Could these Pills be Your Solution to Staying Sharp?

Did you do something constructive as soon as you woke up today? Perhaps you are the type that prefers having an intense morning run, or you could be the kind that starts it off with a warm cup of coffee.

A London based film producer who goes by the name Tom Rice has a special routine. Being a young man in his late 20’s, Tom combines a shot of espresso, fish oil and Piracetam– a drug that aids his cognitive capabilities.

Rice claims that the drug helps him to feel sharper and think quicker, even though he hasn’t used it for a long period of time. Having expressed interest in Nootropics for a while now, he believes that these drugs enhance his performance as his business is quite demanding. Tom further confesses to having used Provigil (active ingredient is Modafinil or Adrafinil) when he really needed to focus.

Although the producer recognizes the importance of a balanced diet and healthy sleep, he embraces the significance of cognitive enhancement through research and networking.  He may not wish to be on the frontline as far as drugs are concerned, but would wish to keep tabs on the interesting developments going on. After reading and researching, Tom was convinced that Piracetam, which had been around since the 1970’s had negligible risks. It is for this reason that he is open to trying out something new, as long as it has track record of being effective and safe.

Not a New Approach

The approach used by Rice isn’t any different from the usual. Having entered the market in the mid 20th Century, “smart drugs” were intended to keep army fighters alert. They have currently saturated the start-up scenes and a number of demanding industries.

Even though studies have shown that these drugs do have some side effects, they do improve one’s focus and memory. Typical Nootropics are usually available if prescribed especially in Europe or the US. However, some enthusiasts do have their own way of identifying suppliers that will send them from overseas.

The Bulletproof Executive’s CEO Dave Asprey acknowledges that these drugs have become commonplace in high business levels and seeks to normalize their consumption. He says that a majority of the people he meets that happen to have several zeroes in their accounts attribute their success to the use of these drugs.

Asprey argues that the substances’ effectiveness supersede that of caffeine as there is a notable improvement on understanding brain functionality and biology. Since a majority of intelligent people would love to control their biology, he supports the idea of using custom supplements to aid the brain’s functionality. Through understanding neural pathways, the drugs are made to improve energy levels thereby making it easy to execute cognitive burdens.

The CEO further adds that there has been great evidence that nutraceuticals and natural supplements can immeasurably increase energy levels thereby helping one to relax and focus more. Entrepreneurs and innovators top the list of those who have embraced and benefited from cognitive enhancement. People aged over 50 yet want to remain mentally sharp have also benefited.

Created Conundrums

According to Michael Schrage from the MIT Center for Digital Business, the increased use of these substances generates great confusion to both employers and businesses. Some are not able to draw a line between prescription drugs, nutraceuticals, a cup of coffee and a Red Bull. Considering that some organizations expect their employees to go an extra mile even if it means working overnight, it is even harder for them to draw this line. He doesn’t think a boss would be surprised if their employee, who works in a company that has espresso machines all over, got an amphetamine prescription.

Schrage has linked the high usage of such substances with industries regarded as “high performing”. Some of them include journalism, trading, software development and investment banking. Such industries expect their employees to outperform without asking how they do it. Considering the ongoing competition between businesses, it would be rather risky for managers to pry in their employee’s personal lifestyle and working habits.

Benefits vs. the Risks

Even though there is some bit of uncertainty, Professor Barbara Sahakian who is the leading cognitive enhancement expert and neuroscientist, believes the field is of high value. She feels that the government should get more involved in this as it could be useful. Modafinil, for example, has been licensed in the USA for people with Narcolepsy, but is being used by night shift workers, pilots and the police force, all working long hours or off shifts and it helps them stay awake, therefore preventing accidents since workers are more alert.

Barbara says there has been plenty of a discussion surrounding the concern on how safe Red Bull could be for young people. She further adds that there should be a safer methodology such as Modafinil/Adrafinil, if people are to be kept awake for longer periods. Further studies on Modafinil and Adrafinil ought to be taken more seriously.  Especially Adrafinil, since it’s an unscheduled drug, with very few side effects, non-addictive and does not require a prescription, but extremely effective.

Studies done by the professor indicate improved memory retention in people who have used Adrafinil. Users are highly motivated in task-related areas, and encouraging results have been noticed on the volunteers during follow-ups.

Shakian believes ethical issues have to be taken into consideration in addition to safety tests. Issues relating to coercion need to be considered as well. A report done by a British Academy address equality issues. It seeks to address the issue of whether all employees have equal access to these enhancement products and how it benefits individuals, as well as different groups.

Smart pills have become a force to reckon with; while some oppose their use due to unfair advantages, more progressive-minded individuals embrace them with fanfare due to increased benefits, low health risks and proven effectiveness in both working and personal lifestyles.

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