Student Support Section


We would like to help students facing study pressures and have questions about 'smart drugs' (pharmaceutical or natural, etc) and have developed this page to collect resources that may be helpful.

Introduction:
Are you facing study pressures and are deciding or have decided to take 'smart drugs' to help you improve your results?  Is this something you wish to continue with and would you be interested in a review of all the options, good and bad?  

According to journal published article, "The mental health of university students in the United Kingdom" by Ann Macaskill (http://shura.shu.ac.uk/6449/), there is a "student mental health crisis" in the UK.  Study pressures can be a significant factor in increasing students stress levels.  

Below we offer vetted links to confidential online and app based counselling and support services to help you cope better.  Also, vetted social media and other online places where you can speak to others in a similar situation as yours.  We also have a short series of informative and humourous video blog's by Professor Hammerstein, on the subject of smart drugs in British universities and natural options including totally free ones.

Smart Drugs in British Educational Establishments
According to trusted sources, students all across UK, up to 37%, have tried or are taking 'smart drugs', mostly of a pharmaceutical type.  These can often have side effects which in some cases may actually lower academic performance.  Other students say they do very well with them. 

In either case, we offer a fair review of the options available to students in UK, both the legal and illegal products, and explain the difference between pharmaceutical and natural sourced 'smart pills', otherwise known as 'smart drugs' or 'nootropics'.  We collect numerous reviews from reputable sources and are able to provide a decent assessment regarding the different results obtained with different tablets. 

In a nutshell, we make sense of the market and offer our opinion on what you might consider trying and what you should avoid.  However, it's for each individual to decide which route they would like to take.

 

Options to learn more:
Option 1:
Please use the following helpful resources below for stress management, depression, including study pressures.  The first part are private, fully-confidential services done over the phone, on-line and some with an app, and where you can have full support and 24 hour access to help.  Most are free.  Some can be immediate, such as the Samaritans, others possibly require you to go through an NHS application first.

In the second part, we also list various social media websites such as Facebook, Forum, Blog or Twitter forums where you can speak to others in a similar situation, discussing your opinions or sharing your experiences about study stress and/or 'smart drugs' or 'natural smart pills'.

Option 2:
Professor Hammerstein also offers his commentary and opinion on - smart drugs for smart students, a review of smart pills 2017, definitions of smart pills and his tips for increasing mental performance with a short mindfulness session.
Click here to jump to the Professor's menu.

Option 3:
You can contact us using the form below if you have an urgent question.
(Please note for medical emergencies you should call 999 immediately.)
Click here to jump to the contact form.

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Option 1:
First part:
Resources for immediate help, private counselling, some via phone, internet or app.

  • FearFighter
    This is a CBT-based online self-help course for treating panic and phobias. It consists of nine computer-based sessions lasting about an hour each. The course explains how anxiety affects the mind and body and helps you to face the things you fear and avoid.  FearFighter is available on the NHS in some areas with a referral from your GP or another health professional. You can also pay to do the course privately.
    http://ccbtmain.cbtprogram.com/products/fearfighter/
  • leso digital health,
    offers live, confidential one-to-one cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with a therapist via secure instant messaging. It’s available to anyone with common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, pain management, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias and stress management.  Ieso is available to NHS patients in some areas. You can also buy private CBT sessions directly through Thinkwell, Ieso’s website for paying clients.
    https://uk.iesohealth.com/
  • SilverCloud
    Is a safe, secure online space offering personalised programmes to help people experiencing mental and behavioural problems including depression, anxiety, eating issues and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Members can complete modules specially tailored for them by an online supporter.  SilverCloud is available via NHS hospitals, trusts and clinics, plus some non-NHS organisations. It’s not available to private clients.
  • Sleepio
    This is an online programme that helps people overcome sleep problems. It’s based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and evidence suggests it can even help people with long-term sleep problems.  Sleepio works on desktop computers, tablets or via an iPhone app. It’s also compatible with some of the tracking devices you can use to track your daily lifestyle habits.  Unless you live in one of the areas where Sleepio is available on the NHS, you will need to buy it (less than £4 a week).
    https://www.sleepio.com/cbt-for-insomnia/
  • Elefriends
    This is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. For those who struggle sometimes,and are looking for a safe place to listen, share and be heard.  It is operated by Mind, a registered charity for better mental health.
    https://www.elefriends.org.uk/

