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My experiment with smart drugs: Viagra for the brain? (johannhari.com)
134 points by robg on May 15, 2008 | hide | past | favorite | 114 comments



  Man: (calling in panic) Doctor, I ate Viagra but I can't find my wife anywhere.
  Doc: Don't you have a maid?
  Man: Come on doc, I don't need Viagra when I'm with the maid.
May be the problem lies elsewhere.


While an interesting project can get you excited to work on something, I doubt it can simulate all the neurological receptors that this drug can. The great Paul Erdos was known for his use of amphetamines throughout his life, and after a period of voluntary abstinence famously said, "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper."


I actually think the two sentences that follow that quote reveal a lot more about Paul Erdos.

"You've showed me I'm not an addict. But I didn't get any work done. I'd get up in the morning and stare at a blank piece of paper. I'd have no ideas, just like an ordinary person. You've set mathematics back a month."

(http://www.untruth.org/~josh/papers/Paul%20Erd%F6s%20bio-rev...)


You may find "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Johnathan Haidt of some interest.


I often wonder whether or not one could get similar effects through meditation. When I was doing regular Buddhist meditation exercises, I felt that I had an increased level of concentration. The disadvantages are that meditation is much harder than taking a pill and the effects might not be as strong. The advantages are that meditation has no harmful long-term side effects and has much longer lasting positive effects than any drug that temporarily alters brain chemistry. Meditation causes long-term changes in brain structure and function.


I'm pretty sure if narcolepsy could be controlled by meditation people would do it. Clearly Modafinil has a measurable clinical effect that no amount of wu can reproduce.

I was surprised how well tested it is, given this off-label use. It's a reasonably tested drug: http://www.powerset.com/explore/semhtml/Modafinil?query=Prov...


Right -- I'll give you one guess what happens when narcoleptics try to meditate.


I know you're joking, but meditation doesn't have to be done sitting or lying down. It can be done standing, walking, or during practically any activity. It's just that some people get caught up in what they're doing rather than the meditation, so they sit and do nothing.


Actually I'm not joking, but I was referring to sitting or lying down meditation -- so point taken.

Narcoleptics usually aren't like the puppies in internet videos or the girl in Deuce Bigalow, falling asleep suddenly and at random. They fall asleep in non-stimulating situations like a classroom or church and enter the deep part of the sleep cycle much faster than normal sleepers.


How do you know that long-term changes in brain structure and function do not include harmful side effects?


"As with any drug, Provigil has side effects. According to the [UK govt], the list is substantial, including nervousness, insomnia, excitation, irritability, tremors, dizziness and headaches. It may also cause "gastrointestinal disturbances", including nausea and abdominal pain, dry mouth, loss of appetite and cardiovascular effects such as high blood pressure, palpitations and tachycardia - a fast heart beat."

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,,127...

Still tempting for hitting immediate deadlines, but I'd be very reluctant to use it long-term.


Aren't insomnia and excitation the point?

Funny to see insomnia listed as a side effect of Provigil.


If you look at the research, though, there are a few reports of patients having severe insomnia for weeks or months after moderate doses of provigil.


"Funny to see insomnia listed as a side effect of Provigil."

I take your point, but (having experienced severe nervous insomnia for a while) I wouldn't wish it on anyone, except perhaps a narcoleptic :)


I did a similar experiment about 5 years ago and didn't experience any of the same effects. In my experience provigil was only good for what it was designed for - staying up for long stretches of time.


I took it for about 15 days last year when I was having trouble staying awake and was definitely more relaxed and productive. I think that was a result of just having a lot more time in the day.

The first few days I only slept about 1-3 hours per night. I would lie in bed for 30 minutes then get really bored and so I'd read, work, or clean our apartment. Since I had 20 hours a day, I never felt pressed for time and was pretty relaxed. It's pretty cool to have time to do laundry, clean, run errands, spend hours hanging out, read a book or two, exercise, and work all in one day.

I remember being scared the first night when for over 40 hours not only had I not slept, i wasn't even tired.

However, over time the effects wore off and I returned to sleeping 6 hours or so a night. Still less than normal, but at that point the (risk of) side effects outweighed the extra two hours of time per day.


