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

Alyce's picture

I use adderall to study for

I use adderall to study for mid terms and final exams. It's impossible to get addicted to because it's expensive and hard to find someone whose willing to sell it. I do actually have a non-verbal learning disability, this is sometimes seen as very high on the autism spectrum. They refuse to prescribe me anything, even though the disability shows many of the same symptoms of ADHD as well as many other symptoms, however because so little is actually known about my type of disability theres nothing out there to help me. What else am I supposed to do?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Reply to "I use addeall to study for"

You are completly misinformed that there are no side effects. I live with someone on this (he does not have ADHD) but is prescribed by his Dr. to be on Adderall for the energy benefits to combat a different medication that makes him tired. Well, let me tell you... when you run out.. this absolutely is life-altering. You are in a sleep coma for over a week. you wake to pee, sometimes eat a little, but pretty much you just sleep all the time. It takes your body a whlie to get off of this stimulant, and the crash is soooo severe. This will start happening to you if you start using this drug every day... just a warning. try some coffee and energy drinks, its much safer! orrr.. plan ahead and sleep some, or plan your time better.

donna's picture

non verbal disability

does your disability have to do with your corpus callosum? I was wondering b/c my daughter was diagnosed with a callosum disorder but many people are unaware of such disorders. i wanted to know if adderall could help her. thank you for your time.

Serendip Visitor's picture

This is a response to the person with asbergers.

Then find a doctor that will sit down with you and listen to your concerns, your problems, and y'all together can come up with a course of action that will benefit you. If you are going to a doctor that doesn't listen to you, and won't do anything to help you with a disease, then that is the same thing as just talking to a lay person about the disease, except you have to pay the doctor for nothing. It is very hard to find a doctor who actually cares in these days. I had one in Georgia that would sit down and talk with me for an hour if needed, when I moved away, it took two years of talking to people that I knew to find another doctor like that, and because of that we have been able to get rid of my chronic lower back pain, get me to quit smoking, and get me on the right path with my body and mind. I feel and look better then I have in 20 years. People used to guess my age in the late 40's, near to 50. I'm 37. Chronic pain, chain smoking, and never being able to focus for more then a few minutes really sucks. I was drinking 4-5 pots of coffee a day and didnt realize that my body was trying to do what adderall would do for me in very low doses. It is amazing. Good luck.

steve's picture

Not so bad

I've been taking adderall for 2 months and other than feeling tired later in the day this is a marvelous drug, I have tried vyvanse and can say adderall is still much better.

Coral 's picture

Adderall

im not the best student, im always zoning out im mostly a 70's low 80's student, so i asked my friend to get me some adderall, the first time i used it it was amazing, i was focused and was actually DOING work in class and was thinking and getting the answers correct and got a 100 :D (yay!), i loved it, but i told myself im only taking it when i NEED it like, like reviewing in class or for a big test. the first time i used i took 2 right after lunch, it took awhile but i didnt really eat too much so when it kicked it it was great, i was actually able to FOCUS in math and science, when i got home i wasnt hungary at all, i just didnt feel like eating, i had a ssllighttt headache and my mouth was really dry, and a day or so after i took it (like today) ive had a bad taste in my mouth. i can see why people think its so bad, but i think if you have it under control, youll be fine.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I am a sophomore in college,

I am a sophomore in college, i have probably had 10 adderall since i started college. I have always had problems focusing and procrastinating to the point of not doing the work at all, small assignments do not bother me at all i can get those done easily. When i have projects or finals or papers though i get overwhelmed and i feel like i can never get all that work done. But when i take adderall all that work seems like nothing and it just gives me the motivation to get my work done and to do it right. People who say adderall makes you smarter and its like cheating are full of it, and probably haven't tried it. taking adderall just help you focus and be more motivated.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Where do you get adderall?

I was wondering where you get adderall?
and do you need a prescription?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Yes, of course you need a RX

Yes, of course you need a RX for the "Medication". It is a controlled substance meaning, generally a drug or chemical whose manufacture, possession, and use are regulated by a government. All you have to do is go to your PCP, say you can't focus and guess what? Like magic, you get the prescription! Really, you can get it if you REALLY want it. Just sayin. I work in the medical field.

Sara.'s picture

It really isn't that hard.

