Do Smart Pills Really Exist?

The Control Center’s very own Dr. Reef appeared on The Today Show to talk about new “smart drugs.”

Prompted by a Details Magazine article and Bradley Cooper’s character in the movie Limitless, the segment’s topic focuses on new pills, specifically Nuvigil and Provigil, that make you feel more awake and alert, and essentially increase what you are capable of intellectually.

Today Show host, Matt Lauer sets up the topic by posing the question, “If you could take a pill, and it would make you smarter, would you take it?”

One man tells his story of taking Nuvigil, and then going off the drug. His experience is that the drug only helps him, and he likes who he is better when he is taking the “smart pill.”

Dr. Reef is consulted on these nootropics, or “smart drugs.” He warns that, while these brain-enhancing pills are not addictive, the danger of side effects when nootropics are not taken properly is very real.

In his words, “I’m not against the concept of building a smarter brain. What I am against is people that just haphazardly go in and just try to pretend they’re chemists and do things to their brains that could be hurtful in the end.”

Enhancing the brain’s functioning is not what troubles him, but the approach people are taking in popping a pill without understanding what effect it is truly having on the brain is cause for concern.

Like other pills, Nuvigil and other “smart drugs” are altering your brain’s chemistry. You function one way, and then add a combination of chemicals, and the system operates differently. Your routine functioning is altered. When you don’t know what changes are being made to your own brain, you may not be doing what’s best for you overall, or in the long run.

So back to the question, if your doctor thought one of these non-addictive “smart pills” was right for you, would you take it?

Watch the video to hear Dr. Reef share his opinion on this new class of drugs.