Nootropics, also called ‘smart drugs,’ promise an easy way to boost performance at work, in school, or even to excel in video games. However, as with any drug, it’s helpful to know how their effects and risks. Most importantly, you need to answer the question, ‘Are nootropics addictive?’ Today, we’ll dig into the nitty gritty of the addictiveness of nootropics and what you should know before considering these drugs to enhance your productivity or performance.
Are you concerned that you might have an addiction to nootropics? Contact The Woods at Parkside for answers and assistance.
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics have become wildly popular in recent years. After all, who wouldn’t want to think more clearly and boost their cognitive performance? Besides that, it may seem that these drugs have only a positive effect. So, what’s wrong with that? However, the truth about nootropics may surprise you.
Common Names of Nootropics
Nootropics go by many names, including:
- Smart drugs
- Brain boosters
- Memory boosters
- Drive drugs
- Study drugs
- Cognitive enhancers
In most cases, people take these drugs to gain a positive effect. They want to excel in the things they need or want to do. Unlike other drugs, nootropics have the reputation of helping people live a better life.
While some nootropics are over-the-counter supplements, others are only legally available by prescription. Here are some of the brain-boosting drugs that a doctor might prescribe.
- Provigil – also called modafinil
- Ritalin, methylphenidate,
- Axura, also called memantine
What Are Nootropic Drugs Used For?
Many prescription nootropic drugs were designed to help people with various medical conditions, such as narcolepsy, dyslexia, ADHD, or Alzheimer’s disease. However, because these drugs increase alertness and brain function for people with these conditions, those without such issues sometimes take nootropic drugs hoping to gain the same benefits.
While there is some evidence that nootropics do work, no large-scale studies have been done to prove or disprove their effectiveness for boosting brainpower in people without these conditions.
Do Nootropics Work?
There is some evidence that nootropics do work for people who want to perform better in cognitive tasks. They might do this by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Research shows that nootropics can widen the blood vessels, allowing more glucose into the brain. If your brain has this extra energy, it may function better – at least for a while.
Side Effects of Nootropics
Just because a doctor prescribes a drug, it doesn’t mean that drug is safe for everyone. If you take these prescription drugs, you should be aware of the risks. Like most prescription drugs, nootropic drugs have some known side effects. These include:
- Tingling or ‘pins and needles’
- Chest pain
- Increased body temperature
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Increased respiration
- Dry mouth
- Panic attacks
Because nootropics have not been studied thoroughly, there is little information available on possible side effects of long-term use. Still, some long-term side effects have been identified.
- Inflammation of heart valves
- Skin disorders
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Stomach ulcers
- Difficulty with breathing
- Loss of coordination
- Extreme fatigue
- Kidney problems
- Mental health conditions worsen
- Memory loss
Is It Legal to Buy Nootropics?
In most cases, these stimulant nootropics are only prescribed for medical conditions. If you fit this description, you can legally buy them from your pharmacy when you present your prescription.
However, it’s unlikely that a doctor would prescribe them as a cognitive enhancer for someone without those conditions. That means, for most people, the only ways to get them are illegal. For example, you might get them from a family member or friend who has a legitimate need for them. Or, you might buy them from a drug dealer. And of course, if you are taking an illicit brain-enhancing drug like cocaine, no doctor will prescribe that for you.
On the other hand, there are nootropics you can get legally, such as coffee. In addition, there are many nootropic supplements available in stores or online. These preparations have ingredients like gingko biloba, B-Vitamins, and Choline.
Are Nootropics Addictive?
Even if brain-boosting drugs are effective, the question remains: Are nootropics addictive? After all, food is beneficial in reasonable quantities, but too much can make you sick or even cause life-threatening conditions. Even a good thing can be a problem if it takes over your life.
Which nootropics you take can make a huge difference. Many of the prescription nootropics are actually stimulant drugs and are highly addictive. These nootropic drugs are categorized as Schedule II controlled substances. That’s the same category as cocaine or meth. Why would that be? It’s because stimulant drugs carry a high risk of dependence.
You may become dependent on nootropics to the point that you have trouble thinking, concentrating, or performing well at work or school without them. Over time, you may develop a tolerance for the nootropics you are taking. What happens is that it takes more of the drug to achieve the same positive effect. What’s more, you have symptoms similar to withdrawal from other addictive drugs when you stop taking them voluntarily or can’t get your usual supply.
Signs of Smart Drug Abuse
When smart drugs are used over a period of time, people may begin to show signs of abuse. The following list includes indications of nootropic drug abuse.
- Staying up all night to study
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Weight loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Rapid heart rate
- Impaired vision
- Anxiety about performing well in work or school
- Changes in mood
If you feel that these symptoms sound familiar, you or your loved one may indeed have smart drug addiction. Those who try to quit using smart drugs on their own may go through an extremely uncomfortable period as the drugs leave their system. However, you can get back to your usual brain functioning and feel more like yourself again.
What to Do About Smart Drug Addiction
Suppose you try to stop smart drugs and can’t seem to stay off of them. In that case, you may need help in the form of detox and drug rehab. Although it might seem like these are relatively harmless drugs, their effects can make you feel miserable when you try to quit.
At The Woods at Parkside, you can get treatment that helps you get past this addiction. We have several levels of care, including detox, residential care, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. After an assessment, we help you choose the best program for you.
The Woods at Parkside Is Here to Help
The Woods at Parkside is located in Gahanna, Ohio and serves Columbus, Ohio and nearby areas. People with drug addictions or co-occurring mental health conditions come to us for admission on a voluntary basis. In addition, we take referrals from hospitals, community programs, and family members. As for insurance, we accept many different insurances, including Medicare, Medicaid, and EAP funding.
In addition to medically supervised detox and drug rehabilitation, our programs include life skills groups and music, recreational therapy, and group therapy. Here, in our beautiful setting, our facility can accommodate 50 residential clients. Our mission is to help you recover and improve your overall wellbeing. At The Woods at Parkside, you can find your way through addiction to a more comfortable life.
Are you ready to explore your treatment options for smart drug use? Contact us at The Woods at Parkside for compassion, research-based treatment.