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I’m on Adderall…Not A Meth Head.

Okay Okay. So before I say ANYTHING, I’m going to say this: I am in NO way saying it’s OK to do meth. Obviously methamphetamine is a horrific drug that causes harm to people in horrible ways.            With that said…here we go – 

I came across this article this morning while scrolling through my Facebook feed (which is always dangerous, and why I try so desperately to just right off of social media after I post something)

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Immediately after reading the headline, I started to think about a recent Psych 2300 (Psychology Research) class I had where the entire 3 hour lecture was on sourcing research.

So, I started hunting for the original report they talked about in this appalling article – All while trying to keep my personal biases under control. [ That is, biases of having suffered with ADD my entire life and finding DRASTIC relief from it after being prescribed medication for it when I got to college.]

As a student, I have access to tons of databases through The Ohio State University Libraries, that are used for papers, research – yada yada yada. The funny thing is, all I had to do was head over to Google and search “Hart, Csete, and Habibi, Columbia, report on meth vs. adderall.”

Sure enough, the article I found on Facebook was the first link, and THE SECOND LINK WAS THE ORIGINAL STUDY.

One link down. But do people take the 45 seconds it took me to do this?

No. They read the headline –

How Big Pharma Gets Away With Selling Crystal Meth To Children: By Renaming It ‘Adderall’

They think to themselves –

“Wow. That’s crazy. I’m appalled by this. Let me share it on Facebook to show my rage that kids are being drugged with Meth because they just want to play outside.”

And do just that, as you can see a few of the examples HERE.

But, you’re doing this to try and ‘spread the reality’ or even maybe to ‘look like you’re smart and know what’s up with research’ or for whatever reason –

But- did you read the ORIGINAL STUDY?? Who’s PDF is titled:

“Methamphetamine Dangers Exaggerated”

Do you know that there are no requirements for anyone to publish anything on the internet?

That anyone can refer to a study and not include a citation or link to the original findings, knowing that you probably won’t go look it up and that they can falsely report what the study even found?

This ‘Big Pharma Selling Meth to Kids’ article BLEW UP on social media…and here is what the original report actually found:

Hart and his two co-authors  (UNC philosopher and Director of Open Society Global Drug Policy Program) argue that hyping the hazards posed by meth fosters a harmful overreaction similar to the 1980s crack cocaine panic, whose consequences are still affecting our criminal justice system today.

[clarification: excerpt has been shortened to increase the number of people who will actually read it – but no content has been changed]

“…methamphetamine in North America has been the object of sensational “scare” campaigns in the media, fed by nearly everyone – from scientists to healthcare professionals to law enforcement personnel to politicians. Jenkins (1994) describes an early such flood of media reports on “ice” or smokable methamphetamine, which resulted in Congressional hearings and a national panic, though consumption of ice was largely confined to Hawaii. Media reports suggested that the whole of the US would be deluged by “epidemic” levels of use of ice in a short time, ushering in an “ice age” (Jenkins 1994). Jenkins concluded that the demonization of crack versus powder cocaine paved the way for the demonization of ice versus other amphetamines, and that the ice scare served a particular political purpose for certain politicians in Hawaii and beyond who needed to portray themselves as “tough on drugs.” …Both liberal and conservative politicians added their voice to the cacophony that blamed crack for everything from premature death to child abandonment and neglect to high crime and unemployment rates. A decade later the methamphetamine hysteria in the US generated interest among public officials; some were even making outright connections with crack cocaine in their demonizing of the drug.images (5)