All you have to do is tell them you are trying to be a good student, but not being able to focus makes it even more difficult. You read the same paragraphs over and over and cannot retain the information, you can't focus during lecture, you zone out consistantly, blahblahblah. Or if someone won't sell it to you, offer to trade them. Anxiety meds are MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to get out of your doctor. I always trade a 10mg Lexapro for a 10mg Adderall and 2 in the morning and 2 before supper will hold me over all dayyyyy. The only downside is when you are exhausted and want to sleep, you just can't. 9 hours after i took 20mgs @ supper yesterday, i still could not sleep a wink. But i am a rather tiny girl, and it doesn't take too much, luckily for me. And it's great, because it makes me not hungry at all, so I'm losing weight :) But keep water handy at all times.

Serendip Visitor's picture

You either need a

You either need a prescription or know someone that has one and is willing to give you some.

Serendip Visitor's picture

How do you get a prescription?

Thanks for responding. How does one go about getting prescribed to take adderrall?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Go to the Doctor...

Go to the Doctor...

Serendip Visitor's picture

Abuse

Of course if you abuse Adderall it can and likely will turn into a dependence that will control your life. so will smoking and so will coffee...learn how to handle it and its a marvelous tool. I agree with the authors point on "stifling creativity" so you can focus; pity that's what our education system demands. And as for the first few comments on, "just get over it and study" I'm actually and A, 3.9 GPA student all on my own, but unfortunately not all of us have perfect lives and there are things that take away from your ability to perform like it or not. At those moments, when the choice is between five cups of coffee and an enormous headache or an Adderall I'll go for the Adderall.

Serendip Visitor's picture

that's funny.

Just a side note, Coffee does not lead to dependence.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Haha

What's funny is how wrong you are! Not only is it possible to become dependent on caffeine (as in a mental addiction), it is also very possible to become physically addicted to it, and have withdrawals when you stop taking it.

Visitor's picture

please!

People become addicted to the caffeine in coffee all the time. When someone dependent on it tries to ween them self off of it, they typically get headaches and can be irritable.

Serendip Visitory's picture

yes it does!!!!

yes it does!!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

You are right..coffee has a

You are right..coffee has a dependent feel and it is...coffee also is incredibly bad for you amd your heart but also as weird as it seems healthy for you too..it slows aging an has benefitd..just like everything in life..everything has good an bad benefits

Serendip Visitor's picture

RE: Abuse

I couldn't agree more. Anyone who complains about Adderall being an unfair advantage in studying is a dumbass. If Adderall is an unfair advantage in cramming for a test, then so is coffee or energy drinks. I took Adderall to study for most of my major assignments in college for 3 years mainly because it freed up so much time for the social nature of college. I have never once taken it to do anything but study, the highs and lows of it are very unenjoyable if you don't have ADD. As far as dependence goes, I haven't experienced any kind of physical addiction to Adderall, an Adderall-fueled finals weeks takes a TOLL on your body and sleep cycle. Mentally is a different story though, I wouldn't say that Adderall decreased my confidence in studying without it, but definitely my willingness to. It takes some time to get used to but I am 2 years out of college and am studying for the CFA exam (probably the toughest exam in all of finance) without Adderall.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Re: Abuse

Adderall IS an abuse, not like caffeine. Caffeine is something that can be consumed legally without a prescription. It is available in grocery stores, the mom&pop diners, crowded cafeterias. Can you become addicted to caffeine? Yes, absolutely. You can also become addicted to adderall. I would not, not, not take adderall if you do NOT have ADHD. Abusing perscripton drugs is dangerous. And abusing perscription drugs is NOT the same, you're stealing the adderall from someone who needs it, essentially. It is an unfair advantage, and someone complaining about it does not make them a dumbass, as you've so elegantly called them.

Serendip Visitor's picture

"I would not, not, not take

"I would not, not, not take adderall if you do NOT have ADHD. Abusing perscripton drugs is dangerous. And abusing perscription drugs is NOT the same, you're stealing the adderall from someone who needs it, essentially. It is an unfair advantage, and someone complaining about it does not make them a dumbass, as you've so elegantly called them."

Too much of ANYTHING is dangerous. And stealing adderall? Pff, yeah, i'm sure the facilities that produce that drug really run out! Cause pills = money, and you know what that leads to!? HAPPINESS! And we all looooove that. Unfair advantage? Please. I don't ingest any type of caffeine or nicotine like 80% of Americans. So what's wrong with taking a pill to enhance performance, people take Viagra, yeah? If there is no intention to sell or abuse, there's really no problem. But after all,

IT'S JUST AN OPINION, EVERY POST HERE IS AN OPINION.

