Doping: It Happens More than You Think

In high school, I was on the track, bowling, cross country, wrestling, robotics, and biology team. I can say with certainty that no one in any of my teams, or another school's bowling team, was using performance enhancing drugs. As for the other teams, I can say for certainty that no 16-year-old could produce the results that I saw some of my friends at elite schools produce. 

I once asked a senior at Bronx Science with whom I'd grown up: "How the hell did you get so ripped!?"
"Steroids," he calmly responded. He would later offer me his connect, as he was surely to get a kickback from bringing new customers, but I politely declined.

I didn't decline because I was morally opposed to performance enhancing drugs, but rather because the vegan health nut in me recoiled at the dangers that these mystery substance represented to my diet.

Nonetheless, there it was, and the NYC Board of Education could probably never come up with the funds to regularly test athletes. I personally was only "tested" for wrestling, and it was only at the beginning of the wrestling season in Winter. We were told that we were only being tested for proper hydration and to make sure we weren't malnourished. All we had to do was produce a vial of pee from an unsupervised bathroom.

I know of several times when the urine was diluted or switched. It was really that easy. 

My school in the South Bronx was poor-performing and the students generally unmotivated. However, it was at high-performing, rich schools where my friends were under pressure to produce results and gain the upper hand in college admissions.

"This is your school on drugs" by Carlos Gomez
At Yale, I suspect athletes doping is rare, considering NCAA supervision. However, brain enhancing drugs are by-and-large unregulated. In fact, it was perfectly acceptable in many social circles to openly discuss Ritalin, Adderall, and the use of other hyperfocus/ADHD medication. The use of these drugs is rampant, especially before exams.

Besides the obvious medical risks that brain-enhancing drugs pose, they also provide an advantage to wealthier students who can afford these drugs. Lance Armstrong only did with his body what many of America's top-performing students do with their brains. These students, however, will be rewarded with good grades and better job prospects instead of scrutiny.

The end result? Many of America's cognitive elite are medicated, and prefer the easy route in life.