Cambridge professor calls for legalisation of study drugs

“Let them license it, and maybe sell it in Boots”

Expert on cognitive-enhancing drugs and Cambridge professor of clinical neuropsychology Dr Barbara Sahakian announced her advocacy in an interview with The Independent.

The Clare Hall fellow said, “I think the Government should… assess whether it’s safe and effective for people to use. If it is, then let them license it, and maybe sell it in Boots.”

Dr Sahakian’s research includes studies into the drug modafinil, which was recently subject to crackdown by the UK government on internet sales.

Provigil, a brand of modafinil, is currently only available by prescription but can be found cheaply online

Her comments come amidst common criticism of drugs as ‘study aids’ as having harmful and unclear side effects on physical as well as mental health.

Despite this, study drugs have already proved to be a major part of student life, with estimates giving between 10% and 20% of students trying them, and Dr Sahakian argues that “a lot of people… really dose themselves with coffee and caffeine and then they end up with palpitations and tremors… so in some ways I prefer [modafinil]”.

With one in ten Cambridge students using study drugs, widespread legalisation would have a huge impact on student life.

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