You remember all the sleepless all-nighters back in college? Yes, they were a fond memory of time spent reviewing page after page of the notes you’ve jotted down in college, desperately trying to ready yourself for the exam the next day. For some of you, it might not even be a memory, but a current experience.
Back in the day, we used to down a few cups of coffee and some Red Bulls in preparation as the night-long rituals we had to take come exam time. When things got out of hand, we’d take a pill sometimes to boost revision. However, that time’s soon coming to an end with the coming age of the pill popping students.
Just last year, the numbers were crunched and it turned out that there were increasingly large amount of students popping “smart pills” in order to boost their concentration and focus, allowing for an enhanced study session.
Just in England, it’s been assessed by the Care Quality Commission (who monitors controlled substances), that prescriptions for methylphenidate drugs – used in ADD patients – have skyrocketed by 55% over the past five years. It’s a surprising number, but actually, these numbers only include medicine that has been acquired by prescription – a number lacking the increasing amount of students ordering these pills online.
In today’s generation where a bachelor degree is an absolute necessity, these brain pills are used to by these students to secure their grades at the top of the class. Some people speculate, however, that this habit might stay with them into their working life and compel them to keep taking these drugs to stay ahead in this competitive economy.
A survey in 2013, taken in Cambridge University, stated that at least 10% of the students there admitted to using these “enhancers” to cope with their studies.
Obviously, this brings up a lot of questions in the ethics of it all, and maybe a smart drug can be your solution in college and the workplace. However, this brings up many ethical debates. Prof. Barbara Sahakian from the university believes all students should be subject to drug tests before the exams.
Perhaps this can be like all other habits – smoking or drinking, for example – but, perhaps the ethics of the use of smart drugs in college and in the workplace have a deeper root, with the ones supporting the use having a claim on a deeper humanistic right – a right to oneself.