Smart pills may be in your future

21 Nov

The young man hoping to attend medical school explained that Adderall doesn’t make you smarter; it just lets you focus.

“But it won’t be long before there are drugs that do make you smarter,” he said. “The ethical questions will be: do you take them or not?”

Other issues may quickly overshadow this one. For example, can and should employers require the use of this new artificial intelligence?

Will users be held in higher or lower regard? Do we respect them or mock them? Should an asterisk be placed after the names of Nobel Prize winners who juiced?

It would seem more beneficial to life and career if those on the medication announced it. Doctors, lawyers and other professionals could put it in their ads.

Society might slowly form two strata, those who do and those who don’t. Or will we all eventually use – just as we all eat?

In the end, will we be better off or worse?

Such things will be decided much later.

For now, there is Adderall.

Adderall and drugs like it originally were used for something called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, A.D.H.D. Then they were used to calm down unruly children. Now they are used to make inadequate schools look better.

An Oct. 9 article in the New York Times by Alan Schwarz cites examples of family physicians giving Adderall to children who are struggling in elementary school.

Schwarz interviews Dr. Michael Anderson, a pediatrician in a poor area of Georgia who claims A.D.H.D is an imaginary syndrome used to mask poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

He gives out the drug so students do better.

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” he said. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

It is difficult to say how many doctors do this, but their numbers must be growing. Parents of A.D.H.D. children say they can no longer get adequate supplies of Adderall because so many others now take it.

Well, Adderall won’t be in much demand when the real stuff hits the market. I hope they come up with a more descriptive name than Adderall, something like Instant Einstein or Bottle Smarts. And I hope I have stock in the company that gets the first patent. What I really look forward to is writing a very good novel while on this drug. There may not be a novel in me, but there surely is one in those pills.

Of course, it will be hard to sell a good novel when everyone is capable of writing one. Perhaps I need a different plan.

I’ll have to think this over . . . if you can call such an unassisted exercise thinking.

 — By Lanny Morgnanesi

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One Response to “Smart pills may be in your future”

  1. Cheryl Fontana November 22, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    The quiet simple days of looking at the clouds or walking and playing in the woods and fields – to smell and feel the environment. To participate as a part of it, not just a spectator. Opening a book and smelling the paper and absorbing the words and feel like you are there with the character you are reading about and there in their adventure. Those days are just a trickle today. With a 100 stations to watch on TV as a spectator, multiple media to play, a cacophony of sites and sounds bombarding our senses sends our mental gears in over-drive. A young mind molding to this momentum is no wonder there needs to be an elixir to calm the synapsis of the dendrites.

    Like

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