Adderall: College Students' Best Friend-- Or Worst Enemy??

Kristin Jenkins's picture

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder is a neurologically based behavioral disorder that afflicts children and adults alike (1). Characterized by inability to pay attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive actions, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD for short, this disorder has become a popular diagnosis for students who claim that they are unable to concentrate or focus on their studies (2). Much research has been done in recent years regarding ADHD, its neurological basis in the brain, and how to treat it effectively (1). Many prescription drugs have been released onto the market that effectively target the levels of certain hormones which in turn enable one to counteract the symptoms of ADHD (3).

However, drugs such as Adderall, which were developed solely for those properly diagnosed with the disorder, are beginning to be used recreationally by those whom admit to not having ADHD, but either find that they perform better with its aid or simply enjoy the high of the prescription drug (4). What does this mean for college students? Is recreational use of this drug dangerous physically? Mentally? Does the use of Adderall by those not diagnosed with pose the threat of an addiction? Is an addiction to a drug that seems to make you more efficient a bad thing?

To begin to answer these questions and more, one must understand a few of the basics of the neurobiology behind the disorder ADHD and the science behind drugs that treat it. Like many neurologically based disorders, scientists are not 100% sure of all of the complicated functions that play a role (1). However, by using state of the art brain imaging techniques, several studies have deduced that brains afflicted with ADHD malfunction in the frontal cortex (1). The frontal cortex is involved with primarily executive functions like reasoning, planning, focusing, and problem solving (1). It is in this part of the brain that dopamine, an important neurotransmitter, has been found to be deficient. Without proper concentrations of dopamine in the frontal cortex, these executive functions suffer (5).

To treat this disorder, prescription drugs like Adderall may be prescribed to patients. Adderall is a cocktail of several active ingredients that include amphetamine salts, an active ingredient in many ADHD medications. These amphetamines are thought to treat ADHD by blocking the reuptake of  dopamine from the neural synapses and increasing the uptake into subsequent neurons. The increased dopamine flow in the frontal cortex then allows the brain to carry on its executive functions as a normal brain would, thus counteracting the effects of ADHD (6). But what happens when a brain whose executive functions work properly is treated with such a powerful stimulant?

The answer to this question lies in the 1 in 5 college students that admit to using this drug and not having ADHD (7). Why? Athletes have steroids, depressives have “happy-pills”, and those who wish to do it all, and do it fast, have Adderall. A person with a perfectly normal, functioning frontal cortex and dopamine levels will experience a heightened sense of motivation, focus, and concentration. Presumably this is the perfect mood to pull all-nighters, read hundreds of pages at a time, and write pages and pages of that final paper (8). “I didn't feel like I was becoming smarter or even like I was thinking more clearly. I just felt more directed, less distracted by rogue thoughts, less day-dreamy (7),” states Joshua Foer, a journalist who, after consulting many doctors, decided to try Adderall for himself. “I felt like I was clearing away underbrush that had been obscuring my true capabilities (7).” Before performing his experiment, Foer discussed his decision with psychiatrists who informed him, to his surprise, that when taken in small doses, irregularly, with or without a prescription, Adderall is most likely harmless (7). Other scientists beg to differ, and it is these accounts that are of particular interest.

The general consensus is that stimulant amphetamines like Adderall do indeed increase performance in those that do and do not have properly diagnosed ADHD. The promise of a better GPA with less effort is promise enough for college students across the board to obtain Adderall by any means necessary. Many students admit to actually seeing doctors and purposefully exaggerating symptoms of ADHD to acquire medication. Others simply pop a generously donated pill from their pals (8). The danger lies in the possibility of dependence and the rarely considered effect of the drug on those that have preexisting medical problems that can deteriorate with prolonged use (8).

Since many students assert that they use Adderall only for studying for large tests and completing important assignments, the risk of dependency is high. “I don’t think I’m addicted…..I just can’t imagine not taking it (8),” says student Susan. Says student Steve: “I attend a major university….I take two pills when I have a ton of work to do….Without Adderall I failed one class….I began to take Adderall again and saw a huge improvement (9).” The long term effects of using Adderall in this manner are relatively unknown, however it is well known that those that use amphetamines in larger doses by snorting or inhaling can very well be diagnosed with addiction. Just one example of an amphetamine of this nature is speed (10).

Other side effects of this drug include being irritable while under the influence (8) and feeling as though one’s creativity has been stifled in the name of creating order out of disorder and doing the one task at hand (7). “These medications allow you to be more structured and more rigid. That's the opposite of the impulsivity of creativity,” says Dr. Heiligenstein of the University of Wisconsin (7). Is this just a small price to pay for an “A?” Can one sacrifice their creativity for a few hours in the name of passing Chemistry?

There is even more to this issue than menacing side effects, however. What is it about academics today that have students popping pills to succeed? And is it fair? Athletes that use steroids are kicked off their sports teams because they are assumed to have an unfair advantage—so isn’t this the same general principle? Many students, especially those that actually suffer from ADHD reply “Yes.” “It’s the kind of medication that can help anyone,” says ADHD afflicted student Josie, “For people with ADD, it just makes them normal, and for people without ADD, it makes them above average. If both me and someone without ADD were both on Adderall, I could never outdo them (8).”

