Should Drugs for Sleep Disorders be Used as Brain Enhancers?

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  Should Drugs for Sleep Disorders be Used as Brain Enhancers?

   By Limus Woods

   Modafinil is a prescription drug that was created to perform against sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. But, with the popularity of the drug (along with it constantly being referred to as a “smart drug”) the majority of requests for prescriptions for it over the past few years have not been to treat sleep disorders. Instead, many patients want to use it as a brain enhancer, one that can assist them at home, work, and school on a regular or daily basis. Modafinil shuts down the need for sleep as long as it is active, adequately boosting brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.

   Modafinil has even been imitated in Hollywood. The movie “Limitless (2011)” is the film that is referred to the most when talking about the drug. Of course, the pill in the movie was a fictional one; the characters had enhanced powers and could use 100% of their brain’s capacity after taking the pill. The pill became popular among college students who needed to study for tests, and the production of the drug began to skyrocket.  

   The drug itself is seemingly always in plentiful supply on college campuses across the nation. Many more students annually are beginning to actually feel pressured to take Modafinil so that they can keep up with the high grades of their classmates. Issues like this make citizens think that the drug companies are now not only producing designer pills like this for sleep disorders, but because of how high in demand it is on the ‘underground’ circuit (college kids, working adults who put in 50 plus hours per week, etc.). What the health care system in American needs to do is take a hint from many countries overseas. In order to save more money, they have to stop depending on man-made drugs so much, and take a more alternative approach.

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