The Modafinil Diaries: an anonymous account of the concentration drug

This exam period you might find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to scramble to complete as the hour of your exam looms ever closer. The Gryphon talked to an anonymous student about Modafinil, the study drug which aims to help you stay focused on your work.

I had tried study drugs before, in my first year, and a family member told me how his friend had made money selling Modafinil at university, so in an attempt to get more work done in my second year I decided to buy some for myself.

It was surprisingly easy to find on the internet. I call it Modafinil, but it was actually the non-branded version produced in India. I didn’t really feel that this would be a problem or harmful as it is a prescription drug. I was, however, slightly worried it might get sniffed out and searched as it was transported from India, but it arrived unmolested earlier than expected.

I bought in bulk with the intention of selling it to friends. I was quite surprised with the amount of people willing to try it, but I was unsure how much to charge them. At first I sold 200g tablet for £1 each, which meant I just broke even, but when I ordered my second batch I charged more and made about a £5 profit. I had a long way to go before I could make some serious money, but it did supply me with Bakery 164 for a couple of days.

My first experience with Modafinil was really strange. It is meant to make you concentrate on what you’re doing and bring your energy levels up, and I felt really excited about something that was going to happen, I just didn’t know what. Unfortunately, I became fixated on a text conversation with a friend, and so I had wasted the tablets. Modafinil makes you zone in onto a single thing for about four hours, which is great when you have work in front of you, but not if your mind is elsewhere.

One day I got carried away with my doses. I was taking it every day and felt like it was having less and less of an effect on me. After a couple of hours I took another tablet, and then – quite stupidly, because it still did not take effect – took more. What followed was 48 hours without sleep. I wanted to go for a run at three in the morning. I started to feel shaky, so I searched online about my symptoms and the results suggested that I had overdosed. I didn’t know what to do, so I decided to do nothing.

I was reluctant to use it again for a while, but then over Christmas I found it to be useful. A lot of my ‘clients’ bought it from me in bulk before I went home but I still got texts during the holiday asking if I had anymore to sell. One friend even bought her own supply ready for copying up her piles of revision notes.

After my own bad experience though, I’m afraid of using it too close to my exams in case it messes me up for them. The way it affects your sleep is unhealthy, yet when you’re feeling sluggish and desperate to revise it helps to bring your energy up and get you started, which motivation alone doesn’t always let you achieve.

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