So, as a stressed out college student striving to succeed in school and boost my GPA, I sit here wondering how much faster and more efficiently I could have written this paper had I been taking Adderall. A nagging suspicion tells me that yes, maybe I would have finished before 2 am. Maybe I would have stopping pausing to check my e-mail and Facebook. But my gut tells me that this is the wrong thing to do. Not being afflicted with ADHD, I do not have a good reason to take a pill to succeed other than to counteract my own inability to “get down to business”, as they say. My motivation for writing this paper was to find out whether or not unprescribed use of Adderall was dangerous. It appears that though it is not. The risk of dependency, however, is real, and can be seen in those students that can no longer finish assignments without the help of this drug. My question now is whether or not it is morally correct for college students to continue taking this drug as a stimulant—a question that is up to the reader to decide for his or herself.

Works Cited List

 

1. http://www.adhd.org.nz/neuro1.html

 

2. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/adhd.cfm

 

3. http://www.adderallxr.com/about_adderallxr/about-works.asp

 

4. http://www.adrugrecall.com/news/adderall-abuse.html

 

5. http://www.med.yale.edu/chldstdy/plomdevelop/genetics/01febgen.htm

 

6. http://www.answers.com/topic/adderall

 

7. http://www.slate.com/id/2118315

 

8. http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/ohe/library/drugs/adderall.htm

 

9. http://www.thecitycollegian.com/artman/publish/article_409.shtml

10. http://amphetamines.com/adderall/classroom.html

Comments

ELVIS's picture

You're AWESOME!

You'll make a great parent someday if you're not already :-)

Belinda 's picture

I started to take it, and I

I started to take it, and I got OCD and couldnt stop.ceverything had to be clean, from my hair to my bed being made to the house being clean, and Im still at home, I also started to pop my black heads or pull out in grown hairs If I was stressed, I had to stop, people thought I was cutting my self, in a way I was hurting my self, so I stopped and it's been a very long time since I had an anexity attack or had to pop a pimple

Serendip Visitor's picture

...

I'm predicting major brain and neurological problems with the people that are routinely taking this medication by the time they're in their thirties. You people honestly don't expect that a major neuro-stimulant such as Adderall - which sends you to an altered state of conscience - won't eventually degenerate your natural brain processes and impede your long term spatial abilities, do you?

You'll start seeing these results soon.
Mild dementia, short-term memory problems, etc.
Not to mention Alzheimer's too!

If you're in college and you can't get by without a damn drug (unless you medically need it), then you're possibly an idiot and shouldn't be in college at all.

I don't have ADD or ADHD, but I'm as distracted as a person can get.
I can barely focus, concentrate and do things on time.
But dammit, when I feel the pressure coming on of a next day Organic Chemistry test and I haven't studied at all, then I can channel all that energy and focus into truly studying, and can do pretty much just amazing on that and any test.

The cost of this, of course, is that I have no guarantees about how well I'll actually do, I'll be scared shitless, and I will have a massive undertaking of stress during and before the exam.

I bet a lot of other people have trouble with this, but hey -- the whole point of college is learning to make do with what you have and wholesomely adapting yourself to the situations around you. Had I taken Adderall beforehand, I would just rely on it and not learn REAL problem-solving skills and discipline - which is to say, solid study behaviors and academic responsibility -, both of which are heavily sought after in the working industry and both of which I am now learning to integrate into my daily life.

Regulator's picture

Your my hero

First your predictions remind me of the myan calendar. Where are your facts? Alzimers dimentia short term memory problems?
You seem to need it more than anyone else on this site. Who cares what you did or how you did it. Let me dumb it down for you so you understand. All brains are different. If I have troube reading, concentrating,focusing. And most people can. That means I'm malfunctioning and need assistance. So take the drug if you need it or it makes you better. Some people are going to have bad reactions to it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Re serendib visitor

So basicly you want to do things natrually, great for you. Should you get on the internet and offend others that either take it by choice, or are prescribed the drug? I dont remember electing you to any throne so stop looking down at others. Is anyone forcing you to take a drug? Nope? It is my understanding that your pissed because people who do take adderall justdo better than you, at everything. Here's the funny part. It doesnt enhance intelligence or preformance, it just gives a better focus and drive to do what an individual can already do. Sucks to suck.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i hate people like you

I hate people like you much more than I hate having to study without Adderall. Thanks for your prediction, I am sure that you did a lot of research and it took you a while to make it. Your statement "If you're in college and you can't get by without a damn drug (unless you medically need it), then you're possibly an idiot and shouldn't be in college at all" really intrigues me and makes me question whose really the idiot here. If this decision was up to you we would probably have around a total of 12 people nationally attending college. I don't know what world you live in, but it seems very very sad. I live with a "Whatever it takes" kind of mentality, more or less "If you're not cheating you're not trying." Lucky for me, I am my own person and don't need or even remotely care about what people like you think of me. I am honestly more upset when I need to take a poop, but realize that I need to make the additional effort to put down the toilet seat, than someone who judges others based on their picture-perfect, non-risk taking, uninteresting, lame, and brainwashed mind. Go change society Mother Theresa, and then maybe I will respect you more than my pet hamster. At the end of the day, aside from me more than likely already being more intelligent than you, I am now also as, if not more, motivated than you. Sucks to suck:P

Serendip Visitor's picture

"I overcome my natural

"I overcome my natural inability to focus by just studying anyway and then doing amazing on any test and also I am positive that amphetamine will cause memory loss and dementia because any mind-altering drug does this" <- what you just said

Not just scientifically invalid but also untrue and completely uneducated. Nobody "medically needs" it in the same way that nobody medically needs fluoxetine. There is a gradient of dopaminergic activity and amphetamine will affect people all along that gradient. It's also a relatively safe drug, much more so than, say, alcohol. But I used both (and many others) through college and did just fine. Don't need your trite drug lectures.

