back to article Boffins chomp noggin-nobbling narcotics

Shocking research by Nature has revealed that many of the world's boffins are routinely taking psychoactive drugs to boost their brain power. An "informal survey" by the leading research rag has uncovered an epidemic of drug use in scientific circles. One in five respondents to the survey reported they had used cognition- …

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Happy

I've wanted some modafinil since it was in New Scientist

Who needs sleep :)

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Drug use

I don't see any problem either, but I've always thought that people should be able to take any drug they feel like, within reason, as long as they're educated about the effects and don't try to drive, hurt someone, or otherwise turn into a raving piece of shit when they're under the influence. Sadly, it seems that only a minority of the populace can be trusted to safely use anything (including especially alcohol)

"Reality is for people that can't handle drugs"

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Silver badge

Mother [Nature] knows Best

Deadheads have that art down to a fine art and have had for ....oh, donkeys/time immemorial .

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This is a surprise?

Every science student I knew at uni did the same - it's just that caffeine, alcohol and cannabis were the most likely choice.

If you're going to tell me that this isn't the same thing, I used to take quantum mechanics classes high. I then used to explain it to the sober people who were still worrying over the fact that it doesn't actually make any sense instead of just accepting it because it works.

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Unhappy

Sod that....

...when are the neural nanonics systems coming out, that's what I want to know! Much better for increasing mental capacity!

Or even better, just splice me with an affinity capable gene. Then I can talk to anyone anywhere without those pesky "mobile" thingy's.

*sigh* If only Sci-Fi were easy to implement.....

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Pirate

As if this were new.

C8H10N4O2

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Boffin

Many boffins?

Huh?

"that many of the world's boffins are routinely taking" ....

"All but one of the 14 British scientists who responded ordered online."

So. 13 British scientists are "many"?

At least we know who's been keeping the spamvertized pill peddlers happy...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Many boffins?

It was an international survey.

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Boffin

Frits Pots

LSD/DNA?

http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=22271

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Stop

Beta Blockers

As a someone who takes Beta blockers for medical reasons, I can testify that they most certainly do not aid the thought process...

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Oh dear

The survey is scewed because the respondants are self-selected. Would you bother with such a survey if you had no experience with cognition-enhancing drugs?

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Anonymous Coward

@ Craig

How strange! Are you me?

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Joke

Obligatory Bill Hicks quote

"Today, a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration and that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and you are the imagination of yourself. Here's Tom with the weather...!"

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Boffin

Explains DoBO

This explains a lot of the research that goes on.

From the Department of the Bleeding Obvious:

"Hey man, I like girls."

"Me too, man."

"Wow man. We should publish!"

"Wanna co-author?"

"I love ya, man."

note: repeated use of 'man' is geeks being 'cool'.

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Silver badge

@ Many boffins

Had you bothered to read the article linked in the story, you would have seen that 1,400 people from 60 countries responded to the poll.

Most of the drugs (52%) were obtained by prescription, only 34% were obtained via the Internet.

Only 14 Brits answered the question about the origin of the drugs because they live in a police state (UK) and they feared reprisal from the government.

I've been taking brain enhancing drugs and a high-powered vitamin regimen for years. At first I didn't notice any changes. Then I discovered I had developed the ability to work at the PC for many days in a row and that the loss of my friends and woman had no effect. Soon I will no longer need to eat food either. It's gonna be great.

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modafinil related joy

"I've wanted some modafinil since it was in New Scientist "

I know of geeks (PHD types) who order it online too improve the amount of time they can spend in the lab. Granted he does this to allow him to spend more than dawn till dusk in the lab and also do other stuff.

I also know guys who work in entertainments (think: 9am get in, gig at 7, finish gig at 11, leave building at 2 if really lucky) get proscribed the stuff for "chronic shift work syndrome" from there GP's.

Must say I'm rather tempted my self: you don't feel stimulated, just you don't particularly need to sleep. Only downside is that your immune system should be working over night: it took a week of 0 sleep to kill the rats it tested on. The brain apparently copes surprisingly well with it.

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modafinil

If you actually have some disorders like Sleep Apnea, this stuff is pretty tame. I might have noticed some increased ability to think clearly even when otherwise Fuzzy-headed but nothing really spectacular. Co-worker with Narcolepsy told me the same thing.

I can say the same for Ritalin and Concerta.

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Thumb Up

Drug Driving

I have to agree with the guy that says provided reasonable information is out there regarding health risks, people should be allowed to do whatever they like to themselves.

As for drug driving, the solution imo is to make it legal between the hours of 3-4am but only on roads without corners, traffic lights, roundabouts, stop signs, give way signs - and with lanes 3 times the normal size. CCTV cameras should be positioned along the entire route and the best accidents shown on TV.

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Happy

noggin-nobbling

or recreational, it's all good.

So long as you don't (potentially) hurt anyone other than yourself, fine.

Say, are those *brownies*?

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Go

Definitely awake over here in the US....

I have a prescription for modafinil for a couple of years now and it has worked very well for the off-label treatment of my ADD as well as helping out when I just need to be sharp at the office.