You live life once, have fun. Irrelevant but proving a point, I smoked Marijuana for the past 4 years and I have received a 3.0 GPA above through High School and College.

If you can handle your drugs, do them. Everyone is different. And no one has ANY right to tell who should do what.

Ka's picture

I beg to differ....

Ok but just because something is "legal" doesn't make it right (or wrong for that matter). Abusing ANY drug, legal or illegal, is dangerous, so is abusing of anything, so this is just a general rule. Deciding to take it or not is a matter of opinion. People take coffee to make it through the morning, or they smoke to assuage anxiety, maybe they drink to "loosen up." who is there to judge? We all have different motivations. Only thing I agree with is responsibility and moderation.

Serendip Visitor's picture

:/

Gee Mom, I didn't know you checked this forum.

Serendip Visitor's picture

For all of you college students...

I am a senior in college, and have never taken any adderall in my life. I know what it's like to be in college, work two jobs on campus, and still have above a 3.5 GPA. My major is not easy; in fact it is pretty demanding. For all of you college students bitching about "You don't know what it's like to be a college student now, you need adderall HERP DERP". Seriously? I mean seriously? I am that, and you are fucking weak, lazy, quick fix excuses.

If you don't have a prescription get off the shit. Plus, good luck passing that drug test. I'm pretty sure of the pages and pages I read on this post, at least 75% of them are addiction stories. Is that a sign or what?

Serendip Visitor's picture

La De Ta De Da

I am earning three degrees, two of which are very difficult and all of which are science which dont interlace, Im a senior in college and will graduate my fifth year. I have a 3.0 GPA, am a member of MENSA, in a fraternity, work two jobs, and do all of that WITHOUT being on adderall..

However, my friend recently gave me an addy and I cant say I could ever sit for four hours and do nothing but read slides. Can I do it without addy? yea sure I can. Its just EXTRA hard.

I dont care what you say, to be successful in life, you can either do things the easy way or the hard way. You can keep your morals and your pride. Ill take a few more addy when I need to study for a hard test and take that six figure job offer I have been given when I graduate. Why carry 100 bricks up a mountain when you can put them in a truck and drive them. Makes life just a bit easier.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Just wanted to let you know

Just wanted to let you know that amphetamine is not methamphetamine and does not show up in common drug tests. Plus the drug passes through your system within 2-3 days if you are healthy and stay hydrated. lmao!!!1

Serendip Visitor's picture

okay

Oh please, write me a sob story. You do not know what goes on in anyone elses life. I take adderal when I need to, and is that seriously your problem? I can tell you that I am the farthest thing from "fucking weak, lazy" or a "quick fix excuse." First, if you are so well educated you may want to double your grammar and punctuation. I'm pretty sure we learned that punctuation goes inside of parentheses in elementary school. Second, clearly you still have a long way to go in your maturity level, and hopefully your great education will help you figure out how to use repect and decent language. You can get addicted to just about anything these days. Welcome to the world sweetheart! Im sure your major is sooo stinkin hard, but do me a favor and don't generalize your words when you truthfully have no idea what you're talking about. Go get back to your two on campus jobs. Haha I bet they really take the life out of you and your 3.5 GPA.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Quotations

Just for fun thought I'd point out that "quotations" are not the same as (parentheses). Lol. No hard feelings.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Adderall makes me feel alive,

Adderall makes me feel alive, enough said. Everything in this world is not good for you like the sun. If you tan too long then your gonna get uv cancer. The air is polluted, the foods now days are maiking people fat. Adderall is a great drug and if you want to concentrate go ahead and get that Adderall pill that makes like so much more easier to handle.

