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

Serendip Visitor's picture

It's sad.

It's really sad that you have to rely on drugs to have fun. I mean, there's plenty of fun to be had sober. I've had numerous occasions where I've had the time of my life with my friends and family without any alcohol or drugs. Have I ever abused drugs or alcohol? No. It's stupid decision that will end up putting you on a fast track to a poor life. Have I taken Adderall? No, but I am currently on Focalin for my ADHD and anti-depressants for my OCD. I know that ADHD meds can really help you out with focus and motivation, but you should never take them if you don't need them and never take more than the dose your doctor prescribes. Have you even looked at the side effects? These meds can do some frightening things to you. And not just these meds, but any type of drug and alcohol. Abuse and use without reason is bad at all times. Seek help. I will keep you in my thoughts. Good luck. ^_^

Serendip Visitor's picture

i agree, adderall is amazing.

i agree, adderall is amazing. I only take it on the weekends & while on it, you will have the time of your life. & the next day you get a reason to sleep all day, honestly whats so wrong with that? (: so just dont be stupid about how you take adderall, & its all goodd.

Serendip Visitor's picture

LOL that's your reply?

LOL that's your reply?

seriously?'s picture

sounds like you're an addicted.

I think you need to reread what you just wrote because you sound like a crack addict. I'm guessing "living" a day in your life involves getting high..countless times. Grow up life is more than that, obviously you're too naive to realize that concept.

Cait.'s picture

I agree, I don't use adderall

I agree, I don't use adderall to get high, just to focus and keep from being hungry. but mostly just to focussssssssss.

Serendip Visitor's picture

A Love-Hate Relationship

I am 19 years old and I'm going to be entering my sophomore year as a college student, and I began frequently taking adderall last November. It all began because I was in my first year of college, and the work load was so overwhelming, and I was not receiving the straight A's that I have been used to earning since grade school. I honestly cannot believe how much adderall has helped me in school, and my concentration level and performance greatly increased. On top of this, I dropped about 25-30 pounds since I started taking it, but previously having dealt with an eating disorder, some of my family and friends believe that I am falling back in to my old habits because of all of the weight that I've lost. I do love the feeling of being on adderall because my energy level is so high and I feel like I can do anything. But, it is awful when I come down from it. I get extremely irritable, and I don't like talking to anyone. My parents have noticed this change in me, and they always ask me why I have been experiencing these unpredictable mood swings. Clearly, I cannot tell them that I have been taking adderall because I am certain that they will want to put in some sort of rehab even though I only take the pill like twice a week. I also experienced a few episodes where I thought I was having a heart attack, the first time happening on a day that I didn't take adderall. I felt this intense suffocation and tightness feeling on the left side of my chest, and the whole left arm went completely numb. i cannot even describe how scared for my life I was, and I honestly thought I was going to die. Since that time, I experienced this feeling about 4 or 5 times, each time ranging in its intensity. Thank God I have not had these episodes for I could have had these scary life-threatening conditions, and it seems that adderall could be the main culprit. Apparently, the main basis for what was happening to me was from major anxiety, and i never had anxiety before I started taking adderall. So basically, adderall gave me anxiety which led to having severe anxiety attacks where I thought I was dying. I tried to cool it with adderall after I went through these stressful times, but I eventually went right back to it. At the time of the anxiety attacks I was taking the pill about 4 times a week and then I decreased it to 2 times a week. Normally I take 20 mg XR, but I sometimes take 30 mg XR. So, clearly I have a love-hate relationship with adderall. I love the way it makes me feel (aside from the random anxiety), and it makes me so happy to see my grades improve. The weight loss is also a major bonus and I feel so much more confident with my body. The downsides are obviously the anxiety, insomnia, and pure fear that I am unable to stop taking this pill because I am afraid that I will do poorly in school and gain all of the lost weight back. A part of me thinks I am not addicted because I can easily go for a week without taking it, and not have any signs of withdrawal or anything. But, another part of me thinks I am addicted because I will be very upset if I have to stop taking it, and I feel that I won't perform as good as I am now while I take the pill. I know there are so many people who recreationally take this drug like I do and do not really need it. I do not suffer from ADHD, but I am beginning to wonder if I will somehow develop ADHD and actually start to NEED adderall. I just hope that my health will be ok, and everything will work out.

