Must blog quickly this am lest I forget what I must research soon. Yesterday on GMA a new pill was announced to control obesity, a risky condition which is apparently prevalent in 1/3 of Americans today. Experimental subjects lost 10% of their body weight, but I’m not sure the time period required for that result. Side effects include memory loss, birth defects, increased heart rates and more. Of course, the percentage of these risks as a possibility is important to know in order to make an informed decision to take the pill (or any medication) or not.
Today GMA covered the increased use of provigil by military pilots, pro atheletes, and top tier executives who want significant increase in their cognitive abilities. One executive said he would rather have his life shortened (if that is the future fact revealed to be true), because he “liked to really live.” But is he “really living” at a hyped-up, pharmacologically-induced state? Aren’t folks on “speed” and other amphetamines really “living” — or are they just addicted to the rush and fail like those hooked on provigil, to appreciate the limitations and possibilities of just living a human life?
The downside of provigil is a life threatening rash which is rare — but then this off-label use of provigil has little track record so far, and we just don’t know what might develop over years of use. I’m certain we will hear more about provigil and other pills many Americans like to pop to fix problems they perceive, or achieve results they desire. After all pills minimize the effort it takes to become fully conscious in the moment and strive to maximize the enjoyment of every second of one’s life, and make more natural decisions regarding nurturing the humanity we have been given to enjoy.