Popping Pills a Popular Way to Boost Brain Power

60 Minutes: Among Upper Classes, 50-60 Percent Using ADD/ADHD Drugs Ritalin, Adderall

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When Couric asked students if they worry getting addicted to it, one said, "I know that it's an addictive drug, and I have thought about it, and if I ever felt that I needed it, I would, you know, go and get help for that. I mean, I've never felt like I need Adderall."

"What do you guys think? Do you think that kids will be able to just stop cold turkey after they get that diploma?" Couric asked.

"I think that's yet to be seen. So, I think we're kinda the first guinea pig generation that's grown up with this," another student replied.

Brandon Adams started taking Adderall in college; now 31, he teaches economics at Harvard.

"A lot of attention has been given to undergraduates taking these drugs. But what about people like professors?" Couric asked.

"I think it's extremely common. It's extremely common in all of the professions from what I've seen," Adams said.

He admits he recently finished writing a book with the help of Adderall.

"There I would probably average twice a week," he admitted.

"So you'd take one in the morning when you really had to focus on writing and you'd be able to have a very productive day?" Couric asked.

"Yes," he replied.

Adams says other drugs are also being used as neuroenhancers. One he has tried is Provigil, first developed to treat the symptoms of the rare sleep disorder narcolepsy.

"People found that it was helpful as a stimulant for, you know, working in law offices and in academics and stuff like this. So I would say it's in the past five to ten years that it's become popular as a performance enhancer," Adams said.

Last year alone there were more than two million Provigil prescriptions filled, some for truck drivers on long hauls and doctors working around the clock. The Air Force has even approved Provigil for fighter pilots on extended combat missions. And as scientists continue to better understand how the mind works, it's likely we'll soon see new, more potent drugs that can be used to boost your brain power.

"What do you think of the notion of in the future these kinds of drugs being perfectly acceptable and, in fact, encouraged so that we can maximize our potential in terms of our intelligence?" Couric asked students.

"It's a brave new world," a student replied.

"It's a big moral question, I think, about how you want to alter your mind. And that's kind of what Adderall is, I guess, is how do you feel about it morally. And I think our general consensus is we're, most people are okay with it," another added.

Produced by Denise Schrier Cetta and Anya Bourg