The short answer is No!
The long answer is more interesting. Modafinil, also known as Provigil, adds in a very unique and interesting way to the arsenal of available nootropics, or smart drugs.
Let’s look at the science behind why it is unlikely that you will “get high” on modafinil.
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Some background information
Modafinil is the pharmaceutical name for the generic compound known as armodafinil (ar-moe-DAF-i-nill). This compound was originally developed by Lafon Laboratories under the trade name Nuvigil for use by narcoleptics as a treatment for narcolepsy.
It was subsequently discovered that it had robust wakefulness effects in non-narcoleptic individuals so it was marketed towards people who wanted to stay awake without taking amphetamine based drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin.
In 1988, French biohacker Michel Jouvet reportedly tested both adrafinil and modafinil on himself and found that they made him feel euphoric during his experiments.
Modafinil is a eugeroic or “wakefulness promoting” drug that is used to treat narcolepsy and daytime sleepiness.
It’s also becoming increasingly popular among college students, professionals and the military for its alertness promoting properties.
As of October 11th of 2011, Modafinil has been approved as an armamentarium stimulant by the Air Force for use in pilots that have been given authorization to take it.
Not surprisingly, Modafinil has similar side-effects to Adderall/Ritalin as they both increase dopamine release from the brain.
Additionally, because of its very short half life you can expect that it has much more of an effect in the short term than in the long term.
How Does It Work?
Modafinil works by altering the levels of wakefulness-promoting neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine and norepinephrine.
It may also alter other neurotransmitters such as histamine, glutamate and GABA – which are responsible for regulating things like mood.
People who are taking modafinil report feelings of intense mental clarity, increased energy levels, euphoria, enhanced focus and concentration.
Many even report mild hallucinogenic effects with extreme cases involving derealization (taking on a dissociative state) along with an increase in feelings of euphoria.
Is It Addictive?
Modafinil is relatively non-addictive. It does not cause a crash after taking it like amphetamine based drugs do, and it’s behavioral patterns are typically much more likely to be associated with strong stimulant effects.
That being said, there have been no studies on the addictive potential of modafinil in humans. As such, it is generally recommended that people do not take modafinil on a regular basis or for long periods of time.
Can it Get You High?
Ultimately, the answer is No. Modafinil will not get you high.
Modafinil is a stimulant that increases dopamine and norepinephrine release in the brain and it gives people a feeling of euphoria or well being – however it’s effects are more pronounced when taken on an as needed basis rather than when taken every day for long periods of time.
Modafinil vs Cocaine vs Adderall
One of the big questions surrounding Modafinil vs Cocaine and Modafinil vs Adderall comes from whether or not modafinil is actually more effective than cocaine at providing energy and alertness.
The answer to that question is absolutely yes! Modafinil produces much more euphoric effects than cocaine, which means that you don’t need as much to reach your desired mental state.
Modafinil can give you many times more energy than cocaine at the same dose while being less addictive and having far fewer side effects (no comedown).
Modafinil vs Adderall also appears to be a resounding victory for modafinil, as well. Adderall is a stimulant drug that is often prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.
It’s more addictive than modafinil and can cause severe psychological damage if taken improperly.
It should be noted that modafinil has not been around long enough to be used in thousands of people; therefore, it’s effects on different individuals have not been well documented.
To this point, there haven’t been any case reports that substantiate the use of modafinil with other drugs or alcohol – which means that it is essentially safe to combine them (to an extent).
One thing we do know about Modafinil is that it can cause increased blood pressure (hypertension) in some users; however, this side effect can often be reversed by lowering the dose or discontinuing use altogether.
There is also a very small chance of modafinil causing erectile dysfunction, although this issue can usually be resolved by decreasing the dosage.
Modafinil does not get you high.
It has a very mild stimulant effect and it is not physically addictive.
As with most stimulants, there is a risk of abuse or dependence which can lead to chronic abuse, addiction and psychological distress if use is maintained for prolonged periods of time.
It is not generally recommended that you take modafinil with other drugs or alcohol – however, the risk of negative side effects appears to be fairly low.
You may experience hypertension or erectile dysfunction if you take too much modafinil at once; however, lowering the dose usually resolves these issues.
Modafinil can increase dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain – however, these neurotransmitters can also be released by many other drugs that work to increase wakefulness (besides modafinil).
It’s generally safe to take modafinil on a regular basis if you are not abusing other drugs.
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