The Opposed Views of Science on Use of Modafinil and Other Nootropics
A recent statement made by academician Vince Cakic caused a lot of commotion. He said that taking drugs like Modafinil and Ritalin was as efficient as sending your child to a private tutor. Academician Vince Cakic from the Department of psychology of Sydney University said that students should be allowed to take certain drugs in order to perform better on exams.
Many colleges are resorting to testing student's urine in order to check if they are using any drugs, but mostly in sports competitions. Vince confirmed that he agreed with that procedure, but noted that they should have lower criteria.
Mental doping among students is not anything new. Ever since the late 60s, every generation had some sort of tablets that caused wakefulness and with which they could study for days. But now, the nootropics, the "brain drugs", are raging all over the campus.
Since most nootropics are available for purchase on the web, Cakic thinks that it would be better to allow students to use such drugs because that will prevent illegal actions and it will make students achieve better scores on exams.
Colleges to provide smart drugs to students
It is known that scientists from the Bristol University, at the beginning of this year, declared that schools and colleges themselves should provide smart drugs to students because usage of nootropics may massively expand, as they claim.
Some people believe, however, that it will lead to a scenario in which children whose parents do not have a high income will not be able to buy these drugs, and then there will be a disproportion of students' scores, which will only cause more trouble. One must ask himself: Is this the main issue, or the effects of smart drugs on students' health?
The situation in the Great Britain
The rise of these drugs during the last five years is best seen in educational institutions, and there are more and more students who use them to get rid of the stress and pass exams more easily.
The Guardian wrote that the universities in The Great Britain are planning to introduce stricter controls and possible testing of students before exams, all because of the increased consumption of smart drugs.
Namely, leading academic authorities warn that more and more students are using certain chemical stimulants in order to get rid of stress and improve their abilities for the exams.
Dean's assistant at the Staffordshire University in Britain, Thomas Lancaster, said that universities were about to enter a dangerous world of drugs, and he invited all institutions to openly speak about this problem.
"Universities should seriously consider how to react to the ever increasing influx of ‘smart drugs' at campus. This is a problem that should be talked about, but also some very important questions should be answered. For instance, is taking exams under the influence of ‘smart drugs' cheating, are those drugs dangerous? If this trend continues, universities will be forced to introduce drug tests", Lancaster stated.
Although the competent institutions have been warned of numerous cases of "study drugs", students still find a way to get the drugs in order to increase their concentration and cognitive functions, and not get caught in the process.
The problem is that students take drugs like Modafinil, Ritalin, and Adderall on their own, drugs which are used in treating disorders like narcolepsy or AHDH.
A Medical Academy study on 60 volunteers
The Ministry of Health requested a report from the Medical Academy that would completely test the drugs that "improve concentration". Dr. Daniele Tarner from the University of Cambridge tested Modafinil on 60 healthy volunteers.
"We tested all volunteers two hours after taking one dose of Modafinil and discovered noticeable improvements when they took some tests, especially when encountered difficult tasks. As the tasks were becoming more difficult, it seemed that volunteers reacted better and better, and their performance improved. It seemed that with the help of Modafinil people could stay concentrated for longer periods of time, and solve assigned tasks with more precision.", Dr. Tarner concluded.
The future of Modafinil
The Government of The Great Britain is very concerned when it comes to drugs that increase mental capability, so they decided with the help of the Academy of Medical Sciences to conduct a research that will determine what impact these drugs have on people's health.
The Academy held a series of workshops across The Great Britain in order to hear the public opinion. One of the common questions that were asked was: "If there are pills like these, or similar ones, in the future that can help my child solve entrance exams more easily, and if I do not want him to use them, will I place my child at a disadvantage compared to his peers who took the pills"?
"Who knows where this generation of pills can take us. Do we want to become a country where everyone will be on ‘smart pills' in order to become 'smarter' and more energetic, so that we can work for longer?", one participant of the workshop wondered.