Jennifer's picture

adderall

I'm 22 and I have maybe taken adderall 5 times in my life. I realize how easy it is to depend on it, so I am always very careful about whenever I choose to use it. Court Reporting school is one of the toughest majors to pursue with a dropout rate of 90%. Besides academic classes, all we do is practice, which isn't always the most interesting thing to do. If I've had a bad day, week, or month, I will take an Adderall because it boosts my confidence and always seems to get me back on track. I don't take it unless I need that boost, and I don't depend on it to keep my focus.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Adderall

I took Adderall for school for about 3 years and it took something from within me, I can't describe what it took but all I know is there is an empty space from where it once was and I'm not the same anymore. It feels like I'm emotionally numb, and I want it back.

damaged's picture

"all I know is there is an

"all I know is there is an empty space from where it once was and I'm not the same anymore"...
You took the words right out of my mouth.I was prescribed Adderall almost 4 years ago and have not been the same since. No it's not because of addiction, the something it takes is something that was there long before the drug. I was off it for 9 months and my something never came back...now in fear of failing my last semester, I'm back on it. Not sure what's left to take.

Serendip Visitor's picture

is that because you are no

is that because you are no longer taking it? my friend, welcome to addiction...

Sammie's picture

Actually it is very likely

Actually it is very likely that because you took it so long it will take your body a little while to be able to produce the normal dopamine levels on it's own. No it is not addiction. One way to prevent that from happening is instead of immediately stopping the consumption of it, you wean yourself off taking smaller doses every other day allowing your body to begin creating the dopamine again. I am on an SSRI for my depression and it is the same way. It is not that you are addicted to it per se, your body just becomes use to the easy access of dopamine.

I am clinically diagnosed with depression and anxiety and even with my antidepressants it is extremely hard for me to sit and focus on what I am doing or do a large assignment without becoming overwhelmed and anxious. Adderall has helped me return to my full potential that I have been trying to reach again for years.

Be informed's picture

Reason why some people on here have had trouble with Adderall

Adderall in the short term works great for many people but in the long term can end up causing problems for many such as anger, anxiety, bipolar, cardiac problems, addiction etc. The reason why this drug can create all these problems for those who have written about there negative experiences with adderall is because its a narcotic. Many people using adderall dont realize Adderall is a class 2 narcotic or understand what being classified a controlled substance means. Class 2 narcotics have a high potential for abuse and dependency. Other substances classified under schedule 2 include morphine, phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, methadone, and methamphetamine.

Heres the list of Stimulants used for the treatment of ADHD listed as class 2.

(1) "Amphetamine, its salts, optical isomers, and salts of its optical isomers"
This is prescribed under the brand names Adderall(combination of different amphetamines) and Dexedrine(dextroamphetamine). Adderall is prescribed for the purpose of treating ADHD and narcolepsy. Dexedrine is prescribed for the purpose of treating ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity.

(2)"Methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers"
This is prescribed under the brand name Desoxyn for the purpose of treating ADHD and obesity.

(3) "Methylphenidate"
This is prescribed under the brand names Ritalin, Focalin, and Concerta. Ritalin is prescribed for the purpose of treating ADHD and narcolepsy. Focalin is prescribe for the purpose of treating ADHD. Concerta is prescribed for the purpose of treating ADHD.

(4) "Lisdexamfetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers"
This is prescribed under the brand name Vyvanse. Vyvanse was created to be an alternative to Adderall and Dexedrine for parents worrying about there children abusing there medication. Vyvanse is made to prevent the recreational use of snorting or injecting the medicine although orally consuming more pills than prescribed to you will still result in a drug high. Vyvanse is a prodrug of the stimulant dextroampetamine and is used to treat ADHD.

Serendip Visitor's picture

UCF student's view

UCF student's view

http://www.campusmoviefest.com/movies/7675-drug-of-choice

Serendip Visitor's picture

Narcotic?

Adderall is NOT a narcotic it's a stimulant or amphetamine... Narcotics are drugs that are DOWNERS not upppers. That means they suppress the central nervous system, not stimulate it. Check your fact before spewing a bunch of un-cited crap on the internet.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Narcotic

sorry but i study pharmacology and the fact is that downers are can be narcotics but u were wrong on the uppers i.e. narcotic pain pills such as oxycodone, and hydrocodone among others...

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your wrong

It casually known as a stimulent, however, in reality it is classified as a narcotic. This is beuase it acually INHIBITS the reuptake of dopamine. This means that it leaves more dopamine in the system. Dopamine is an INHIBITORY neurotransmitter, not a stimulating one. Therefore the inhibition of dopamine reuptake equate to greater inhibition. This is why it is a narcotic. The previous author knew his informatin, probably from a better source than the internet. This is why a formal educatio is still seen as superior to hours and hours shifting through the pages of wikipedia.

