Smart Drugs…Really?

by baladmin | April 15, 2014

Just pop a pill and you’re suddenly at the top of your game – that’s a dream fueled by the widespread global abuse of drugs that claim to enhance mental performance. Klaus Lieb, director of the clinic for psychiatry and psychotherapy at the University of Mainz, has found that around 20 percent of students and surgeons in Germany have experimented with so-called brain doping. But do these pills really help? And what about their side effects?

No Difference in Placebo & Smart Drugs

For a study, Lieb made 40 chess players face off against a computer – with the help of ritalin, modafilin and a placebo. Scientists found that when students take the “smart drugs”, they did not get any smarter but they did get slightly more alert, and they also found that these drugs come with heavy side effects. In some individuals the placebo induced participants acted more alert too.

ritalin ABUSE

Ritalin, usually prescribed for attention deficit disorder, and Modafinil, prescribed for narcolepsy, are some of the most favored ‘performance enhancers’ named by the report of a joint Academies workshop into Human Enhancement and the Future of Work, published online.

ethical Implications

There are serious ethical implications of enhancements like these being necessary for jobs or degrees. In the introduction the report states: “Enhancement could benefit employee efficiency and even work–life balance, but there is a risk that it will be seen as a solution to increasingly challenging working conditions, which could have implications for employee wellbeing.”

The Risk Factors Out-way the Perceived Benefits

The studies also found that smart drug use included long term risks, headaches, insomnia, addiction and nervous break downs were common.  Even with the findings this study offers there is still a high demand for the drugs.

Taking smart drugs is not a smart decision to make, and if you or someone you love is struggling with performance enhancing drugs of any kind, please call us immediately for help.

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