Students of today’s generations are under more stress and pressure than any other in history. The endless need to increase grades, raise GPA, climb the class ranks, test well, be accepted to a great college, and excel in a field that yields a quality salary is causing significant damage to students.  The pressure student’s face is truly endless. The economic hardships of parents, friends, and others were encounter only deepen the stress of having to perform well in educational careers. What is there was a super drug that could help students perform better; a steroid for the brain. For most students this would seem like the answer to all their prayers. For the last several years students have been experimenting with stimulants in an effort to increase their focus, sharpness, and in turn increase their scores. There are two sides to this argument; for and against. Both of these sides raise good points, but the answer to whether or not students should be able to use these drugs is not clear. The George Washington University had recently opened the argument of smart drug use for debate. Several medical professionals, neurological professionals, and professors were invited to deliver their arguments for and against the use of these drugs. The use of smart drugs among Indiana college students, however, has bigger societal implications.

Benefits of the Use of Smart Drugs

It is hard to argue against the fact that any mental growth on a societal level is negative. It is essential not only for success as an individual, but for the entirety of the human race that we continue to develop or evolve. Anyone that has the opportunity to increase their mental capacities should be given that opportunity; which is what the education system does. If taking a small pill every once and a while increases mental abilities, then it should be allowed. Second, if these drugs usage are banned from college students, it would be taking away their ability to make their own decisions. Taking away free will from students is not the way to run a society. Third, patients of physicians have the right to choose what medical advice they wish to follow. In addition, recent medical evidence provides proof that the cardiovascular side effects of consuming these drugs are not as severe or high risk as previously thought.

Negatives of Smart Drugs

New research might have proven that these drugs are not as dangerous or lethal as previously thought, but that does not negate the fact they have yet to be proven helpful. In fact, most studies on the effectiveness of smart drugs on cognitive ability have come back false or with mixed results. Meta-analysis of 48 studies has come back stating that little to no effects on certain types of memory in healthy individuals who consume stimulants. To add to this is the fact that it is not morally acceptable or praise worthy to gain an edge with stimulants. Similar to steroids in sports, these illegal edges should be frowned on.

Societal Issues

We currently live in a society that pushes people to their limits. It demands the best and most out of everyone; often pushing them too far. If consuming drugs is allowed to become ordinary, then it could make matters worse. The current world we live in is already plagued by drug abuse and addiction, this new idea of using smart drugs would only make matters worse. Specialists believe those that live on the lowest levels of society could be forced to take these drugs to perform longer and more demanding hours. Studies have also shown that students of lower learning levels gain more than those from higher learning levels from smart drugs; this would only level the playing field more. Acceptable or encouraged smart drug use on Indiana campuses will create an even greater drug problem than Indiana already faces. Regardless of the pros and cons, encouraging drug use and abuse in any capacity is a bad idea.

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