Should NT students be allowed to take "smart drugs"

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Should students be allowed to take "smart drugs"
Yes, and it will make them more able to study. 21%  21%  [ 4 ]
Yes, but it will have no useful effect 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Yes, but it will make them less able to study 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
No, because it will give them an unfair advantage 47%  47%  [ 9 ]
No, but the drugs will have no useful effect on the students 26%  26%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 19

Woodpecker
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05 Jan 2009, 11:10 am

In the UK a prof has suggested that the government should consider if all students should be allowed to take "brain enhancing" drugs to make them more able to study. Some of the drugs included Ritalin, Provigil and Adderall.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/s ... 404808&c=2

Do you think it is morally right or wrong ?

Consider for a moment a sportsman who takes drugs to enhance his sporting ability, if he/she is caught then they face a ban and are likely to be blacklisted from the sport. On the otherhand many writers have done some of their best work after drinking or doing drugs, Poe was never blacklisted becuase he was oftein drunk.

Also do you think if these drugs would improve the students, do nothing or make them worse ?

I think that the use of smart or learning drugs by healthy NT students is wrong, and it is likely to either have no effect or make them less able.


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Sora
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05 Jan 2009, 11:21 am

Very wrong.

What of us who are AD(H)D or others reasons to need these drugs? We'd be again be the worst to perform in school and life.

These are meds and not drugs for junkies.

In the end, Ritalin and co. would probably get banned for the mass abuse and deaths and other consequences of that abuse. There're already enough teachers making a fuss about how some older students with ADHD and meds give them to classmates - who then have to carried off to the hospital.

And if Ritalin and such were banned... those who need these meds because of their disorders would be robbed of a medical therapy. One that is for some even the only available treatment to do the most basic things.

And all just because someone was as stupid as to suggest that normal, healthy students should be drugged for non-medical reasons.


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Ryn
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05 Jan 2009, 11:27 am

That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. As if people need to be taking medications that are unnecessary for them--good lord, it's hard enough taking some medications even when you do need them.

If the students need to be supposedly "made smarter" through medication we should be looking at the structure of the education system to see why it's failing the students on such a mass level.


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05 Jan 2009, 12:02 pm

I think it's acceptable for people 18 and older who have been well educated on the side effects of amphetimines and have the ability to accept such risks.



Padium
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05 Jan 2009, 12:47 pm

Sora wrote:
Very wrong.

What of us who are AD(H)D or others reasons to need these drugs? We'd be again be the worst to perform in school and life.

These are meds and not drugs for junkies.

In the end, Ritalin and co. would probably get banned for the mass abuse and deaths and other consequences of that abuse. There're already enough teachers making a fuss about how some older students with ADHD and meds give them to classmates - who then have to carried off to the hospital.

And if Ritalin and such were banned... those who need these meds because of their disorders would be robbed of a medical therapy. One that is for some even the only available treatment to do the most basic things.

And all just because someone was as stupid as to suggest that normal, healthy students should be drugged for non-medical reasons.


You took the words right out of my mouth. It is wrong to try to enhance people who don't need enhancing. The ritalin is there to help people like myself to function more normally. Without the ritalin, I stim harder and longer and get less work done and to an inferior result than what I am capable of. Plus I have seen the effects of ritalin on an NT person, who was normally very lax, he made people with ADHD look better than normal. A friend dropped a ruler on the ground, and he had it picked up and put back on his desk before the guy could get out of his seat. Messing with meds for non intended purposes is a dangerous thing, especially with things that have already been proven to have negative effects on people they are not intended for.



garyww
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05 Jan 2009, 12:52 pm

Ah but questioning the 'system' gives the impression that there is something wrong with it. We wouldn't want that now would we?


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Kangoogle
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05 Jan 2009, 12:53 pm

Woodpecker wrote:
In the UK a prof has suggested that the government should consider if all students should be allowed to take "brain enhancing" drugs to make them more able to study. Some of the drugs included Ritalin, Provigil and Adderall.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/s ... 404808&c=2

Do you think it is morally right or wrong ?

Consider for a moment a sportsman who takes drugs to enhance his sporting ability, if he/she is caught then they face a ban and are likely to be blacklisted from the sport. On the otherhand many writers have done some of their best work after drinking or doing drugs, Poe was never blacklisted becuase he was oftein drunk.

Also do you think if these drugs would improve the students, do nothing or make them worse ?

I think that the use of smart or learning drugs by healthy NT students is wrong, and it is likely to either have no effect or make them less able.

Morally I think they are cheats. In the same way as people who go to private school, have private tuition etc are. In practise if they made the drugs available all students however - you would stop people in the know getting an advantage over other students.



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05 Jan 2009, 12:58 pm

In my post above, I was actually the guy that gave the kid the ritalin, as we both wanted to know what it would do to someone normal... I gave him a lower dose than what I was on just in case. But I was a real idiot at the time to do that, and would never do something like that again.

The only performance enhancing drugs that work are either for sports, people with adhd, or will make you like a zombie in a state of hyperfocus.



ike
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05 Jan 2009, 1:02 pm

I think Sora and Ryn made some good comments...

I would have to wonder what the pressing need for "super students" would be... is the mad rush to solve the climate change crisis so bad that we just can't wait a minute longer?

