Vice.com is one of the most popular sites for millennials around the world, specializing in honest talk about edgy topics. Their Australian branch investigated young people’s increasing tendency to turn to drugs for enhancement when studying. Two things stood out: First, modafinil is by far the drug of choice for students looking to study harder; second, the interviews that Vice conducted confirm many of the statements made here such as stress being the main reason why students use nootropics and the fact that modafinil is no worse ethically than drinking coffee.
The column highlighted four different students’ responses. They were all between 18-22 years of age and university students. Two men and two women were featured. This represents the most common demographic of modafinil users. While it’s used by many people in different walks of life, university students particularly have latched onto it in the last decade.
The answers that the students gave regarding their drug use could be described as “nonchalant”. The fact that they were using drugs to gain an advantage didn’t seem to be a problem at all. This reflects changing attitudes in the latest generation of students, who overwhelmingly use less-harmful drugs like marijuana. They got their modafinil online as most people do and had no worries about doing so. Studying today is a challenge that simply cannot be faced without some help, and it’s evident that these students have carefully considered their choices and have found them acceptable.
To illustrate this point, consider what Duncan said when asked if his drug use was “fair” to other students.
It has zero impact on anyone else, and for that reason I don’t believe it’s unfair or unethical.
Or when Krystal was questioned about modafinil disrupting her sleep patterns.
It really assists with study emergencies, it means I don’t have to freak out about staying awake or not. I’m pretty set in the way I study so all-nighters are normal for me anyway, it just helps me stay awake.
And the other drugs?
Modafinil wasn’t the only drug mentioned in the interviews. Another that came up as a study aid was marijuana, which admittedly might seem counterintuitive. As with everything an individual’s response may vary and Anna found that it helped her a great deal. Two of the people surveyed mentioned amphetamine-based medications such as Adderall or Ritalin, but both derided them. Robbie was quoted as saying:
Some friends were talking about how they could get their hands on Ritalin, then Dexys. We tried those and they were pretty good but they didn’t last long and I’d feel pretty shit afterwards. We got our hands on Modafinil and just went from there.
Overall these types of reports show that more students are happily using modafinil instead of other types of drugs. This goes hand in hand with the fading stigma behind drug use in university, now completely gone in Australia. The candor and openness with which these four answered their questions goes to show how unafraid they are to admit their drug use. Ethical arguments in favor of nootropics are increasingly common. It’s safe to say these trends will continue barring any unforeseen circumstances.