Re: Smart drugs - an interesting survey

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Dec 21 2004 - 11:36:39 MST

>Myself, I'm curious about the effects of Ritalin and the two other
>intellect-boosting drugs mentioned in the article, but I'd also like
>to have some more information about it first. I wouldn't mind having
>the extra edge (who would?) this drug is claimed to provide, but I
>also don't want to start meddling with addictive, psyche-altering
>substances before I'm a little more certain that they're actually
>useful and can be used without risk.

Ritalin is chemically very similar to amphetamine. Not real good mojo.
Decades ago when I was a uni student dex-amphetamine was medically
prescribable in Oz, and I had a handy legal bottle from the pharmacist. If
I had an essay to do, or a short story to knock out to make some money, and
the usual reluctance to write, I'd sometimes swallow a pill and sit about
leafing through source materials; then, without noticing any transition,
I'd start typing and be halfway through the first page and rarin' to go
before I looked at the clock and mused, `Hmm, 20 minutes since I took the
pill, that explains it.' But you develop tolerance fairly quickly. Used as
a party supplement it was fun, especially for an introvert, but at the same
time repeated use did lead lots of people into fits of paranoia, depression
coming down, and eventually outbursts of rage. These drugs are not subtle.

Damien Broderick

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