The Problem with Smart Drugs

‘Smart drugs’ are in the news a lot at the moment, as the Department of Health commissions the Academy of Medical Sciences to assess their impact.

These drugs are billed as something people can use to work and play longer, harder and with less sleep and could become as “common as coffee”.

The two main issues with I can see with this are:

1 – There is a danger, with a lack of knowledge about the value of sleep, that the importance of getting the right amount of REM sleep might be minimised,

2 – There has been little mention of the risk of becoming addicted to these drugs. We are potentially at risk of becoming addicted to many (most?) things, but surely “as common as coffee” implies that taking these drugs copiously will be an option, with all the more chance for the addiction process to begin?

Posted by: Eleanor


One response to “The Problem with Smart Drugs

  1. These drugs look so inviting, I can just see students and professional people keen as anything to give them a try. They seem like the perfect answer to time and intellectual limitations that we have. How terrifying that it is legal to use them. Are there any long term effect studies going on anywhere? I tried to listen to the BBC article but I have a mac and the type of audio player the BBC are using is not compatible.

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