Try humping multiple kilometers through mountain ranges on provigil on a 3-day training mission. It was one of the worst things I've had to do. Being tired and being in a state of living death because of drugs are bad. Drugs are bad, kids, mmmmkay?


I've done this not on drugs and the state of living death still comes on eventually during the long (20+ K) marches. Man was not meant to march dozens of miles with 80+ lbs on his back.

Lean forward... that always helps me ;)


Not sure what your point is. But that training mission sounds many times harder than anything physical I've accomplished, so I'm impressed by that.


Was this when you were in the military? How common are such stimulants if you're not a pilot?


Brains. They're just not that well standardized. Sometimes it's really hard to get parts.


"I decided to take three days off, to see what would happen. It was easy."

I recently had this thought that being easy to wean off might just be another trick played by drugs to keep us addicted. For example, I have several times weaned off coffee for a month. It was easy, too, but here I am, still drinking coffee (again). Since it is so easy to wean off it, I can just stop tomorrow, so why not have another cup today...?

Also, it seems that some schools "addiction research" only consider something a relapse if it happens after 6 months not taking the drugs. So anything below 6 months is not even considered as "weaned off".


If you ever seriously question this, try picking up smoking and quitting. Or, it's possible that you don't have the appropriate brain chemistry to get addicted to things easily.


If you ever seriously question this, try picking up smoking and quitting.

HTML needs a <rhetorical> tag for statements like this. Your follow up posts make this clear, but just for the record: For the love of god, do not try picking up smoking and quitting! ;)

Ironically, though, I did have a friend that craved cigarettes only when he was really, really drunk. He would smoke at those times, but never wanted to smoke any other time. Lucky for him he's not an alcoholic, or he'd be in a race to see if the lung cancer or the liver disease would kill him first.


I don't understand the experiment? I guess I would not be able to quit smoking easily? But that wouldn't show me anything? Could be that coffee does the "easy to wean off" deception, and smoking doesn't. I suspect there are more coffee drinkers than smokers in the world (no idea, though).


I'm sorry, I should have been more clear with my meaning. I used to think similarly to you regarding addition - I could quit caffeine any time I wanted for as long as I wanted, but ultimately, I went back to soda or coffee or what have you.

So, I thought maybe that was the nature of addiction, that it was a subtle psychological thing.

THEN, I quit smoking, and the hair-pulling, hand-wringing, eye-gouging experience that followed showed me what addiction was really like.

On the other hand, my girlfriend quit smoking the same day I did, and when she quit it was like me quitting coffee; no big deal at all.


Also, it seems that some schools "addiction research" only consider something a relapse if it happens after 6 months not taking the drugs.

It can take a long time for a substance to work its way out of the body, and even longer for one behavior to be replaced with another.


Depends how much coffee you drink a day. In my experience, one or two cups isn't enough to cause noticeable withdrawal.


I use provigil when I'm on a work bender or playing poker. Helps a lot, no increase in anxiety, in fact I barely notice I've taken it except for the fact that concentration/focus is through the roof.

As most everyone knows, I'm a total stoner, so I won't get into that except to state that it's been nothing but positive on the quality of my work as well as quantity. But there is direct causality with the quality and variety of bud in question.

I don't drink alcohol, nor do I do any other drugs. Although I did a lion's share of ecstasy and LSD back in the early 90's.


While I certainly appreciate that you are sharing knowledge, I hope you will understand that I am a bit skeptical because I don't have first hand experience. So, entrepreneurs in Amsterdam should, on the average, be more productive than, say, those in Silicon Valley?

( Please don't take this as an assholic comment though it sounds like that. Just curious... Also see my startup angle ;) )


I would think that drug culture in San Francisco would be up there with A-dam. ;)


Ah that makes sense :)


Not saying it's for everyone, just saying it's worked for me.

Moderation is key, of course.


The only legally tolerated drugs in Amsterdam are marijuana and mushrooms. You can't even buy Nyquil there.


I appreciate the bluntness (excuse the pun) of your post. This issue is very difficult to talk about on a public forum such as this due to legalities and individuals' preconceived notions. It is interesting to see your specific experiences with these substances.


