Monday, January 12, 2009

Taking "Smart" Drugs for Kicks

London Independent columnist Johann Hari scores Provigil on the internet without a prescription from "a foreign pharmacy." First he marvels at it. He stops taking it just to see. Then he starts up again only to quit when his "conscience" wake up too.


I know Hari is an acclaimed journalist but does his story sound as contrived to you as it does to me?

As a former avid user of recreational drugs, I risk playing the hypocrite. So be it...

Due to legitimate health reasons, I've taken Provigil since it's become available here in the US. I know well the risks involved and I've chosen to take them. In return, unlike any other medication I've tried, Provigil has allowed me to live a more normal life.

It concerns me that folks are using Provigil recreationally when scientists still have only a purely theoretical understanding of its mechanism. This drug has been used by a statistically insignificant population for a relatively short period of time too. We have no idea what the long term effects are if any for prescribed usage.

I also happen to have severe ADHD. In addition to Provigil, I've taken Ritalin, Concerta et a over the yearsl. Compared to Adderall, Provigil just makes me a jitter-free wide awake scatterbrain. In truth, the jury is out as to whether or not Provigil helps concentration in any way other than allowing you to avoid feeling physically fatigued. A simple Google search will turn up almost as many studies concluding Provigil is not helpful in treating ADHD as there are where it is.

(HT: Raw Story)