Anonymous's picture

This is to help those who

This is to help those who decide to take adderall for whatever purpose.
I have been taking adderall since I was introduced to it as a freshman in college, I am now a senior set to graduate in may, and have figured out how to make it most effective without any type of crash. First, take adderall after eating until you are stuffed, and eat mostly proteins or complex carbs that take your body a long time to digest. This is because your heart beat will be accellerated, causing you to digest food much faster than normally. The reason that you crash when the adderall wears off is because you're body is being forced to work much harder and if you dont have fuel in the form of food in your stomach, you will be buying that energy on credit which you pay back when the drug wears, causing you to have no energy. In addition, adderall will kill your appetite so you won't feel like eating after you have ingested it. Second, do not drink caffeine or alcohol while on adderall, instead drink water, and juice or lemonade (anything non carbonated with sugar). This is because adderall dehydrates you, giving you a headache similar to a hangover unless you are pumping water into your system faster than you are burning it up or pissing it out. Drinking juice or sugary non carbonated liquids heightens the experience because it gives your body more calories to burn without dehydrating you. Third, take a dosage that will wear off before you plan to sleep. If you time it correctly, 5 hours of sleep after coming off of adderall will feel like 10 hours of sleep normally and you will wake up more energized than when you went to bed. I usually take a 30 mg tablet, break it in half, and take half of it after eatting a breakfast of 4 or 5 scrambled eggs, and half after eating lunch. Before bed, I eat yogurt or something with protein so that my body has something to digest to recover from the day. The next day I feel great with no crash or headache and I can do it all over again. Doing this also minimizes weight loss and gives you plenty of energy without getting jittery. You can up the dosage as long as you give your body plenty of food and water and you should never have a crash. This is a far better drug than caffeine, you just have to know how to use it. As for heart problems, I don't see how this drug can cause them any more than being over physically active can. So have fun.

i took concerta 's picture

So I took one concerta pill

So I took one concerta pill on an empty stomach. If you don know concerta is a slow release pill that's is a stronger verison of adderol. Now don't get me wrong . I could be wrong. But I want to hear the criticism. Now I took one and subsequiently smoked a bowl of pot . That calmed the jitters. I felt relaxed and focused. And trust me I never got that fro the biggest or most concentrated monster that I used to take daily. But when I came down from my high after eating. My pot high that is. I thought I was safe to take mysecond one at lik 7ish at night. That was a bad idea bc its 5 am and I'm still up.

Now ur advice on eating and hydrating sounds solid. The problem with people who get it illegaly is the only directions they have is to take it.
But if more people knew how to take it correctly (ok here comes the opinion)
There would be less (depending on the person) dependency cases because there wouldn't be the crashes that hinder u from getting up
Now everyones different and this may not apply. Tonight I tried it to stay up to try and get myself on a school schedule.
That didn't work but it was fun. Now that's uve people scared me. I don't think ill take it again.
Just one question that does apply
Are the risks worth the reward.

Now I don't know everything and this was my first time evr taking it
So I may be wrong. But all drugs have side effects even more so if taken incorrectly

I strongly reccommend not lying to drs. Or parent or anyone about it
And if u can't live with out it ( if your not perscribed it for add)
Then u should consulate a dr. And tell them ur not depressed you are addicted to it

And even in some cases drs. Take patients off it after prolonged use. If they feel its not need anymore. So if your kids on it and your scared talk yo a dr. About if your child will er be able to slowly ween off of it.

And also u should never call your child pathetic no matter how old because clearly caught earlier it could have been a lot easier.

smoke up's picture

"As for heart problems, I

"As for heart problems, I don't see how this drug can cause them any more than being over physically active can"
beside the fact that adderall is legal speed..just a tad bit more dangerous. Not to judge though (i have adhd)

belinda's picture

i took adhd tablets and i had

i took adhd tablets and i had problems with it. im not adhd and i couldnt sleep. my anexity went soo bad i couldnt stop shankin and i couldnt stopm cleaning. its bad..

Dylan's picture

I think the biggest problem

I think the biggest problem with people who do not have ADH/D that fake symptoms to get the perscription, at least in my area at the moment, is that there is currently a shortage of Adderall which they are only unnecessarily contributing to. I had to check over 5 pharmacies in the area before I could find one that had my perscription of generic Adderal in stock. I was suprised to find any at all after one of the pharmacies told me that it was highly unlikely that I would find any Adderall available at all in the area due to the shortage that has been apparently present over the past few months.

Jim Renolyds's picture

Addieerall

Great article, I am finding that adderall is just too tough on my system. Ritalin doesn't really do much for me. I take a natural supplement called AddieUP which has stimulants and nootropics and it works well for me.

Elyse C.'s picture

Biased article

This article is one of the MOST biased pieces I have ever seen. The way they begin to the end is obviously geared toward some motive. It's completley uneducated and very annoying if you ask me.

