A misguided question (legal alternative to meth)

It’s that time again, when I try to answer questions that brought readers here, as best I can. Most of the time, blog searches that find their way here land at existing posts, so these Q&A posts will reduce in frequency as time goes by, but I have seen one interesting question recently that hadn’t been asked before, and is worthwhile answering.

Is there anything legal that will give me energy like meth?

Yes, there is, and I’ll get to that in a bit, but first I have to tell you something you don’t want to know. Sadly, when you ask that question, it indicates that you are already in deep trouble.

I asked that question a few years ago (when I’d only been using for about a year), and found the answer to it, but I soon discovered it was not what I really wanted. In my attempt to wean myself off methamphetamine, I convinced my family doctor to prescribe something for me that would prevent me from falling asleep through my withdrawal. There is a legal substance, used for the treatment of narcolepsy (a well-known sleeping disorder), that has the same effect as methamphetamine, in terms of keeping you awake and alert. It is marketed as Provigil, but see also the Wikipedia page which lists it as Modafinil. This substance is safe and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Although this can keep you awake and alert (and I’ve read articles on the US military investigating using it on soldiers), it does not produce a feeling of euphoria. In other words, it won’t get you high, and therein lies the problem. If you try to convince yourself that you use methamphetamine for the energy, you are in denial. You are lying to yourself. I used Provigil for a month or so, and it did keep me awake, but I felt nothing when I used it. I felt normal. I was very naive when it came to my own addiction; I’d been using for a full year and didn’t even know that it was getting me high. That’s how seductive its use is; its use subtly creeps into every aspect of your life until you believe that you need it.

The point is, if you are using crystal meth, it’s not for the energy, even if you tell yourself that it is. No legal substance, not even one like Provigil which will keep you awake and alert, will give you the high that you are addicted to getting. Go ahead and waste your money on Provigil if you want, but you need to get into a treatment centre for your addiction. It is the only way.

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent seven years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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3 Responses to A misguided question (legal alternative to meth)

  1. Anne says:

    I just love your honesty and directness. You must surely be helping sooooo many people out there :-) IF they’re willing to take you advice

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    • Jerome says:

      I hope so. If one person can learn by my mistakes, then this blog is a success in my mind.

      Back when I tried Provigil, I had nobody to tell me the truth about what it was that I craved.

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  2. Jerome says:

    Interesting… reading the Wikipedia page on Modafinil, I see it’s military and air-force use has become widespread compared to when I first used and researched it, which was back in 2006.

    Still, I must emphasize that for an addict in active addiction, the meth “energy” has nothing to do with your addiction. If you use Modafinil, you will be sorely disappointed.

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