Performance-Enhancing Substances for Workers
In a study commissioned by the DAK Insurance Group in 2008, less than 5% of respondents said they had taken work-enhancing drugs to improve their performance. The number had risen to 6.7% in 2015 and was found among 500 respondents.
Drugs and performance-enhancing drugs in the workplace are forbidden in most cases because they are commonly abused. Controlled substances like crystal meth are habit forming and show significant side effects.
Much more common than crystal or cocaine are performance-enhancing drugs particularly used by people in management. They require a prescription and easy to obtain and abuse.
Performance-enhancing drugs increase employee performance as much as illegal substances for recreational sports.
Ritalin and Modafinil: As common as wine and beer?
Ritanil and Modafinil both increase concentration and treat sleepiness.
Ritalin, commonly used for the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children is also widely used to increase concentration and enhance performance among employees. Ritalin use has been so widespread for many years.
Another performance enhancer or smart drug is called Modafinil. It promotes wakefulness among narcolepsy sufferers. It will help the user to stay awake during work hours.
In the US, especially in the high-performance and demand Silicon Valley and New York’s Wall Street, the use of Modafinil increased years ago. US authorities responded with stricter regulations, however, the drug is still easy to get online.
Also, in Ivy League universities, from Cambridge to Harvard, Modafinil also became popular for a number of years. Almost a quarter of students admit to using the drug before exams. Surprisingly enough, the British and US media only focused on legal violations of the drug use, that whoever uses the drug is committing cheating instead of talking about the damages and risks of the drug in long-term use.
Helpful but Dangerous Drugs
Frequent flyers use Modafinil to wake them up and manage jet lag. Ritalin helps in stressful situations that managers, sales people, technicians, and even apprentices, experience.
When the employee needs to make an important presentation or contract negotiation, before an interview or when a project hits a roadblock and the situation seems hopeless, Ritalin gives the user the feeling of focus and clarity, of being able to concentrate better and make better decisions.
Ritalin works equally well in people with no ADHD. It obstructs the release of dopamine, the messenger compound that fuels the impulses. However, as with other illegal drugs, the brain gets used to it. If the use of Ritanil or Modafinil is suddenly stopped, withdrawal symptoms like lack of concentration or depression, will become even more pronounced. The US Drug Enforcement Administration classifies Ritalin as a dangerous drug like heroin and cocaine.