Shots of espresso don’t do the trick. Energy drink won’t keep your procrastinating mind off Facebook, and a night’s sleep is out of the question with the amount of work you’ve got to do. You may be tempted to join the procrastination nullification sensation that’s sweeping the nation in the form of a little tablet called modafinil.

Modafinil is generally prescribed for fatigue-related disorders, but a much-loved side effect is that it gives you the attention span and focus reminiscent of an intense game of Jenga and an uncompromising will to work. You won’t forget about the existence of diversions like Facebook or Come Dine with Me, but rather you’ll be able to ignore these distractions and simply say “I should get this work done first”.

A much-loved side effect is that it gives you the attention span and focus reminiscent of an intense game of Jenga and an uncompromising will to work.

But modafinil isn’t Limitless in real life. Your IQ won’t shoot through the roof and you won’t start remembering paragraphs of a textbook you saw out the corner of your eye when you were a kid. Similarly, whilst the quantity of work you’re capable of will be much higher than usual, the quality won’t change dramatically. You’re still you – just the hard working ideal you promise to be at the start of each term.

Another positive is that, by taking prescription drugs when you don’t need them, you get that anarchistic kick of sticking it to the man without resorting to snorting cocaine off a hooker’s chest.

The quantity of work you’re capable of will be much higher than usual, the quality won’t change dramatically.

What about the side-effects, you ask? Seriously, there are a number to be aware of. Eating becomes something you have to remind yourself to do, and modafinil can make some birth control pills less effective. When taken regularly, some users complain of modafinil’s effect on their relationships.

If you need to spend a straight seven hours working on coursework, you’ll find nothing better than modafinil. Just don’t injure yourself or those around you in the process.

The Doctor Says…

Impact asked Dr. Caroline Zdziarska about the consequences of this quick fix. “Modafinil should only be used under medical supervision.” says Dr. Zdziarska.

When taken regularly, some users complain of modafinil’s effect on their relationships.

Anxiety and mood swings and rarely psychosis are some of the less common side effects. 1 in 10 people experience headaches and some suffer dizziness and diarrhea – rather inconvenient during last-minute cramming in Hallward.

“Modafinil works on some brain receptors in a similar way to cocaine and although the chance of addiction is claimed by some to be relatively low, this is still a risk.”

Dr. Zdziarska’s advice? “Being tired after prolonged study is normal. Student days are just the start of the rest of your life – do you intend to continue using drugs to keep ahead?”

A. Gressive Lee-Awake & Ruth Macey

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Image: Geoff Greer via Flickr

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