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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