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Cognitive Enhancement Drugs Among University Students Essay

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Updated: Dec 21st, 2021


Cognitive enhancers are drugs, enhancements, nutraceuticals and useful foods; which are supposed to advance cerebral functions such as cognition, reminiscence, cleverness, concentration and attentiveness. In this case, these drugs adjust the accessibility of the brain’s provision of enzymes and hormones by advancing the brain’s oxygen provision or arousing nerve development. Based on this, there have been debates as to whether cognitive enhancers should be used by students in collages and universities or not.

In some countries like the United States, buying and selling of these drugs within the school is considered as an offense; punishable through imprisonment. From this, some individuals view such punishments as suitable; as they regard the use of these drugs as deceiving, abnormal or hazardous.

Main Body

It can be argued that, students use these drugs not for the purposes of becoming high, but to stimulate their concentrations in class; in order to attain higher grades. From psychiatric and neurological prescriptions, drugs like Ritalin and Adderall used to improve cognition; are in addition utilized in the curing of ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’ (ADHD). In this case, these stimulants enhance patients’ capabilities to focus their concentration, control information in working reminiscence and flexibly handle their reactions (Greely et al. 702-705).

Based on this, researches and earlier studies have indicated that in the year 2007 approximately 1.6 million persons in America had used instructed medicines non-medically. Additionally, in some universities a quarter of the students’ population was found to have used these drugs. It was indicated from these people who use cognitive enhancers that, they obtain them from internet sellers or physicians (Stix 46-55).

From the above descriptions, Louisiana State University should not attempt to regulate the use of cognitive enhancement stimulants among students. This is because students use them not to become high, but to enhance their concentration in studies. In this case, students use these drugs in order to compete with their fellow students and as a result; they do better than non users. It can be said that students with some drugs on board do better in their learning, experiments and research paper writings than non users and hence no attempt to stop them should be made.

On the other hand it is of importance to note that, students have been known to abuse these drugs as it was said by Dr. Nora the director of the ‘National Institute on Drug Abuse’ University of California. Further, Dr. Barbara said that when students are preparing for continuous assessment tests or final exams, cognitive enhancement stimulants are very attractive and important to improve their concentration and tentativeness (Kirby 94-95).

Additionally, it can be argued that cognitive enhancement stimulants help a student to be able to take on double the accountability, work faster than usual, writes more efficiently, be more innovative and possesses more inventive approaches when learning or answering questions in an exam. Further, it can be seen from the statements of Dr. Chatterjee that, “We want people performing at their max, and if that means using these drugs, then great”.

This shows that in case students in university will perform their best under the influence of cognitive enhancement drugs; they should not be stopped not unless the stimulants harm them. Based on this, lecturers and physicians should be more conscious than not; since these drugs are known to be misused and abused by students which make them to be the second most abused drugs, by university students after bhang. On the other hand, students who use these stimulants should be very conscious because there may be a time when one is required to take an exam, and the stimulants are not readily available (Stix 46-55).

Further, it should be noted that students should take drugs which are legal and prescribed by doctors so as not to be affected by them. It can be seen from the statements of Johann Hari which were posted at johannhari.com that; cognitive enhancers help students to read faster and understand well, what had seemed difficult to them. In this case, Hari after taking some stimulants was able to read a whole book about ‘quantum physics and superstring theory’; which he had been postponing to read for a long time, within five hours without even feeling tired.

It can be seen from this that, he did figure out everything he had studied after reading. Further, it can be indicated that Hari had unforced attentiveness after taking the drugs, and also discovered that he was talented in writing which he had not known before. Based on this, it’s clear that stimulants help students in tackling what had seemed difficult to them in just few hours and also realize their areas of talents (Hari).

It is of significance to note that, cognitive enhancement drugs helps a student to concentrate in class effortlessly; while at the same time making work be done better and more extensively than before. In addition, they enhance acetylcholine in the cerebral improving attentiveness and concentration among students who use them; hence should be allowed in school. Based on this, one should note that the contemporary society requires an intellectual who can comprehend things faster, and at the same time do many things at a go. In this case, a student who uses these drugs is better positioned as far as excelling in life is concerned; since his grades in any field become excellent (Kirby 94-95).

Another instance that shows cognitive enhancement drugs helps university students; can be seen from the statements by Margaret Talbot in the ‘New Yorker, April 27, 2009’. It can be seen that Alex, a graduate of Harvard University wrote a lot of papers in one semester; and worked as a senior executive within a student organization where he used to work for a long period of time approximately forty hours in one week.

In order to be able to accomplish all his tasks, he was taking Adderal to stimulate his brains. In this case, these drugs helped him to be higher-functioning and overcommitted. Therefore, students at Louisiana State University should not be stopped from taking these drugs; but should be informed of the few side-effects the drugs may have on them. It is of important to note that, students who take these drugs do not feel hungry and hence eat less, which may affect their health (Talbot).

It is clear that, students who use cognitive enhancement stimulants when looking for employment after school; do not want to be known as users of these drugs since prospective investors may criticize their behavior. On the other hand, students should know that over dependent on these drugs may affect their future mode of doing things; as the drugs may not be readily available at the time a task needs to be performed. In this case, the over usage of these medicines among students has endorsed apprehensions that they could give students an unwarranted benefits (Greely et al. 702-705)


To sum up, despite the fact that cognitive enhancement drugs possess some side-effects toward the user, they are recommended for better performance among university students. Therefore, Louisiana State University should not attempt to stop their usage among students.

Works cited

Greely, Henry, et al. “Towards Responsible Use of Cognitive Enhancing Drugs by the Healthy.” Nature 456 (2008): 702-705.

Kirby, Jason. “Going to Work on Smart Drugs.” MacLean’s 121.40 (2008): 94-95. Academic Search Complete. Web.

Stix, Gary. “Turbocharging the Brain.” Scientific American 301.4 (2009): 46-55. Academic Search Complete. Web.

Talbot, Margaret. “Brain Gain: The Underground World of ‘Neuroenhancing’ Drugs.” The New Yorker. 2009. Web.

Hari, Johann. “My Experiment with Smart Drugs.” Johannhari. 2008. Web.

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