  • Silent Secret
    This is a social community for young people to share their thoughts, feelings, secrets, news and lifestyle by posting anonymously.Your post can be a secret, a thought, a feeling, something humorous, aspirational or hopeful, and connect to expert support organisations in times of need.  It is accessed as an app.
    http://www.silentsecret.com/

  • Clearer Living
    Everyone can use a little help getting things sorted when life feels overwhelming. Clearer Living provides affordable and accessible online counselling and support, no matter what is on your mind.
    http://www.clearerliving.com/online-counselling-support/

    Option 1:
    Second part:
    Social media websites/ blogs where you can also discuss your opinions or share your experiences:

     

    IMPORTANT:  If you know of a resource that we could add here, please let us know with the contact form below.  

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    Option 2:
    Professor Hammerstein also offers his commentary and opinion on - smart drugs for smart students, a review of smart pills 2017, definitions of smart pills and his tips for increasing mental performance with a short mindfulness session.

    The Professor who specialises in the research fields of cognition and nutrition (thinking and eating!), gives us his research findings, data and opinions. 
    He looks at the following Topics:

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    Smart drugs for British students?
    with Professor Hammerstein. 

    Transcript of Video:

    Ah, hello, I have seen that there has been a big increase in the number of students taking illegally sold pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’ in order to improve on their exam results. There is much debate whether these smart drugs work well.

    There is also a question of whether natural smart pills, as a safer alternative, can be as effective. I see that students use these pharmaceutical ‘smart pills’ to get them through a pressurised time at university where good grades are vital to be successful in a competitive market.

    As many as 37% of British students are now using pharmaceutical smart pills such as Ritalin or Modafinil. And many say they get very good results from these pills. Hmmm.

    Reviews state they feel motivated and have huge amounts of energy to get work done. Most often the positive results occur the first time they take these pills. However, later, side effects begin - such as feeling drained, irritable or skin rashes.

    Some students end up with even lower grades than expected. The lack of sleep prevents proper memory consolidation and tolerance builds quickly so it is necessary to keep taking more - and what are the long term effects of this? No one knows.

    In my opinion … Students could try something new, like these ‘natural smart pills’, such as BrainZyme.

    These are legal, safe and affordable, and great for studying for long hours.

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    Read the Professor's full blog post here: https://www.brainzyme.com/blogs/news/smart-pills-for-british-students

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    Definitions of typical smart pill terms and ingredients, 
    with Professor Hammerstein 

    Transcript of Video:

    Hello! There is a world of difference between pharmaceutical smart drugs and natural smart pills . These are all cognitive enhancers (otherwise known as nootropics) - but the key is knowing whether they are pharmaceutical or natural sourced.

    The first type, which has been the most talked about the past few years is pharmaceutical 'smart drugs', such as Modafinil, Ritalin or experimental pharmaceuticals such as Noopept.

    These are made from synthetic ingredients are could be: legally made prescription drugs; illegally sold ‘bootleg’ copies; or experimental pharmaceuticals. In the UK, many of these drugs are not legally sold.

    The main one in the UK, Modafinil is a prescription-only stimulant, first approved for the mental disorder narcolepsy. However, interest in its off-label use as a ‘smart drug’ has peaked in recent years.

    The second type, which is a new trend and growing in popularity, is ‘natural cognitive enhancers’, also known as ‘natural smart pills’.

    These are made from natural sourced ingredients, such as matcha, guarana, choline, and vitamins and can support mental performance and improve concentration. In the UK these are fully legal as, ‘food supplements’.

    The main brand in the US is Nootrobox and the first fully legal one in UK is BrainZyme. Both of these natural cognitive enhancers have good reviews with customers saying they could think and concentrate better.

    The effects of the illegally sold pharmaceutical 'smart drugs' vs. legally sold 'natural smart pills' has been described by some as "a face-slap vs. a symphony".

    It would be up to each individual to decide which route they would like to explore.

