Will Energy Gum become a better student buddy?
It seems that due to increased study pressure and the associated financial consequences, many students are more likely to take concentration- and focus-enhancing drugs. Normally these kinds of drugs are prescribed by doctors for conditions such as ADHD and ADD. Ritalin for example is a very popular drug among students.
Feelings of mental pressure encourage the use of so-called 'study doping', stimulants to cope with high expectations and study pressure.'
Experts expect that the use of such substances will only increase in the future. Several educational institutions and experts point to a growing trend and fear a future in which studying with a pill becomes normal. The Department of Education stated. 'The fact that medicines these are used for the wrong reasons could have serious health-damaging effects on their young bodies.’ This concerns palpitations, sleeping problems, mood swings, or panic attacks. Years of use can even lead to burnout because the user is always 'on', resulting in the body getting too little recovery and rest.
Research by University of Groningen (The Netherlands) psychologist Anselm Fuermaier showed last year that sixteen percent of first-year students had taken methylphenidate, the active ingredient in many ADHD medications. Nearly 60 percent of this group said they took it "occasionally," and about 1 percent "regularly." The Institute for Responsible Medication Use (IVM) also came to this conclusion in a survey among more than 400 students, which noted that students also took it to be able to party longer.
In addition to the increased study pressure, the relatively easy access to the product is also a problem, according to Fuermaier. The students usually receive the drug from other students or from relatives with ADHD. About 30 percent get it through the black market. Earlier research by the University of Amsterdam also showed that there is a 'lively trade' in performance-enhancing drugs.
Structural discussions are already being held with student organizations and educational institutions on this subject, in which care institutions and care providers are also involved. However, in order to reduce easy access to products like Ritalin, doctors will also have to be involved in this process.
After all, it is the doctor who makes the diagnosis of ADHD or ADD, after which the Ritalin drug can be bought in the nearest pharmacy. This raises the question of why this form of medication can be traded so widely on campuses and educational institutes. Is it prescribed too generously, or too quickly, or are people being able to fake the symptoms of these diseases too easily, after which they can sell the drug on the black market because they do not need it themselves? A product such as Ritalin also enters the student market easily via family members of the students.
Ritalin falls under the Opium Act. It is therefore prohibited to be unlawfully in possession of Ritalin. To prevent clients from possessing more Ritalin than necessary, both GPs and pharmacists supervise the dispensing thereof.
'A GP can prescribe methylphenidate if someone has been diagnosed with ADHD,' says Mariëlle van Avendonk of the Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG). “But we do advise you to be very cautious about this.” The preference is for solutions without pills: therapy or guidance. Only if that doesn't work, Ritalin is an option. Ritalin (Methylphenidate) ensures that dopamine is released in the brain, which is converted back into noradrenaline. This ensures a nice peak in concentration that can last for several hours, which for many students who have to meet a deadline or exam, can make the difference between failing or passing.
According to the Dutch rehab guide, Ritalin is mutually traded by students and costs around €5 per pill. The price drops to €4 for larger orders (more than 30 pieces). However, some students indicate that prices are sometimes around €1 per pill for larger quantities.
It has long been known that the overload of information nowadays (especially due to social media), places an enormous burden on students who have to prepare for an exam. The restlessness in the head continuous distraction when one has to concentrate, but also constant alertness to notifications on their mobile phones, ensure that students do not get into a good flow or mindset to study.
Another important point to make: Students do not consider the long-term effects, as yet unknown. The side effects which are known are headaches, sweaty hands, mood swings, or palpitations. There is not much scientific literature available describing what effects products like Ritalin may have in 30-40 years.
What are the alternatives?
Are there no alternatives for students who would like to have more focus and concentration when studying but do not want to go into the illegal circuit to obtain drugs like Ritalin, or students who are hesitant because of the unknown long-term side effects they can cause? Currently, many Student Service Centers at Universities and Colleges advise to see if progress can be made through concentration courses or conversations with a psychologist, but many students avoid this advice and want something easier, quicker. A product that is immediately available with an immediate effect.
A product that can support students with their focus and concentration is energy gum (also known as caffeinated chewing gum or sports chewing gum).
A very recent (November 2020) scientific study among soldiers found that the use of caffeine-containing products, which can increase cognitive skills, indicates that the symptoms of ADHD can be reduced in adults.
Energy gum has already been proven to have a positive effect on athletes, particularly supporting concentration, alertness, and focus. These aspects are also the factors that are necessary when studying. Energy gum should therefore be seriously considered as a Ritalin substitute and could be very helpful to students. In terms of cost, this is also a product, that fits an average student budget since the price will be around €0.35 per piece of high-quality energy gum.
Whenever an energy gum additionally contains some taurine (such as with GRIZZ Energy Gum®), the stamina is further enhanced as well as a positive contribution to reducing the symptoms of ADHD.
It has already been confirmed that, if the effect of an energy gum wants to avoid the placebo effect, a ratio of at least 2mg active energy substances per kilogram of body weight must be adhered to. Some manufacturers of energy gum offer energy gums with 12mg to 50mg of active energy substances/ ingredients, but given the above ratio, these cannot be considered as high-quality energy gum and will not support the students with concentration.
In order to be a proper student buddy, the caffeine chewing gum must contain around 120mg of active energy substances. Order yours here.