Aside from “disappointing sex” and “watching too much daytime television”, there’s another staple to be added to students’ university experience, and that is “study drugs.”
Brain-boosting study drugs have now been fully integrated into modern student life that a nationwide survey showed that one in five students have used study drugs at UK universities. The Oxford University student magazine Cherwell found out that it was, even more, one in four.
Study drugs have become so popular that Oxford University’s Student Union in April launched workshops on the safe usage of the drugs. And now even Cambridge Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology and global expert on cognitive- enhancing drugs Dr. Barbara Sahakian believes that licensing study drugs to students might be a good idea.
Dr. Sahakian said: “I think the Government should look at the front-runner drug that people are using as a cognitive enhancing drug, and actually get together with the drug company and assess whether it’s safe and effective for people to use. If it is, then let them license it, and maybe sell it in Boots, and have people have the usual information about the usual information about the side effects and then they can also go to their GOP before they take it.”
Dr. Sahakian’s research has spanned drugs like modafnil, the current most popular in the UK, and Ritalin and Adderall, which have become notorious here in the U.S.
The UK government has closed down websites selling modafinil, and campuses such as Duke University in North Carolina have banned them to prevent students from cheating. Dr.Sahakian thinks the current system is even more dangerous to students since if they are only buying online, they don’t know what they are getting- it could be anything. She said that if students are taking the study drugs to aid them to review and study better, then it should be ensured that they are not harmed by it.
Dr. Sahakain said: “ Perhaps if it is a safe and altering agent, there might be a place for it.” There have been reported cases of study drug use leading to anxiety and other mental health problems, Dr. Sahakain said the real danger lies with students “taking too much.” She said then that is why it is important to consult doctors on proper and safe dosage as well as other important precautionary measures before taking the study drugs.