Nootropics or smart drugs are becoming more and more popular. By 2024, Americans are expected to drop almost £9 billion GBP on brain health supplements. Why? This is because the demand for nootropics is exponentially increasing! Mental Health problems, stress, anxiety, headaches, memory loss are only a few of the problems that teenagers face these days. There are many reasons for that but one could argue that technological advancements and the extensive use of social media and mobile phones play a crucial role in the functionality of the brain. Therefore, since “cognitive activators” promote learning, motivation, concentration, and creativity the demand among teenagers keep increasing. However, two questions arise here! Do nootropics really work and are they safe to use?
To start with, the term “nootropic” includes; a variety of drugs, herbs, and supplements and their aim is to stimulate the brain and have cognitive stimulating effects. It is worth noting that the majority of the best-selling nootropic sellers have appeared in the market only in recent years. They sell their products mainly online to those who are interested in “neurohacking” or those who have the opportunity to use advanced science and technology to positively influence the work system of the brain.
Meaning of Nootropics
Nootropic is another name for “intelligent drugs”, “brain stimulants” or “memory-enhancing drugs”. There have been lots of debate on the topic because the term is not strictly regulated. What makes things even more complicated is the fact that nootropics are often made in the form of “stacks” or substances with many different ingredients that interact in complex ways.
Are smart drugs healthy?
Nootropics are safe and healthy for individuals only when the professional guidelines and instructions are followed. As with every drug, extensive and/or prolong use of nootropics probably cause side effects which eventually create negative results. The individual is best advised both by a medical professional and to perform extensive private studies on nootropics to decide which is the best option for himself.
While there are many prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as natural nootropics, which have an incredibly positive effect on your thinking and your mental well-being, we need to think long term. You either have to try lots of supplements and dosages or think of another organic purchase that suits you. Some of the benefits associated with smart drugs, apart from enhanced memory and focus, is clarity, motivation, stress relief and anxiety. However, here is a list of three main risks that are associated with taking smart drugs:
Possible damage to the brain in the long run: You risk damaging the chemistry and mechanisms of your brain. When the wrong prescription is followed and/or when a combination that is not suggested from specialized people is used then the risk increases. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult a doctor to advise on the right prescription for the specific individual.
Addiction problems: Most nootropics on the market contain some kind of stimulant. Each type of stimulant is associated with problems of tolerance and dependency.
Physical side effects: Some of the side effects associated with the use of nootropics are stomach pain, headache, nausea, and insomnia. Any natural or artificial substance has potential side effects.
Why people use smart drugs?
Increase concentration: Teenagers nowadays face a lot of distractions. This is due to technological advancements and social media. Statistics show that teenagers work on 2 or 3 tasks at a time and often lose concentration. Suitable nootropics can improve brain functionality by stimulating motivation and clarity which increases concentration.
Improved mood: A suitable cognitive enhancer can help improve mood and improve brain receptors, which can solve problems such as social anxiety and stress and negative thinking.
Memory increase: Nootropics have been shown to stimulate the growth of brain cells and neuronal connecting elements that are essential for long-term memory.
The health of the brain: Taking a nootropic drug can increase oxygen flow to the brain and improve its health and performance. Taking fish oil for example, as part of the nootropic “stacks” can contribute to the overall health of the brain.
Drugs probably have complicated effects on individuals living complicated lives and certainly have different effects on different people. It may be necessary to ask not just whether a drug enhances cognition, but in whom. There are already hints that the smarter you are, the less smart drugs will do for you. One study found that modafinil improved performance in a group of students whose mean IQ was 106, but not in a group with an average of 115.
Despite decades of study, a full picture has yet to emerge of the effects of nootropics. If you want to boost your brain functionality in a healthier and safer way it is better to start exercising. Regular exercise improves memory and prevents age-related cognitive decline. It is not as effortless as taking a pill but it will definitely be safer in the long term.