What are Nootropics?
Nootropics, also sometimes referred to as “smart drugs” are drugs that are neurologically enhancing and “helpful” in terms of brain function without harmful consequences (although these qualities are subject to wide interpretation by individuals).
Legal drugs and medications known as “Smart Drugs” such as Adderall, Ritalin, and other stimulants have been used off-label by individuals seeking to enhance their concentration and focus, retention, and energy levels.
Other prescription medications such as Modafinil and Provigil, which has been controversially cross-marketed, have also been considered Nootropics.
Other substances that have been referred to as nootropics include a wide variety of prescription drugs, supplements such as L-Theanine and Creatine, and various unclassified other chemicals such as peptides, which may be sold individually or as combinations.
Many Nootropics have different legal statuses in different countries, and often the legally sold versions are not approved for human consumption. There is no research into the long-term effects of nootropics.
What are Nootropics used for?
Nootropics are frequently used by a wide variety of individuals seeking to enhance:
- Cognitive abilities,
What are the Side Effects of Nootropics?
Given the breadth of drugs that have been referred to as Nootropics, there is a wide range of side-effects possible with drugs marketed under this umbrella term. Stimulants have high addiction and dependency potential, in addition to acute side effects such as anxiety, headache, nausea, agitation, insomnia and cardiac problems. Other Nootropics carry substantial risk of any ingested substance not approved for human consumption.
Signs of Nootropic Abuse
Signs that someone you know might be abusing Nootropics include:
- A person appearing to be intensely focused on obtaining the drug or becoming distressed at the idea of not having it available
- Difficulty with cognitive tasks and function in absence of the drug
- Significant change in sleep-wake cycles or waking hours,
- Anxiety, nervousness, agitation,
- Excess energy and the ability to work for hours without a break.
Nootropic Drug Abuse Health Risks
Nootropics carry a wide range of health risks due to the dysregulation of dopamine in the brain as well as the inherent risks associated with stimulants, such as cardiac problems, insomnia, mood changes, dependency, addiction, and related functional impairments. Minor side effects associated with the non-stimulant nootropics include headache, nausea, and agitation.
Nootropic Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
Nootropic withdrawal symptoms are relative to the specific substance the individual was using. Stimulant withdrawal is frequently marked by lethargy, irritability, mood changes, sleep disturbance, and relational difficulties. Other signs of nootropic withdrawal include changes in sleep/wake cycles, mood changes, decreased productivity or changes in focus and concentration, and depression.
Treatment for Nootropic Addiction at Castle Craig
Castle Craig offers a comprehensive treatment programme for individuals struggling with drug addiction. Smart drugs can be addictive, and for many individuals, it is difficult to imagine working productively without these substances after extended use. Castle Craig can help addicted individuals safely detox from nootropics and other drugs they may be using, quit nootropic use and regain healthy lifestyle patterns for long-term success.
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 8, 2020