Davin Hayes's picture

this essay

this essay is persuasive, its supposed to be biased

Serendip Visitor's picture

honestly

people should have the option to get this shit for lack of motivation. But I know plenty of ppl who are smart but they're so over worked and occupied with like 2 jobs trying to survive that they need this drug to stay up during class and to stay up to do assignments. Its not just a lack of motivation its harking back to the days when truckers used to use speed to make a living its just a way to keep going in this rat race. Point is don't blame the substance when there are too many factors pushing ppl toward it. That's like blaming guns for murder.

smoke up's picture

last comment on this topic

last comment on this topic ..promise ha.. but i really think that's one of the dumbest reasons why someone should take adderall. Its a amphetamine..related the meth..and has serious side effects. someone like me who actually has adhd. i get mad to see people tink they deserve to take it. we struggle enough with adderall let alone trying to function without...sadly adderall will be the next oxycodone IMO...and will be getting nothing but bad things said about. because so many people not prescribed it are taking it as a coke sub, selling it, abusing it...etc..

Serendip Visitor's picture

Agreed

I took it for the first time today because my school work is just too much. I am a very intelligent young man but I am stressed out of my ears and was almost able to bring myself to tears, having two jobs myself, and attending school is almost impossible for me. I took adderrall today, it was the first time I was able to study, go to class, and pass a test with a straight A in a long time. SO in short I agree with you 100 percent.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I do agree that adderall

I do agree that adderall dependancy is a negative and dangerious thing in todays society, but also one must consider what todays society damands. Now adays the demand from society on the individual person is higher than ever, with college studings having 5 different 20 page papers to due within a week + the reaserach required to do it, or the fact that people now have to work 2-3 jobs just to make it by. Today the damand for output per person is higher than it was 5 years ago, 10 years go, even 100 years ago. This requires the average person to be actively ingaged in continues mental work. I believe that the human body hasnt developed enough inorder to meet the demands of soceity, on a biological perspective. The human body needs sleep, rest, exercise, and needs to be given mental and physical breaks multiple times on a daily basis. Also another very important factor to consider is the amount of distractions every individual must face everyday. Everyone has to keep up with 2-3 different e mail addresses, cell phone calls, text messages, facebook messages and post, myspace, twitter, skype, tv, radio, news papers, i pods,video games, etc. Compaired to 100 years ago the number of distractions every person must face has increased dramatically. I believe that sociey has advanced faster then alot of people can keep up with, so in order to be redirected, increase focuse, and to meet the extremely and usually unfair demands society has placed on the average person adderall is taken. I dont believe that it is the fault of the individual for not staying focused, but the fact that society moves so fast that inorder to keep up with speed people turn to adderall. If it helps one successed in a world that runs/promotes/ and rewards the success of the few and the failure of many then i dont see a problem. But if the individual is selling adderall on the streets, is abusing it, using it just to get high, or has it for a negative factor then the individual should be punished.

Visitor's picture

More B.S. excuses. The human

More B.S. excuses. The human body is just fine. Stress is normal. If you're doing too much, cut back and live with less. Learn to live without abusing drugs or without your self-respect. It's an either-or choice.

smoke up's picture

ok...adderall is scary imo.

ok...adderall is scary imo. its turning our generation into some super human bots (at least people without adhd) mmmm utopian society anyone????

Serendip Visitor's picture

I'm thinking about taking

I'm thinking about taking adderall for a 8 page final paper on about a 300 page book I have not read that need to be done 2 days from now. I should actually be working on it right now.

When it comes down to it, this is your future we are talking about here. It's the difference between an F and a D, D and a C, B and an A. That one assignment could be the difference between you graduating with a master's degree and getting a promising career, and you dropping out and working a dead end job. When you find yourself falling behind and you are really out of conventional options, you need to turn to something else. And even though I'm not in that dire of a situation, I'm gonna go to some sources and get a dose or two of adderall.

If you take it in a controlled matter, side affects will be minimum. I can't speak of this through personal experience, but i know others can and I know people who take it without having ADD / ADHD and they've said it helps them power through their work efficiently. I take their word for it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Conventional Options

Everyone had the same conventional options in the beginning - a syllabus and time. To take adderall and finish that test will remedy an isolated incident. Your true problem is what got you to this point. Avoiding your work is an issue that may not get resolved if treated with bouts of substance abuse. I believe adderall abuse unintentionally promotes poor study habits. In your case, you admit to not being in "that dire of a situation." but still insist on using.

Serendip Visitor's picture

if you fail then you

if you fail then you shouldn't earn your masters because you do not have what it takes to get the masters. therefore you are not qualified for the job you hope to posses after "passing" and will most likely get fired, demoted, or not get a promotion in the future.

Casual Adderall User's picture

So if I'm really good at

So if I'm really good at math, and all my engineering classes but I fail an ENGLISH or FRENCH or HISTORY class your telling me I'm not qualified to become an engineer because I cant pass a language based class or History which in most cases has absolutely nothing to do with the degree I'm going for and really only there for a "generalized knowledge base" and to give the school more money...? Your logic seems to have a few holes in it. Personally I feel like the whole world should be giving adderall prescriptions in small doses say a 10-15mg xr and told to take 1 pill each morning. I feel like a lot more would get done, especially at the DMV.

mercykill19's picture

or you could put some work

or you could put some work and actually learn something outside of your strengths. isn't that what college is for

Serendip Visitor's picture

WOW

Out of conventional options? STOP READING THIS PAPER AND DO YOUR OWN! YOU'RE PROCRASTINATING! ALL PEOPLE WHO USE ADDERALL WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION ARE CHRONIC PROCRASTINATORS. JUST STOP LOOKING AT FACEBOOK AND SHIT AND GET GOING. You only have you to blame, don't start using a crutch and blame it on your brain. Just do your shit. LIKE IT'S BEEN DONE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS! The most brilliant people in the world who invented what your having to write your "hard" 8 page paper DIDN'T USE ADDERALL.

