The off-prescription use of modafinil: an online survey of perceived risks and benefits

Journal article


Teodorini, R., Rycroft, N. and Smith-Spark, J. (2020). The off-prescription use of modafinil: an online survey of perceived risks and benefits. PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227818
AuthorsTeodorini, R., Rycroft, N. and Smith-Spark, J.
Abstract

Cognitive enhancing drugs are claimed to improve cognitive functions such as learning and attention. However, little is known presently about the characteristics of off-prescription cognitive enhancing drug users or their perceived everyday experience with these drugs. As modafinil is the most commonly used off-prescription cognitive enhancing drug, the current study aimed to provide a detailed profile of modafinil users and their experiences and perceptions of this drug. To this end, an online survey, targeting cognitive enhancing drug users and students, was advertised on forum sites. Information was obtained regarding demographic data, illicit drug use, psychiatric diagnosis and experience of modafinil. Of the 404 respondents, 219 reported taking modafinil. Of these the majority were male, American or British, university
educated and currently employed, with a mean age of 27. Overall, modafinil was perceived by users as being safe. Modafinil users reported higher levels of illicit drug use and psychiatric diagnosis than would be expected from population-based data. More frequent reported
modafinil use was associated with higher numbers of perceived benefits whilst reported frequency of use was not associated with the number of perceived risks. There was also a tentative link between the reported use of modafinil and the reported presence of psychiatric disorders, largely depression and anxiety. Respondents who had reported a psychiatric
diagnosis declared higher subjective benefits of modafinil. This may suggest further beneficial effects of modafinil or it may reflect insufficient medical treatment for psychiatric disorders in some people. Overall, the findings of the current study should be beneficial in informing
clinicians and legislative bodies about the modafinil user profile and how modafinil is perceived.

KeywordsModafinil; Cognitive enhancers; Off-prescription; Online survey
Year2020
JournalPLoS ONE
PublisherPublic Library of Science
ISSN1932-6203
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227818
Web address (URL)https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227818
Publication dates
Print05 Feb 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted14 Jan 2020
Deposited17 Jan 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/88x33

Download files

Accepted author manuscript
PONE-D-19-19392R2_FTC2.pdf
License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

