LETTER: Smart drugs are plain stupid

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As the problems concerning school examinations hit the news headlines, another problem surrounding studies has raised its ugly head.

Stimulant drugs, otherwise known as “smart” drugs, “cognitive enhancers” or “brain boosters” are being used by students in order to study.

The use of these drugs is not smart – it’s plain stupid.

We feel this type of chemical “fix” is just another initiative to maximise profits for the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries.

A student may stay awake and complete his or her assignment, but the chemical crutch has nothing to do with intelligence.

Studies have found those who take amphetamine-type or other prescribed, mind-altering drugs do not perform better academically.

In fact, those who take these drugs fail just as many courses, and drop out of school just as often as children who did not take them.

Psychiatric drugs are habit-forming and addictive where withdrawal from them can be far more difficult than from illegal drugs.

The evolution of these drugs has been a procession of claimed “miraculous” new developments.

Some of the side effects associated with stimulant drugs include aggression, blurred vision, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, hallucinations, headaches, nausea, restlessness, nervousness, stomach aches, anxiety, seizures, irritability, vomiting, psychosis or paranoia, stunted growth and suicidal thoughts.

Further, it is claimed stimulant drugs are also known as “gateway drugs” that lead to addiction to street drugs such as cocaine.

Brian Daniels

Citizens Commission

on Human Rights (UK)