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Wednesday 10, Sep 2014

  Doping In Esports Is Rampant, Says Industry Insider

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Doping In Esports Is Rampant, Says Industry Insider

The temptation to dope can be huge with millions of dollars at stake and tens of thousands of fans watching every move, says Bjoern Franzen – a consultant and marketer formerly with one of the world’s largest esports companies.

Franzen publicly declared that doping in esports is rampant. In a lengthy blog post, Franzen said media and gaming firms are turning a blind eye to the substance use right under their noses. Franzen added he had seen players pop a pill, even an hour before important games either to calm them down or push themselves. The consultant remarked he had seen players taking a lot of drugs, including Ritalin that improves concentration and the beta-blocker Propranolol that helps players stay calm under pressure and blocks the effects of adrenaline and even Selegiline, a drug used for treating Parkinson’s disease and having a potential to improve mood and motivation during tournaments.

Franzen also remarked one of the Industries best kept secrets is neuroenhancement for cyber-athletes and in electronic sports in general. The term “neuroenhancement” refers to improvement in the emotional, cognitive, and motivational functions of healthy individuals by using drugs that are known as pharmaceutical neuroenhancers (or “smart drugs”). Franzen said neuroenhancement for cyber-athletes is primarily facilitated by the use of drugs such as Piracetam, Methylphenidate, Modafinil, Selegiline, and Propranolol.

 According to an article in May 2014 about the Potential consequences of cognitive enhancers by Kimberly R. Urban and Wen-Jun Gao, the main classes of drugs used for cognitive enhancement  include psychostimulants (methylphenidate (MPH), amphetamine), but wakefulness-promoting agents (modafinil) and glutamate activators (ampakine) are also used sometimes.

Alexander Müller, Managing Director at German esports giant SK Gaming, said the company does not allow any kind of doping and has never had to deal with it among their players. Müller remarked we establish close to very close relationships with our players and added drugs have never been a factor in our history with players whatsoever.

One of the main benefits of doping in esports is that it allows players to train harder and longer. Brandon Harris, a law student and gamer at the University of New Hampshire, said it is common to see a range of stimulants used during competitions. Harris, who writes on legal issues in esports, remarked and if you’re using a broad definition of doping – i.e. ‘taking any substance in an attempt to improve gameplay’ – the use would be extremely widespread and also added that caffeine, energy drinks, ginseng supplements, all sorts of over-the-counter stuff is heavily and excessively used.

Professional gamers shy away from using illegal drugs, Harris said according to his experience but added he has encountered the use of medication usually prescribed for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression to gain an edge.

Brendon Boot, a neurologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said the real danger here is the temptation to escalate. Esport players could end up on ever higher dosages, by using drugs in risky ways such as snorting or injecting them, or mixing them. Boot added for example, taking Selegiline with an antidepressant can lead to something called serotonin syndrome: headache, confusion, hyperthermia, muscle spasms, tremors and sometimes death, and remarked these guys are playing with fire.

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Monday 27, Sep 2010

  Arizona starts tracking users of prescription drugs

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Arizona starts tracking users of prescription drugsA centralized, state-managed database that can be accessed by doctors and pharmacists around Arizona, will be storing prescription information of legally sold drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Ritalin, and Ambien.

Dr. Stephen Borowsky, an anesthesiologist and pain-management specialist, said that he is happy to learn that Arizona has finally decided to keep a close eye on medicines that have potential for addiction.

Pharmacy Board officials remarked that database access is recorded and limited to doctors and pharmacists.

Wednesday 26, Aug 2009

  Abuse of Ritalin on a rise among teenagers

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Abuse of Ritalin on a rise among teenagersRitalin has emerged as the obvious choice of a huge majority of sleep-deprived teenagers who are struggling to make the grade.

Undergraduates, as well as high school SAT-takers, are turning to prescription stimulants for boosting the levels of concentration to stay ahead of competition without feeling the heat of burning the oil in night.

According to a study by the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center, it was found that ten percent of college students tend to use stimulants on an illegal basis at some point in their college years.

From News-Medical.Net:

“Most students who use their friend’s stimulants do it to improve performance,” said Scott Teitelbaum, M.D., medical director of the Florida Recovery Center at UF. “It’s like athletes taking steroids – the idea that you can study better, harder, longer, as if you were hitting a ball farther.”

But the pills won’t make up for a semester of slacking off, said Teitelbaum.

“When you look at the students that use illicit (stimulants), their performance at school is worse,” Teitelbaum said. “And that’s probably because the need to use the drug reflects them being behind, and needing to cram and catch up.”

Ritalin revs up the central nervous system, creating feelings of alertness that fall somewhere between those produced by caffeine and cocaine.

“If you look at Ritalin structurally, it’s the closest relative to cocaine,” said Teitelbaum. “I think it depends on the dose one is taking, and why they’re taking it. Some people take stimulants solely for the effect on concentration. Other people are taking it for the buzz.”

Pharmaceutical abuse is on the rise among teens, surpassing the combined rates of crack/cocaine, Ecstasy, heroin and methamphetamine abuse, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Experts predict the trend will continue because the pills are inexpensive and widely available.

“Unlike cocaine, you can get Ritalin very cheaply from your friends because all they need is their co-pay,” Teitelbaum said. “There’s a great availability.”

From the above conclusions, it can be easily found out that usage of illicit drugs is still on a rampant rise despite the United States government trying its best to eradicate drugs.

Tuesday 27, May 2008

  What are Brain Steroids?

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brain_steroidsIf athletes have their performance-enhancing drugs, the office workers and students have their brain-enhancing drugs or the so-called brain steroids.

Yes, there are now such things as brain-enhancing drugs which are used by regular white-collar employees can work harder, longer, and better. They are also used by students to perform better in their academics. These are substances normally indicated for narcolepsy and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Users of brain steroids have two informal classifications of these substances – sleep-replacement compounds and focus drugs.

Caffeine and Provigil (modafinil), a drug used to treat narcolepsy, belong to the first group. Provigil was purposely developed to promote wakefulness in patients with sleep disorders.

Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall and Focalin are of the second group, which reportedly improves cognitive functions such as focus and memory.

Ritalin and Adderall are particularly popular among today’s students. And because of the rampant usage of these drugs, many steroids users – anabolic steroids users, to be more precise – question how it is different than the use of AAS in the athletics.

If the federal authorities are cracking down on amateur and pro level athletes who are using anabolic steroids, why not do the same to the pill-popping student populace? Is there really a big difference between a student using drugs to get better grades and an athlete using the same (well, basically the same) to get better points?

Brain steroids users, like their counterparts in the sporting field, also adapt self-experimentation when it comes to dosage protocols. Since the Food and Drug Administration is unlikely to approve these drugs other than for their clinical applications, brain steroids users will be on that self-experimentation stage for a while.

Although anabolic steroids use is not criminalized, selling or possessing them with intent to distribute is considered a criminal act under the federal law. Violations can mean fines or imprisonment.