Just how much ecstasy and LSD does a typical lion take?


They prefer to maneline heroin.


Dear Lord, I enjoy a good pun once in a while, but please leave the pun threads at reddit. :P


rimshot


Where do you buy it from?


... says a potential buyer ;-)


I've been experimenting with "smart drugs" (nootropics) for a few weeks. Piracetam, vinpocetine, aniracetam, inositol and choline. Varying effects, so far. Ranging from the equivalent of a cup of coffee (without the stimulant side effects), to extremely different "brain feels". None of them have (so far- I'm still experimenting) changed my productivity or memory drastically.

I don't view it as anything other than an experiment to see if my brain is underachieving in its normal state. So far, I'm reasonably satisfied with the conclusion.

I'd like to try provigil, but it is prescription only. Is there any way to get it semi-legally without a prescription?


Look for rms' post on this page


I would recommend eating healthily and running 3-4 days per week. It makes you feel great, mentally acute, and you know that you're only going to become healthy and live longer, with no side effects.


Yes. Much of what provigil and stimulants do is put you in a state where your body uses up more of your available energy (hence the weight loss aspect of them). This may be a totally illiterate statement, but generally speaking any substance that causes loss of weight (or causes weight to stay the same despite increased consumption and lack of excercise) due to metabolism is going to also cause greater ability to concentrate and a greater mental stamina.

One way you can eat the same amount of calories and either lose weight or gain no weight is by reducing complex carbs in your diet. Avoid things that are high on glycemic index and you won't feel slow: this doesn't meant cut out all carbs! Eat whole wheat bread, brown rice, dark chocolate if you have carb cravings just lessen the white wheat, high fructose corn syrup, white rice etc...

Combined with regular excercise (at least 3 times a week, at least 45 minutes each time -- with at least 30 minutes of that being cardio) you will feel a lot better and be (or remain) in better shape (if you are worried about losing too much weight or muscle mass simply eat more - but more calories, not more carbs).


There is much to be said for exercise, but I still experience significant brain-drain and sluggish performance despite working out 7 days a week(weights 4 days, running 3). Perhaps the combination of physical activity, diet and additional supplements are in order for some individuals. As far as I am concerned, 'to each their own' means more than allowing individuals to decide whats ok for them - sometimes it can mean that 'each's own' is different and what works for some may not be for others.


diet-wise, about 2.5 of my 5 meals a day are just fruit, and it does wonders for sleep. it's like flipping a switch: eat mostly fruit, sleep 6 hours a night; eat mostly other stuff, sleep 8 hours a night. unfortunately in a couple weeks i'll be in startup mode and probably unable to afford it.


Will you afford not to have the extra time?

Try to move to seasonal fruits, and add raw seasonal vegetables on top of it. Cut out the meat.

(This is probably what I'll be doing when my bf goes out of the country for a month... or at least, that's what I'm telling myself. :)


Somehow this part of the article bothered me: "But isn’t that cheating? What’s the difference between Progivil for students and steroids for athletes?"

Is it cheating for tall people to play basketball? Should smart people take a drug to make them stupid for a test - to make things "fair"? If provigil really doesn't have long term negative effects it seems to me like it should be welcomed.

Using technology to change our natural abilities seems to evoke a certain amount of fear. More so than is explained by fear of potential negative long term effects. Why should that be?


The cheating angle has nothing to do with "fairness". It has everything to do with "safety".

Linemen in the National Football League are good examples. Performance enhancing substances (especially steroids) give such significant advantages over opponents, at one time you had to take them to compete and keep your job. Twenty years later your health failed, partially from your occupation but mainly from the drugs. Many great linemen from the 70's and 80's are dead now.

No one should ever have that dilemma, therefore the ban.


Right. I understand that part. Same reason why professional cyclists wear helmets. Helmets slow you down a bit but everyone would rather wear one for safety even if they wouldn't because they would take the risk for a better chance of winning.

Still thats not quite my question. Getting braces for your teeth seems to be ok. Some people are uncomfortable with breast implants while others think they're great (insert your own joke here). What about surgery to make you smarter? In my gut that seems wrong but I'm not sure why.


