“I prefer to take legal, unregulated cognition enhancers such as piracetam. . . .”
I have never heard of these. Are they prescribed by doctors?
>>I have never heard of these. Are they prescribed by doctors?
They do not need to be prescribed, since they are not approved for any indication by the FDA. They are approved in the EU and/or Japan for cognitive disorders (Alzheimer’s, ADD, etc), and are prescribed by doctors there.
Many doctors in the US prescribe them to patients, but these doctors tend to be osteopaths or other “alternative medicine” practitioners who dislike the side-effects profiles of FDA-approved treatments.
Most mainstream doctors (and the FDA) focus on treating dysfunction rather than preventing it.
There is a community of “life extensionists” in the US that makes extensive use of these supplements. There are a handful of doctors that practice with these principles in mind, and they prescribe these nootropic agents, as they are called, for proactively maintaining cognitive health.
I can say that nootropics have helped me a great deal in my work (improved cognitive function, increased creativity) and personal life (better listening skills and greater empathy). There has been no effect on the actual content of my thinking (I’m just as conservative as when I started using them, ha ha), but the thinking process has simply felt easier and less taxing.
There is almost no potential for abuse, simply because the effects are subtle and they take time (weeks) to become evident. Used properly, there isn’t a “rush” or a similar feeling of being on a drug. In fact, I have found that the racetams reduce the pleasurable feelings that I get from drinking moderate amounts of alcohol. For example, over the holidays, I had 3 glasses of wine at dinner. I knew I had drank enough that it was unsafe for me to drive, but my thinking remained sharp.