     

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    Read the Professor's full blog post here: https://www.brainzyme.com/blogs/news/definitions-of-typical-smart-pill-terms-and-ingredients

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    Smart pills UK 2017 Review - which ones to try and which to avoid,
    with Professor Hammerstein

    Transcript of Video:

    Hello, it’s me again Professor Hammerstein. Today I survey the entire market online and in British stores, to see what cognitive enhancers/smart pills/ smart drugs are available, which are legal, which ones work, which ones to try and which ones to avoid.

    All done honestly, carefully and without judgment.

    I summarise the legal and illegal products that are sold in the UK today (in stores or online), starting from natural sourced cognitive enhancers to pharmaceutical options including legal, 'bootleg' and experimental pharmaceutical drugs.

    OK, firstly, In terms of legal and compliant with UK and EU food and supplement laws, there are only two fully ‘traceable by authorities’ in terms of their supply chain (and that means quality control). They are Nootrobox and BrainZyme.

    One is the leader in the US and the other a leader in the UK. Secondly, In terms of being ‘quasi-legal’, you can obtain legal prescription pharmaceutical Modafinil for narcolepsy in the UK, and many people, including academics and professionals, take this off-label, as a ‘smart drug’, and get positive results, at least during the first time it is taken.

    Thirdly, In terms of being totally illegal to sell, there is ‘online modafinil’ or bootleg modafinil, sold by untraceable, faked online pharmacies. I’ve been told it’s legal to buy this, but illegal to sell.

    However, if you buy this and sell it or “give” it to a friend, you have committed a crime under UK law liable for sentence up to 2 years, and Ritalin possession can fetch up to 5 years prison sentence.

    Please read my blog post for more detailed comparison.

    My opinion: I would suggest you try the natural cognitive enhancers first. Only try Modafinil if you have a Dr’s prescription. I would suggest you avoid the illegally sold products.

    Some have described the difference between pharmaceutical 'smart drugs' and legally sold 'natural smart pills' as "a face-slap compared to a symphony".

    However, it would be up to each individual to decide which route they would like to explore.

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    Read the Professor's full blog post here:

    https://www.brainzyme.com/blogs/news/smart-pills-2017-review-which-ones-to-try-and-which-to-avoid

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    Tips for improving mental performance,
    with Professor Hammerstein

    Transcript of Video:

    Hello, Are you serious about improving your mental performance? Here I present some good ways for you to increase performance, without any pills or supplements of any kind.

    I’ve tried to make each method as easy as possible, so that you can start today, with the minimal amount of preparation. So, no excuses!

    No1: Power-naps No matter what cognitive enhancer you are using, if any, you can still benefit from this type of power-nap. Just put your head down or put eye-patches on for a few minutes, even if you don’t sleep the sensory deprivation will recharge your mind and rest your eyes.

    No2: Diet. Switching to fruit instead of a bar of chocolate can be a simple and effective way to stabilise your sugar and therefore your concentration levels.

    No3: Exercise Simply increasing your heart rate for 8-10 minutes a day by running on the spot or doing sit-ups and/or press-ups can help new brain cell production immensely.

    No4: Mindfulness A simple and effective mindfulness technique is a counting technique, whereby you close your eyes and take slower breaths, counting up to 10.

    OK, lets try together -

    Now inhale, count 1, and …exhale.

    Now Inhale, count 2, and ... exhale.

    Now Inhale, count 3, and ... exhale.

    Now Inhale, count 4, and ... exhale.

    Now Inhale, count 5, and ... exhale. [Pause]

    We’ll stop there, but normally, you could go to 10.

    This simple act of concentrating on your breathing and counting (without thinking of other things) clears and refreshes your mind.

    No5: Brain-Training apps and games. As a lot of people like to play games on their phones when bored, they could benefit from playing games which trained their brains at the same time.

    OK, now you try some of these today and this week. Keep doing them, and get even smarter! Good luck!

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    Read the Professor's full blog post here:

    https://www.brainzyme.com/blogs/news/tips-for-improving-mental-performance

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    Short 15 second intro to the Professor's Video Blog Channel:

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    Option 3:
    You can contact us using the form below if you have an urgent question.

     

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