• Academic Viagra

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    Real Carpio So

    Real Carpio So

    “Why would I spend 10 days writing a paper when I could spend 10 hours?”
    – P. Sampson

    In the west, students take Adderall, Ritalin, and Modafinil. Recent developments in medicine have raised the possibility that drugs and other interventions could be used to enhance brain processes. These drugs are usually prescribed for patients diagnosed with ADHD or narcolepsy.

    For ADHD patients, Adderall and Ritalin calm the mind to focus on the task at hand. For ‘normal’ people who are not impaired by the illness or disorder, they sharpen the brain and give it the boost needed for studying an examination or writing a research paper. According to his experience, English technologist and author Ben Hammersley claims that if Modafinil is “taken at the right time of day, one is able to stay awake for at least 24 hours without any effect on mental acuity.”

    In “64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then,” Hammersley reports that anti-ADHD drugs are taken regularly by American students and their professors. It also claims that as early as 2005, parents have been taking their children to doctors for prescriptions for Adderall. This is in order to help them improve academic performance.

    In an informal survey conducted by Nature magazine, 20 percent of respondents stated that they had used drugs for non-medical reasons to stimulate focus, concentration, or memory. In 2013, a British student paper reported that the same percentage of students had taken drugs for narcolepsy in the months leading to the exams.

    In the 2011 film Limitless, the main character was introduced to a nootropic drug. Also called smart drugs or cognitive enhancers, nootropic drugs are drugs, supplements, or substances that improve cognitive functions. The effects of the drug enable the character “to fully utilize his brain and vastly improve his lifestyle. According to records, the international sales of these supplements exceeded $1 billion in 2015.

    In the absence of a medical condition, the use of cognition-enhancing drugs by healthy individuals is highly debated. In the medical community, these issues include ethics and fairness of use, side effects concerns, and the diversion of prescription drugs for non-medical use. For one, the effects of these drugs on people who are not diagnosed with the indicated illness or disorder are inconclusive. Long-term studies on the effects are few. However, early studies have shown that people who take the drugs in this manner are at a greater risk of developing psychological conditions.

    In the academe, the issues are focused on if taking the drug is considered a form of cheating. Students still have to write their own paper and study examination materials. However, some gain advantage because the drug is not available to everyone. The imperative of getting high marks due to peer pressure, family expectations, or academic loads may compel students to take this option.

    Perhaps policies can be implemented on academic doping. Or urine tests can be administered before the start of exams. Until then, there is really no certainty that a student who got high marks got them without the help of enhancers.

    I composed this piece in three hours . . . next time, I’ll be done in 30 minutes or less. Promise.

    Real Carpio So lectures on strategic and human resource management at the Management and Organization Department of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business of De La Salle University. He is also an entrepreneur and a management consultant. He welcomes comments at realwalksonwater@gmail.com. The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.

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