  • 54
    total views
  • 27
    total downloads
  • 2
    views this month
  • 4
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Does unfairness sound wrong? A cross-domain investigation of expectations in music and social decision-making
Civai, C, Teodorini, R and Carrus, E (2020). Does unfairness sound wrong? A cross-domain investigation of expectations in music and social decision-making. Royal Society Open Science.
Working memory and high-level cognition in children: An analysis of timing and accuracy in complex span tasks
Gordon, R., Smith-Spark, J. H., Newton, E. J. and Henry, L. A. (2019). Working memory and high-level cognition in children: An analysis of timing and accuracy in complex span tasks. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 191, p. 104736. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2019.104736
Mental Reinstatement of Context: Do individual differences in mental time travel and eyewitness occupation influence eyewitness performance over different delay intervals?
Bangs, K. and Smith-Spark, J. (2019). Mental Reinstatement of Context: Do individual differences in mental time travel and eyewitness occupation influence eyewitness performance over different delay intervals? Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1536
The relation of “literacy glasses” to cognition in dyslexia and to extended mind theory
Smith-Spark, J (2019). The relation of “literacy glasses” to cognition in dyslexia and to extended mind theory. L’Année Psychologique/Topics in Cognitive Psychology. 118, pp. 365-365. https://doi.org/10.3917/anpsy1.184.0365
Memory in adults with dyslexia
Smith-Spark, JH and Gordon, R (2019). Memory in adults with dyslexia. in: Colé, P, Duncan, L and Cavalli, E (ed.) Dyslexia at university: Theoretical insights and practical solutions Brussels De Boeck Supérieur.
Factors affecting accuracy in the quality control checking of fresh produce labels: A situational and laboratory-based exploration.
Smith-Spark, J, Katz, H, Wilcockson, T and Marchant, A (2019). Factors affecting accuracy in the quality control checking of fresh produce labels: A situational and laboratory-based exploration. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries..
Executive functions in adults with dyslexia
Smith-Spark, JH (2018). Executive functions in adults with dyslexia. in: Colé, P, Duncan, L and Cavalli, E (ed.) Dyslexia at university: Theoretical insights and practical solutions Brussels, Belgium De Boeck.
Executive function and academic achievement in primary school children: The use of task-related processing speed
Gordon, R, Smith-Spark, JH, Newton, EJ and Henry, LA (2018). Executive function and academic achievement in primary school children: The use of task-related processing speed. Frontiers in Psychology. 9 (APR). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00582
Optimal approaches to the quality control checking of product labels
Smith-Spark, JH, Katz, HB, Wilcockson, TDW and Marchant, A (2018). Optimal approaches to the quality control checking of product labels. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 68, pp. 118-124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2018.07.003
Intoxicated eyewitnesses: The effect of a fully balanced placebo design on event memory and metacognitive control.
Gawrylowicz, J, Scorboria, A, Teodorini, R and Albery, I (2018). Intoxicated eyewitnesses: The effect of a fully balanced placebo design on event memory and metacognitive control. Applied Cognitive Psychology. 33 (3), pp. 344-357. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3504
Everyday memory in adults with dyslexia
Smith-Spark, JH (2017). Everyday memory in adults with dyslexia. in: Fawcett, AJ (ed.) DAS Handbook 2016 Singapore Dyslexia Association of Singapore.
Working memory functioning in developmental dyslexia.
Smith-Spark, JH and Fisk, JE (2007). Working memory functioning in developmental dyslexia. Memory. 15 (1), pp. 34-56. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658210601043384
Argumentation in Decision Support for Medical Care Planning for Patients and Clinicians.
Smith-Spark, JH, Glasspool, D, Fox, J and Oettinger, A (2006). Argumentation in Decision Support for Medical Care Planning for Patients and Clinicians. Argumentation for Consumers of Healthcare, Papers from the 2006 AAAI Spring Symposium. Stanford, California, USA 27 - 29 Mar 2006 London South Bank University.
Does the face fit the facts? Testing three accounts of age of acquisition effects
Smith-Spark, JH, Moore, V and Valentine, T (2007). Does the face fit the facts? Testing three accounts of age of acquisition effects. Vosniadou, S and Kayser, D (ed.) Proceedings of EuroCogSci07: The European Cognitive Science Conference. Delphi, Greece 23 - 27 May 2007 Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 794 - 799 (6)
Label-checking strategies to adapt behaviour to design
Smith-Spark, JH, Katz, HB, Marchant, A and Wilcockson, TDW (2015). Label-checking strategies to adapt behaviour to design. ECCE 2015 – European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics. Warsaw, Poland 01 - 03 Jul 2015 ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2788412.2788425
Cognitive predictors of accuracy in quality control checking
Katz, HB, Smith-Spark, JH, Wilcockson, TDW and Marchant, A (2015). Cognitive predictors of accuracy in quality control checking. Airenti, G, Bara, BG and Sandini, G (ed.) EAPCogSci 2015 EuroAsianPacific Joint Conference on Cognitive Science. Torino, Italy 25 - 27 Sep 2015 CEUR Workshop Proceedings.
Adults with developmental dyslexia show selective impairments in time-based and self-initiated prospective memory: Self-report and clinical evidence.
Smith-Spark, JH, Zięcik, AP and Sterling, C (2017). Adults with developmental dyslexia show selective impairments in time-based and self-initiated prospective memory: Self-report and clinical evidence. Research in Developmental Disabilitiesl. 62, pp. 247-258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2016.12.011
