Dexedrine Defense


The two U.S. pilots who mistakenly dropped a bomb on Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan last April apparently plan to argue that their judgment was clouded by the uppers the Air Force pressured them to take. This defense sounds desperate to me, but it's interesting that the U.S. military uses dexamphetamine in a way that would be condemned as abuse in the case of a college student or truck driver. An Air Force spokeswoman calls the drug a "fatigue management tool."

The International Program on Chemical Safety lists hyperactivity in children and narcolepsy as appropriate indications for a dexamphetamine prescription. (The Physicians' Desk Reference mentions these two, plus obesity.) "Perfomance enhancement" is listed under the heading of "misuse."