In Britain, the official policy of most universities seems to be to pretend it isn’t happening. When I email Oxford University in search of somebody in student services to talk to about whether they’d encountered any students struggling with these drugs, I get varying sorts of brush-offs before an official statement is issued. But then, it is a tangled, morally difficult subject with no easy answers. Even if you ban it in exams, what’s to stop students using it for revision? And there are cognitive enhancers that have been around for hundreds of years that no one considers “cheating”. Caffeine is one; nicotine another.
If you are planning to use any of the smart drugs and nutrients we discuss to assist you in taking tests or examinations, we suggest that you carefully read the section titled The Use of Cerebroactive Substances. In addition, we strongly recommend that you consult a qualified physician before using smart drugs.
Ngo has experimented with piracetam himself (“The first time I tried it, I thought, ‘Wow, this is pretty strong for a supplement.’ I had a little bit of reflux, heartburn, but in general it was a cognitive enhancer. . . . I found it helpful”) and the neurotransmitter DMEA (“You have an idea, it helps you finish the thought. It’s for when people have difficulty finishing that last connection in the brain”).
“But we could be thinking about enhancements that make our lives happier and more fulfilled,” says Sandberg. “We asked people if they’d take a supplement that enhanced their kindness and empathy and only 9% wanted that.”
Many people start off with Piracetam and stay with it, never veering away. Others may choose to add Alpha-GPC or Citicoline to create a synergistic effect. Others choose to experiment with several smart drugs in order to fine-tune a stack which works with their personal body chemistry.
Prof Barbara Sahakian was confident the pill would have an effect: “We’ve done a number of studies that show an increase in cognitive ability when taken – from doctors doing night shifts to healthy people in a controlled testing environment.”
Dilantin is available, by prescription, in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. The original patent has expired, so it is available under its generic name, phenytoin, as well as under its trade name Dilantin in the United States, and Epanutin, Epamin, Eplin, Idantoin, and Aleviatan in other countries.
Many people who are seeking to sharpen their minds and concentration are turning to “smart drugs” to enhance their cognitive ability. Smart drugs can include medications normally used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimer’s disease, and have also become popular as a means of improving focus, memory, or concentration in otherwise healthy people. However, they’ve recently become the target for counterfeiting operations.
CILTEP (aka Abelard Lindsay) started gaining momentum back in 2011. It is a well-known nootropic which is endorsed by a lot of popular names in the USA including Dave Asprey and Tim Ferris. Online reviews for CILTEP are also mostly positive.
The Guardian heard from several students who claimed to have faked ADHD symptoms in order to be prescribed Ritalin or Adderall. One student, from UCL, said: “I obtained the drugs from a friend who wanted Ritalin to use as a smart drug. She memorised the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and convinced a GP to prescribe it.”
In spite of lackluster test scores, I ended the week on a positive note. My Reaction Time hit a new record of 309 milliseconds on day 14, and I was also at 325 milliseconds and 320 milliseconds on days 11 and 13, respectively. Compared to 367 milliseconds before starting the experiment, this is a significant improvement.
Many people take the full 200 mg dose, but 100 mg is all I’ve ever taken. Again, this goes back to working with the minimum effective dose. Even 50 mg is enough to get a slight boost, but I prefer 100 mg to get the effect I want.
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