READER LETTER: Drug use is not smart

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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.

A couple of the drugs used are called Ritalin and Modafinil.The use of these drugs is not smart – it’s plain stupid.

In the knowledge that these drugs create terrible effects, their use is testimony to a ‘smart’ pharmaceutical marketing strategy that has duped individuals into thinking there are benefits from taking them.

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.

Brian Daniels

National Spokesperson, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (United Kingdom)