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With the amount of pressure and competition between companies, colleagues and even people you call your friends; it’s only natural to push yourself to do better. In today’s knowledge driven world where jobs and education are becoming far more challenging, the need to be alert, motivated and adaptable is more apparent than ever.

Of course, resorting to unethical or illegal ways to do this is where you need to draw the line. We’ve seen many cases of athletes using banned or illegal substances to enhance their performance which is unfair to their competitors. This brings us to the use of nootropics or “smart drugs” in the workplace and how ‘fair’ they are.

Benefits of Using Smart Drugs

how do neurotransmitters workBy increasing levels of neurotransmitters and improving communication between neurons, nootropics can enhance multiple cognitive functions and promote better brain health. These positive effects smart drugs have on the brain can help one be more attentive, focused and creative when working. It is widely used by people who work shifts or don’t get enough sleep as it helps them stay awake and alert during work hours.

Other benefits include:

• Better learning capabilities, decision-making and problem-solving skills
• Improved memory, recall, concentration, attention span, mood and mental clarity
• Increased tolerance to stress and anxiety.

All of these enhanced cognitive effects can significantly help one adapt and excel in their work and career. However, the controversy lies in the fact that nootropics are clinically used to treat various cognitive disorders including ADHD, sleep apnea, etc, while their off-label use can benefit healthy individuals as well. This leaves many asking whether it is fair to take smart drugs to excel in the workplace when your health does not call for its use.

Using Smart Drugs at Work

Past surveys show a steep climb in the number of smart drug users in recent years. In fact, these number could very well be higher with many individuals choosing keep their use of nootropics private. Many students around the world also turn to nootropics to cope with ADHD as well as prepare for big tests or exams.

Stimulating the brain and improving cognitive functions can be done in various ways; in days gone by, people used natural means to increase brain activity by consuming certain ‘brain foods, doing puzzles, exercise or taking part in brain training activities. Today, however, most people look for convenient methods that enhance cognitive functioning more significantly and quickly. These come in artificial forms such as cognitive enhancers like nootropics.

While it is not illegal to take smart drugs for their off-label use, many are against the idea of taking supplements to get ahead in your career or outdoing colleagues. The ‘fairness’ in using smart drug to enhance one’s performance really comes down to personal opinion. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your memory and cognitive abilities even if it means doing it artificially. However, when it comes to working, it is up to higher authorities in the workplace to decide whether they believe it’s fair or not.