Serendip Visitor_Jess's picture

i love what you posted :)

i love what you posted :)

Serendip Visitor's picture

The most brilliant people

The most brilliant people probably weren't in the same situations as a lot of individuals are today. What happens when mommy and daddy don't fund your education? I work a full time job, a part time job, have a 3 year old and I am a full time student. Trust me, the cause of my work getting pushed off to the last minute definitely do not include laziness and lack of motivation. I work my ass off to eventually be able to provide my son with a better life.

SlickPup's picture

RE: WOW

No, didn't use Aderall; they used cocaine. Stop being so judgmental and naive.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Yeah really, drugs were way

Yeah really, drugs were way less controlled if they were at all even twenty to thirty years ago (Coca-cola used to contain coca leaves which is what you get cocaine from). The world we live in today is much different than it used to be. Information travels fast and around the world in an instant. People have to follow a strict set of rules set by society that limit options of creativity, and innovative thinking. Anyone who is not within the top 1% of wage earners are slaves to them and their country's government officials rules. These rules coupled with media control make up a deadly concauction which limits innovative thinking, creativity, peoples actions in general (Overthrowing oppressive government is pretty impossible in the U.S.) and brainwashes people to think the way they want them to. So, congratulations. This perception of drugs/substances is exactly what keeps the rich/corrupt in power. You are a brainwashed dog.

Visitor's picture

Yeah, you're right.

Yeah, you're right. Everything's different now. The old rules and "morality" are so outdated, they just don't apply anymore! Who needs to live a natural, drug-free life, anyway? Why bother to try? Everybody's doing it! My mommy and daddy weren't rich and didn't pay for my college, so I have to work, boo hoo...

I have news for you. Some of us didn't have a free ride to college either, but we somehow managed to get through college and graduate school with high grades with nothing more than.... a healthy lifestyle, discipline, and hard work.

We also took precautions against unplanned pregnancy, which would have (obviously) presented major challenges.

I bet you can do it, too.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Several months ago I took

Several months ago I took adderall simply because I was bored and someone gave me a ton of it. I would take about two-three 20mg pills a day and found that if I so much as glanced at the television I'd be unable to look away for hours. after about five days I realized it was making me much less efficient and immediately quit. One of my friends gave me a couple of 10mg pills a few days ago. I then took only half of one this morning before going to school (as my usually work ethic involves sleeping) to see how it would effect me, if at all, and found that only 5mg improved my motivation, it actually made me enjoy school pretty much. I finished half of a four page essay that I hadn't started on in about 30 minutes, fluently using vocabulary that typically takes me five to ten minutes to think of. This was outrageous to me because I normally struggle to write an essay at all. I was twice as fast in math, completed my social studies project, paid attention in French, and considering my class is so slow in biology I drew an awesome picture on my desk. I believe that in times of necessity it can be incredibly useful but overuse can have the opposite effects from my experience.

Serendip Visitor's picture

simply agreed

simply agreed

Serendip Visitor's picture

College Freshman

So I had never even considered doing adderall until about a month ago when I realized how much needs to be done before finals. I worked extremely hard to get most of it done but now finals will be here next week and this afternoon I decided to take a 30mg pill for the first time to help me keep up and stay on track with studying and writing papers. I don't think it is as helpful as everyone says and I don't think it's anything worth getting addicted to, I mean maybe I did it wrong. My productivity level with my paper was pretty high compared to the usual, but I never even finished the paper or moved on to the other studying I was trying to get completed because the second the effects decreased by a lot I couldn't bring myself to even look at that word document. I only felt the full effect of the drug for about 5 hours but in those 5 hours I spent a lot of time focusing on nothing but texting my friends or mindlessly browsing the web, then I'd go back to my paper and write intently and productively for about a half hour, then my mind would go back to wandering. I feel like I could have accomplished that same amount without the drug and have been less emotionally drained when the peak started to go away. Now I'm left with a killer headache, feeling like I've been hit by a bus, unable to sleep, thinking I could be doing more now if I wasn't so forcibly drained.

For those who say it saved their grades, I wish I could say the same, but I think I'll just stick with studying without the drug.

SDSU's picture

Really?

What the hell are you guys talking about? honestly its all about how much self control you have, sure drugs do influence you, but with me, i DONT have ADHD or anything actually, im perfectly clear of any medical conditions, do i take it? yes i do, its having that motivation even before taking adderall, you have to take advantage of the effects and have enough control to realize that everything IS fine, the ONLY problem that i have experienced is the fact that i fucking cant fuck my girlfriend when im on it.... but its okay because i have viagra for that LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL IM JUST KIDDING... about the viagra part but no its a bitch explaining to her that its not because shes ugly (sdsu cheerleader) <--- hot. I work 40 hours a week, take 16 units, without adderall i worked 40 hours a week and took 16 units... same shit, only difference is the fact that i get so much more done in 1 day, dont waste time when you're on it. The entire POINT IS to have the benefits exceed the cost... lol cmon guys econ 120, zzz.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Addies

Hey man, I was wondering if you could hook me up with some.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Undiagnosed ADD Patient