Drugs in general are not without side effects. Ritalin might allow an NT student to concentrate better for the period of 5 hours or so that a person is able to concentrate since it's been shown to work in healthy control subjects... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritalin but there is speculation about the possibility that it might cause a well-known phenomenon called blunting in some patients. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blunted_affect The speculation about Ritalin causing a blunted effect in some patients was mentioned in a book by Ariana Huffington titled How To Overthrow the Government. If we started arbitrarily giving it to a significantly larger body of healthy people, we might get confirmation on that link and that could be a very bad thing, since the lack of emotional response could also be associated with a lack of consequential thinking and may lead to more violent crimes. I'm having difficulty finding links on research into consequential thought, but here's one: http://cjb.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/16/4/440

Provigil is unlikely have much effect on a student's abilities... It's been pretty thoroughly proven that a person's ability to maintain focused concentration on an individual task (studying in particular) with full recall is limited in most people to about 5 hours. (I'm getting lazy, and not looking up the study - it's mentioned in a book I have called Influencer.) So you can do your 5 hours of studying but then you have to take a break for a while before you can get back to it if you want to make progress and retain it. In autism this may be a bit different, particularly because our memory doesn't degrade as quickly as an NT. But what they're likely to do with the Provigil is take it and then try and not sleep for 8 hours and study the whole time so they get like a big 10-hour study-athon on the day before a test. With the end result probably being no different than if they had stayed up drinking coffee and studying the night before, because their retention drops off dramatically after the first 5 hours of studying. Plus there was another recent study that showed that a full night's sleep improves your long-term memory at least with regard to physical skills development (think typing) and probably for other things as well -- which means the all-nighter would rob them of the positive effects of sleep as well.

Adderral I dunno... but I'm apt to think there are similar issues that will come into play with any given drug -- either potential for undesirable side-effects or that the drug won't have the desired result anyway due to unanticipated physiological limitations (known limitations, just not known to the guy proposing the drugs).


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Last edited by ike on 05 Jan 2009, 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mysty
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05 Jan 2009, 1:07 pm

No, but not for either of those two reasons.



ike
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05 Jan 2009, 1:11 pm

Kangoogle wrote:
Morally I think they are cheats. In the same way as people who go to private school, have private tuition etc are. In practise if they made the drugs available all students however - you would stop people in the know getting an advantage over other students.


Special ed in public schools at least in the US frankly sucks. For a lot of kids with special needs like us, a private school is leveling the playing field instead of creating an unfair advantage. But in general I disagree with the idea that private school is somehow "cheating" -- you get a different education - that's not the same thing as a "better" education. Whether or not it's "better" could be argued either way in a lot of cases. Socialization in public schools is a lot different than it is in private schools, and in some cases it may be that a person's later achievements in life depend upon the kind of socialization you get in a public school -- the kind that I was unable to deal with because I'm autistic. But that doesn't mean that there aren't people who actually benefit from that environment, it just means that I didn't benefit from it. And then there's homeschooling or "unschooling" in which the parent gets to decide what kind of subjects are important, which imo gives them a much better ability to teach their kids things that are actually important compared to any school (public or private) in which the demands of the state often require the school to teach things that are plainly wrong (high school history is a great example).


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garyww
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05 Jan 2009, 1:17 pm

Ike's right on track with this one for sure. The drugs are probably only intended to enchance the typical brainwashing agenda of a 'formal' education.


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05 Jan 2009, 1:40 pm

Hey, if NTs are stupid enough to want to take drugs like that, then who am I to stop them haha. I've taken that stuff, and it isn't worth taking. At all. If they want to mess up their brains, so be it. It's not like it enhances performance. If anything, it makes "performance" worse. All those drugs do it connect neurons, or something like that. I wouldn't think it would have an effect on people who don't need them. That's like giving a nicotine patch to a non smoker. Probably wouldn't have any effect. Smart drugs AHAHAHA that's not why we are smart, we are smart because we aren't obsessed with NT things. You know, sex, drugs, porn, alcohol, practical jokes, fights, etc.


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Kangoogle
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05 Jan 2009, 1:52 pm

ike wrote:
Kangoogle wrote:
Morally I think they are cheats. In the same way as people who go to private school, have private tuition etc are. In practise if they made the drugs available all students however - you would stop people in the know getting an advantage over other students.


Special ed in public schools at least in the US frankly sucks. For a lot of kids with special needs like us, a private school is leveling the playing field instead of creating an unfair advantage.

Firstly I am going to point out here that I live in the UK. However imagine a system where NT's cannot go out and buy private education and so on - or any form of educational advantage. It would mean that smart Aspies win at the examination system game in most cases, therefore jump the queue in the social order. A meritocratic system favours ourselves above pretty much every other group. Of course we have to be careful to constrain meritocracy to the intellectual sphere in making such a system.
Quote:
But in general I disagree with the idea that private school is somehow "cheating" -- you get a different education - that's not the same thing as a "better" education.

In the UK the statistics speak for themselves, despite only 7% of the population being educated in an independent school, in my own (high ranked) university around 40% of the students there went to one. I can certainly tell you that they are not brighter, under any form of meritocratic system most of my class would not be there.
Quote:
Whether or not it's "better" could be argued either way in a lot of cases. Socialization in public schools is a lot different than it is in private schools, and in some cases it may be that a person's later achievements in life depend upon the kind of socialization you get in a public school -- the kind that I was unable to deal with because I'm autistic.

That really is a separate cultural problem - as in the regarding of sports, music and so on as more respected within society.
Quote:
But that doesn't mean that there aren't people who actually benefit from that environment, it just means that I didn't benefit from it. And then there's homeschooling or "unschooling" in which the parent gets to decide what kind of subjects are important, which imo gives them a much better ability to teach their kids things that are actually important compared to any school (public or private) in which the demands of the state often require the school to teach things that are plainly wrong (high school history is a great example).

Personally I would get rid of the homeschooling as well. But then I am a socialist.



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05 Jan 2009, 3:50 pm

Sir_Beefy wrote:
We are smart because we aren't obsessed with NT things. You know, sex, drugs, porn, alcohol, practical jokes, fights, etc.


So, why are you not obsessed with that kind of stuff then? Tell me why. Also, are you the smartest person, like, ever? I don´t know the answer to that, I´m just asking you.