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NEW YORK (AP) - Healthy people should have the right to boost their brains with pills, like those prescribed for hyperactive kids or memory-impaired older folks, several scientists contend in a provocative commentary.

College students are already illegally taking prescription stimulants like Ritalin to help them study, and demand for such drugs is likely to grow elsewhere, they say.

"We should welcome new methods of improving our brain function," and doing it with pills is no more morally objectionable than eating right or getting a good night's sleep, these experts wrote in an opinion piece published online Sunday by the journal Nature.

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As more effective brain-boosting pills are developed, demand for them is likely to grow among middle-aged people who want youthful memory powers and multitasking workers who need to keep track of multiple demands, said one commentary author, brain scientist Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania.

Errr.

Yuck.
 

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I don't even know where to start with that....

:

Though I will say that according to my brother (psychiatrist) the vast majoirity of doctors/professionals he knows used them when studying for their board and med school exams...
 

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Oh this is just wonderful ... mental steroids
:

These medications are just that: medications. They're supposed to be used to people with a medically-defined problem. Not to be used as a performance-enhancing drug.

I can just see college students popping Ritalin before the MCATs and board exams. Problem is: wouldn't one have to continue taking the drug to maintain the results?

So if this kind of behavior is encouraged per these scientists' statements, I could encounter an emergency room physician who had (a) only done well on the boards because of the temporary benefit of taking some pills or (b) gotten him/herself addicted to a drug to maintain brainpower. Neither scenario is great for me.

Wrong, so wrong, on so many levels.
 

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BAD IDEA...and I'm saying this as someone who pops the occasional Adderall that is not mine (in other words abuses it)

I love how it makes me feel. I don't have any appetite, I can stay awake for ever. I feel very clear headed and focused. I get alot done. I only take it every once and a while though. (still NOT good) I don't take it on a regular basis. I'm too afraid to. Adderall and Ritalin are basically speed made in a lab. People that do meth or cocaine say the same things about it (makes them feel focused, clear headed, great energy...) when they first take it, but it's what it does to the person when they use it long term that is the problem. It's addicting. And you build up a tolerance to it fast. So you always need more and more to archive that good high.

I can't believe people are backing this. For people that don't need it, all it is is legal speed.

I know I would feel so much better if I made healthier choices (diet and exercise, proper sleep). I need to get off my ass and do that. A pill is only a temporary fix. We (as a society) need to quit looking for quick fixes)
 

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I think of that too, gethane. What about the people who DON'T use these drugs? How can you get an honest evaluation if you are competing against people using brain-altering drugs?

My stepson has told me everyone he knows in uni uses Ritalin when studying. Everyone. And he knows a lot of people (he's friendly that way).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post
I think of that too, gethane. What about the people who DON'T use these drugs? How can you get an honest evaluation if you are competing against people using brain-altering drugs?

My stepson has told me everyone he knows in uni uses Ritalin when studying. Everyone. And he knows a lot of people (he's friendly that way).
You bring up a good point. Saying it's a good idea for people who are trying to do better in school to use Ritalin or similar drugs is the same thing as saying that it's alright for an athlete to use steroids to do a little better on the field. I cannot, CANNOT believe that scientists, knowing the effect that Ritalin has and now addicting it can become, AND, knowing that it is often abused, can even fathom that it's a good idea. I'm not sure how much more irresponsible it can get. Ritalin can cause tics, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, irritability, depression, anxiety, increased blood pressure, and very rarely, psychosis, seizures, or even sudden death (effects very similar to crystal meth). And that's with normal, everyday, clinical usage! It's hard enough to manage the side effects and potential addictive effects of the drug for someone struggling with ADHD, but with a healthy person it's just about the "high". Even feeling clear headed and having tons of energy may not seem like something bad, if your brain is fine to being with, than it is. Like a previous poster pointed out, it's basically like deciding to do speed, only a safer pharmaceutical formula, but speed, non the less. Ritalin is known to be one of the most common drugs abused by teenagers and probably adults, IMO. To have scientists come and back and say, yes, it's okay to abuse it, is absolutely insane. I could not believe my eyes.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sofiabugmom View Post
Oh this is just wonderful ... mental steroids
:

These medications are just that: medications. They're supposed to be used to people with a medically-defined problem. Not to be used as a performance-enhancing drug.

I can just see college students popping Ritalin before the MCATs and board exams. Problem is: wouldn't one have to continue taking the drug to maintain the results?

So if this kind of behavior is encouraged per these scientists' statements, I could encounter an emergency room physician who had (a) only done well on the boards because of the temporary benefit of taking some pills or (b) gotten him/herself addicted to a drug to maintain brainpower. Neither scenario is great for me.

Wrong, so wrong, on so many levels.
Ritalin is speed plan and simple. It is no different than college students in the 60's popping black beauties or whatever was popular at the time. When I was in high school it was cross tops.

The difference is that the old speed was illegal and Ritalin is not because it is made by a drug manufacturer.

So I say if it is OK to take Ritalin it is OK to take other speeds that are not legal.
 

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Speaking as an individual with ADHD who has taken a few different types of medications I'll say this:

1- If you're not actually ADHD it'll hurt more than it helps. It is designed to FIX a problem with the brain. If that problem isn't there it is going to cause a problem...or so my doc/research says. For example, most people get a buzz from caffeine right? Not me...because my brain is different from most people. It actually calms my brain.

2- Even actually having ADHD these drugs only do so much. After a while they seem to just stop working for me and I actually start having problems from them as my system adjusts to taking them (which is one of the reasons I don't take them any more).

3- Medications are not toys and should only be taken when absolutely needed.
 

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Sounds like the way for the drug companies to cash in on the illicit drug market, legally. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Meh.
 

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ITA with everybody here that this is just a BAD idea- it's simply not healthy for people to take drugs they don't need.

However, we're also talking about adults here. I don't have any moral objection to other adults doing unhealthy things to their own bodies, if they know the risks and decide the benefits are worth it.
 

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I am all for better living through chemistry. I think it's ridiculous that in order to get most legal drugs, you have to define yourself as having an illness. Not being a morning person isn't an illness, but I'd sure like to take some Provigil when I have to get up early. When my reproductive life is over, I am absolutely going to use drugs in a responsible fashion to get up earlier and to sleep less.

I am also in favor of legal psychedelic use, and again, I don't think you should need to be defined as being ill in order to access the substances legally.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by urklemama View Post
I am all for better living through chemistry. I think it's ridiculous that in order to get most legal drugs, you have to define yourself as having an illness. Not being a morning person isn't an illness, but I'd sure like to take some Provigil when I have to get up early. When my reproductive life is over, I am absolutely going to use drugs in a responsible fashion to get up earlier and to sleep less.

I am also in favor of legal psychedelic use, and again, I don't think you should need to be defined as being ill in order to access the substances legally.
Please try not to take this personally, because I'm responding to your ovverall arguement, not judging you as a person-

Lots of people think this way, and that's fine-do what you want to your own body, I don't care. But you are excreting drugs through your urine into MY and MY CHILDREN'S water supply. Which I am not okay with. I don't need a cut of your Adderall prescription.
 
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