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Addiction Help Services Will Soon Be More in Demand at the University of Pennsylvania

Here’s the million dollar question for today: Why does the University of Pennsylvania want more people on drugs? 

On one side we have sites like Addiction Help Services trying to help people stop using drugs and alcohol, surveys such as the Monitoring the Future Survey, the DEA and local law enforcement trying to end drug trafficking – we even have President Bush and the National Institute of Drug Abuse trying to end prescription drug abuse in this country.  All of these activties are trying to stop drug abuse and prevent the need for addiction help.

On the other side we have schools like the University of Pennsylvania and their Center for Cognitive Neuroscience promoting more drug use.

The idea that Ritalin might make you more focused is not really in question; it will, it is speed, similar to cocaine, crack and methamphetamine.

But there are broader issues about prescription drug abuse that come into play. I certainly can’t say I’m smarter than a neuroscientist or even a rocket scientist, but if any of the psychologists or psychiatrists from the University of Pennsylvania read the news , they would see that controlling prescription drug use among the young has become a huge problem. Perhaps they think it will go away if everyone is on drugs with a prescription from their doctor.

From Harvard to Stanford to the University of California at Santa Barbara, Ritalin abuse is rampant. It is clear their advertising campaign is working. Some surveys say that 30% or more of college students use prescription stimulants. One in five high school students are using them and, in one Florida high school, Ritalin and Adderall are the drugs most used by the student body.

To promote the use of Ritalin for everyday “cognitive use“ is outrageous and dangerous. The tests may work in a lab, but does the lab take into account all of the risks to our society? Is anyone in the lab aware of the casualties of prescription drugs and the number of people who now need addiction help services to get off them? Do they know how many people wind up in the hospital or the morgue?

Perhaps the school president, Amy Gutmann, should look into this to see if some “vested interest” is paying for this research. It is ridiculous to see scientists, professors and leaders promote this concept – and they promote it proudly as the wave of the future.  If anyone from the University needs addiction help services they should find them – now, before they become one of the casualties.

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