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What if the Drugs do Work?

A bit off topic for this blog but what the heck.

Apparently the use of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall to boost academic and work performance is on the rise with up to 7% of University students in the USA using these drugs. A recent paper in Nature suggests that rather than trying to stop this rise we should legalise the use of performance enhancing drugs, or as they put it “Mentally competent adults should be able to engage in cognitive enhancement using drugs.”. While Ritalin and Adderall are the most common drugs now newer drugs like modafinil (brand name Provigil) also offer new benefits like reducing the need for sleep.

My own initial reaction is to agree. If there are no major side effects, or if those side effects are known and someone chooses to accept them, then people should have the right to use anything means to improve themselves. One day soon this may apply not just to drugs but to cybernetic enhancements.

In general I’m in favour of the maximum amount of freedom people can take and this seems a clear case to me but as always I’m open to being corrected. What do you think?

via Wired


3 Responses

  1. Sounds great, however, classical stimulants have severe side effects and potential for abuse.

    Having taken dexedrine for most of my life, (stopped because of anger issues and depression stemming from it) I am unlucky enough to partially understand why such drugs are not available over the counter.

  2. […] bookmarks tagged work What if the Drugs do Work? « Mid-west Humanists saved by 4 others     film017 bookmarked on 12/11/08 | […]

  3. I have to say – where do i get some!

    I see nothing wrong once the drug has been proven safe with no long-lasting side effects, and i suppose that is the rub. I was particularly interested in the drug that allowed you to operate on less sleep – who couldn’t use more productive hours in the day? I would be sceptical of any long-term harm caused by prolonged sleep deprivation – but for sure it is an interesting article.

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