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Psychotropic neuroenhancement by young people under 18 is growing, and is certain to increase further with the availability of effective drugs and increasing tolerance for neuroenhancement practices. Use of these agents by young people for purposes of enhancement has social and ethical implications that require scrutiny and analysis. It is particularly important that these analyses do not simply translate normative judgments on adult neuroenhancement practices or intentions to young people. In this article, we outline the key social and ethical concerns raised by the use of stimulant drugs for neuroenhancement in young people and make specific research, practice, and policy recommendations. We also suggest a rationale for clinical management of psychotropic drug neuroenhancers for young people, attending closely to the necessary boundaries on such practice asserted by organizational and clinical factors, as well as by potential ethical conflicts. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original publication




Journal article


AJOB Neuroscience

Publication Date





3 - 16