UOB students reveal their experiences with study drugs

The Tab decided to seek out those who turned to study drugs to bag success

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‘Study drug’ is an umbrella term for tablets such as Ritalin and Modafinil that are shown to improve memory, attention span and overall intelligence. Initially they are used for conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy but more and more students across the UK are turning to study drugs in order to cope with the the demands of their degree. Below, several anonymous students at UOB reveal what their experiences have been like whilst taking study drugs and whether they have actually worked for them.

Second year Economics student

How did you first hear about taking study drugs?

”I heard about them through a friend at UCL who had been doing them so he could stay up all night to revise for an exam. When we met up at home he told me about how he got them off the internet and they weren’t technically illegal so he got me my first tray and then it went from there.”

Do you think they work?

”I only take a little bit of a crushed tablet with a meal so I wouldn’t know what it’s like if I had the full dose like some of my mates do but I can focus intensively for about 3 hours. When I say focus I mean like nothing can distract me – if my phone goes off I can easily ignore it because my brain is so intent on working on whatever I am doing. It’s kind of hard to explain but they must be doing something for me to not even want to look at whatever Facebook video my mates have tagged me in.”

Did you experience any other effects?

”Yeah they messed up my sleeping pattern a lot. If I took them mid afternoon I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep all night which kind of put me off, but never stopped me. They did cause a bit of trouble going to the toilet without going into too many details.”

Do you feel like you rely on them now?

”Yeah I feel like I do owe some of my success to Modafil and probably won’t give it up any time soon.”

 Third year Politics student

How were your experiences with study drugs?

”To be completely honest I was so underwhelmed. I didn’t feel like Bradley Cooper from Limitless with the way my coursemate went on about it.”

Did you think it worked for you?

”I tried Modafinil once and I think it was all a placebo. It felt like I was a little bit more into studying than before but no more than usual if I’m stressed. I think it was a bit of a con to be honest.”

Would you try them again?

”No definitely not. They affect different people in different ways for sure.”

Second year Business Management student 

How did you first hear about study drugs?

”My mate from my old flat in first year told me that he was taking some drug to help him concentrate and wouldn’t stop raving about how good they were. I kind of felt like I wanted to get involved so just tried it.”

How did it affect you?

”I stayed focused for about 4 hours before crashing so I took another half and carried on. I did get a first in the exam that I was revising for though so I think they worked for me.”

Would you try taking study drugs again?

”I would because I got a good result before but I’m scared of getting addicted to be honest, and feeling like if I don’t take Modafil I won’t do well. It massively messed up my sleeping pattern so I don’t know if I would do them again, I think it would depend how stressed out I was.”

First year History student

How were your experiences with study drugs?

”Weird. I felt like doing work was all I wanted to do. I didn’t care about anything else other than the topic I was writing about.”

Did you experience any side effects?

”Yeah it took me a while to switch off and to be able to relax again. I just couldn’t stop thinking about everything in detail.”

Would you recommend them to your friends if they were struggling?

”Yeah definitely if they were comfortable with it. It was more of a prevention to stop distractions than actually helping revision.”