It doesn't seem wrong to me. Surgery to give you 20/20 vision = OK, Surgery to give you 145 IQ = not ok?? Why? How about an expensive piece of optical machinery the rich can wear on their faces to give them good vision?

All of the arguments I can come up with for not allowing the smart surgery/drugs (like it will benefit only the rich, wouldn't be fair etc,) fail on the "Lasik test". I take this to mean that its simply a cultural taboo now and will soon be seen as a curious, archaic belief from the distant past.


> Surgery to give you 20/20 vision = OK, Surgery to give you 145 IQ = not ok??

I think the main difference here is that we understand (for the most part) how the eye works, but we don't understand the brain. It's orders of magnitude more complicated, so we don't understand all the effects.


> Surgery to give you 20/20 vision = OK, Surgery to give you 145 IQ = not ok?? Why?

In my case, both would be downgrades.


Surgery to implant a modicum of tact, humility, and social grace?


Surgery to implant a sense of humor?


"Right. I understand that part. Same reason why professional cyclists wear helmets."

But this is simply not true. As a person who follows the sport of cycling I know that many professional cyclists will use helmets only during races (because they are required to), during training they won't.


It has nothing to do with safety, it has to do with PR for the so-called war on drugs.

If they were legal it would be easy to find a doctor to supervise your enhancement regimen, making it safer. As it is, people still take them, without medical supervision.

And sports profit from that. How many millions did Baseball make off McGwire and Bonds breaking the home run record? Fan interest went way up. And NFL players are plenty juiced.

There are numerous types of steroids, with different side-effects and levels of safety. Then there are banned substances like HGH, which is extremely beneficial with no significant side-effects for most people in reasonable dosages.

Further proof it's a PR stunt and not about safety: Weed is banned. It's about a million times safer than getting sacked by one of those linebackers. If they care about safety they should switch to Flag Football.


Reminds me of a scifi short story I read years ago, I forgot the author's name. But, the story was set in a future US where all people were create equal and should be equal and people who were really good at something had to have some hindrance to make them averagely equal. One line I remember was:

"the ballerina must have been exceptionally beautiful and gifted good due to mask and the number of weights weighting her down"


Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron


Great thanks for that!


Provigil, the brand name of the drug Modafinil, is unfortunately illegal to import without a prescription in the United States. [1]

And strange side effects listed... "PROVIGIL may cause you to have a serious rash or a serious allergic reaction that may result in hospitalization or be life-threatening. If you develop a rash, hives, sores, swelling, or trouble swallowing or breathing, stop taking PROVIGIL and call your doctor right away or get emergency treatment." [2]

Lastly, more side effects: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=provigil+more:drug_...

Interesting drug. Sounds great, but I wouldn't take it, though.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modafinil#Legal_status

[2] http://www.provigil.com/pat/important-safety-info.html


Adrafinil is a similar, but unregulated drug. Legal in the US without a prescription.

So, if you're planning on experimenting, at least avoid a felony charge.


Ah, that's why results for it were sparse on Google.

It's Provigil, not Progivil.


Side effects include dyslexia?


I'm somewhat unsure about the 'online pharmacy' thing. Has anyone here ordered Provigil from an online pharmacy that ships to Europe? How do you evaluate these pharmacies? I don't want to get misslabeled pills etc...


http://www.drugbuyers.com/freeboard/ubbthreads.php/ubb/cfrm

Basically Modafanil is really hard to get in the USA without a legitimate prescription because the DEA/customs are really good about finding scheduled drugs in the mail. In the USA you will probably need to do a service where you pay an online pharmacist/doctor to do a consultation and prescribe you the medication.