I've recently discovered that I am an ADD poster child. I've had symptoms ever since I can remember, but was never treated since I maintained great marks in school. You may be asking well how do I have ADD? I'm still trying to figure out how this is possible as well. I've been reading that without a subject the patient finds interesting the mind will wander and daydream. Impulsiveness. You work on things that interest you and half-arse everything else. It was evident in school: anything with less than an A or B I was just not interested in. Even now, instead of doing research on something I find that cant keep my interest, Marketing, but can potentially make my life better because of the opportunity, money, I am on an ADD website researching about adderall xr because I am VERY interested in it. This has translated into my entire life. I am 24. Since 18, I've been through 17 jobs in different feilds. I've been arrested 4 times. I have trouble with sustaining relationships; social platonic, and romantic, family is strained and burdened. I tend to abuse alcohol. I am developing anxiety and a slight depression because of my shortcomings. I have large debt issues because of my impulse spending and legal matters. Everything I tend to start sputters out soon after I start. I've been accused of being lazy, a slouch, irresponsible, a spend thrift, an asshole, a big mouth, all different types of reprehensible. On purpose? Never in my life. I spend nights up thinking about how I could of done my day better only to not get to sleep and wake up late and get to work late or blow an earlier appointment the next day. This disease is destroying my life. If I didn't have my father on this earth I don't know where I would be. It's horrible to think that a disease like this can make a fully grown adult as burdensome as I am. I'm prepared to take the risk of exposing my body to this drug for the rest of my life need be to have a fighting chance on being the success i know i can be. The point I am trying to make is that you reap what you sew. If you feel its necessary to do something to get where you need to be you take the risk and you run with it reassessing along the way. If you can't live with yourself doing it, then stop. When it comes to drugs, it is a victim-less crime where the end-user is the victim and the criminal. It only effects you. Be smart and do your homework. Establish your baseline, compare yourself on and off it and coming off of it. Establish how long until you reach complete normal mentality and reassess. Lots of way to figure logically how to handle yourself and keep whatever behavior your concerned about in check. Be part of the solution and not the problem. I'm not on the drug or any drugs right now. This is my natural state of fine execution. This type of thinking is what helped in school and got me this far in life.

Robert Quevedo's picture

look i am a very ADHD person

look i am a very ADHD person taking concerta (very similar to Adderall) and i hate taking it. I feel as if when i take it i can not reach my true potential. I feel like it holds me back . And on top of all that i have been on it since i was about 5/6 years old. If i do not take it for 2 days i feel sick by the 6th day I feel fine again than if i start taking it again i get sick again ( when i mean sick i am saying that i do not eat and i get very dizziness and vomit
So people who do not have ADHD/ADD please do not take because it will make you dependent\
and even if you are ADD/ADHD you still should not be taking it

Cynthia's picture

I've been taking adderall

I've been taking adderall everyday for the past 3 years, since the first day I tried it I was hooked-it's the overachiever's dream drug. I'm not ADHD, I simply felt that it would make me competitive against students who didn't need to work through college. Due to the current drug shortage I've been without for 6 days now and it's been the absolute worst experience I've been through. The crash is 10x worse than the benefit. I find it hard to get out of bed, find it hard to find interest in everyday life, I have 0 physical energy. I've decided to no longer take it, hoping that one day I'll revert back to who I used to be without adderall. I used to be so full of life and ambitious, just wanted an edge. However, I feel nothing of that left post adderall. Legal issues aside, it will very likely ruin your life as it has mine, don't try it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i feel the same way. I cannot

i feel the same way. I cannot do anything w/o it yet I know I can. It's gotten to the point that I need it to even go to class, and I won't study if I am out. I am definitely addicted to this drug. This is no joke. My girlfriend, brother, and mom all take it, and if I run out I will steal from them. I can get away with it and have for the past year, the longest I've been off of these meds has been 2 weeks during the summer because I wasn't in school and just fought the urge, life got back to normal a tad, but I still craved this medication, I still felt that I need it to wake up on time. If I'm off of it all I want to do is sleep and be depressed, I ran out earlier this semester and didn't even take an exam because the 3 days leading up to it I was out and didn't study. If I don't have it and need to study all I do is stare at my books for an hour and tell myself I can't. Little by little this drug has taken over my life, taught me to depend on it, and made me fall in love with it's "high" which is very powerful if you take enough, and even more powerful to those who are sensitive to stimulants. Over winter break this year I will be checking myself into drug rehab and coming clean with my family. I will have to teach myself to do well without it. It's sad because it's so harmless until you're dependent. And once you become dependent, soon, you will be addicted. I crave these, I think about them when I don't have them, and even though the drug has left my system it still controls me, it makes me think "I can't" it makes me lazy, essentially, it makes me need it to just get out of college.

My mom put me on these meds at 8 years old, and used to tell me I needed it. Before I was addicted I did okay without it, not as well as I do when I'm on it, but okay, didn't sleep all day, accomplished tasks etc. but once college hit I started popping them like candy, by my Sophomore year I was addicted and now I'm almost half way through my Junior year, but I know if I quit now, right before semesters end, it would sabotage everything, I tried it before and failed. I will beat this addiction just now is not the right time. I'm not a drug abusing idiot either, I was as innocent as anyone else and was prescribed what I was taking it just got to be too much, Yeah I smoke marijuana occasionally, but never popped a different pill, barely drink because my Dads an alcoholic, and my sister is becoming one. My dad however isn't some loser to clear things up he is a very successful doctor, he's a functional alcoholic and I have never seen him beligerent. My moms a nurse practitioner. I was telling you that so you see I'm not some lazy fool either, I am smart enough for school, I just don't know how to handle the responsibilities sober. I haven't tried school "sober" since the 8th grade, the rest of the time I was prescribed. It's like you get these grades on aderall but you don't actually acquire any talents, your minds simply stimulated.

