Adderall is the trade name for a prescription medicine used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Chemically, Adderall is composed of two stimulant drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall was first approved by FDA in 1960 to be used for medicinal purposes. It is a Central Nervous System stimulant and because of its properties of increasing concentration and attention span, it is widely being abused by students. Adderall as well as other amphetamines are commonly called “brain boosters” or “study drugs” because they are falsely considered to be helpful for improving cognitive abilities. In reality, the abuse of the drug may produce exactly the opposite effects, hampering the mental abilities.
Adderall is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of a number of disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy. Chemically, it is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both of which are Central Nervous System stimulants. Adderall works by stimulating the brain to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in higher than normal quantities. Dopamine is associated with pleasure and reward centers of the brain and when produced in high quantities, euphoric effects are experienced by the user.
It is a general misconception that Adderall improves cognitive abilities and facilitates the process of learning. Due to this belief, students are highly likely to abuse the drug in an attempt to perform better on exams. The two most common side effects produced by the medication, insomnia and loss of appetite, are desirable for students since they enable them to study without having a need to eat or sleep. Because Adderall is often sold illegally without a prescription, a number of street names are given to the drug to avoid unnecessary attention, such as:
Adderall is a medication approved by Food and Drug Authority (FDA) for the treatment of narcolepsy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in kids and adults.
Studies show that prescription of medications for the treatment of ADHD has increased by 45% from 2002 to 2010 and among the medications prescribed for ADHD; Adderall was second most commonly prescribed drug.
Adderall is used by physicians for the treatment of a few other conditions as well, that are not approved by FDA:
Apart from these effects, some unpleasant side effects are also associated with the medication so having proper knowledge about the drug, its effects and side effects is important before a person proceeds to start taking the drug.
Adderall can be bought without a prescription via illegal means and it is often used for non-therapeutic purposes. It is a very popular drug among college students who use it to stay awake for extended periods of time. Non medical use of the drug greatly increases the chances of developing dependence. Adderall may be used non-medically with an intend to:
Medically, the medication is not known to improve any mental capabilities or help with learning process.
The dosage amounts for Adderall may vary greatly depending upon the age of the patient, specific needs and the medical condition Adderall is being used for.
It is possible to overdose on Adderall and the overdose occurs when higher than prescribed quantities of drug are taken. The symptoms for Adderall overdose include:
Adderall is not addictive if used exactly as prescribed but its abuse can lead to addiction. The effects produced by the drug include feeling energized and productive. Continued use of the drug produces tolerance and it takes higher amounts to achieve the same effects. If the situation is left to progress unchecked; the results are abuse, addiction and dependence.
Just like every other drug, Adderall abuse is linked to physical, mental and psychological damage. The effects can be both short term and long term.
Short term effects:
Continued abuse produces even more dangerous side effects.
Long term effects:
When Adderall is used in combination with other drugs, the side effects produced are heightened a great deal. Some common drugs that are used in combination with Adderall include Xanax, marijuana and alcohol.
Combining alcohol with Adderall is dangerous because its stimulant nature delays the effects produced by alcohol such as drowsiness, poor coordination etc. This specific combination may also lead to alcohol poisoning.
There is not sufficient evidence to determine definite effects caused by using Adderall combined with marijuana but the users have reported that effects produced by marijuana are suppressed by Adderall. It not only increases the tolerance for marijuana but also suppresses side effects so the user fails to determine when he has had enough marijuana that may lead to an overdose.
Combining Adderall with Xanax greatly increases the chances for addiction since both the drugs are addictive by nature. The probability of overdosing is also increased because one ends up masking the effects of the other forcing the user to intake either Xanax or Adderall beyond the safe levels.
Taking Adderall during pregnancy may prove to be harmful for the fetus. So if a user intends to take Adderall during pregnancy, a doctor should be consulted beforehand. Also, if there are chances to become pregnant or user comes to know about pregnancy later during the usage of Adderall, the usage should be discontinued immediately.
The drug must also not be used during lactation since the drug may pass to baby via breast milk.