Neurocogitive enhancement seems to be gathering momentum in the society today. This might be because of the busy life most people lead from students to adults in the workplace. There is general argument on whether the enhancers should be used by people who are normal or not. Some schools of thought believe that the enhancers are likely to lead to increase in the productivity at the workplace of even at the schools etcetera. Other school of thought believes that this will be a source of burden to the employees as the employers may demand more from them. Still other believes that though the enhancers may be beneficial they may likely impact people negatively if continuously used in a manner that may be termed as drug abuse.
This is an essay which examines the use of if neurocognitive enhancers such as Adderall and Ritalin by neurologically normal adults. This has been a contentious issue which has been much debated. The essay seeks to answer the question of whether the drugs should be used by normal adults. The essay makes a careful comparison between the advantages and disadvantages of using the enhancers. The essay makes use of reliable literature sources in its review and shows that it is not good to use the enhancers unnecessarily if the conditions do not necessitate one to use it.
Those who support the use of enhancers have often resembled it to the athletic performance enhancers and claim that the difference is that for the athletes they are competing and one who uses the enhancers will have an edge over the others which is not right. This case does not apply for the neurocoginitive drugs (Moyer (2004) quoting lead author Martha J. Farah, PhD). Dr. Farah points out that this is not the case for the workplace environment but actually encourages work because it will make productivity to be increased. Apart from the benefit of increased productivity, Dr. Farah sees some ethical issues arising out of the use of the enhancers by some workers or students. For the case of workers those who use the enhancers will set a new pace which might be too high for those who do use to achieve (Moyer 2004).
Moyer (2004) reveals spurring facts concerning the use of the enhance in the society, “In some school districts in the United States the proportion of boys taking methylphenidate exceeds the highest estimates of ADHD prevalence, implying that normal childhood boisterousness and distractibility are being targeted for pharmacologic intervention” (Moyer par. 3). Further, Moyer (2004) claims that as many as 16 percent college students use these drugs as study aids: leading to the question of not really if they work but rather if there are any ethical issues which are associated with them. With the widespread use of the enhancers in the society, issues of performance evaluation issues are likely to arise because of there will be some who will be enhanced and others who will not. Though so far there are no known side effects of the enhancers being used excessively doctors are keen to see what happens, “We need to go slowly and see how this trend develops; we need to keep our eyes open to safety and be alert to the effects on the lives of the people who use them” (Moyer par. 7).
On the use enhancers especially the Adderall and Ritalin by the college student it has been argued that it blurs the line between normal people and the patients. Though in the present time the neurocoginitive drugs have not shown any side effect; it is still not known what will happen in the long run. How will the brain react to these enhancers in the long run? Questions like the brain being addicted to the effects of these drugs are yet to be answered. Possibilities of brain being unable to function well in the long run without the use of such drugs can not be ruled out. What about the issue of heredity? Might the children of a person who uses the enhancers be forced to use the enhancers? These questions can not be ruled in any way because they have not been medically disapproved. The only prove seems to sit down and wait. And what if the answer to all these questions is true; what if the enhancing the activity of some brain cells will lead to activated cells changing the natural balance of operation of the body cells leading to an unknown messages being sent by the brain to the body (Nafisam 2009).
According to Parles and Schiller (2006), the genes in our body control various functions, “for example, certain genes control the color of your hair, others control how tall you grow, other control whether you produce” (p. 3). They claim that the damaging of a gene leads to formation of a mutation. They further argue that mutations can be inherited, while others may be caused by diet. The authors in a clear way have shown that every function in the body is controlled by a gene. Being active and being intelligent must equally be controlled by some gene. Using the enhancers can be simply be said to be a process where one interferes with the natural setting of those genes which are responsible for being intelligent or being active. Such kind of interfering with the normal operation of the body cells can not be said to be safe because the genes are being induced to carry out what they were not developed to carry out. It can also be argued that this may lead to misbalancing of the actions of the genes which some how depend on the genes being altered (Parles & Schiller, 2006; Carson 2002).
The debate of whether neurocoginitive enhancers should be used or not is still a big dilemma which is yet to be solved; its use is gathering momentum and is being used literary by all the people in society at all the age groups. The enhancers are quite common among the students who are keen on performing well in their academic work. The enhancers are also common among the working people. The fact that the drugs enhance the productivity of the person using the drug has enhanced its popularity. However, there are some ethical issues which are yet to be addressed on the use of this drug. It is not yet known how performance will measured for the case of those who use the drug and those who do not. Possibilities of the drugs having long term side effects or even completely affecting the brain have not been explored. It will be wise if the enhancers are only used by those are sick and really need the enhancers for medical reasons.