backtop


Print 20 comment(s) - last by initialised.. on Dec 31 at 10:57 AM

Performance enhancing drug use common in poker tournaments and with classical musicians

Ask most people on the streets about performance enhancing drugs and some of America’s favorite past times spring to mind: baseball and football. Scandals have hit Major League Baseball hard over the last year with top athletes being found to use performance-enhancing drugs like steroids.

Activities many people won’t think of when it comes to performance-enhancing drug use are poker and classical music. The drugs used in the two latter fields differ from steroids, but the intended gains from taking the drugs is the same as athletes look for in taking steroids -- performance gains.

The drugs used to boost mental capabilities include ADHD drugs like Adderall and Ritalin or Provigil, which is a medication to combat narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where a sufferer’s normal sleep pattern is interrupted leading to excessive daytime sleepiness and falling asleep at any random time.

Professional poker player Paul Philips credits Adderall and Provigil with helping him to earn $2.3 million USD playing poker. Philips says that the drugs allowed him to better concentrate during big tournaments.

According to the LA Times, a 2005 survey of more than 10,000 college students found that 4% to 7% had tried ADHD drugs at least once to focus more for exams or pull all night study session. Sarah Tuck, a flutist with the San Diego Symphony, told the LA Times that she had used beta-blockers like Inderal to combat what musicians refer to as “rubber fingers” prior to performances and auditions.

“When your heart is racing and your hands are shaking and you have difficulty breathing, it is difficult to perform,” said Tuck.  Inderal helps block the effects of adrenaline in the system, reducing the feeling of nervousness.

Medical professionals like to point out that the study of these drugs in healthy patients has not been conducted and that the side effects of these medications could be worse than any potential gain. Unlike steroids where cancer is a serious concern for users, the side effects of the mental enhancing drugs can be as mild as nausea or headache.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Inevitable
By Verran on 12/27/2007 1:25:08 PM , Rating: 5
Ritalin and Adderall have become a socially acceptable substitute for parenting skills. Doctors and pharmacies are shoveling these pills over their counters by the barrel these days, so is it any wonder that adults are finding uses for them too?

To imply shock in adults taking a medication we regularly pump into our children is laughable.

Oh, and what's the deal with the last sentence? Is there a quota on DT links for each article that needed to be hit? That sentence seems entirely out of place, and a VERY odd way to wrap up the story.




RE: Inevitable
By DM0407 on 12/27/2007 1:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is a Wikipedia-esuqe way of writing a story.


RE: Inevitable
By mdogs444 on 12/27/2007 1:51:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Doctors and pharmacies are shoveling these pills over their counters by the barrel these days

Not technically. Doctors may be over prescribing these pills - which could be open to debate - but I am not a doctor and will not tell them how to do their job. However, pharmacies do not write prescriptions, they only dispense drugs that have been prescribed by a physician.

I worked in the Pharmacy IT field doing application design, so I am well aware of all the initial & secondary q/a verification that occurs during filling, as well as the checks performed to verify validity of the prescription.

Bottom line - it may be a debate to place blame on prescribers for over prescribing, or perhaps the FDA for not doing as much testing of a product prior to signing off on it. But the pharmacy itself is performing the service that was requested by a physician - they are not at fault (when legally dispensing drugs).


RE: Inevitable
By Verran on 12/27/2007 2:19:54 PM , Rating: 1
You forgot to mention that at your particular pharmacy, you never witnessed the literal use of a shovel for distributing said pills.

My statement was figurative. But alas, if the pills are passing through the pharmacies, then I don't see how my intended point is wrong. I didn't say the pharmacies are to blame necessarily, just they they are distributing them. Besides, I doubt the pharmacists are overly distraught with their monetary gains from these new-found parenting tools.

My point was that while I'm sure ADD and ADHD are real, it doesn't take a genius to wonder if maybe they're not quite as widespread as the medication numbers seem to indicate these days. Hordes of lazy parents have decided it's easier to just blame a "Ritalin-deficiency" than actually get off their cans and get involved, and as a result these drugs are now commonplace in our society.


RE: Inevitable
By mdogs444 on 12/27/2007 2:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't disagreeing with your opinions, just stating facts on how pharmacies work because I have much experience with them. Sure, there are always corrupt ones, but look at the big picture and realize there is more good ones than bad.
quote:
But alas, if the pills are passing through the pharmacies, then I don't see how my intended point is wrong.

Well, it is wrong because it goes too far. Thats like saying if a bad driver causes an accident and kills someone, then not only is the license bureau guilty for licensing a bad driver, but so is the car dealer by association. The car dealer is legally selling a car to someone with a drivers license, insurance, and the money to buy the car. Just as the pharmacy is selling the drugs to the patient who has a valid doctors prescription, & payment method.

quote:
Besides, I doubt the pharmacists are overly distraught with their monetary gains from these new-found parenting tools.

Technically, the pharmacists are salaried employees. The pharmacy itself makes the money. pharmacists are under a great deal of scrutiny, so trust me when i tell you that they take the utmost precaution (most of them anyway) before dispensing any drugs with their names attached.
quote:
My point was that while I'm sure ADD and ADHD are real, it doesn't take a genius to wonder if maybe they're not quite as widespread as the medication numbers seem to indicate these days.

I agree, and just like everyone who has a little bit of pain doesn't need a PRN (unlimited refill prescription) for 90 days of Vicodin.


