a metal pole in front of my friends. What bothers me is not the effectiveness of the drug; it’s beyond effective. It’s the repercussions people fail to understand that concern me. A friend of mine told me how she recently obtained a prescription for Adderall. I couldn’t help but go on a rant about how she didn’t know what she was about to get into. However, unlike others I’ve spoken to, she seemed to recognize ADHD medications side effects and said she would only take it when needed, like to study for a test. With my experiences with Adderall, you only experience the negative effects after you take it over an extended period of time. For example, over the summer, I accidentally left my bottle of Focalin, the drug I currently take, with my mom. So, I substituted some old left over Adderall I found in the medicine cabinet. It was amazing. My increased productivity and focus surprised, if not scared my co-workers. I even thought about taking it again.

Four days went by and I remembered why I hated it.
Therefore, my friend might be taking the right approach by using the drug sparingly. But due to the addictive properties of Adderall, this might be easier said than done.

So far I’ve discussed only Adderall, but other drugs are equally as harmful, if not more. For instance, a family friend decided to start her three children on a Strattera, a non-stimulant drug. It made one of her sons’ obsessive-compulsive. She told me how he couldn’t stop counting. He’d come to her crying, “Momma talk to me, sing to me; I can’t stop counting.” I also took Strattera in junior high and turned into violent, moody person. My parents blame what they call my “goth phase” on it. So Adderall isn’t alone in its hazardousness.

Another point that bothers me is some students don’t even need it. Some students are just lazy and want an easy way to fix their problems. Just because a student is not capable of listening to a teacher drone on about information that will probably have no real-world application does not mean he or she has ADHD. In fact, it is only natural. Another friend said that her parents would never get her a prescription for an ADHD medication, because they believe her to be capable of doing the work herself without any chemical assistance.

Really it all comes down to whether one actually needs it and then, if one thinks it’s worth it, because there is no perfect cure. True, as aforementioned, drugs like Adderall work, but require sacrifices.

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