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Teen Modafinil Addiction

Today's teens are under more pressure than ever before. With competitive college applications, intense workloads from high caliber academic classes, and dozens of extracurricular activities, many teens struggle to finish all their homework, let alone find time to sleep.

While some busy teens are able to balance family demands, school requirements, sports, and time for friends, others find the stress to be too much to bear. In order to find more time in the day, some young adults are turning to drugs to stay awake longer and focus harder. Spurred by the increasing demands on teenagers' time, stay-awake drugs like modafinil are seeing a huge rise in use.

By helping users to stay awake and alert long past the point of healthy habits, modafinil and other related drugs are used and abused by teens from coast to coast. If you believe your teen is using these kinds of drugs to improve academic performance, immediate intervention may be necessary. With Teen Treatment Center, you can help your teen to break a dangerous cycle of addiction. Contact us today at (844) 319-5239 to speak with a counselor 24/7.

What Is Modafinil?

Teen Modafinil ChemicalModafinil is a stimulant most commonly sold under the trade name Provigil. Used to treat narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder, this medication is designed to help users stay awake against urges to sleep. For those suffering from sleep disorders, modafinil is extremely effective and can help affected individuals function normally. For teens seeking performance aids, however, modafinil can interrupt normal sleeping habits, leading to devastating side effects.

Many teens have historically turned to drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to increase concentration, but modafinil has experienced a recent spike in popularity. This is likely due to a similar drug used in the 2011 movie "Limitless." In the film, actor Bradley Cooper takes a pill called NZT 48 that turns out to be the key to super smarts and amazing success.

While this drug is fiction, teens desperate for more time with less sleep are on the hunt for a real-world equivalent. With the ability to promote normal brain activity without sleep, high school and college students who take modafinil can keep working late into the night instead of wasting precious teenage time in bed. 'Smart drugs' or drugs that improve cognition fall into a category called 'nootropics'.

Modofinil is a legal drug that can be obtained with physician prescription. It is a Schedule IV controlled substance in the U.S., however, due to its physically addictive nature. Not just anyone can receive a prescription, either; patients must have a clinically diagnosed condition that requires a wakefulness-agent to treat.

How Is Modafinil Used?

For those seeking a way to stay awake longer without sacrificing effectiveness, modafinil is a compelling option. Taken orally in pill form, this medication works quickly, promoting alertness and wakefulness in a matter of minutes. Users describe a warm, fuzzy feeling and an immediate boost in concentration, creating a compelling situation for teens trying to ace an AP test or score high on the SAT.

While modafinil is legal and FDA-approved, academic performance is not an acceptable reason to receive a prescription. Instead, it is intended to provide a boost to those who fall asleep at inopportune times or who have trouble maintaining a challenging shift work schedule.

Usage Risks


Due to the risks of use, modafinil is never prescribed to those who do not have a medical need, and rarely to children. While a single use to get some extra homework done seems innocent, a few nights without enough sleep can take a toll. This can lead to side effects like nausea, hallucinations, mouth sores, irregular heartbeat, and threatening skin conditions like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, especially in pediatric patients.

Sleep deprivation in long-term situations can be extremely dangerous, causing symptoms like:

  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Weakened immune response
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure

Ease of Access

Teens in need of performance enhancement will often go to extreme lengths to secure drugs like modafinil. For this reason, these kinds of drugs are prevalent in high school and college settings. Many teens will deal modafinil to their friends, working together to provide easy access to study aids. Despite the risks, many teens and parents see no problem in using ADD, ADHD, and narcolepsy drugs to increase concentration and academic performance. Since 2008, use is up 33%, with one in four teens using performance aids at least once over the course of their academic careers.

While modafinil requires a prescription to obtain, teens are able to use the internet to circumvent these restrictions. Online pharmacies provide easy access to a wide range of prescriptions, making it easy to buy and use modafinil as desired.

Signs of Modafinil Abuse

Teens who take modafinil may show definite symptoms related to lack of sleep and prolonged use of a stimulant. With physically addictive properties, modafinil can create a dangerous web of abuse, leading to increased dosage amounts and more frequent doses.

Teens who are abusing modafinil may show numerous warning signs, including:

  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • Tight muscles and muscle pains
  • Burning, tingling, and peeling skin
  • Constipation, diarrhea, and gas
  • Eye pain and difficulty seeing

Teens who are illegally obtaining modafinil may also display drug-seeking behavior, including lying, sneaking around, and making secretive phone calls. They may steal money, or steal items to sell to obtain money to spend on drugs.

Abuse and Overdose

When prescription drugs are given by a doctor, there's someone to oversee potential side effects and unpleasant reactions. Drugs taken illegally, however, do not come with this benefit, leading to increased risk of dangerous complications, like overdose.

An average dose of Modafinil is limited to 200 mg taken once per day, but addicts may feel the need to take more. Unfortunately, this can easily cause symptoms like uncontrollable muscle spasms, confusion, anxiety, and a fast, pounding heartbeat. In high enough doses, modafinil can be fatal.

Teen Study Drug Pressure

Solutions for Modafinil Addiction

Modafinil is highly addictive. Teens who begin taking modafinil to boost academic performance may find themselves unable to study without it, leading to increased doses, less sleep, and erratic behavior that can stand in the way of scholarly success. If your teen is not behaving like himself, staying up late at night, hyper-focusing on studying, and experiencing trouble in school, he may be addicted to a medication like modafinil.

Due to the physical nature of addiction, breaking the habit can be very challenging without professional assistance. Instead of hoping and waiting, your teen needs medical rehabilitation as soon as possible. Teen Treatment Center is prepared to provide assistance, offering medical detox and compassionate therapeutic resources to help your teen get clean and stay clean.

Detox and Rehabilitation

At Teen Treatment Center, we can help your teen break his dangerous addiction to modafinil. Our trained staff is highly experienced in guiding young adults through the process of overcoming addiction, offering medical care and therapeutic services.

Detox is the first step in recovering from addiction. In this phase, your teen will be cut off from access to modafinil in order to overcome the physical barriers of addiction. Doctors will be on hand around the clock to provide care, offering medical resources to stimulate healing, control withdrawal symptoms, and suppress cravings.

As a key part of inpatient rehabilitation, teens have access to both individual and group counseling sessions. Meeting with counselors can be extremely effective, helping teens to determine the root causes of addiction as well as how to better cope with normal stressors without the risk of relapse. Counselors can also provide help with vocational training, risk management, and recreational therapy, helping young adults in need to receive comprehensive care.

Teen Treatment Center provides thorough recovery services for those in need, offering additional resources including:

No matter the nature of your teen's addiction, we are prepared to make a difference.

Separate Gender Treatment Facilities

The teenage years can be fraught with emotional hardships, especially when it comes to interpersonal and romantic relationships. These distractions can stand in the way of effective recovery, making it harder for vulnerable teens to move past addiction and into a healthier lifestyle.

In order to maximize productivity and remove stress and distractions from the rehabilitation process, Teen Treatment Center utilizes gender-separate treatment facilities. This encourages bonding and peer support throughout therapy, and allows teens to share thoughts and feelings without risks of judgment or ridicule, providing a more effective atmosphere for substance abusers in need.

Get Help for Your Teen

If you have noticed strange or erratic behaviors in your teen, modafinil abuse may be at fault. With Teen Treatment Center, you can get the assistance your family needs, providing comprehensive solutions to help your teen break the bonds of addiction. Contact us today at (844) 319-5239 for a confidential consultation with a member of our dedicated admissions team.

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