Why Executive Take ‘Smart Drugs,’ and Why This Can Be Dangerous

Why Executive Take ‘Smart Drugs,’ and Why This Can Be Dangerous

From stage fright to anxiety, and other issues like depression, people are taking pills and numbing out more than ever. Executives are taking ‘smart drugs,’ not only to cope but to improve their performance at work. This is known as ‘biohacking.’ Executives, especially, can be guilty of doing this as a means to get ahead of the competition at work. Regardless of the method, the goal is to hack their own brains to optimize behavior and performance. Find out why this happens and why it may be dangerous. 

What is Biohacking

Biohacking is the ability to change the inside and outside of a person’s body in order to have full control of it and try to shift how it works. An executive who uses ‘smart drugs,’ like modafinil, enhances cognitive ability to make them think more clearly and pushes their brain past its limits. Other things besides drugs can be used for biohacking. This includes:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise

In addition to drugs, doing these things can contribute to an enhanced performance where people take pills that make them smarter, more productive and utilize these to gain an edge. Modafinil, sold under Provigil, is a wakeful-ness agent, which keeps people awake longer than they should so they don’t sleep when they can be working. There are notable side effects to doing life like this for too long.

Side Effects

With biohacking drugs, there are potential side effects. The FDA has only approved Provigil for sleeping disorders but people are using it for cognitive function enhancement. Many sales are for non-FDA approved usage where the majority are not using to improve performance. Whether taking a drug like Provigil in order to improve performance is ethical remains to be seen. Taking drugs in sports is unethical and considered cheating. The same does not apply, it seems, to executives to abuse the drugs, even if it causes side effects like:

  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness when it wears off
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Brain changes over time that cause burn out
  • Unknown effects on physical health over time

Executives who take pills or drugs to perform consistently are also at risk of addiction and addictive behaviors. There are challenges to using drugs just to wake up and go to work or stay awake. Over time, the body’s natural rhythm is usurped and is not able to function properly. It may be worth asking whether it is worth the challenge of doing this to the body if it means you may not function well down the road and require additional support to do your job or take care of yourself and your health. It may not be worth risking it all for a temporary high, no matter how good it feels at the moment. 

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Communty model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides a special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.