The event-based prospective memory of adults with developmental dyslexia under naturalistic conditions
Smith-Spark, JH, Zięcik, AP and Sterling, C (2017). The event-based prospective memory of adults with developmental dyslexia under naturalistic conditions. Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences. 4 (1), pp. 17-33. https://doi.org/10.3850/S2345734117000036
Verbal and non-verbal fluency in adults with developmental dyslexia: Phonological processing or executive control problems?
Smith-Spark, JH, Henry, LA, Messer, DJ and Zięcik, AP (2017). Verbal and non-verbal fluency in adults with developmental dyslexia: Phonological processing or executive control problems? Dyslexia. 23 (3), pp. 234-250. https://doi.org/10.1002/dys.1558
A review of prospective memory impairments in developmental dyslexia: Evidence, explanations, and future directions
Smith-Spark, JH (2017). A review of prospective memory impairments in developmental dyslexia: Evidence, explanations, and future directions. Clinical Neuropsychologist. 32 (5). https://doi.org/10.1080/13854046.2017.1369571
Forgetting to remember to remember: Prospective memory in adults with dyslexia
Smith-Spark, JH (2017). Forgetting to remember to remember: Prospective memory in adults with dyslexia. Dyslexia Review. 28 (1), pp. 9-11.
Time-based prospective memory in adults with developmental dyslexia.
Smith-Spark, JH, Zięcik, AP and Sterling, C (2016). Time-based prospective memory in adults with developmental dyslexia. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 49-50, pp. 34-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2015.11.006
Self-reports of increased prospective and retrospective memory problems in adults with developmental dyslexia
Smith-Spark, JH, Zięcik, AP and Sterling, C (2016). Self-reports of increased prospective and retrospective memory problems in adults with developmental dyslexia. Dyslexia. 22 (3), pp. 245-262. https://doi.org/10.1002/dys.1528
Retrospective and prospective remembering in adults with developmental dyslexia.
Smith-Spark, JH, Zięcik, AP and Sterling, C (2016). Retrospective and prospective remembering in adults with developmental dyslexia. International Workshop on Reading and Developmental Dyslexia (iWORDD). Bilbao, Spain 05 May 2016
Executive functions in adults with developmental dyslexia.
Smith-Spark, JH, Henry, LA, Messer, DJ, Edvardsdottir, E and Zięcik, AP (2016). Executive functions in adults with developmental dyslexia. International Workshop on Reading and Developmental Dyslexia (iWORDD). Bilbao, Spain 05 May 2016
Executive functions in adults with developmental dyslexia
Smith-Spark, JH, Henry, LA, Messer, DJ, Edvardsdottir, E and Zięcik, AP (2016). Executive functions in adults with developmental dyslexia. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 53-54, pp. 323 - 341. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2016.03.001
Reducing quality control errors by guiding behavior
Smith-Spark, JH, Katz, HB, Marchant, A and Wilcockson, TDW (2016). Reducing quality control errors by guiding behavior. 6th International Ergonomics Conference Ergonomics 2016 – Focus on synergy. Zadar, Croatia 15 - 18 Jun 2016 Croatian Ergonomics Society. pp. 315 - 322
Do Baseline Executive Functions Mediate Prospective Memory Performance under a Moderate Dose of Alcohol?
Smith-Spark, JH, Moss, AC and Dyer, K. (2016). Do Baseline Executive Functions Mediate Prospective Memory Performance under a Moderate Dose of Alcohol? Frontiers in Psychology. 7, pp. 1325 - 1325. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01325
Mental time travel ability and the Mental Reinstatement of Context for crime witnesses.
Smith-Spark, JH, Bartimus, J and Wilcock, R (2016). Mental time travel ability and the Mental Reinstatement of Context for crime witnesses. Consciousness and Cognition. 48, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.10.002
Neknomination': Predictors in a sample of UK university students
Moss, AC, Spada, MM, Harkin, J, Albery, IP, Rycroft, N and Nikčević, AV (2015). Neknomination': Predictors in a sample of UK university students. Addictive Behaviors Reports. 1, pp. 73 - 75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2015.05.003
The effects of age of acquisition and semantic congruency on famous person category verification
Smith-Spark, JH, Moore, V and Valentine, T (2015). The effects of age of acquisition and semantic congruency on famous person category verification. CEUR Workshop Proceedings. 1419, pp. 84 - 89 (6).
Determinants of famous name processing speed: age of acquisition versus semantic connectedness.
Smith-Spark, JH, Moore, V and Valentine, T (2013). Determinants of famous name processing speed: age of acquisition versus semantic connectedness. Acta Psychologica(Amst). 142 (2), pp. 230-237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2012.11.016
Long-term age of acquisition effects in famous name processing.
Smith-Spark, JH, Moore, V and Valentine, T (2012). Long-term age of acquisition effects in famous name processing. Acta Psychologica(Amst). 139 (1), pp. 202-211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2011.10.002
Dyslexic students have more everyday cognitive lapses.
Smith-Spark, JH, Fawcett, AJ, Nicolson, RI and Fisk, JE (2010). Dyslexic students have more everyday cognitive lapses. Memory. 12 (2), pp. 174 - 182. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658210244000450
Investigating the central executive in adult dyslexics: Evidence from phonological and visuospatial working memory performance
Smith-Spark, JH, Fisk, JE, Fawcett, AJ and Nicolson, RI (2003). Investigating the central executive in adult dyslexics: Evidence from phonological and visuospatial working memory performance. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology. 15 (4), pp. 567-587. https://doi.org/10.1080/09541440340000024