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The Source: Abusing Adderall To Get Ahead

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In the face of impossible pressures and Herculean to-do lists, how are employees managing?

For some, Adderall is the answer, even for patients without ADHD. Misuse of Aderall has long been associated with college students, but more workers are seeing it as a way to gain--and keep--their jobs

Despite its reputation, Adderall may not make people more productive. Some lab results have shown no difference between test subjects who took stimulants and those who took placebos. What the studies did find is that the stimulants changed people's perceptions of their work and made them more confident. 

However, these medications cannot come without side effects, including irregular heart patterns, especially in older users, and addiction. Some also argue that this trend makes legitimately obtaining medicine for ADHD patients more difficult. Another argument asks if being more productive is really that important. Will Adderall improve our quality of life as well as our work performance? 

What does this say about U.S. society?


  • Anjan Chatterjee, Director of the ChatLab Center for Cognitive neuroscience at the University of Pennslyvania
  • Erik Parens, Senior Research Scholar at The Hastings Center
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