In the US Modafinil has become extremely popular
…. amongst lawyers, financiers and students. However philosophers in the US do not believe that it would be unethical if people took part in the current drug craze based around smart drugs such as Modafinil (red. Armodafinil).
Now, imagine that you can transform yourself from your ordinary, average person to a multitasking Duracell bunny with supernatural powers of concentration. All this just by taking a pill. Sounds crazy right?
In the movie Limitless from 2011 this is exactly what the protagonist played by Bradley Cooper does. From mediocre writer to a successful stockbroker in record time just by consuming this one pill.
It sounds too good to be true, but nevertheless more people begin to take performance-enhancing drugs, also called nootropics. The target group is mainly professionals and students. They do not take drugs to party and have fun, but to be able to concentrate and provide high level of multitasking and performance.
A new study shows that one in six students at American universities have taken ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall to better cope with the exams.
Anthropologist Margit Anne Petersen from the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen has studied the use of smart drugs. Her studies have mainly revolved around student in New York, but she believes that the phenomenon is quite widespread. Also in business.
“As part of my fieldwork I talked to people who sold these substances illegal, and the business people was clearly a large part of their clientele. Especially lawyers and finance people used drugs, ” – she explains.
Placebo or extreme concentration?
The amphetamine-like drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall, which are among the most popular. For they are easy to obtain, as most know someone with an ADHD diagnosis that can get drugs on prescription from your doctor.
“It seems invigorating, gives confidence and reduces appetite. Many of the students in my study comparing it with a stronger form of coffee, “ – says Margit Anne Petersen and elaborates:
“But even if it is portrayed as a performance enhancer, is that according to several studies question the real effect and it is partly a placebo effect. It seems a little as if it is about creating a good emotional situation, so you can easily concentrate on studying and not have to think so much on social media and other distractions, ” – she says.
Another drug, which is currently extremely popular among American business leaders is Modafinil. The medicine was developed in France in the ’80s to treat sleeping disorders. It was approved by the US authorities in 1998 and has quickly become popular in Silicon Valley and Wall Street circles.
Health guru David Asprey is one of the warmest advocates of Modafinil. He is originally a cloud computing specialist, but has become an icon of the global health trend where people put butter in their coffee.
“It’s magical. Provigil (another name for Modafinil, red.) Is in a class by itself when it comes to your ability to focus, “ – he told CNN.
On his own blog, there are several posts which praise the effects.
“I would never go on a business trip without Modafinil,” writes David Asprey, among others.
Margit Anne Petersen is also encountered Modafinil users in the United States.
“The ones I’ve talked to describe it as that they have tunnel vision when they are on modafinil and other ‘drugs’. Everything else is shut out, and it’s one of the reasons why they want to take it. ”
Smart Drugs Are A Tabu in Denmark
It is uncertain how widespread smart drugs are in Denmark. There is hardly done any studies on the use and it is not easy to find people who would like to comment on their consumption. Margit Anne Petersen believes that the use of performance-enhancing drugs is more taboo in this country.
“It has been very difficult to persuade people to be in my study,” she says. “I’ve interviewed a few people, but they have been very worried about the investigation could preserve their anonymity compared to students in the United States.”
She believes, however, that the most likely going on in this country to a greater extent than we can document.
“We know that, among other things going on in England and Germany. And it is not very difficult to purchase over the Internet in other EU countries, “says the anthropologist.
However, it is not hard to find Danish sides selling various kinds of supplements that can enhance mental ability.
“Although you are suffering from memory problems or need more energy and clarity to the busy life, school, work or examination, we have it that can make the difference between good enough and genius. We have everything in cognition, “writes the website smart-drugs.dk on its welcome page.
Maxi Kniewasser has tried to contact the owner behind the site, but he has not returned our calls. We learn, however, that health authorities are currently working to close the website that sells fabrics with chemical sounding names as Phenibut, Noopept and oxiracetam.