Many people already take prescription drugs to help focus their minds, so why shouldn’t healthy people also be allowed to do so legally?
That is the subject of a new opinion article published in an online edition of the journal Nature.
In the piece, several experts suggest that more research be done about the pros and cons of healthy people taking medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.
These stimulants are currently prescribed for young people who suffer from attention deficit disorder and similar conditions.
The seven international co-authors of the article cited statistics stating that as many as one in four U.S. college students have used prescription stimulants for alternative purposes, such as to help them study.
In fact, these pills may be able to provide benefits to further groups of people, the scientists suggested, recommending that the research community begin a conversation on the topic.
Not everyone was positive. Responding to the article, behavioral pediatrician Dr. Russell Reiff told the San Francisco Chronicle that the attitude taken may "fuel the fire of what we call prescribing pressure," in which pills are seen as the first answer to a problem.
"These medications can have very significant side effects," he added.