The Abuse Of Prescription Neuro Enhancers

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Throughout my college experience I have seen many students turn to prescription drugs so they can stay awake longer and increase their ability to focus. When caffeine and energy drinks no longer cut it, many students believe stimulants will improve their grades. I first learned of cognitive enhancement drugs (CEDs), such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Provigil, in high school as a secret advantage students would use during testing like the ACT. However, in college these CEDs are much more widely used, usually as recreational “study drugs,” due to their ability to help students focus their energy and concentration to a much higher level than normal. In this paper, I will argue that 1) the abuse of prescription neuro-enhancers cannot be…show more content…
If everybody used performance enhancing drugs the net result would be twofold: nobody would gain competitive advantage and a number of side-effects would be suffered. In other words, the outcome would be an increase in human suffering with no personal benefit, which no sane person could possibly will. Furthermore, by applying the categorical imperative to this situation, we come to realize the use of CEDs would be counterproductive towards one’s imperfect duty to cultivate one’s talents. The college situation in particular is intended to provide intellectual and social stimulation in order to personally develop and thus failing to cultivate personal talents does not promote the goal of treating one’s self as an intrinsically valuable being. When CEDs are used, one is choosing to miss out on the process of psychological development that comes with challenges in order to rapidly alleviate the frustration that we experience when faced with the inevitable challenges of college and adult life. As a maxim the usage of “smart drugs” not only eliminates any competitive advantages academically and causes mental damage, but it also decreases one’s cultivation of talents. Therefore, this maxim as a categorical imperative would be contradictory to one’s desire to be successful and happy. The use of CEDs to achieve success would be morally impermissible according to Kant, for this action would fail to follow Kant 's duty of self-development by evading the cultivation of our
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