In January, Nature launched an informal survey into readers’ use of cognition-enhancing drugs. Brendan Maher has waded through the results and found large-scale use and a mix of attitudes towards the drugs.
One in five respondents said they had used drugs for non-medical reasons to stimulate their focus, concentration or memory. Use did not differ greatly across age-groups (see line graph, right), which will surprise some. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in Bethesda, Maryland, says that household surveys suggest that stimulant use is highest in people aged 18-25 years, and in students.
Wish they’d asked about caffeine and other non-prescription stimulants as well.