I know about 3 other people who also take it for one reason or another and the only side effect that we all experience is that while it does not make you amped, jittery, or crash, as soon as the "sharpening" kicks in everyone gets gabby if they have not been taking it regularly.

Great thoughts, insights, and conversations- but a seeming inability to shut up.

Kind of funny to experience really.

However... the military grade anti-narcoleptic effects are absolutely priceless when it comes to making long drives late at night or for making it possible to be awake and functional~ish through monday in a cubicle after an all nighter!

(the GO symbol because I'm getting gabby right now...)

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beta blockers

I used to take a beta blocker before exams. I wouldn't say they increase concentration or anything of that nature. They just prevent the physical symptoms of being nervous- rapid heart-rate, sweaty palms, that sort of thing which can be distracting and make you blank on things you should know perfectly well. If anything, they probably slow your noodle down a bit. If you don't get nervous, you'd be better off without them. I don't see how they would help unless you were under a lot of immediate pressure to perform.

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Happy

If I thought it would work

I'd be guzzling them by the handful. First people to work out a relatively safe surgical method of increasing intelligence, concentration etc will see me among the lines outside.

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Happy

ADD Medication for those who don't have the condition

I was recently diagnosed with adult ADD. I have to say that the prescription I take of 10mg Dextroamphetamine 3x a day has produced in incredable improvement in my cognitive abilities.

Yay for prescrition speed. Eeek!

The best way to describe it is that I get a clarity brought about by a fog being lifted. Other than that I feel nothing different, but there are very clear and quantifiable improvements in my abilities.

My Dr said though that in in folks who don't have my condition it produces all kinds of weird neurological effects which may appear to the consumer to have the same effects as in me, but actually produces a measurable degredation in performance. Also a feeling of a high, and loss of sleep.

Sounds like dutch courage and a couple of pints...

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Coat

Been Taking Them for Years

No Ill effects at aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazjbvsfbvradsbhvo;iehrt

g'ci kqPKErk'ELRWN<M BFJ<B L?ICHX P/HD;VJNDEMEFKLwkl.....

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Coat

Interesting......

Now if someone wins a Nobel Prize or a Fields Medal and was found to be on performance enhancers after the mandatory drug test can they be stripped of their medal? And if so will the medal be awarded to the runner up?

My urine may someday prove to be more valuable than pre-ingested coffee beans.

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Joke

@Garth

"C8H10N4O2"

Cbhionaoz? What the hell are you talking about? Geez... some people have no idea how to communicate.

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Silver badge

Explains string theory

I don't really understand how electricity, gravity and magentism fit together but I've got some string and some pink and blue capsules in my pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Garth means caffeine

3,7-Dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione

Deaths have been known to occur at 4 gm I have been known to ingest six and still be a little sleepy.

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@Andy Bright

Even better, we could pass a law that makes it illegal to kill or injure people through deliberate action or wilful negligence.

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Joke

Drug testing

How long before we see drug testing at the noble awards?

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I've often wondered...

Why they force ritalin on children, but I as an adult can't buy it if I've made an informed choice and decided I want it?

doesn't make any sense to me!

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Happy

Pah! Prescription meds are weak.

I stick to the little pills I get from the shifty bloke in the corner of the nightclub. They help my concentration and mental ability much better than anything a chemist could sell me.

Or maybe it just seems that way.

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Ritalin to stay *awake*??

Hope it works that way for them -- all it did for me was put me to sleep. The higher the dose, the sleepier i got.

stimulant? Ha!

(same for dex . . .but worse!)

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One of the meanest things I ever did

Playing for my roomate a tape of the "Brilliant Guitar solo" he played while high.

'nuff said?

(BTW: anyone who puts in their body something bought from a spammer is in _serious_ need of some common-sense pills)

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Re: Drug Use

> Sadly, it seems that only a minority of the populace can be

> trusted to safely use anything (including especially alcohol)

But AC, they *can* be trusted. I've personally known users of both cocaine and meth who were fully functional citizens when they weren't partaking, and sometimes even when they were. In the world at large, everyone knows that drug use is endemic in some occupations, yet the work gets done to a more than acceptable standard.

Besides, whether they're trusted or not, those who choose to use extra-legal meds have no difficulty getting a supply.

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Happy

@Mike

What's implied by your comment is that everyone that dabbles in any sort of 'chemical enhancement' or recreation is only imagining any improvement, while to the rest of the 'sober', intelligent people, they look like utter fools. There's certainly some merit to that argument---anyone that's seen a friend go through the various stages of tequila (eg. handsome, brilliant, bulletproof) can attest to the fallacy of that viewpoint. Been on both sides of that one myself. However, your implied generalization that anyone that takes anything is merely fooling themselves, is at least as bad. True, it's only the 'train wrecks' that make the evening news. For every five people that manage to screw themselves over horribly or kill a family of four while high on something, I'd estimate that there's one or two people that quietly use 'artificial means' for performance enhancement or recreation to some positive effect. I'd have to agree though that anyone that buys anything from a spammer is in need of a dose of common sense.

For the best and worst:

www.erowid.org

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Happy

Smack works fine

on concentration in the short term but then you sort of driffftt ooffffffffffffffffffffff

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