1 in 4 students are using ‘smart drugs’ but should it be considered cheating?

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In the 2014 film ‘Lucy’ directed by Luc Besson, a pill manages to unlock the eighty percent of the brain that humans cannot access. Although Nootropics (better known as smart drugs) can’t unlock your brain capacity, the cognitive enhancer is said to improve your minds function.

Students usually resort to liters of Red Bull or numerous caffeine tablets in order to keep them alert. However, a far more drastic measure is being taken. 1 in 4 students are taking smart drugs according to research conducted by Oxford University.

Modafinil, a prescription-only medication, used by suffers of narcolepsy is the most commonly used study drug. The drug acts as a stimulant to keep patients alert and awake and they increase their ability to concentrate. However, negative side effects can follow, such as; headaches, anxiety, high blood pressure, palpitations and paranoia.

Study drugs are not illegal to posses, or to buy from an overseas source. Students are calling for Study drugs to be considered cheating. Many compare it to performance enhancing drugs, that are banned in the Olympics. Moreover, students feel like those who use smart drugs have an unfair advantage over themselves.

Charlotte Williams a student at the University of Salford thinks that ‘‘Study drugs should be considered as cheating. It is putting others at a better advantage, and for that reason, it is simply not fair. If it is illegal for athletes to take drugs which enhance performance, whatever form that may be, then it should be illegal, or should at least be considered as ‘cheating’, for students to take drugs to enhance their performance in studying.’’

Students using the drugs disagree. Arjun Karwal an MBA in Management is adamant that the ‘smart drugs’ should not be considered as cheating, as ‘’with prolonged periods of time, we as humans are programmed to stop and take a break… It just helps override that urge. At the end of the day it is not helping you recall information it is just helping you focus.’’

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