Over the past year, Facebook users may have done a double take on seeing ads for Alleradd, a cognitive enhancement pill that sounds a lot like the prescription drug Adderall.
“Alleradd elevates your energy, enhances your memory, and helps you find your focus, even if you are tired or stressed out,” explains the website for the product.
But while amphetamine-based Adderall is a controlled substance legally available only by prescription, Alleradd is marketed as a nutritional supplement and available online to anyone with a valid credit card.
It’s one of an increasingly popular, if controversial class of drugs and supplements called nootropics that are designed to boost memory, attention span and cognitive function, even in people with otherwise healthy brains. And as the demand for cognitive enhancements expands, nootropics have grown from the stuff of internet-driven self-experimentation to an expanding sector in the massive supplements market.
Companies like AlternaScript, the makers of Alleradd, offer prepackaged blends ready for consumers, while self-experimenters swap notes online about how various “stacks,” or combinations, of compounds boost their mental prowess, just as bodybuilders share tips on protein and supplement regimens for maximizing muscle.
Screenshot from the Alleradd site. Image: Alleradd
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