‘Study Drugs’ – Are they worth it?
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The topic of study drugs has been on the lips of every student, academic and young professional since their meteoric rise to the mainstream several years ago. Some scientists say that they’re safe and should be sold in Boots, whereas some say they are a risk to health.
The fact of the matter is, there’s a lot of common misconceptions about study drugs, such as Modafinil, so I will share with you my experience so by the end of this article, you will know whether or not study drugs are for you.
As anyone who has taken them can attest, modafinil is a serious drug and should be taken as such.
Originally developed as a eurogenic, a wakefulness-promoting agent, modafinil has been medicinally used to combat narcolepsy. This is what makes modafinil so popular as a study drug – it keeps you awake, and it does it well.
No one will argue that modafinil is King at keeping you awake, if anything it’s too good as more often or not prolonged use of modafinil will lead to insomnia. It has been the saving grace of thousands of students who left their assignments too late.
However, is it worth it?
When I first took modafinil, almost 3 years ago now, I thought the answer to that question was a definite yes. I had left an essay too late and only had one night to write all 2500 words. My friend in my block had previously done a year at Oxford and said that everybody there takes study drugs. She offered me 100mg of modafinil and I jumped at the chance.
If you remember the scene from Limitless when Bradley Cooper takes NZT-48 for the first time, it kind of feels like that. You don’t feel tired anymore, and the annoying little voice in your head that usually draws yourself to distractions quietens down and all that matters in the world is the work you have in front of you.
There is no denying it – if you need to pull an all-nighter, modafinil will do the job no problem, and after the first time I took it, I was surprised not to experience the side-effects that people told me about.
However, as the academic year continued, I started taking modafinil more and more. At first, just for essays, and then for seminars, then lectures and then every working day. Let me tell you this, dependence comes hard and it’s unforgiving. It gets to the point where it feels impossible to do work unless you’ve had some magic modafinil.
Not to mention that, but the more I took it the more side-effects I started experiencing. The first one I remember was restlessness. My brain was so wired and awake that I had to be
continuously tapping, humming or otherwise moving. This not only distracted me, and judging from the looks from my library neighbours, I was distracting them too.
It started with the restlessness but soon moved to anxiety, jitters and worse of all insomnia. At the height of my use (I was probably taking 300-400mg a day) I was only getting around 4 hours sleep a night if I was lucky. That’s when the real problems kicked in. I stopped socialising with friends, stopped going to Rugby training, fell out with my flatmates and girlfriend and was overall not having a good time. To top it off, my grades started slipping back down.
It turns out the substance I was taking to help me get higher grades actually made my grades worse.
It’s not fair to paint all ‘study drugs’, or nootropics, with the same brush. A good rule of thumb is only to take pharmaceuticals if you have been prescribed them by your doctor. For everyone else, there are alternatives out there which are much safer, cheaper and more effective in the long-term.
These alternative are mainly natural. Herbals such as Panax Ginseng and Gingko Biloba have been proven to have a positive effect on cognitive function. You can also get naturally-occurring Amino Acids, such as L-Tyrosine, the precursor to Dopamine, which will have a similar effect on your brain as modafinil.
If you are looking for a safe, natural and legal alternative to modafinil or another study drug, why not try BrainZyme® Professional. BrainZyme® is scientifically-proven to support concentration, mental performance and the reduction of tiredness in under an hour.
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