The growth in the use of stimulants like Ritalin is increasing worldwide for gaining brain-boosting effects, shows a global survey.
The Global Drug Survey — which had 79,640 respondents in 2015 and 29,758 in 2017 — showed that 5% of respondents in 2015 said they used the stimulants, also called ‘smart drugs’, in the past one year, the ratio increased to 14% in 2017.
The study was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy in June 2018.
The use of the drugs to increase memory or concentration — referred to as Pharmacological Cognitive Enhancement (PCE)– increased in all the 15 countries included in the study.
Ritalin or Adderall are some of the medication prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
About half (48%) respondents said they take these drugs through friends, 10% buy them from a dealer, 6% from family and 4% have their own prescription.
At 30%, the maximum use of ‘Smart Drugs’ was reported from the US in 2017. European nations reported the maximum increase in use between 2015 and 2017.
Steven Rose, a neuroscientist of Open University in Milton Keynes, UK told Nature “The increased diagnoses of ADHD and their prescription drug use is creating a substantial population of young pharmacologically medicated persons whose underlying problems may very likely be located in their social world”.