Europe is easier.


http://www.pharma-orders.com/product_info.php?cPath=33&p...

this one might work, good luck and godspeed


thanks for the help, rms. I will check out the forum (your first link) this weekend. Regarding the second link: they sell Modalert, which is made by an Indian company that claims this is a Provigil generic. I have read some worrying things about Modalert, here is an example:

   I'm going to restore the statement regarding
   the effectiveness of generics. Yes, in theory,
   the basic ingredient is the same. However, (1) no
   one really knows if Modalert is pure modafinil,
   (2) according to Cephalon's research, modafinil
   loses efficiency if it's in the form of particles
   larger than 40 microns (see US patent 5618845).
   It's not known if particles in Modalert are
   small enough. --Itinerant1 22:47, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
(found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Modafinil#Generics_.26_eff... )

and

    Modalert claims to be a generic Modafinil but almost
    all accounts describe it as inferior and its effect
    sounds like it could have something like caffiene
    and/or ingredients used in over-the-counter diet
    medicines to simulate an energizing effect.
and

    I recently reacquired my interest in Modafinil
    because I'm a first year graduate student and I
    need to concentrate for long periods of time.
    But, I chose to be a retard and got sucked into
    buying the cheap Sun Pharma internet crap from
    India that is UTTERLY WORTHLESS!!! I received my
    package today with glee anticipating all those great
    mental and emotional stimulating effects I received
    from Provigil 5 years ago - but listen people, the 
    stuff is ENTIRELY INEFFECTIVE, [...] All I've
    experienced today is an unpleasant and extremely
    jittery ephedra like feeling - no fun at all, and it's
    NOTHING like the true effects of REAL Modafinil. [...]
(found here: http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=18411 )

Here is a thread where someone thinks that the different effectiveness of Modalert is the result of a different formulation: http://www.drugbuyers.com/freeboard/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showt...


I wonder how the memory recall is on that Quantum/String Theory book (the elegant universe?)

Dr. Wozniak asserts that one of the primary functions of sleep is that of memory consolidation, and I've found his arguments quite persuasive.

For more reading:

http://www.supermemo.com/articles/sleep.htm#Physiological%20...


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=/health/200... is one of the best articles I've ever read on modafinil and a much more enjoyable comprehensive read on the same topic than the submitted article IMO.


"I think it’s a stupid thing to do, because you shouldn’t ever take drugs you don’t need."

Amen sister.


Replace 'take drugs' with 'eat food', 'write software', 'go on runs', 'learn skills'.

Now also define 'need'.

I think blanket statements like this are ignorant. The vast majority of the population takes drugs they don't need, if you define drinking coffee/tea (for caffeine) or smoking or drinking alcohol as taking drugs.


Just because most people do it doesn't make it right.

Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are drugs, anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves.


Just because the government says don't do it or people attach a blanket label to them doesn't make it wrong either.


Right or wrong is irrelevant. They're all bad for you when used frequently. I'm pretty sure that's why the person who said that meant you shouldn't take them, not for any moral reasons.


"Bad" is subjective.

I drink caffeine to stay awake or to wake up; getting my work done is not "bad" for me. I drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes because smoking is relaxing and helps me concentrate and drinking... I won't get into that here. I exercise because it makes me feel good. I eat healthy because I think non-junk food just tastes better.

In my mind, all of these things are not "bad" for me. Some may be bad for my physical health, but if physical health were humans' only consideration we would all live in plastic bubbles and eat synthesized protein mash or something. If somebody wants to take Provigil for 30 years and it effectively doubles their productivity and concentration while at the end of which turning their mind to mush, who are we to judge?


Right, we should probably use "effective for N" or "inhibits X" instead of good/bad, right/wrong.

Value judgments used to be effectiveness positions, wherin N and X were assumed to be common among people (or at least were implied to be superior to any dissenting view.)


That's not true either, especially for caffeine (particularly when consumed via coffee) and alcohol (it depends on your definition of frequently).


Anxiety and sleep disorders,irritability, caffeine dependency (addiction that has withdraw symptoms such as headaches, drowsiness, nausea,) peptic ulcers, ge reflux, increased rates of Parkinson's disease in men, and such.

Dependence isn't something I desire.


Benefits of coffee: Increased sexual drive, increased mental awareness, reduced diabetes risk, mood boost, increased endurance, depression, headache and cavity prevention and decreased Parkinson's risk according to this: http://men.webmd.com/features/coffee-new-health-food This study also points out that the benefits are primarily driven by the caffeine, not the coffee.