‘It’s a white trash drug — methamphetamines largely are consumed by the lower socio-economic element of white people and I think we need to shame it. Just like crack cocaine was a black trash drug and is a black trash drug.’                                                 -Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating during Senate Communications Division in 1999 …Most media portrayals of methamphetamine use emphasized unrealistic effects and exaggerated the harms associated with the drug. [i.e. NPR’s January 2010 story: “This is your face on meth, kids” – where a CA sheriff trying to stop young people from experimenting with meth, developed a computer program that digitally altered teenagers’ faces to show them what they would look like after using the drug for 6-36 months. As the teens watched their pictures change from those of healthy, vibrant individuals to faces marred by open scabs, droopy skin, and hair loss, they were told things such as that these physical changes were directly caused by the drug, or that 90% of those who tried meth once would immediately become ‘addicted.’ Interestingly enough, there is no empirical evidence to support the claim that methamphetamine causes physical deformities. Of course, there have been the pictures of unattractive methamphetamine users – such as the infamous “meth mouth” images of extreme tooth decay, but, consider this: methamphetamine and Adderall are essentially the same drug…Both drugs restrict salivary flow leading to xerostomia (dry mouth), a proposed cause of “meth mouth.” Adderall and generic versions are used daily and frequently prescribed – each year they are among the top 100 most prescribed drugs in the US– yet there are no published reports of unattractiveness or dental problems associated with their use. The physical changes that occurred before and after their methamphetamine use are more likely related to poor sleep habits, poor dental hygiene, poor nutrition and dietary practices, and media sensationalism.

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With regard to the addictiveness of methamphetamine, the best available information clearly shows that the overwhelmingly majority of people who try methamphetamine will not become addicted (O’Brien and Anthony 2009). Less than 15 percent of those who have ever used the drug will become addicted. The bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of methamphetamine users use the drug without problems…In 2005, the state of Montana launched the Montana Meth Project – a set of ads that showed in horrifying details a young person using meth for the first time, and ending up engaging in some unthinkable act (such as prostitution or assaulting strangers) for money in order to buy more of the drug. Stating at the end of the message, “Meth, not even once.” And this was recognized by the White House for innovative approach to drug prevention… Is it true that scare tactic campaigns decrease drug use? … A critical review of the Montana Meth Project’s impact on meth use showed the ads had no effect when preexisting downward trends in the drugs use was taken into account (Anderson 2009)…The population most likely to use methamphetamine finds ads like these laughable because they exaggerate the drugs harmful effects. These individuals know people who have used the drug, and the information in the ads is inconsistent with their realistic, experienced knowledge…A wonderful example? The film “Reefer Madness” as early propaganda attempts about marijuana, which is now a ‘cult classic’ and is widely regarded primarily as both a comedy and a cautionary tale of propaganda. ” (Csete, Hart, and Habibi, 2014, pages 10-13)

Csete, J., Hart, C.L., & Habibi, D. (2014). Methamphetamine: Fact vs. Fiction and Lessons                         From the Crack Hysteria. Open Society Foundations. Pages 1-38.

So I urge you all: to look into sources before you ‘quote’ them. To realize that in this technological age, it is SO EASY to be deceived on the internet.

I am an advocate of truth. As an advocate of truth, I believe that all information should be taken in and assessed before an individual can decide for themselves what they believe.

I do think that people that are going to use drugs are going to use them regardless; and that [as a social worker] I it is my duty to educate people on PROPER coping skills so that they may choose things such as meditation, transparency of emotions, exercise, creativity, etc. So that they may chose consciously to turn to these positive copers instead of negative ones such as drugs, alcohol etc.

(Those of you signed up for e-mail notifications: Keep an eye out for an exclusive printable of Healthy vs. Unhealthy copers and ways to integrate them into your life!)

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After struggling with ADD for 20 years, I never knew what it was like to really have a normal attention span. Once I started getting treated for ADD, I was blown away by the difference. Now, almost every individual in my life has looked back and said

“That makes so much sense; you have definitely had attention issues your whole life”

However, this evens the playing field for people who NEED it.

I cannot tell you how frustrating it is, as someone who has ADD, when I have peers ask to buy adderall from me because they need to pull an all-nighter before a test because they just haven’t studied, or that they really just an a on this one…Not cool.

Adderall addiction is a real thing. I know people who have become addicted to adderall. However, if taken as directed by your doctor, it should not be an issue.

Long term, I do not plan on being on adderall. I don’t think it’s natural to be on any sort of medication long-term…but, I’m not going to look at someone and say it’s just as bad as meth. I think you need to calm down..and maybe lay off the adderall yourself bruh!

 

Madison (1)

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