5 Attention Deficit Drugs Reviewed (by Taking Them)

When I first applied to be Cracked's resident drug reviewer, I was informed that "That isn't a thing" and that "We'll be testing tomorrow." But after I went ahead and wrote this anyway, then misguidedly launched a series of pro-drug children's literature and even wrote this science fiction serial novel about the manifold virtues of rampant chemical liberation, the higher-ups started to reconsider ... caring about what I do. So now that they've stopped checking my column for libel before it goes live, let's do another installment of the drug review! Quickly, before they come back!


My first foray into the field of professional junkieism was full of mistakes, I understand that now. The chief error was buying all of my prescriptions in baggie form from a man whose office was "the wet spot beneath the pier." But perhaps more scientifically unsound was my own faulty motivation: I was testing for the wrong thing from the start. I understand crosswalks, and I once caught a squirrel with my bare hands; I'm as smart and alert as any human being needs to be, practically speaking. What I really need is more focus. And, as with all things, I assume that stealing prescriptions is the best way to get it.


To measure for any potential increase in concentration, I will be repeatedly watching a 10-minute loop of a sheep chewing grass to techno music. I will measure the efficacy of each drug by seeing how long into the clip I can get before I click away and start Googling He-Man mashups. Our baseline is 0 seconds, because I didn't even manage to hit play the first time. Instead, I watched this three times and then played with my dogs for a while.

#5. Natural Solutions

Wikipedia Commons

Hippies frequently mistake me for a man who tolerates hippies. This mostly leads to a lot of (frankly unnecessary) bloodshed, but it has also taught me a few things -- mainly, that Mother Nature was the first and maddest scientist. So if we're trying to trick our brains into productivity, why not huff a big bag of organicity first? This article insists that concentration is really a simple matter of adjusting the amount of lubricated fish in your life, and that makes a strange kind of sense to me. Do I have problems focusing? Yes. Am I eating lots of greasy sea life? No.

Well, there's your problem.

Don't Take If:

Really, the only risk of reaction from natural medicine is from allergies. And as everybody knows, it's impossible to be allergic to something you've never had before. So I've gone ahead and stocked up on the most exotic, oily-ass fish I can find (for less than 10 dollars): These discontinued Latvian pseudo-sardines. There's some kind of half-fish, half-man skull on the back with a giant cross through it, which is a funny way of saying "organic," but what are you gonna do? They're Northern Europeans; anybody who shares a geopolitical region with Bjork gets a day pass from logic.

Side Effects:

The complete absence of human companionship. Probably because they make your breath and skin smell like an old Russian's wet underwear.

Video Test Results:

I made it 35 seconds into the clip before I noticed this on the sidebar. Curse you, Internet! I am but a man, with all of that creature's vainglorious weaknesses!

#4. Ritalin

Wikipedia Commons

Sometimes it's best to start with the obvious. If you're looking to buy a car, you go to a car dealership; if you want a Big Mac, you go to McDonald's; if you want a mattress, you go to Mad Matt's Mattress Mattorium. So if you find your priorities constantly shifting from work to shiny objects, you go with the big name first: Ritalin.

Don't Take If:

According to their website, one should not ingest Ritalin if one has "a fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency." I don't understand what any of those words mean, so I have to assume that they don't apply to me.

Side Effects:

This is weird: Ritalin lists its side effects as "fast, pounding or uneven heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out and aggression." But what if you're always on the verge of passing out (it's called having a good time, squares), you're aggressive because people are stupid and constantly in your way, and your heart only beats that way because you're so fucking fast?

Video Test Results:

I managed to get a full two minutes in this time, but man, that clip of He-Man covering pop songs by homosexual icons really got in my head. I had to tab away on the off chance that the Internet might have Skeletor doing some Queen covers ...

And it fucking totally did.

#3. Concerta

Wikipedia Commons, Johann H. Addicks

Wait, I'm confused. I started taking this one because I thought it was called Concentra, and that brought to mind images of strong, purposeful men focusing so hard on their tasks that to-do lists literally exploded under their steely gaze. But upon closer inspection, it seems to be called Concerta. So it's, like, a music drug? That seems a bit redundant. We already have a music drug; it's called "all of them."

But oh well, I already have a bottle of the stuff, and you know what they say: Once you open a prescription, you have to take all of it or it'll go bad.

Don't Take If:

You have a family history of Tourette's syndrome. That's oddly vague. Why not? Will it react with the medication? Will it give you super-Tourette's? Or will you just become so focused that it'll decrease your ability to tolerate your family's hilarious outbursts?

Side Effects:

Nothing too bad. I've stopped sleeping and started swearing, and I now have to snap my fingers every time I use a comma, like there, or here, or hey, did anybody else notice that this paragraph is punctuated to the beat of John Cougar Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane"? No, just me? (,,)

Video Test Results:

Oh, holy shit! I watched the whole thing twice. This is amazing! I'm not totally sure if it's due to the increased concentration, or if it's just that I have more uninterrupted time to focus on my tasks since I started calling everybody Captain Balls and stinking of the fruits of the Baltic Sea, but I am really getting some shit done now. I mean, so far that "shit" has just been staring at this sheep, but I am doing it. I'm really doing the ASS out of it!

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Robert Brockway

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