Serendip Visitor's picture

*You're

*You're

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hey, hey, No pointing fingers

Hey, hey,
No pointing fingers here. By the way, you're*. Actually the term "narcotic" stems from the meaning of "use to sleep." However, the term has been misused for such a long while now that it is commonly referred to as any drug that is a controlled substance. So, amphetamine is a stimulant, not a "narcotic" in the real definition of the word. Dopamine is not an inhibitory neurotransmitter, nor is it excitatory for the most part. The most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain is glutamate while the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain is GABA. Amphetamines stimulate the reuptake of DA. DA is a precursor for norepinephrine, the main neurotransmitter for the sympathetic system in the ANS. This is what causes its stimulant like properties; NE being the main neurotransmitter for the "stimulatory" processes. I think the first answer was more correct than the second, as having a graduate degree in pharmaceuticals. Dopamine has many different effects in many parts of the body so can both inhibit and stimulate some processes. Each neurotransmitter can stimulate or inhibit different processes, being that there are many systems in autonomic control to refer to the side effects. There are many good internet sites on drug mechanisms of action and for a further understanding of these processes. Government-sponsored sites and sites that do not have advertisements or end with .edu or .gov are good places to look for helpful websites.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Adderrall is HIGHLY addictive&can lead to addiction & abuse

Hey mike Adderall is a class 2 substance. Class 2 substances have a HIGH potential for abuse and addiction. Another class 2 substance is oxycontin just so you understand what kind of meds are placed under Class 2 in the United States. So whereas you were able to take adderall and didnt abuse it by taking it in high amounts like the person writing under "NCAA Athlete" some people who have never abused any meds all the sudden are prescribed this drug of Adderall(mixture of dextroamphetamine and l-amphetamine" and become hooked. So for you to ask who are these people as if they are not in the norm is extremely ignorant for you to say. Methamphetamine is one of the highest abused drugs in American society today and Adderall is a less potent combo of amphetamine than methamphetamine. Oh fyi METH is also a class 2 substance and is prescribed for adhd in America under the brand name Desoxyn so go fk yourself before you judge others for the problems being prescribed an highly addictive drug which is no different from street speed. Ya no kidding Mike adderall works for you, if you give almost anyone amphetamines it will instantly make them feel more confident and happy cuz its fkn amphetamines. You just obviously have never taken more of your dose because your fortunate enough not to have a predisposition to addiction like some are. "The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues." So give someone amphetamine who has an addicted type of brain and you have just created an addict. Nicotine is also a stimulant as in Cocaine....both of which are not as intense as Amphetamines.

Serendip Visitor's picture

in my exp

Well marijuana is class 1 and most people agree it has little addiction or abuse potentional and that it does have medicinal purposes so dea classifactions don't mean much imo. I do agree that it has a high potential for abuse due to it's initial effects but personally I didn't find it addictive even in very high dosages and taken correctly in normal dosages it is not viewed as being very addictive by the medical community. In my experience of having abused large amounts of both stimulants and really strong opiates adderall's withdrawal can't even compare to the hell of opiate withdrawal. The first week of withdrawal from opiates is so awful that it was bad enough that I quit and never looked back and that was years ago, I just don't ever want feel that way again. Adderall on the other hand I had built up such a huge tolerance that I was taking 200-300 mg a day at the end and it actually felt good to quit, I felt like garbage and was having alot of the symptoms other people taking large doses here described. Basically I was tired of feeling like a crackhead from adderall and any benefit it had when I started taking it was long gone. I actually found the 4-5 days of straight sleeping only to wake up to stuff my face enjoyable, it felt awesome after staying up for days hallucinating from sleep deprivation not eating and being paranoid and twitchy and feeling my body falling apart. Other than sleeping for days after quitting I had no other withdrawal symptoms from adderall. I started feeling normal again and I could feel my body recuperating and I had no real desire to take it again since I felt better not taking it. I guess I just burned out since I know I have no self control with drug dosages and I always find myself at the point where I'm taking way more than is safe. Which is really easy to do with adderall since you build up tolerance extremely quickly which is adderalls major flaw. I guess I don't really have an addictive personality though which probably sounds like a paradox but it's a blessing because otherwise I suppose I would be lying in a gutter somewhere with a needle in my arm. I realize that everyone is different and I don't want to act like your problems with addiction are trivial or aren't real I just wanted to share my experiences to maybe give some other people some hope that you can beat it too

Serendip Visitor's picture

Note

Whoever prescribed you Adderall is an idiot. They did NOT diagnose you properly either because they didnt do an extensive enough psychoanalysis of you, you up-played your symptoms, you have some other neurological disorder (such as depression or anxiety problems), you never actually had ADHD, or you lied. your story is the typically story of someone who is given adderall when they don't need it. in fact, psychiatrists will usually realize that some doesnt have ADHD when they see a person react in the way you did. you might have depression. get checked out for that.