RE: Inevitable
By camped69 on 12/28/2007 2:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Ya gotta love big Pharma. Keep the population dumbed down and they will never know what hit 'em.


Oh really?
By Misty Dingos on 12/27/2007 1:08:12 PM , Rating: 5
Was anyone surprised by the content of this story? Were you shocked to find out that a stressed concert pianist turned to a drug to calm them down? Anyone hear of taking a shot of whiskey before a performance?

Or that someone who plays poker professionally would rather drink coffee or take no-doze (or the modern equal) while at the table rather than have cocktails?

Or that kids at college are trying to score as high on a test that they can and will do just about anything to do that?

Not surprised at were you, me neither.

Grog the caveman took drugs to see god or just feel better and Gort the spaceman a thousand years from now will take drugs to do the same thing. It is in our nature to exceed our own potential. If it takes drugs to achieve that end, then we will use drugs.




RE: Oh really?
By Lord 666 on 12/27/2007 1:30:06 PM , Rating: 2
The real question is if the use of foreign chemicals genetically modifies humans or induces evolution over generations.


RE: Oh really?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 12/27/2007 1:41:28 PM , Rating: 4
Epigentics. It's a new but fundamentally sound study of biology that's just coming up. The answer is yes.


RE: Oh really?
By PlasmaBomb on 12/27/2007 3:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing New...
By HrilL on 12/27/2007 3:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
I used to take Ritalin regularly as kid and I was taking it as an adult as well. I Stopped because after taking it for a long time you feel as if you are in a state where you don't care about anything. You seem to lose your ambition and nothing seems to make you happy. You get irritated very easy and people always seem to be against you when they are not. I've come to the conclusion that it is better to live with ADHD rather then live a life that just seems bland and boring and food even sucks. I lost about 10 pounds over 3 months of taking it. Oh also the lack of hunger and insomnia are not worth it. But the difference is that I was taking it to help me with something and it did but it wasn't worth it. Now I will never take such drugs again.




RE: Nothing New...
By mdogs444 on 12/27/2007 3:08:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
you feel as if you are in a state where you don't care about anything. You seem to lose your ambition and nothing seems to make you happy. You get irritated very easy and people always seem to be against you when they are not


Wow, sounds like living with ADHD is very similar to living with my girlfriend's PMS.


RE: Nothing New...
By HrilL on 12/27/2007 3:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
I was talking about when taking the drugs not the other way around haha. Without the Drugs I feel Good, food is good, life is good. Just faster paced. And I am hyper. have Energy I don't know what to do with. But yeah while taking Ritalin it could be very similar to your girlfriends PMS.


Double Standards
By Mithan on 12/27/2007 1:17:28 PM , Rating: 3
This news? People take alcohol, caffeeine and dozens of other drugs for the same thing daily.




Go Figure
By tjr508 on 12/27/2007 10:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
A big gulp and a couple marlboro reds usually did the trick for me right before an exam, but if this keeps up, you're going to have to go see a doctor to get a damn multivitamin.




eh...
By Teetu on 12/27/2007 11:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
I remember studying these drugs in neuro and caffine is as effective- if not more effective than all these drugs coming out. Search for some medical journal articles if you're interested, and stay far away from newspapers and magazines- because they're caught up in all the hype.




No Effect from Provigil . . .
By JohnnyCNote on 12/28/2007 12:46:28 AM , Rating: 2
. . . at least from what I can tell. I use it for chronic
hypersomnia (opposite of insomnia). While it helps keep me from nodding off at work, I can't see where it would offer any benefit beyond that. In fact, sometimes I've taken it and still slept all day on days off when I wanted to stay up and run errands, etc.

Maybe other people react differently, but I can't see any abuse potential in it. Besides, as it's not available as a generic, it would be quite expensive unless someone has insurance. Even then it's usually in the top co-pay bracket.

Hey, maybe I've got a goldmine in my medicine cabinet :) (no, I wouldn't sell any prescribed drugs) . . .




Overgeneralization = inaccurate
By JAB on 12/28/2007 4:43:45 AM , Rating: 2
I am not sure why LA times did not talk with a medical doctor or Pharmisist before attacking these drugs but here are a few of the inaccuracies.

Using Inderal for stage fright was used from nearly the first days of its creation in the 1950s' hardly a new use or untested it is also used to prevent headaches(not cause them).

Beta blockers like inderal are being extensively tested on healthy adults to prevent heart attacks. Most up to date doctors would recommend everyone take a beta blocker healthy or not- it is not safe for people with certain medical conditions but then what drug is safe for everyone.

Adderall is given to people with ADHD depression etc These are usually 'healty' people often with no other medical issues. I am not sure how not tested in healthy people applies here. Further Initial FDA approval testing is on healthy people to show if it is safe to use. Yes it can be abused but under proper use and medical supervision it is a very safe drug.

Under the current legal enviroment something as dangerous as Aspirin would likely never make it through FDA testing. I suspect no company would even try.




Screw Ritalin...
By Polynikes on 12/28/2007 1:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
I could use some Mentats.

I couldn't resist a Fallout reference.




So it's becoming mainstream now?
By initialised on 12/31/2007 10:57:14 AM , Rating: 2
Poker & Classical Music? I thought Ritalin & Modafinil were more widely (ab?)used at LAN parties than anywhere else.




"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes











botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki