Smart Drugs / Smart Pills in British News

“Smart Drugs/Pills in British News”
UK Media Articles List - (UK press articles, UK TV slots)

This list has been complied as a resource for any journalist, blogger or researcher who would like to see the various trends in opinions towards 'smart drugs' over the past few years.

2017 Spring update for articles with the keywords:
"smart drugs, nootropics, natural smart pills, natural cognitive enhancers, nutrition and cognition".

Please note this is not an exhaustive list, if you can suggest new articles which should be added here, please use the contact form below to let us know! Thanks!


Oxford University Student Union introduces 'smart drug' workshops for students
The Telegraph,by Alec Fullerton, 6 Mar 2017

“Smart drugs” may help intelligent people to become deeper thinkers, a study involving chess players has found
QUARTZ, by Akshat Rathi,08 Feb 2017


I took a prescription pill to get a lot of work done quickly. Here's what happened
With the use of ‘smart drugs’ on the rise, I thought I’d try it out to help with a looming deadline. I did a lot of work but I also bought a lot of furniture
The Guardian, by Brigid Delaney, 31 Oct 2016

How do we help kids cope with exam pressure? That is absolutely the wrong question
It’s final exam time, and over invested parents are stressing about it as much as their kids. We’re asking the wrong questions about school pressure
The Guardian, by Lucy Clark, 14 Oct 2016

‘Smart Drug’ warning for students
The Strathclyde Telegraph, by Naina Bhardwaj, News Editor,11 Oct 2016

My ‘smart drugs’ nightmare
As fake ‘study pills’ become a staple of University life we speak to two students who reveal the horrifying consequences of brain boosting drugs
Sun investigation reveals an array of unsafe and potentially lethal drugs being peddled at University to help raise grades
The Sun, by Matt Quinton, 11 Oct 2016

Not so clever
What are smart drugs Modafinil and Ritalin and why are study pills being used in universities?
The prescription drugs can be brought on the internet and are taken to boost cognitive performance
The Sun, by Hannah Crouch,11 Oct 2016

Health & Wellness
Smart drugs come with stupid side effects
Natural News, by Isabelle Z.,  08 Oct 2016

One in seven under-30s plan to use ‘smart drugs’ to boost concentration
One in seven people under 30 plan to use ‘smart drugs’ over the next year, according to new research.
News Letter, by Megan White,03 Oct 2016

Freshers warned to be smart and avoid Modafinil
MHRA highlight the pitfalls of buying medicines online to students
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency,26 Sep 2016

Young people prepared to sacrifice ‘vital life skills’ to cope with exam pressures, study finds
Only 11% of parents feel well prepared to help their children in the coming academic year
The Independent, by Aftab Ali Student Editor, 20 Sep 2016

Call To Test Benefits Of Brain-Boosting "Nootropics" Trend
Sky News ,30 Aug 2016

Warning to north-east students over using ‘smart drugs’ to boost studying
Evening Express, by Louise Aitken, 28 Sep 2016

'Smart drug' warning for students
The government's watchdog has issued a warning to students about the dangers of taking "smart drugs".
BBC,26 Sep 2016, From the section Health

Why ‘smart drugs’ can make you less clever
The Conversation, by Nadira Faber (Research Fellow, University of Oxford),21 July 2016

Fair play? How ‘smart drugs’ are making workplaces more competitive
The Conversation, by Barbara Sahakian (Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Cambridge) 1 Jul 2016

High Education
University students snort memory drug Noopept for exams
Undergraduates use the banned ‘brain-booster’ like cocaine or gulp it in capsules
The Sun, by Jake Ryan, 5 Jun 2016

In their own words: students share their views on smart drugs
‘I felt amazing, really buzzing and ready to work. I was superhuman. Then I crashed and got crazy...’
The Guardian,by Helen Whitehouse, 1 Mar 2016

Do 'smart drugs' really work?
BBC TWO,Victoria Derbyshire, 5 Jan 2016

My 'smart drugs' nightmare
The use of so-called smart drugs is growing in popularity. But do they work?
BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme, by Benjamin Zand, 5 Jan 2016


Study drugs: are modafinil, noopept and nootropics essential in helping students on the road to exam success?
Students look at whether the use of such 'smart drugs' can carry serious side effects - and if using them is 'cheating'
The Independent, by Lucas Fothergill, 7 Dec 2015

‘Smart Drug’ Being Taken By Uni Students Actually Boosting Performance
Unilad, by Alex Watt, 8 Sep 2015

Modafinil: The future of neuroenhancement?
The 'smart pill' has huge potential to boost cognitive function, making us more productive and innovative, but we need to improve the way that we analyse the effect this kind of drug has on both healthy brains and wider society before we can consider who gets to use the drugs
The Independent, by Ruairidh Mclennan Battleday, Anna-Katharine Brem, 27 Aug 2015

Modafinil – the ‘smart drug’ leading the charge towards a future of neuroenhancement
The Conversation,by Ruairidh McLennan Battleday (PhD candidate, University of California, Berkeley), Anna-Katharine Brem (Postdoctoral researcher, University of Oxford) , 27 Aug 2015

'Smart drug' taken by one in four students really does boost performance
Scientists say it is time to have an ethical debate about whether Modafinil should be 'condoned or condemned.'
The Telegraph, by Sarah Knapton, 20 Aug 2015

Why taking smart drugs just isn't very clever
As medical advances endow us with superhuman abilities, we are in danger of losing our humanity
The Telegraph, by Jemima Lewis, 20 Aug 2015

Narcolepsy medication modafinil is world's first safe 'smart drug'
Increasingly taken by healthy people to improve focus before exams, after a comprehensive review researchers say modafinil is safe in the short-term
The Guardian, by Helen Thomson, 20 Aug 2015

Get ahead in Silicon Valley: take nootropic brain drugs
Some in Silicon Valley claim that a combination of supplements, over-the-counter medications and other chemicals taken together can improve cognitive function
The Guardian, by Zoë Corbyn, 11 July 2015

Students used to take drugs to get high. Now they take them to get higher grades
The use of so-called ‘smart drugs’, bought on the internet, to boost mental performance is rife in British universities. So can we all benefit from ‘having an edge’, or is it just a form of cheating that should be banned?
The Guardian, by Carole Cadwalladr, 15 Feb 2015


Could 'smart drugs' make a student more STUPID? Healthy people taking performance enhancing pills had slower reactions, study finds
Daily Mail, by Madlen Davies for MailOnline, 13 Nov 2014

Record seizure of smart drugs including one untested in humans shows growing market
The Conversation, by Barbara Sahakian (Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Cambridge), 31 Oct 2014

Medicines watchdog makes record seizure of experimental smart drugs
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced the UK’s biggest seizure of smart drugs, also known as cognitive enhancers or nootropics.
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, 24 Oct 2014

Study drugs can kill, warn Oxford University medical professionals
OXSTU(The Oxford Student Newspaper), By News Team, 28 May 2015

Nootropic Brain Drugs Rise in Popularity for Today’s Cutthroat Corporate Climbers
Excess is out, efficiency is in. Welcome to the world of nootropics.
by Jack Smith IV, 14 Apr 2015

Random drug tests to be introduced before exams
The Tab, by Jack Cummings, approx Apr 2014.

Will 'Smart Drugs' Really Make Us Smarter? Or Just Ruin Our Lives?
Vice, by Alex Horne, 25 Mar 2014

2013 or earlier

Is modafinil safe in the long term?
The media is full of stories about the amazing properties of smart drugs. But you could be putting your brain at risk, warns David Cox
The Guardian, by David Cox, 31 May 2013

‘Smart drugs’ are bad for your health
Doctors are warning that drugs bought online to boost intelligence and fitness could contain harmful substances
Marie Claire Magazine, by Hannah Thomas, 11 Apr 2012

Modafinil: the new wonder drug?
A pill that makes you super-productive, and sleep completely redundant. Is there a catch? Holly Thomas and Tom Hobohm talk to students who’ve tried it
Nouse,by Holly Thomas and Tom Hobohm, 30 Jun 2009

Schoolchildren could be given 'smart drugs' in a bid to boost brainpower
Daily Mail, by Laura Clark, 19 Sep 2008

Can a Pill Make You Smarter?
A series of new drugs promises to increase our productivity and focus.
Marie Claire Magazine, by Joanne Chen, 14 Dec 2008


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