Serendip Visitor's picture

adderrall response

you might have just saved my life. thank you.

Serendip Visitor's picture

NCAA Athlete

I was given the drug at 18, and I asked my doctor if I would be at any health risks because I was training each day as an NCAA athelete. My doctor said it was not dangerous if I played on the drug. I found that it was a performance enhancer on the field. I played four years of soccer at a D1 school on scholarship. Before every practice, and before every game, for four years, I was on the pill. After having gotten very close to playing in the MLS, but only signing with a lower division team, I began to use the drug full time as a training tool, in an effort to make myself worth more money. I got to the point where I was taking a bottle of pills ever week. Thats 60 pills of 20 miligrams. I've stayed up for 5 days on the drug, and trained after being awake 3 days. I've trained for 16 hours on the drug. I'm not knocking the stuff, I obviously over abused it. Staying awake 2 days, and sleeping 15 hours was my schedule. I eventually incured "chemically induced phycosis", and I checked myself into a 12 month residential drug rehab. Graduated, spent 10 months on staff as an intern, and this July 16, 2010 I will be four years clean and sober. Is what it is.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Relief

Dear friends,

Earlier I posted about my struggles with adderall abuse, titled 'MTV True Life: Adderall.' I want you all to know that FINALLY things are getting on track and I am 3 weeks clean from taking any!

I want to pass on hope for any of you who think that taking it is helping you, because these last 3 weeks have given me a strong desire to stay off and live a life that doesn't revolve around taking those little pills. I went to my MD and explained to her how I have been addicted to adderall the last year and a half, and how out of control my life was. I even shared with her that I went to rehab for substance abuse, and came back only to relapse. I was completely honest and it felt SO GOOD. She recommended I start taking an anti-depressant so I am now on zoloft. I can tell you one thing, everything is coming together now. I sleep every night at the same time and am finally getting into a healthy routine. I eat breakfast lunch and dinner and for the first time in a while, am enjoying eating healthy and regularly. No more binge eating! No more starving myself! I have even started to work out again like I used to.

What has helped me the most is my determination to stay sober and stay away from adderall. It brought so much chaos and destruction in my life, and took me to extreme lows and a deep depression. Finally I am happy to wake up each day and go to work, every day brings enjoyment and laughs. Instead of everyday being a milestone to get through, I'm enjoying living my life again and I want everyone to feel that way. If you truly don't have ADHD and take adderall for the effect and find yourself relying on it to get you through, trust my advice and stay away. Adderall is easy to get addicted to and I know so many people who are struggling to get clean so i hope this encourages you somehow to push through, get off and get your life back!

Normal Person's picture

Who are these people?

Who are these people making these crazy posts about Adderall? Stop demonizing it. If you abuse it you probably have other problems and you probably abuse a lot of things.
I think that most these recent posts are pure BS. I take adderall. It really helps me. I can make it without it but I will be a lot more off the wall in my behavior. It helps me with school and work. I don't take it on weekends. I know how my body reacts to it so I don't take too much. I would never take 30 mg all at once if I only take it once a week It's retarded to take such a high dose so infrequently. That it like drinking a 12 pack when you haven't drank for 6 months.) I take anywhere from 15mg to 30mg in a day (broken out) depending on how I feel. I work full time as an engineer and I go to school part time for my MBA. I used to have problems making a lot of stupid careless mistakes in school and work, now I don't. This stuff is awesome for me.

Bottom line, I am not a moron. There is nothing wrong with Adderall, only morons.

Serendip Visitor's picture

It's sad how you make the

It's sad how you make the claim you would never take 30mg all at once, but Im sure you have, as your writing seeps of dependency on the drug. Save yourself kiddo, and get checked in. You're using pills to control sober emotions.

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