Interesting 60-minutes segment on the strong rise in academic enhancement-performance drug use by college students. They are popping pills like Adderall and Ritalin — ADHD prescription drugs, which they acquire from friends or by feigning symptoms to secure a doctor’s sympathy. It’s called neuroenhancement, and some say that 50-60% of undergraduate juniors and seniors are doing it (perhaps up to 80-90% for those in fraternities and sororities).
Apparently, college students believe there is a big pay-off from taking these products: they believe that the enhanced level of concentration and focus resulting from the meds leads to a 1-2 letter grade boost. However, some medical professionals say the products are addictive and are categorically not dissimilar from cocaine. (The pills can even be crushed and snorted for a faster response.) Even casual use without a proper prescription can lead to escalation and addiction.
My take? This is big-time dangerous stuff. These drugs are well beyond a cup of coffee or an energy drink. As a college professor, I fear that many students will graduate and carry this dependency into their professional life, where the competition to perform, excel, and climb the corporate ladder will replace the pressure of final exams, projects, and papers. And when will they learn to draw the line? When is enough enough?
God ordained that we are limited, finite creatures. Our bodies and brains can only do so much. Striving to develop our minds to God’s glory is biblical (I Cor. 10:31) and being productive in the work force is pleasing to God (and man). But receiving God’s gift of sleep after a well-spent day is both healthy and spiritual. In sleep we acknowledge that only God is God (Ps. 121:4). We, by contrast, are dependent on Him for everything (Ps. 121:5-8), even the fruit we seek from our labors (Ps. 127:1-2). The fact that others may be more endued by God for prodigious work should evoke gratitude, not an empty jealousy and endless desire to outperform.
Check out the 12-minute segment, or read the transcript.
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