In recent news,it was reported that students in Singapore, some as young as 16, were consuming modafinil to aid in their studies. Labelled a smart drug or “nootropic” by popular media, modafinil has gained popularity among the general public on the hunt for the next big thing to enhance their cognitive prowess.
Often times, due to the widespread normalisation of the use of these drugs, consumers have less qualms popping these pills as compared to using illicit drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. Coupled with claims of low risk side effects, the non-medical use of modafinil is especially prevalent among students, with reports stating that one in five students at UK universities have consumed modafinil to stay awake and study.
Modafinil – Prohibited substance in Singapore
Modafinil is a prescription drug first marketed in the early 1990s in France to help treat sleep disorders such as excessive daytime sleepiness. Due to its wake-promoting properties, it has been classified as a psychostimulant. In Singapore, although Modafinil is not a controlled drug, anyone convicted of selling this drug may be fined and/or jailed as it is not registered for use as a therapeutic product.
Methylphenidate – Controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act
What if it is not just Modafinil that is consumed? Students have also been reported to be consuming Methylphenidate, a drug that is used to treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD). Methylphenidate is listed as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is illegal to possess and consume the drug unless it has been prescribed by the doctor for medical reasons.
Not without Side effects
Despite scientific literature stating the benefits and few side effects associated with taking modafinil, it is not completely without adverse effects. Some patients treated with modafinil have reported headaches, nausea and in severe cases, hallucinations. Likewise, some consumers of Methylphenidate have reported side effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate or psychiatric symptoms.
When consumers purchase drugs without prescription over the internet, they are exposed to high risks as they may be purchasing drugs from dubious sources. Unsupervised consumption may also lead to overdosage, which is yet another issue of concern in Singapore.
How can TFEG help you?
Are you concerned that your child may be consuming Smart Drugs? To allay your concerns, TFEG can help you analyse and determine the contents of suspicious-looking tablets.
Call us at 6459 0494 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.