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Modafinil Abuse Potential And The Risk Factors

Last updated on 23 Feb, 2024

Modafinil is a Schedule IV controlled substance and has a very low risk of abuse and dependence.

Modafinil is a prescription central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that can be abused for its effects, and chronic abuse of this drug can lead to Modafinil addiction and dependence.

However, this is less common compared to the abuse of other stimulant drugs.

This comprehensive guide gives a factual description of Modafinil abuse and the risk factors associated with it.

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting compound that is used to treat excessive sleepiness during the day associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder.

It was developed in the 1970s and is sold under various brand names, such as Modvigil, Modalert, and Provigil.

Modafinil promotes wakefulness by raising the levels of multiple brain chemicals, such as orexin, dopamine, histamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, and decreasing the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which induces sleepiness. 

If you wish to experience the effectiveness and benefits of Modafinil for yourself, you can order genuine Modafinil tablets at a discounted price from HealthMatter.

What Is Modafinil Abuse?

Substance abuse, or drug abuse, is defined as the excessive use of certain chemical compounds to create pleasurable effects on the brain [1]. 

Modafinil is a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means it has a lower chance of abuse. In rare cases, due to the stimulating effects of Modafinil, some people abuse this wakefulness-promoting agent.

The method of action of Modafinil is similar to that of addictive drugs such as cocaine. This suggests that people with a history of substance or drug abuse are more likely to abuse Modafinil, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association [2]. 

What Are The Signs Of Provigil Abuse?

If someone abuses Modafinil, they may show drug-seeking behavior. They may prioritize taking Modafinil first, and other responsibilities like work get neglected or pushed away.

A person suffering from Modafinil abuse may use the drug compulsively despite harm to themselves or others.

Abusing this drug can also increase the chances of certain side effects of Modafinil, such as nausea, insomnia, back pain, loss of appetite, and dizziness, among others. 

Excessive use of Modafinil may cause a person to become abnormally excited and show interest in things that they don't find interesting [3].

Why Is Modafinil Abused? Reasons Behind Modafinil Abuse

why-is-modafinil-abused-reasons-behind-modafinil-abuse

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Nora D. Volkow stated that “Modafinil has the same effect as cocaine, methamphetamines, and amphetamines in the dopamine centers of the brain.”

This basically suggests that Modafinil addiction is as addictive as those substances because it forcefully triggers the brain to release dopamine. It is also associated with feelings of pleasure.

When you use Modafinil for a long period of time, the body and mind get used to the presence of Modafinil in the system. Once you cut it off, the body might show withdrawal symptoms. To alleviate the symptoms, the user seeks to get more of the drug.

Modafinil also causes euphoric and psychoactive effects among users that can impact a person’s mood, thoughts, and perception [4].

Tips for preventing substance abuse:

  • Understand how substance abuse develops.

  • Try to keep a well-balanced life.

  • Examine the risk factors associated with substance abuse.

  • Seek help for mental health issues.

How Is Modafinil Abused?

Modafinil is abused in the following ways -

  • Use of more frequent doses than prescribed.

  • Taking it longer than prescribed.

  • Taking it for reasons other than prescribed.

  • Taking it by using another's prescription.

  • Modafinil is abused by snorting and crushing.

What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Abuse?

Four risk factors associated with Modafinil abuse are - 

Genetics:

One of the major risk factors associated with Modafinil abuse or other drug abuse is hereditary. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that up to half of a person's risk of addiction to any drug or other substance is based on genetics. If you have members of your family who've experienced abuse and addiction, you're more likely to experience it too. 

Individual level Modafinil abuse risk factors include:

  • Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Physical health problems such as fatigue and pain.

  • History of drug or substance abuse.  

Environmental factors:

  • Family history of drug abuse.

  • Easy access to prescription medications.

  • Exposure to social environments with drug use, including peers. 

Risk factors associated with lifestyle:

Lifestyle also plays an important role in Modafinil abuse; such risk factors include the following:

  • Long-term use of Modafinil.

  • Non medical use of Modafinil [5]. 

Modafinil Withdrawal And Its Symptoms

modafinil-withdrawal-and-Its-symptoms

Modafinil withdrawal is the process of cutting back on or quitting the use of Modafinil, which can lead to various withdrawal symptoms.

Modafinil withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and can be moderate to mild. The symptoms depend on age, physical health, and the mental and emotional state of a person.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms of Modafinil withdrawal are -

- Concentration problems:

Most people, after stopping Modafinil, experience poor focus when they stop taking the medicine. This can be caused by the fact that they had enhanced cognition while taking the drug, and there is a contrast in function without Modafinil.

- Fatigue:

If you're taking Modafinil to treat fatigue, if you withdraw the drug, it is likely that you're going to relapse.

- Shortness of breath

There have been reports that people experience breathing difficulties or shortness of breath accompanied by heart rate changes when they stop taking Modafinil. 

- Sleepiness: 

People who are taking Modafinil to treat sleep ailments like obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy tend to experience a return to their original sleepiness once they stop taking the medicine. 

- Low energy levels:

Some people have very low energy levels during the first or two weeks of quitting the drug. But the energy returns within a few weeks of discontinuation. 

- Depression:

Some people experience depression when they stop taking Modafinil [6]. 

Modafinil Abuse Treatment

Overcoming Modafinil abuse may need treatment at various levels of care based on its severity and resulting health consequences.

Treatment within a residential rehabilitation and inpatient program is highly recommended for people with chronic substance use disorders. This is the most useful type of treatment because these programs offer round-the-clock care. 

On an inpatient or residential rehabilitation basis, Modafinil abuse can be treated effectively. Treatment methods include cognitive behavioral therapy as well as family counseling.

Therapy can help change a person's thoughts and attitude toward their drug use. For people with mental health issues, additional counseling and medication may be recommended [7].

Tips to make a recovery from Modafinil abuse easier:

  • Start journaling or writing down your thoughts in a notebook.

  • Make it your top goal.

  • Avoid things that trigger you. 

  • Build a support network.

  • Communicate with your loved ones.

Modafinil Abuse Potential And The Risk Factors - Conclusion:

Taking any medicine means weighing the risks and benefits. Because of its stimulating behavior, modafinil has the risk of abuse and dependency. If you notice any side effects after withdrawing the drug, consult your healthcare provider.

For the utmost safety, discontinuing Modafinil should be done under the supervision of a doctor.


FAQ's

Some of the most common neurological effects that appear after consuming too much Modafinil are- Headache, dizziness, agitation, anxiety, etc.

Each pill of Modafinil is 100-200mg. The maximum consumption is 400mg for adults. The medication is not recommended for children under the age of 17.

The standard recommended dose of Modafinil is 200mg/day. Your doctor might increase your dose as per your requirements.

Consumption of Modafinil every day might increase your physical as well as psychological dependency, which might lead to addiction.

Yes, in rare cases, Modafinil is addictive.

Modafinil is a Schedule IV controlled substance.


References-

  1. What is drug abuse, news-medical

  2. Effects of Modafinil on Dopamine and Dopamine Transporters in the Male Human Brain: Clinical Implications, NCBI
  3. Modafinil (Provigil) Addiction — Abuse And Treatment Options, addictionresource.

  4. The Risks of Modafinil Abuse, michaelshouse

  5. Causes and Risk Factors of Prescription Drug Abuse, verywellhealth

  6. Provigil (Modafinil) Withdrawal Symptoms: Does It Have Any?mentalhealthdaily

  7. Modafinil (Provigil) Addiction — Abuse And Treatment Options, addictionresource

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Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.