The Slap Medicine

In the previous article on concentration, we saw what is concentration and the Hidden factor behind the lack of concentration. 

In this blog, we will discuss one of the most common and convenient ways to develop instant concentration and its effects on the body.

The Slap Medicine

Performance-enhancing substance – Nootropic: smart drugs and cognitive enhancers 

The term “nootropic” is derived from the Ancient Greek words νόος (nóos) meaning “mind” and τροπή (tropḗ) meaning “a turning. We have many natural herbs like Brahmi that help to increase concentration, however, in this video let’s focus on artificially manufactured smart drugs., synthetic drugs

Normally we use chemical-based stimulants to improve concentration. Some of the examples are –

  • Adderall
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Cocaine
  • Concerta
  • Crack Cocaine
  • Dexedrine
  • Ecstasy
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ritalin

These medicines remind me of teachers a few decades back, who would beat their students to produce instant focus! And yes, it used to work…

And a normal chemical stimulant works in a similar manner, it gives your body a tight slap, and then you suddenly feel radical levels of energy and attention. These Stimulants turn on the sympathetic system – the emergency response mode. They practically shake up the metabolism, they create havoc inside by raise heart rate, blood sugar, and blood pressure, constrict blood vessels, and open the pathways of the respiratory system. 

Quality of concentration

These drugs prepare the body for war! And yes, they bring concentration. But the problem is that in emergency situations, the conscious mind shuts down, the animal instincts of the fight, flight freeze take over. And therefore, the quality of concentration these drugs achieve might be unsustainable in the long run. 

Stimulants work for a short time

Cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, but it cannot run for miles, only for short distances. And after every run, it needs to rest. The same goes for stimulants.

According to the Yerkes–Dodson law, there is an empirical relationship between arousal and performance. This means that the arousal can increase performance up to a level. After a maximum point, increased arousal triggers a slowdown in performance. This happens because, after a point, the body becomes tired.

Stimulants are tiring

Natural concentration stimulates only the brain. And the brain, just like a computer needs very less energy to work. And that’s why, with natural levels of concentration, it is able to function for a long time, without getting tired.

However, because stimulants trigger the emergency mode – they stimulate both the mind and the body. So, it is like supplying energy to a whole robot and not only a small computer. They turn on the emergency mode, which supplies excess energy to not only the brain but also muscles! Because in emergency mode, you need to fight, flee, or freeze. But there is no need for muscle power when you are reading something. 

That’s the reason why stimulant-induced concentration works for a very short time and makes you feel very tired. 

The War Toll

These stimulants create a war-like condition, however, you cannot be at war all the time. This drug-induced concentration is not sustainable as it does not emerge from a restful state. On the contrary, it brings a lot of metabolic damage and repair work, just like a war. But if you expose the body to this emergency survival mode for a long duration or very frequently, then the body will get very tired, and severely damaged.

Besides, these drugs can be addictive!

The Addiction Trap

Let’s elaborate on the teacher’s example. Once the children are habituated to beating, one slap might not produce the desired effect. 

Also, if you get habituated to stimulants, you will have to go on increasing the dosage to get the same results,  but the problem is that it takes a huge toll on the body!

Short-Term Effects of Stimulants

Stimulants are generally abused for their euphoric, energetic effects. In the short term, stimulant effects can be very pleasurable and may include:

Other effects of stimulants include:

Side Effects

Long-Term Effects of Abusing Stimulants

 PSYCHOLOGICAL SIDE EFFECTS

  • Hallucinations.
  • Delusions.
  • Persistent anxiety.
  • Paranoia.
  • Depression.

PHYSICAL SIDE EFFECTS

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Looking at the severe effects of these drugs, I would not prefer to experiment with them for fun.  These drugs should be taken only for specific disorders only under medical supervision . 
And  for better concentration, you definitely not need them., because there are far better and natural options available already. 

References:

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). What are stimulants?
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Chapter 5 – Medical aspects of stimulant use disorder. Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders.
  3. https://www.harboroaks.com/addiction/stimulant/effects-symptoms-causes/ 
  4. https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/ritalin/the-vicious-effects-of-prescription-stimulants.html   
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4760, DAWN Series D-39. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4760, DAWN Series D-39. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). How do stimulants affect the brain and body?
  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). What are the possible consequences of stimulant use and abuse?
  9. Riezzo, I., Fiore, C., De Carlo, D., Pascale, N., Turillazzi, E., & Fineschi, V. (2012). Side effects of cocaine abuse: multiorgan toxicity and pathological consequencesCurrent Medicinal Chemistry19(33). 5624-5646.
  10. S. National Library of Medicine. (2015). Methamphetamine overdose.
  11. Australian Government Department of Health. (2004). The place of pharmacotherapies. Models of Intervention and Care for Psychostimulant Users, 2nd
  12. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). The Matrix Model (stimulants).

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