This shit is an amphetamine and that's what got me hooked, from taking the doses I was prescribed, and now I'm on 50 mg of Vyvanse which is 10 times as addicting it lasts 3 times as long, but I take them daily and run out usually by day 19/20. Then I'm forced to steal from my family.

I cannot wait to go to rehab, I just want my life back. Look if you're thinking about putting your kid on it, don't do it until college if you HAVE to, just not when we're that young, ADHD is an overly diagnosed medical condition that I do not have, but it's "meds" have left me severly depressed, and addicted. No one in my family or friends knows of my addiction, I've been successful and I've been so afraid to break the news and get help but I'm going to do it. This shit

Moses's picture

Reexamination

To address the "cheating" issue:
"Unfair" doesn't mean anything in the education world. You aren't competing with other students, you are competing with yourself at the mercy of your educators. I understand that this translates to the business world where you actually are competing for jobs, but who on earth is arguing that capitalism is fair in the first place? If I'm not mistaken, the first rule of business is: "do what you need to to get the leg up"; not, "do what you can to make sure you have the same chance at succeeding as everybody else." You aren't advised to learn how not to cheat, you're advised to learn how not to get caught. It just so happens that I'm not particularly fond of the system as it currently stands, but I'd like to make sure we're all discussing this on the same terms.

To address the "taking adderall without ADHD" issue:
I take adderall when I have too much homework nowadays because it takes away the feeling of uselessness I get from wasting hours trying to start getting my work done. Since I began taking it not too long ago (very irregularly, and only around exam clusters), I have become more confident, because I know that I am capable of not being a hopeless space cadet (which was what my first two years of higher education had led me to believe). I don't just take it and let the effects ride me around like a mechanical bull, I try to learn patterns of focus while I'm on it and drill them into my brain. So far, it has actually helped me learn what I need to be thinking and doing to keep myself on track when I'm NOT on it. I don't look at taking adderall as cheating on studies any more than I look at drinking alcohol as cheating on getting laid, or drinking coffee as cheating on waking up, or ordering pizza as cheating on eating food. As long as you use the act of taking adderall as its own learning experience, I argue that you are doing yourself no existential harm by doing so *responsibly.*

To address the "morality" issue:
Ask yourself where your morals are coming from. Are you religious? Is it a "I don't want to disrespect this body that God created in his own image by treating it as insufficient" issue? If this isn't what motivates you, maybe it's because the consequences frighten you: addiction, health risks, legality issues, reputation, etc. It could even be a pride thing: "I don't need a drug to be better at anything," or "if I used a drug to get better grades, I wouldn't deserve them anyway." No matter what it is that drives your morals, these things are all choices. You CHOOSE to feel like a failure (or condemn others as such) for not being able to get through an exam without a performance-enhancing drug. That failure is non-existent in the objective equation—you passed the test, didn't you? You're still learning and getting better at things, aren't you? You're still (arguably) healthy, aren't you? Those don't really seem like failures to me. Ironically, two of the classes I'm using adderall to pass are Human Biology and Chemistry. They're teaching me a little about the sacredness we ascribe to the particular chemicals in our biological composition; who's to make the judgement call that it's a bad thing if we add a couple more to make the cogs run more smoothly? I understand this logic could be just as easily used to argue for the recreational use of every drug, and I'm certainly not advocating that (in fact, I'm not even advocating the off-prescription use of adderall—I'm rather just trying to de-stigmatize it so arguments can be a little more objective). But I'm just curious where all the negativity REALLY comes from. It's certainly there—I even have my qualms about it (for instance, even though I'm not buying mine, the friend who gives them to me is, and all that money goes right into the hands of some of the most compassionless and unethical people on the planet), but I've done a lot of thinking on both sides of the argument before coming to a conclusion—one among many that will certainly change often before I'm dead (or even finished with school). My crusade these days is about getting to the True logic of things, and that will take a lifetime or two of mucking through ideologies and acknowledging hypocrisies (my own included). This, however, is an ideological debate if I've ever seen one. Thoughts?

Serendip Visitor &quot;Asian girl&quot;'s picture

Adderall

Before I was diagnosed with ADD 5 years ago, I believe I have had it ever since I started school. It was always a struggle for me to focus to the teacher in class because I was very easily distracted. I remember having a lot of homeworks when I was in elementary school and couldn't finish it because my mind will go blank or I would end up doing something else. Luckily, my older brother was around to help me. They never really knew what was wrong with me back then. They just thought I was a bit slow in learning. However, that didn't stop me from going to school. I never even heard of ADD/ADHD until I came to United States (i've been here for 9 yrs now). When I went to college, it was a lot harder for me to focus (of course it's college!). My grades would end up C or D no matter how much I study. When I had to read my book for a certain class, I always had to reread the paragraph over and over. To tell you guys the truth, it was frustrating because I tried so hard and still get poor result. Anyway, having prescribed this adderal medication has transformed my life completely even though it was hard to admit that I am ADD. I hate to think that I am not normal as other of my family members. The first time I had the prescription, I felt like I was not myself but it definitely help me focus. What I meant by not feeling like myself is that I usually joke around a lot but then with the Adderall, I just get too serious and irritated sometimes. Does anybody know how to get rid of irritability?

