Smart Drugs are supplements that enable the user to have greater processing speed for acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. It is different compared to Nootropics, as it can only be legally obtained through a prescription from the doctor to treat a specific kind of mental or cognitive disorder. Furthermore, there is no current information stating it will make the brain healthier.

The cognitive enhancers are designed to temporarily enhance memory, energy, learning ability, attention, and focus. However, smart drugs have little to no concern about the long-term side effects. This makes the use of smart drugs very dangerous due to the serious side effects when taken for a duration of time. Since online sales are unregulated and it being quasi-legal, there is no assurance of the products quality or safety.

Adderall is the most common smart drug that is prescribed to patients to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It can help enhance the user’s ability to stay focused, pay attention, control behaviour problems, and improve listening skills. The ingredients found in Adderall contain a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are central nervous stimulants that affect the chemicals in the nerves and brain that correlates to hyperactivity and impulse control. However, long-term use leads to tolerance and reliance of the smart drug. This can be extremely dangerous because long-term use of the ingredient amphetamine leads to mental health problems, irregular heartbeat, physical collapse, and death. There have been 20 reports of sudden death by Adderall since the drug has been introduced in 1994, hence it resulted in Canada banning Adderall in 2005.

Similarly, Ritalin is another smart drug used to treat narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This cognitive enhancer is a central nervous stimulant and the side effects include numbness, irregular heartbeat, seizure, and death. Just like Adderall, it contains amphetamines which mean it will make the user feel alerted and mentally clear in the short term.

Modafinil is an ingredient found in various smart drugs and it has the ability to increase the user’s alertness and energy levels. In Canada, it is sold under the brand name Alertec and can only be obtained through a prescription. The possession of Modafinil is legal, however, if non-prescribed Modafinil is imported to Canada the supplement can be seized at the border. There have been few reports of small quantities of non-prescribed Modafinil being successfully imported. Conversely, it is not recommended to import Modafinil due to possible legal issues. Modafinil works by restraining the actions of the dopamine transporter, leading to the increase in extracellular and synaptic concentrations of dopamine. This promotes a natural sense of wakefulness in the user by raising the hypothalamic histamine levels. Additionally, Modafinil restrains the GABAergic neurotransmission and activates the glutamatergic circuits in the brain. As a result, users are able to learn and perform various mental tasks at ease. The short-term side effects. On the other hand, the short-term side effects of Modafinil include a headache, anxiety, a decrease in appetite, nausea, and insomnia.

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