I' want to make a world which is the reverse of our world: Instead of neurotypical people being the majority, people with ADHD are the majority. Accordingly, all those who do not display symptoms of ADHD are required to be drugged to render them ADHD to make them in accord with the majority. In order to make this world as close as possible to the real world, what real-world drugs could achieve this aspect - including the positive benefits of ADHD (creativity etc.)? I'd rather have a real drug than a made-up one.

(Yes, this story has a very obvious agenda.)


closed as off-topic by Mołot, Rob Watts, Mark Olson, L.Dutch, CaM Jun 21 '18 at 20:39

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Mołot, Rob Watts, Mark Olson, L.Dutch, CaM
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Frankly, this is so crazy that the only answer could be a sound WTF? A world where it's normal to sufer from such a disorder wouldn't even function. ADHD is not some positive or negative social status brand: It is a problem, period. Your question is definitely too broad, you give us no reason at all to understand why there would be a bizarro earth where people function better with a chronic deficit disorder. This question makes no sense $\endgroup$ – Valerio Pastore Jun 20 '18 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ @ValerioPastore in order to call a condition a disorder, you need to compare it to a "normal" condition. In an ambidexterous society, for example, those who are only left-handed or right-handed would be seen as laterally impaired. In a dwarf society, a height of 5'5" would be seen as gigantism... And so on. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jun 20 '18 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ Lucky us, the times in which left-handed people are seen as persons with a problem are passed. Only the ignorant could still think of your example as a problem. Pygmies are perfectly functioning people, and a taller individual would be considered an anomaly, but not because 'pygmy is the new normal'. Dwarves tend to have short lives because theirs is an altered genetic state. ADHD is a disorder because it causes alterations in the correct brain functions, and it is not healthy. $\endgroup$ – Valerio Pastore Jun 20 '18 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ I am unfortunately not able to vote (since I'm not fully signed up). However, I would give this question an upvote because it is asking a very simple, clear question. Just because the answer to that question might be "no"--or just because one might disagree with the agenda behind the question--are not good reasons to downvote. $\endgroup$ – Qami Jun 20 '18 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ Other than (but not excluding) curing certain forms of cancer, genetic diseases, and viral infections, the answer to is there a drug that does X, is pretty much yes. 'Drugs that make you behave like X' is all but assured. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Jun 21 '18 at 1:09

The causes for ADHD are still unknown. Genetics seem to play a huge factor, but environmental and society impacts are still debated. If we did know what causes it down to a biomolecular level, we would be able to make medication that would treat it much better than what we have nowadays. The opposite would also be true - we would know how to make a drug that would induce it, even if only temporarily. So, from a science and medicine point of view, there is no single drug that would product symptoms which would perfectly mimic ADHD.

If you want to really limit your citizens's attention span, focus and capacity to solve long tasks, there are other drugs which you could use. Though you would not mimic ADHD perfectly, you would get those three effects.

Remember: alcohol, weed and most other recreational drugs cause a high that will keep a person from focusing on the here and now. These drugs have also been part of the creative process of many bands. A cocktail with a very light concentration of ethanol, THC and heroine will turn a person into a zombie for a while. Psychonauts who have had frequent contact with DMT and/or peyote are known for being constantly zoned out.

You may also force some conditions in order to get people to lose focus. Episodes where a person has dificulty to concentrate are one of diabete's many symptoms. You would get a lot of other symptoms as well, and a dependency on insuline, but hey, you can't make an omelete without damaging your pancreas.


Yes, there is.

Although not official medical dogma, one of the criteria for deciding if a child has ADHD is to give them amphetamine, which is a common ADHD treatment drug. If the child calms down and focuses, they are ADHD. If they become more agitated and their mind jumps from thing to thing (in other words, they show symptoms of ADHD), then they aren't ADHD.

I've been given this criterion by two different licensed MDs.

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    $\begingroup$ I think TheAsh wants a drug that induces ADHD-like symptoms, not one that treats them. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jun 20 '18 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Renan Read it again. The drugs to treat ADHD actually cause ADHD symptoms in people otherwise without ADHD. It's counter-intuitive, but is actually the case. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Jun 20 '18 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Samuel oh. In that case, +1. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jun 20 '18 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ This answer is a 100% false. "While it was once thought that a paradoxically calming effect from stimulants supports a diagnosis of ADHD, these agents can increase attention and focus in normal people" See ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/341313 and ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4500182 $\endgroup$ – TheAsh Jun 21 '18 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ My answer is not 100% false. It may reflect a refuted position. I was absolutely given that advice from my pediatrician 30 years ago. Your second statement is consistent with a psychiatrist I consulted, who told me that ADHD meds (amphetamines) are sought by normal students to gain advantage. From my experience, I stand by my answer, with the addition that the effects are with low doses. To introduce the bouncing-off-walls frenzy seems to take non-medical doses. $\endgroup$ – cmm Jun 21 '18 at 13:49

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