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!
ThesisMy 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.
TestTo 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.
Natural SolutionsHippies 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
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
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:
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
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,
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:
Don't Take If:It says I shouldn't take this stuff if I've also taken something called MAOI-inhibitors in the past two weeks. Google tells me that's some kind of antidepressant. Now, it's impossible to say for certain what drugs I have and haven't taken in the last fortnight -- what am I, a wizard? I can't just magically know what's in my co-workers' medicine cabinets -- but Dan seems pretty sad lately, so that makes me a little apprehensive. But wait ... wouldn't that mean he's not taking antidepressants? I'm sure it'll be fine.
Side Effects:Eyesight changes. Wait ... ha ha, what? What kind of "eyesight changes"? Will I go blind? Will I get night vision? Will I be able to see lies? That's some worryingly obscure shit to drop on a fella, Captain Balls.
Video Test Results:
Don't Take If:I can't take this if I have "agitated states" and a "history of drug use"? Ha ha, shit. You might as well have just put "No Roberts" on the bottle. Whatever, Vyvanse. Thanks to Focalin and the screaming war babies, I can already see death's reflection in the pupils of every man I pass on the street. Really, what are you going to bring to the table?
Side Effects:Vyvanse lists possible side effects as "new or worse behavior and thought problems, aggressive behavior or hostility, hearing voices, believing things that are not true and extreme suspicion." Worse behavior than what? My previous behavior? My neighbor's behavior? Society's stifling rules of normality? There's no measure! And "believing things that are not true"? What do you mean, exactly? Are we talking outright fiction here, like the existence of elves, or just erroneous misconceptions, like thinking that concept albums are a good idea? You're fucking with me, Vyvanse. Shadowfriends, this medication is fucking with me, and I do not appreciate it. Attack....I said attack! No I don't care what happened on
Video Test Results:I was mistaken earlier. This isn't the wrong video at all. It was the wrong clip
Editor's note:02/22/2012, 3:15AM --
You can buy Robert's other book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, or you could just leap to the comments section to defend Sprats, because you have completely and irrevocably fucked up your life priorities.
For more from Brockway, check out The 5 Weirdest Products on the Web, One Disturbing Night and Get Free Drugs From Science (And All You Have to Do Is Die!).