P.S.
I am not sure why I ended up to this website by the way!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Amphetamines are an appetite

Amphetamines are an appetite suppressor. Don't forget to drink and eat!

Matt's picture

These are some of the most

These are some of the most ridiculous comments I've ever came across. ex. "I had a lot of homework to do and I can't do it good without this pill.". Obviously you don't deserve the degree you'll acquire after passing by abusing a substance that is most commonly used for the an illness that is so controversial (ADHD). Possibly the lack of motivation to achieve your goals means you should change them. It's like society is blind and everyone is following the social norm. I guarantee ten years from now the degrees you've achieved won't mean shit. I may be wrong but hear this out.. You teach one mouse to go through a maze and find a piece of cheese you put 9 more mice in the maze and they haven't learned to find it yet. So you teach them one by one and put them back in the maze, so now they've all acquired the knowledge to find this cheese. But there's a problem there's only one piece of cheese and 10 mice, they've all learned the knowledge but its useless because there's to many mice. This being an example of everyone in U.S. shelling out mad dough and abusing drugs to obtain a degree that in the future will become useless. I could be wrong though but the conclusion of it is worth taking adderall is inevident. I'm open for debate though.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Lets set the record straight w/ a little food for thought

I am writing this for those who say no to adderall. and cause I liked the post the that I replied on. If you are a parent looking for advice skip the first half and go directly to the bottom 4 lines. Currently, I am a sophmore in college and have been taking adderall for about 3 years now, however, I have a little different of a take on adderall. I take it when I need it, and I enjoy it. I take it to improve myself. I do not take it as a prescription. I take it as a drug. Do I have ADHD? I don't know, but I do know that before I went to the doctor I already knew I was going to come home with a bottle of adderall. Have I abused adderall? Who is to say what abuses me? At some points, I have taken alot of adderall, and in that time I have gained more than the person to my left and to my right. However, this standpoint is not in a competitive sense, but in a stance of knowing that my own self-development only leads towards more self development. The post above mentions a viewpoint of guaranteeing that a college degree ten years down the road won't mean shit....this view however also implies that the recipient of that degree is done when he or she receives that degree. Who is to say that once a college graduate receives his or her degree.. is done?? (No they are not done.) It is at this point,where those who make such accusations like, "people will do anything to live UP to some sort of social standard", fall short. Even if those who take adderall at the price of possibly their health to help themselves reach that goal...Cause it isnt about living up to a standard, but improving it. That being said. Someone could simply reply to this post with,"What you can't achieve your goals without drugs, you don't have enough motivation or drive to do it on your own!? etc. etc." But I'd reply with...I don't care what you think.. I really don't..I created my first patent when i was 17, without adderall, i'm on the dean's list for astronautical engineering and im tired from partyin all damn weekend and im irritable from takin a bunch of adderall to stay up all night n study for my thermofluidsII test tomorrow... a class which i am only in since I am two semesters ahead from taking summer school.so im blowin some time voicing my opinion on adderall... believe it or not Adderall is not being developed and prescribed so kids with ADHD can pass algebra..it is actually the leading prospect of cognitive enhancers for the pharmaceutical field and could be evolutionary, or it could kill everyone.... I know that .... but we'll never know until someone takes the blue pill. (Matrix Reference. hell yea.) People who hate me for writing a practical statement about adderall ....keep hating.....stop thinking that its the drug that is bad.-- Old saying "Its not the guy who pulled the trigger-its the bullet." --Now picture what the guy who said that looks like..........................okay. I bet you just pictured a morally bad and corrupt person.... Adderall is a CONTROLLED drug. If you take it than YOU need to be in CONTROL!!!.And for those who have your kids on it... STOP!! Seriously. I swear to you that they will have heart conditions when they get older and it will be you and your damn doctor's fault!..Its not me being a smart ass. Its common sense heart beat faster n longer means heart conditions. I dont care what your child's doctor says.....he isnt paying attention because there is so much new crazy awesome shit out there that you need to teach him about. Teach your children that hard work pays off! ADHD is a deficiency, however natural selection says that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And you as a parent should take that as a challenge to prepare your child enough to take on that challenge.

Serendip Visitor's picture

How is it possible that a

How is it possible that a drug with as many negative side effects as adderall can be legal but I can go to jail for smoking a joint to treat my anxiety? Hypocrisy!

Serendip Visitor's picture

I do believe it was taken off

I do believe it was taken off the market in Canada in 2005 due to several heart failures and sudden deaths associated with Adderall. When I was younger I was put on Concerta, then Ritalin, and I did try Adderall for a few days. I stopped when I kept getting weird heart palpitations..

Munsy (Visitor)'s picture

Adderall isn't 'legal'. You

Adderall isn't 'legal'. You can get it through a prescription, but if you are caught selling it to people or if you are caught in possession of it without a prescription you'll be arrested (I believe it is a felony charge as well). If you don't want to go to jail for smoking weed, then do what everyone does with adderall and lie your way into getting a prescription for it.

max's picture

"A"

I am not in college yet I guess I am a youngster and I don't have adhd but like most ppl that have commented on here I take it for studying and tests freshman year of high school I was an high c low b student but started to make lower and lower grades until I realized I was so close to failing for the year and then one of my buddys with adhd gave me 2 of his pills and man was it great I felt good and I was completely focussed so I kept takin them for important days and my grades improved big time I got my homework finished and turned in on time every day and a small headache every now and then is a small price to pay

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