In a trend that is as disturbing as it is unsurprising, Silicon Valley's Provigil problem is starting to get noticed. Earlier this summer, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington posted an article that asked how many Silicon Valley executives were hopped up on the drug. While the article prompted a flood of angry comments, there were several users who admitted using the drug to stay focused.
Provigil is a prescription drug manufactured by Cephalon. Unlike caffeine or amphetamines, Provigil is said, per the drug's literature, to "...promote wakefulness without causing generalized stimulation in the brain." It is a favorite drug of Silicon Valley executives, who must work long and productive hours and be able to have a restful sleep at the end of their day.
I saw this happen in high school and college, typically around midterms and final exams. The drug my peers chose was typically Ritalin, something they could easily get a prescription for after feigning ADD symptoms. It's a shame that Silicon Valley executives are joining in on this potentially dangerous trend.
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