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Why “Study Drugs” Like Ritalin Won’t Help You Focus 

A recent study by researchers at the University of Melbourne has revealed the misuse of so-called “study drugs” among students looking for cognitive enhancement.

Drugs such as Ritalin, Modafinil, and Adderall, commonly used to treat ADHD, have gained popularity among students, shift workers, and individuals in high-stress professions who believe these drugs can boost their productivity and focus.

However, the study suggests that using these drugs without a medical need may have adverse effects.

On today’s episode of The Briefing, we talked to one of the authors of the study Dr Elizabeth Bowman from the University of Melbourne, about what they found.

Dr Bowman found that these drugs primarily increase the release and availability of dopamine in the brain. 

While individuals with ADHD may experience improved focus and a calming effect, those without the disorder may experience heightened restlessness, talkativeness, and jitteriness.

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If you’re already a high-performing sort of person, these drugs that just dump more dopamine into your brain are more likely to cause problems than to help out the metaphor I use,”

Dr Bowman said.

It’s like putting more petrol into your car and expecting it to go faster, but the system doesn’t work like that,”

she said.

Dr Bowman said sleep and exercise were the two components with “the biggest effect”.

Sleep is just amazing for your brain, particularly if you’re learning new things or trying to remember things and integrate those memories and understand new systems.”

Subscribe to The Briefing, Australia’s fastest-growing news podcast on Listnr today. The Briefing serves up the latest news headlines and a deep dive into a topic affecting you. All in under 20 minutes.