I took a prescription pill to get a lot of work done quickly. Here is what happened | Brigitte Delaney

A few years ago, I went to my doctor to prepare for a fast that I was doing for a magazine article.

“Is there anything you can suggest to help my body adjust to not eating?” I asked my doctor. She wrote an ordinance and said, “This. “

“This” was expensive. It cost $ 100 to fill it up, but my doctor assured me it would suppress my appetite and get me used to a food-free period.

I only took one pill but it freaked me out so much that I pushed the rest to the back of the medicine cabinet. What was that horrible thing? I couldn’t believe my doctor prescribed it. The cistern sniffed speed lines in a nightclub restroom apparently offered a smoother ride than this pill I could legally buy.

“What happened to your students? Asked a friend I met at the theater two days later. They were still the size of dinner plates.

This medication not only made my appetite disappear, but it made me hyper focused, energetic, and unusually enthusiastic about cleansing.

Yet it also made me feel bad. I was under a cloud of negative. I couldn’t imagine anyone taking these pills for a long time. In fact, they almost guaranteed you would have a bad time. Anxiety was the worst. Everything fills with a sort of swampy terror.

Yet despite loathing them, I felt the pills were filled with secret powers for uses for which they were not intended. I decided – perhaps recklessly – not to throw them away.

And now I read that I was not the only one thinking. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the consumption of prescription drugs by students before exams is increasing, a trend first observed in the United States. Chris Seton, a pediatric and adolescent sleep doctor at the Woolcock Institute and Westmead Children’s Hospital, told Fairfax that drugs such as ritalin and modafinil are being used in Australian classrooms. An increase in the use of the same drugs has been reported in the UK.

Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder while modafinil is used to treat sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Their use as study aids, or “smart drugs,” shows that many students are now thinking of as performance enhancing drugs for the brain.

Last Monday, with a book manuscript due in three weeks and my pace and energy slipping, I decided to open my supply of “emergency” pills. Although the medicine that was prescribed to me is neither ritalin nor modafinil, it has similar side effects.

That’s what happened.

I did all my work

This part of writing a book is largely organizational, and I had pushed it away. The task involves a great deal of concentration – being able to keep a lot of information about the project in my head at once – and rejecting items that I don’t need or that are repetitive. Normally I would allocate a few weeks to this dark task, but this time I’m going to try and break my back in two days.

By a strange coincidence, right after taking the pill, I heard a segment about prescription drug abuse on the radio. The program interviewed a number of people who just like me overuse prescription drugs to get a lot of work done in a short period of time.

“Users describe a feeling of rapid euphoria that helps them focus for hours on the task at hand, whether it’s a college assignment, a major work project, or staying awake while on the job. concerts » read the promo of the program.

I wonder what that says about this moment in history, that we abuse drugs so that we can do more work? I did a lot of work.

I did not sleep

Before taking the pill, I set my alarm clock for 5 a.m. because I knew from the previous pill that it lasts and lasts, and unless I take it very early in the morning, I would not sleep. not.

At the end of the first day, I was still working on the project around midnight and didn’t feel tired. I have achieved a lot of things. I woke up around 4 am the next day, full of energy. I sent dozens of emails, including responses to some tricky emails I had put off, and then decided to buy some outdoor furniture. It’s a big purchase that I’ve been considering for months. But in action mode on my “smart drug”, I finally decided to tick it off my list and bought a six-seater outdoor table with cushions and a parasol.

Prescription Drug Forums Are Really Interesting

Since my doctor didn’t tell me much about the medication she prescribed for me, I searched for it on Google and found a forum. People who take the drug as an appetite suppressant have reported mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, and a urge to cleanse. Every once in a while someone would jump on the wire and throw out all-caps warnings like “STAY AWAY FROM THIS DRUG – IT MADE ME A SLEEP AND CRAZY MONSTER.”

Energy is wrong

On the first day, I was on track to do a week’s work. In addition, I had cleaned the house! I swept and wiped. Then I went to the gym. The trainer gave me the 6kg weights to lift and I was only able to manage four reps. Before taking the pill, I lifted 8 kg.

“You’re much weaker today,” she said, looking worried.

“I didn’t have much to eat,” I admitted. I haven’t told him about the pill.

I slipped out of the gym. Some things cannot be manipulated – muscles need protein for fuel.

What goes up must come down

On the second day, I called a friend to tell her about all the good things I bought online during my free energy day. It was a bizarre list: a bicycle helmet, tennis racket, foam roller, two shelves, cabinet, shoe boxes, outdoor table, shade cloth, umbrella, 12 cushions .

“Did you buy a helmet?” ” she asked. I don’t have a bicycle.

Then I noticed that I had purchased two six-piece outdoor furniture. It was like setting up a cafe or something. I called the store, embarrassed, and canceled the entire order.

“Yes, I don’t need two sets of outdoor furniture. It was a mistake.”

Around 4 p.m., my energy waned. I had been working on the same sentence for an hour, then a colleague advised me: “Shut down the computer. You need to sleep. Your brain needs a break for a while.

I slept a few hours, then returned to the gym. I was still weak, so I gave up my training.

By the third day, my appetite had returned to normal and I returned to my usual fuzzy self. My magical powers had abandoned me. But were they really magic or did they amount to taking out a personal loan? This will allow you to overcome what you need today, but you will pay up front, with interest, tomorrow.

Turns out, you can’t get four hours of sleep in two days without paying a price.

I was sound asleep at 6 p.m. which meant wasting precious hours working on my manuscript. I swore to myself not to take the pills again.

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