Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the (ab)use of Adderall

Matt Y. links to an article by Molly Young where the author talks about her use of the medication Adderall. Adderall was made to treat people with ADHD and narcolepsy, but since it's an amphetamine, it's often used in non-prescription ways. Young's article is quite similar to one written by Joshua Foer three years ago.

Matt writes:
Some people, though, clearly experience great effects and it does raise some questions. Do we really want to create a situation where some students may feel that they have to abuse prescription drugs to stay competitive in school? Then again, if there's a pill out there that's safe to take and helps kids learn a bunch of stuff, doesn't it seem like we should be prescribing more of it? I'd want to know more about what the real medical affects of taking the stuff before I made any kind of judgment. I will say that I was a bit shocked to hear about some of the younger faculty using it to help get their work done, but even though at the moment Adderral seems to mainly be a vice of college students there's no particular reason it couldn't be useful (in good ways or bad) for a much wider range of people.

Some people say that they smoke pot because it helps them to relax after a stressful day. Should we encourage them to continue using it? While Matt may be focusing on a drug that is manufactured by a company, whose to say (given his reasoning) that we can't examine the impact of other substances and their effects on human performance? I think there are moral implications to relying on a pill to help someone "learn a bunch of stuff." Couldn't Adderall be used as "mental steroid?"

No comments:

Post a Comment