Legalize Ritalin-Like Drugs as Brain Boosters: Experts

But Will Employers Turn into Pushers?
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2008 9:27 PM CST
Legalize Ritalin-Like Drugs as Brain Boosters: Experts
Adderall   (Flickr)

Attention-disorder drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall are becoming so commonly used for the off-label purpose of gaining a mental edge that they should be legalized for such use, says a team of neuroscientists and ethicists. They make their case in Nature, arguing that laws "should be adjusted to avoid making felons out of those who seek to use safe cognitive enhancements," Wired reports.

Neuroethicist Martha Farah, one the paper's authors, adds a caveat: "First the early adopters use the enhancements to get an edge. Then, as more people adopt them, those who don't, feel they must just to stay competitive with what is, in effect, a new higher standard." About 7% of college students and 20% of scientists say they've used the drugs to stay sharp, and a new generation of more powerful drugs is sure to follow.  (More drugs stories.)

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