Re: Smart drugs - an interesting survey

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Tue Dec 21 2004 - 13:04:39 MST

--- Damien Broderick <>

> 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

IIRC these and related 'speed' drugs all work by
kicking loose a lot of neurotransmitters, and a
'crash' is inevitable when the neurotransmitters
are depleted. Other smart drugs work by supplying
more neurotransmitters, thus are more along the
line of nutrients (think Red Bull, etc.)

A good rule re: any mind-altering drug is that
anything whish speeds up or slows down the
metabolism has the ability to kill you if you
take too much. Drugs which, in spite of their
notoriety, do not work this way, are actually
very safe in this regard. It is all but
impossible to take a fatal dose of LSD, THC
(marijuana), ayahuasca, and other 'true
hallucinogens.' (Do not construe this as an
endorsement or claim that they will make you
smarter; only that the chemical itself will not
kill you.)

My chief objection to the smart nutrients I am
aware of is that they are all so expensive, one
may well find better ways to spend the money. If
I could afford to suck down a can or two of $2.50
Red Bull every day, drop fifty a month on RNA
pills or lecithin, etc., I could instead donate
it to SIAI.
Tom Buckner

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