I think you're confusing dependence with consistent usage.

Aaron, I see what you're saying, but even the healthiest food in the world or exercise can be bad for you if you over do it.

People often have a knee jerk reaction to drugs: if it alters the mind/body in some way it's bad. I'm saying this notion isn't always true and drugs, when used properly or even, occasionally, for recreation purposes (shown in the article) can have myriad benefits. But as always I enjoy the intelligent discussion provided HN that feels so rare on the rest of the web...


I did misread my source.. it may show a decreased risk of Parkinson's. Apologies.

Dependence, as I understand it, is where the consumption of a substance is required to maintain normal functioning, and absence of that substance leads to predictable withdrawal symptoms. Caffeine withdrawal: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2004/09_29_04....

As has been said before "it is the dose that makes the poison." I also agree that we should weigh the pros and cons of each decision before it is made, and not react irrationally. While the prevalence and social expectation of caffeine usage often discourage dissent, the question of the value of sobriety and intoxication is an individual one. Near as I can tell, caffeine addiction is something our society takes for granted.

I don't believe in blanket prohibitions or any other construct that'd diminish a sovereign person's right to chose their own adventure. I just think we should make the decision to consume our vices intentionally, and with all the facts.


Regular coffee/caffeine may also keep the blood-brain barrier strong as you age: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7326839.stm


Frequently... maybe. A lot of people here pointed out caffeine. I'm going with aspirin: low daily doses are recommended for everybody over 50. Vitamins, too, the whole long list. Mineral suplements. Alcohol, mostly low quantities of red wine.

I think we as a society (and I don't talk about americans only, i'm european) have a huge alergic reaction to using medicine for non-healing purposes. I never really understood why. Of course, there are the rational risks, but it looks too much like a gut reaction. Maybe is related to the fact that people avoid doctors in general?

Some day we are going to have safe drugs that can make us live 20 years longer and a lot better, and we're not going to realize it. And if that day was in the 80s, we wouldn't know it.


From PG's recent essay, I think it's because we're taught from a young age that drugs are bad. And they are kind of bad, but really it's much more complicated than that.


Your brain runs on chemicals.


I don't think it's fair to lump writing software into the same category as substances that alter your brain's chemistry. To my knowledge, no permanent negative side effects were ever cause by, say, coding a social network for drugs.

I suppose it's ignorant if you take it out of context and then broadly define drugs. But I'm pretty sure it was meant (in context) more for prescription drugs, or more specifically, ones that alter the brain's chemistry.


On a side note: I find a significant reduction in verbal skills after an extended period of coding. I don't think there are long term effects but it can be disconcerting when you basically forget how to speak. (Or is this just me?)


It may just be an effect of your coding techniques using the language centers of your brain. I have the same experience when playing a musical instrument or rhythm game, or when reading a book for an extended period of time. It's as if the language centers can focus on one sort of activity at a time. I find that after a few minutes I can switch back to verbal mode. Additionally, when I am focusing on a rhythm I am completely unable to speak. I can internally hear what I want to say, but I can't actually form the words. Friends of mine have great fun asking me questions while I'm playing rhythm-based video games. Usually the most I can respond with is a labored "yes!" or "no!", to humorous effect. Fortunately the behavior dissipates when I'm done playing :)

Interestingly, different people can use different portions of the brain for the same activity. A study was performed which measured the performance of participants as they spoke while marking time (holding a steady rhythmic beat). Some of the subjects had irregular beats while speaking, but others kept steady time. When asked how they were performing both activities at once, the unsteady ones said that they were marking time by internally verbally counting. The steady ones were internally visually watching numbers roll by. Both groups had the same performance when marking time while not required to speak.

The brain is a funny thing. They can vary greatly in the mechanics of how they accomplish a given task.


I am sorely tempted to try out these memory pills. Days used to be when I was preparing to ace my SAT's that I used to take spirulina to flush the system. These days, the designer pills have become more streamlined in their effects. I just wish there's more research done on these drugs. Right now, I'm too chicken to experiment with anything other than passive, non-endocrinal, CNR non-reactive drugs.


