The new cocaine

On academic steroids, I’m approaching the edge of euphoria and insanity. And it’s almost legal.

IâÄôm high on what feels like cocaine. ItâÄôs hard to describe, a bit like focused euphoria, straddling the line with madness. My mind is producing and recycling thought with incredible haste and lucidity. I could write 50 pages in one sitting. Nothing can stop me! My current state probably sounds familiar to a lot of you; Adderall is about as common on college campuses as venereal disease âÄî and twice as easy to get. Getting this drug is as simple as taking a trip to the doctor or psychiatristâÄôs office. Merely âÄúnot being able to concentrate in classâÄù seems to be a sufficient symptom to gain a prescription. Of course, given their cozy relationship with pharmaceutical companies, most doctors are inclined to ignore the possibility that problems with focus could be that youâÄôre sleep-deprived or disinterested in the topic being droned at you from 50 yards away. No, you have an attention disorder and are in need of medication! If you donâÄôt want to go through the hassle of visiting a doctor or (if youâÄôre like me) you donâÄôt have health insurance, just ask a friend, one of them is almost certain to have some. This canâÄôt be good for me? I can feel the chemicals dancing around in my brain, tickling my pleasure, motivation and focus centers. Specifically âÄî and sorry to get all scientific on you âÄî the drug is increasing levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine in my brain, this being the desired outcome of amphetamines and the same three chemicals affected by the less socially acceptable, but equally stimulating cocaine. You can also take it without receiving all the sneering judgment you get when sniffing a line of blow, and the best part is that you donâÄôt have to risk imprisonment for using it. The legality of my current euphoric state is really just a technical matter. Adderall is legally prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; IâÄôve been assured and reassured of my deficient and disorderly attention span all throughout my public school education, so according to the powers that be, I should be on some type of drug anyway. I figured the legal part is just a technicality, and I skipped the trip to the doctor and borrowed from a friend who followed the legal procedure (I pick from many). But what about the side effects? Well, there is no shortage, possible physical effects include reduced appetite, increased and distorted sensations, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, flushing, restlessness, dry mouth, erectile dysfunction (not in my case ladies âĦ I promise), increased blood pressure, fever, diarrhea, constipation, impaired speech, dizziness, uncontrollable movements, insomnia, tachycardia, numbness, palpitations, arrhythmia and in my circumstances at the moment, blurred vision. But thatâÄôs not all. Some psychological effects of Adderall can include euphoria, creative or philosophical thinking, perception of increased energy, increase of goal-orientated thoughts, repetitive behavior, increased concentration, metacognition âÄî that one sounds fun âÄî feeling of power or superiority, uncontrollable laughter or crying, an increased expression of aggression or paranoia and occasionally amphetamine psychosis; the latter typically in a high and/or chronic doses. These effects are similar to other phenylethylamine stimulants and cocaine. Sure sounds like drugs to me, with the same host of immediate desirable cognitive effects, accompanied by the undesirable, usually veiled, psychical consequences. But IâÄôm not writing today to offer any trite warnings of heart attacks, addiction or other unlikely outcomes âÄî my Adderall rehab column is forthcoming. I write to inform that the government has legalized and established medicine made readily available, the use of a fantastic study drug, and it has all the same favored effects as other illegal drugs. As far as Adderall and cocaine are concerned, I can attest, when you snort it, thereâÄôs virtually no difference at all. Maybe cocaine is actually the safer option? After all, cocaine comes from Mother Earth, derived from the coca plant mainly by our friends in Columbia, Bolivia and Peru, while Adderall was designed by humans in a lab. But then again, with Adderall you wonâÄôt have to worry about the product being cut with any nasty chemical alternatives. At least you can trust your doctor to be giving you pure stuff, even though, like the drug dealer, he or she doesnâÄôt really know exactly how youâÄôll react to the drug âÄî or the long-term consequences. But donâÄôt worry about that, as long as youâÄôre getting your drugs from a person in a white coat, it canâÄôt be bad. And who wouldnâÄôt want a little edge? If youâÄôre not taking it, your peers that do definitely have an advantage. ItâÄôs pretty much the equivalent of an academic steroid, and if youâÄôre the scholarly equivalent of Tori Hunter, youâÄôll be the cerebral Barry Bonds after popping one of these wonderful little pills. For anyone whoâÄôs taken it, the upside is clear and thereâÄôs no doubt this magnificent drug increases focus; just like pot helps some people relax, or the way a glass of MakerâÄôs Mark over ice lubricates my thought process and loosens my finger tips when writing. So go get yourself some Adderall, itâÄôs cheaper than cocaine, with less of a hangover. (IâÄôm sorry âĦ I retract everything I just said. ItâÄôs 5 a.m. IâÄôve been sweating and wrestling with my thoughts for hours. Dizzily pacing, smoking too many cigarettes, having spats of diarrhea, and cursing this wretched drug; this columnist advises against the illegal use or abuse of this dangerous and very addictive drug). Ross Anderson welcomes comments at [email protected]