Essay about Mental Health Drugs

1568 Words 7 Pages
As the second decade of the 21st century progresses, the population approaches seven billion. With so many people, how are people supposed to stand out in job applications, or catch the administrators’ eye as he or she reads applications to highly prestigious colleges and universities? More and more people are asking this question, and more and more people are finding help in a small pill. Originally diagnosed for Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD, these drugs are increasingly used off label in universities and workplaces. In society, people call this form of off label use of neuroenhancing drugs chiefly two different things: smart drugs informally, and nootropics formally. The word nootropic originated from a Romanian Dr. Corneliu E. …show more content…
Companies manufacturing these drugs then work around this by lobbying their drugs as cures for Alzheimer, ADHD, ADD, dementia, dyslexia, and other cognitive defects. In the 1960s and ‘70s, the military ordered amphetamines and shipped them out to soldiers in Vietnam as a stimulant to keep them awake and aware for longer periods, while in the United States these amphetamines such as methamphetamine and cocaine became a recreational drug used in parties and a way to “be cool”. Compare this with today’s cognitive enhancing smart drug, which is still an amphetamine: the military is testing these smart drugs on soldiers to make them more effective with less sleep and prolonged battle and in the States, people use them off label to avoid jetlag or to write 9 page papers in 2 hours. In both these scenes, these drugs have received little coverage until they became popular and their effects became realized. “The effects of chronic, high doses of amphetamine are toxic; it can cause psychosis, depression and cognitive deficits, which are sometimes irreversible”, says Maia Szalavitz of Time Magazine (Popping). Although Piracetam and Modafinil are not amphetamines, drugs like Adderall and others used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are amphetamines and are very popular in the cognitive enhancing world. That is why nootropics are dangerous; hardworking students and