Testing For Brain Drugs In The Future
In the past decade, drug rehabs across the country have trended more towards the addiction treatment of prescription drug abuse, rather than mainly alcohol or other street drugs like heroin or crack cocaine. Oxycodone addiction in places like Florida and New York has increased immensely, and deaths from prescription pain killers overdose has also been on a steady rise. It is plausible that these euphoria enhancers have largely displaced other illegal drugs as the number one offender. Another at-large perpetrator is another class of pharmaceuticals altogether, though equally concerning and perhaps just as dangerous. The rise of brain drugs being prescribed to students may be in the shadow of the synthetic opioid epidemic, but drug rehabs offer the same addiction treatment to abusers of drugs like Adderall and Ritalin too.
In a permutation of performance enhancing drug (PED) testing in professional and collegiate sports, universities in the UK may soon test students for cognitive enhancer misuse. There is a growing concern that students are abusing drugs prescribed for legitimate psychiatric disorders. Reports out of the UK indicate that problems are more widespread than isolated, and that compulsory tests may be soon ordered. As examined in an early article about collegiate study fiends, students gravitates towards drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, and even the sleep aid Modafinil in order to increase mental acuity and cognitive capacity. Even higher academics have been known to use “college crack” to pump out the work. The back alley drug deals over heroin bundles are apparently antiquated, replaced by dusty fifth-floor-library-stack-deals between an engineering major and the president of the chess club exchanging bundles of brain drugs.
The real issue is an inordinate desire to chemically manufacture a reality that someone does not believe attainable otherwise. While these cognitive steroids may enhance abilities in “normal” people not diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, the real disconnect is an addictive proclivity in order to adjust something in their life via chemical or artificial aid (see internet addiction). Since no one is immune to substance abuse, those people in Florida struggling with oxycodone addictions have a lot more in common with aspiring graduates using brain drugs to increase their G.P.A. precious percentage points. In the U.S., an Atlanta-area private school will start random drug testing in the fall of 2013 in grades 9-12. An encouraging aside is that parents have overwhelming embraced the plan to test students. A great place to warn about the dangers of alcohol, illegal drugs, and now even brain drugs is in the home by parents or guardians.