University students are turning to a dangerous illegal drug to help get them through their exams, according to reports. Thousands of undergraduates, including from universities in London, are said to be using Noopept, which claims to boost memory recall and the ability to take in more information.
Non-prescription sale of the drug was banned in the UK last month as part of a bill to tackle ‘legal highs’ - but this reportedly hasn’t stopped students from taking the capsules.
Mike, a 22 year-old sociology student from Leamington Spa admitted taking the drug before his exams. He told The Sun: “I first tried Ritalin when I was 18 then at university I’ve recently moved on to Noopept.
“It’s definitely helped my exams. I’ve had some really good exams results on these types of drug but it’s hard to know whether it’s me or the chemicals getting the results which can be a downer. Universities are aware of it. Quite a few have considered drug testing before exams.”
Noopept is commonly used in the US and Russia and can be prescribed to combat medical conditions such as ADHD and Alzheimer’s. The drug can be bought [inexpensively], making it cheaper than similar drugs modafinil and Ritalin. Experts have warned the drug carries side effects like irritability and depression and users can build up a tolerance to the drug, leading to larger dosages.
Forensic pharmacologist Dr Edward Bliss told The Sun: “The main problem with these drugs is tolerance. This will lead to users requiring an ever increasing dosage with the biggest threat coming from depression – especially for this student age group who are particularly susceptible to depression. Also you can’t validate what you’re taking chemically from buying online and couple that with some people will simply have bad reactions – it’s unpredictable. The recent bill banning sale of these substances will do nothing at all to the trade and it’s doubtful it will even affect the price.”
By Jaime Mickelthwaite - The Evening Standard/June 6, 2016