LSD is said to improve analytical abilities. The "improved state" can last weeks or even months, although it is difficult to say if the change is permanent or not, as some claim.

There is a conspiracy theory also, that this particular quality of LSD caused its ban in 60s-70s.

(Actually, there is a legal substance with similar effects discovered not long ago, and I thought it might be used in psychotherapy the same way LSD was used before the ban.)


I would like to read more about this. Do you have a citation re: LSD and analytical abilities?


This book http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/staf3.htm seems to be (briefly) covering many aspects of it.


I don't think that's controversial. It makes you think (way, way) out of the box.

It's the same reason people smoke pot for creativity - you come up with weird ideas and some are really good. Of course, only to begin with do you know what the good stuff is. Then you end up like this: http://www.familyguyx.net/episode/deep_throats/link_102/


From what I understand, LSD makes you think you have an improved state, and that you understand things more clearly, but in reality you don't. Much like drunk drivers claiming that the alcohol actually improves their reaction time and driving skill.


> there is a legal substance

Which is..?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromo-DragonFly

In fact... Erowid.org says Dragonfly is sometimes sold as LSD to those who can't tell the difference.


Hey, shoot me an email, don't want to get into the discussion on this forum.


Actually I misread your original post. I thought you were referring to a legal drug with the thought-process benefits (but lacking the psychedelic effects) rather than the psychedelic aspects alone.

I am familiar with a few legal psychedelics, but it's not something I'm interested in :(


Yeah... the thought process alteration is really the same as the psychedelic effects. More so than visuals or anything, what the psychedelics do is temporarily change the way you think and perceive reality.


Much much more of the same here:

http://www.erowid.org/experiences/subs/exp_Modafinil.shtml

The quality of these reports is uneven, but the quantity should give you a better sample (especially if you want to know what happens when you mix it with Adderall, metadone, ecstasy, mushrooms, etc.)


the author can improve this article greatly by learning how to spell the name of the drug.

perhaps there are some side-effects that affect the ability to read and write.


The article discussing modafinil were a little over-enthusiastic, I think. It's more suited for people who have to say alert and watchful for long periods of time, rather than people who need to make better decisions. It would help night watchmen or troops on combat missions more than it would help a scientist or software developer.


I find that I have the opposite problem: intense concentration and the ability to stay up for long periods of time. I have to take Tylenol PM just to conform to a normal sleep schedule. I don't know exactly what my natural bodily cycle is, but it is definitely longer than 24 hours.


There is a lot of natural variance in circadian rhythms. Mine is also much longer than 24 hours. If I let myself go "free-running" then my sleep/wake patterns cycle around 24 hours about once a month. The lengthened cycle is not necessarily unhealthy but it makes it very difficult to conform to a 24-hour schedule. If you have continued difficulty with your sleep cycle then talking to a doctor specializing in sleep disorders might be a good idea. There are a variety of options for dealing with the issue.


It all comes down to my former worry: don’t we need to strengthen the muscles of our brains? Once our brains find strength largely unneeded, because of the instant Provigil lift, then we’d surely become dependent on the drug.


In 1st place, who is Viagra? Never seen her.


BTW, I think PG is 'very happy' for finally having the 'V' word on the front page...


She hangs with my sisters Levitra and Cialis.


cialias advertising.

if you can't find your girlriend, see alice.



If you'd bother to research it even slightly, you'd see there are placebo-controlled trials. I am not a qualified physician in this field, but I got ahold of some of the information and the methodology seemed solid, except in the case of a few off studies.

Go research for yourself: http://www.powerset.com/explore/semhtml/Modafinil?query=Prov...


He says it's been tested relative to placebo (I imagine only for its on-label use).


Right. Assuming the Wikipedia article is to be believed, the results relative to some of the effects he claimed were unsubstantial. A dramatic overall effect on cognitive function was not found. In the article, he talked about studying a textbook for hours straight, where he hadn't been able to do that before. My accusation of placebo effect is not to say the drug is useless, it's more against the specific claims such as that one in the article and "worked for me" claims made in other comments on this thread.

In general, if do something expecting some effect, and you get that effect, it's not something to talk about.




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