Boosted memory, focus, and motivation, all in the form of perfectly legal supplements stored inside your employees’ desk drawer.
Meet nootropics, better known as “smart drugs.” These drugs, popping up everywhere, are technically intended to treat specific conditions such as narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea. But that hasn’t deterred people who don’t suffer from those conditions from using them to their advantage.
What make these pills so effective? Kamal Patel, director of the medical database Examnine.com, says that the most popular ingredients in smart drugs are caffeine and L-theanine, a combination that leaves users feeling alert and energetic without the jitters commonly associated with excessive coffee or energy drink consumption.
According to Patrick Allan, author of How Effective Are Nootropics and “Smart” Drugs?, Modafinil is the most popular drug, boasting a powerful cognitive enhancer and few side effects.
Allan jokingly compares it to cocaine with its potential for mild addiction – though the substance is significantly less potent and destructive.
Should we concern ourselves with our nonprofits’ team members and their possible addiction to “smart drugs?” How much faster, smarter, and more efficient are your employees on them? Is it morally compromising to accept them in the office?
Nonprofits may want to consider updating their policies – especially with regard to this new wave of supplements – to make sure your organization ready to handle performance-enhancing drugs.
Lynette Zimmerman is the president and CEO of Key Elements Group LLC and is an editor for Impact Tap. A development specialist with extensive experience helping blue chip arts, education, and human rights nonprofits along the East Coast, Zimmerman also writes on the nonprofit sector and hosts The Impact Lab, a podcast designed for nonprofit and social enterprise professionals. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.