On Saturday, the New York Times’ Alan Schwarz told us about the rising tide of teens and young adults who turn to stimulants — specifically medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — to help their school performance. The next day, Matthew Herper over at Forbes asked where the news was in this story, given that there’s no significant rise in the use of these medications by teens and young adults over the past decade.
He also called out the myth perpetrated by Schwarz — that ADHD medications like Adderall and Ritalin work one way in people with ADHD, but in a different way in people without ADHD. This is not true, and you’d think a NY Times writer (or his editors) would catch that.
But I wonder — why do we find it surprising people make use of something that will improve their school (or work) performance? And is this a problem, or an enhancement we should all embrace?