"Thu, Apr 22, 2010 my paper - Varsity students turn to drugs to stay alert
JOHN (not his real name) seems like any first-year university student - except that he sleeps just two hours a day.
In fact, he sleeps only 30 minutes at a go, after every 51/2 hours of waking time.
The 21-year-old has been taking wakefulness-boosting drugs for the past three years, which keep him alert even with hardly any sleep.
This allows him to juggle school work and run the two businesses he owns - a trade-related business and a sports venture - even late into the night.
John is among a sizeable number of tertiary students and young executives here who are turning to such drugs to lengthen their waking hours.
"My friends and I took the drug to sustain our lifestyle and not for fun so that we can realize our business entrepreneurial dream!" he said. 'I will stop when I realize my dream by my late '20s. I also do regular check up, especially the liver, to make sure I am ok." he added."
When I read this article, my memory was racing fast and furious back to the early '80s when report of brilliant and hard driving engineers in the Silicon Valley, California, and investment bankers with high stress job in the East Coast of the USA, indulging in sniffing cocaine and heroine. Some of them, unlike John and his friends here, were dead before their ambitions were realized. Hopefully John will get his before the habit kills one or some of his body functions!
Lessons for me are:
1. what you know that is bad for you and yet you seek is not wise no matter how you justified it. Sustaining a certain lifestyle with medication is simply against nature and it will have consequences;
2. when you think you have control over the potential risk and danger you are courting, kudos to you if nothing untoward happened to you. If it did, you should also bear the consequence like a decent human being will do -take it on your chin and live on! This is especially so if your parents have passed on so that they don't have to worry about you. Or that your parents no longer cared about your well being as you thought yourself an orphan! Maybe that is reason enough to tempt fate!;
3. Unfortunately, most of us do have caring parents and/or siblings and/or relatives and friends. If we simply just passed away without any complication from the damaged caused by these medication, it is a blessing. A fortunate thing in an unfortunate event. However, if we become dependent on the parents, family, relatives and friends, it will be totally irresponsible. But then again, when we carelessly state that the reason we use the drug is not for fun but to realize our business ambition or aces the studies, etc, are we not already been irresponsible and kidding ourselves?
May John and those like him or her seriously rethink their method. Or they should prepare to go without burdening anyone who care and love them.