A researcher at the University of Sydney is sounding the alarm on the increasingly common use of so-called "smart drugs" among college students.
Cognitive-enhancing drugs known as nootropics are designed to combat disorders such as dementia or attention deficit disorder but have become popular among students to increase memory retention and alertness in order to study longer or boost test scores.
However, non-medical use of methylphenidate and amphetamine is as high as 25% on some US college campuses, according to an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics written by Vince Cakic of the Department of Psychology at University of Sydney.
Given the prevalence of Cakic warns:
The possibility of purchasing smartness in a bottle is likely to have broad appeal to students seeking to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive world.
It is apparent that the failures and inconsistencies inherent in anti-doping policy in sport will be mirrored in academia unless a reasonable and realistic approach to the issue of nootropics is adopted.