As the usual semi-annual reports of benzedrine-happy students filtered into the Medical Department, Arlie V. Bock '15, Henry K. Oliver Professor of Hygiene, yesterday warned against the drug's use as a study stimulus.
"It's bad stuff," said Dr. Bock. "Benzedrine will keep last-minute crammers awake before exams, but an unintentional overdose may result in an 'E'."
There is a rumor of the physics major who stayed up three nights in a row and left his exam confident of an "A." Actually, he had filled the bue book with nothing but his name, written over and over. Another tale current in the Hygiene precincts concerns the Sophomore who wrote all his exam one one line of the book, forgetting to go on to the next.
"This is very possible," commented Dr. Bock. "I know myself for a fact of more than one student who was unable to read a word of the printed test."
Correct dosage varies for each person, he explained. If a student takes just the right amount, benzedrine will prevent him from sleeping, but otherwise do no harm. If he takes a little too much, he will fall into a delusional or "euphoric" state, in which he does everything wrong without ever realizing it.
If he takes large overdoses, he will probably suffer from dizziness and may not be able to read or write.
Several addicts who are unable to think during an exam come annually to the Hygiene Department seeking official excuses, Dr. Bock said. These are never granted, nor will the Department over give non-medical prescriptions for the drug.
Almost as bad as benzedrine, Bock declared, is caffeine extract and commercial stay-awake pills.
"Twelve hours of sleep before an exam," Bock concluded, "will always bring better grades than 12 hours of study."