Nootropics, also called smart drugs, are substances that enhance mental function. Some of these smart drugs can be obtained over the counter in the form of nutritional or herbal supplements, while others are prescribed by doctors to treat medical conditions such as ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and narcolepsy. These medications mimic or enhance the effect of neurotransmitters in the brain, and often have a stimulant effect.
Prescription nootropics include Adderall, Ritalin, and modafinil. These medications act in the brain to increase wakefulness, alertness, cognitive control, and memory. While these smart drugs can assist in treating various disorders, healthy people also find these effects appealing. This has been shown to be especially true for college students and professionals in high-stress jobs who are under a lot of pressure to perform well. While the risk of serious side effects is low, it is not recommended to use prescription medications without the guidance of a physician, as side effects and medication interactions can occur.
The enhanced mental function experienced when using smart drugs is very attractive. You may feel more focused and able to learn. Caffeine, which can also enhance alertness and mental focus, often makes people feel jittery if they use too much. These nootropic medications provide a similar feeling of wakefulness, without the jittery side effects. For students and people in high-pressure careers, these medications can make them feel as though they can perform better, leading them to greater success.
Using nootropics regularly can lead to a feeling of withdrawal when you stop. You may feel slower and less focused, as you have become used to the enhanced wakefulness and alertness associated with smart drug use. The effects of nootropics are so strong and appealing that you may believe that your work and productivity will suffer if you stop taking the smart drugs. The more regularly you use them, the more you may feel you need to use them to maintain your performance level.
If you are having trouble with nootropic use, help is available. Please contact one of Saint Jude Retreat's family counselors at 1.888.424.2626 for a free confidential consultation.