Serendip Visitor's picture

hi i am also 19, and i dont

hi i am also 19, and i dont know if anyone who takes this drug realizes that it is very much like speed.
it makes you energetic happy and it has a big downer when your comming down of it . i know myself because i was taking speed instead adderall , it helped me tremendously to do all the same things and lose weight i must admit , it seems like a little magic pill at the time but you cannot stay on something like this forever.. it will kill you .
the speed made me also think a few times i saw dying... nut then again it plays around with your mind so much you dont know realitly anymore.. or if its just paranoya.. wich it causes big time. since i stoped taking it i gained back 25 lbs and hve a much harder time concentrating on things now. i took the speed everyday for about 6 months.
and i have been off it for over one year and i still feel the side rffects to this day. and still crave to have it back .. its a sruggle when soething makes your life better in almost every way .. but the best way to not know it is to not take it . it is a verry dangerous drug and this adderral is verry much like speed. i dont know if it does affect your heart of just the brain , but speed affects the heart .
if you know deep down you shoudlnt tak it , dont.
its not worth it , slowly transition off it with a redbull if you need it .
it helps.
good luck.

Anonymous's picture

hi ive been taking adderal

hi ive been taking adderal for about 6 months now. when i first used to take it, i loved it. it made me act very friendly, social, and happy. now when i take it, i sometimes feel very nervous and sometimes depressed. i get very emotional at times for no reason. a lot of things aggitate me much more than they used to. im always paranoid and life just feels like it losts its meaning. i know a lot of people that take it and are very happy and social, that why im confused on why i feel the way i do.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I know exactly what you are

I know exactly what you are talking about. I was diagnosed with ADD 10 years ago, freshman In high school. Adderall showed all the positive effects for me. Focusing, my mind stopped drifting off into the clouds, unable to pay attention or focus on one subject matter no longer than a few moments. Once diagnosed and prescribed Adderall, I saw a drastic improvements (over all with all my ADD symptoms) I could actually listen and retain information during lectures, takes notes simultaneously, my distraction levels decreased at exponential rates! I was able to complete tasks one by one (which seemed virtually impossible prior to Adderall). I had the “euphoric” effects that made me feel good and ready to get things done while also wanting to be interacting with others when taking my medication...BUT… After a few years past, I started noticing when I take my medication, all those positive feelings and side effects started to dwindle, and the enjoyable effects developed into the total opposite. When taking my medication I fell a total reverse from the initial effects from my medication. Now, I more or less feel the need to isolate myself, study alone, and just stay secluded from others when on Adderall. When I take it, I am now completely anit-social. I do not feel “great” it’s more of an overwhelming feeling of “ the blues” and “worries”! I have been reading up on long term side effects from the drug…Because I do not think I am retaining knowledge as quickly as I once was, not as sociable as I once was, and more than anything-is Adderall ultimately hurting me more than helping me!?? I am more consurmed about the side effects, and if it is interfereing with my school acheivements.. I am Just curiuos if anyone has had similar changes or feelings about the medication.

Anonymous's picture

Excuse me for just a

Excuse me for just a minute... I have suffered from anxiety (or so I thought) all of my life, I have been to multiple doctors and they never tested me for ADHD. I have struggled with school in general from the time I started pre-school, until now, a junior in College. I went to the doctor recently (again), because I was so stressed out and having severe neck pains. I did not expect to get any type of medication; I just wanted a way to deal with my stress so it wasn't having such a huge effect on my life. The doctor came into the room with me and my mom and after talking to me for about 15 minutes, she said she thought that I had ADHD, but she wanted to give me multiple tests first just to confirm it. While taking the tests, I couldn't help but laugh because it pretty much described my entire life. After I took the tests, the doctor came in and confirmed that I had ADHD. Nobody had ever even mentioned that to me before, I didn't even really think it was an option. She gave me a prescription for Adderall, 10mg twice a day. Now, before you judge me, let me tell you something... I work my ass off in college, I study more than anybody I know and I have poor grades. For those of you who think that people with ADHD just need to "focus" or "put more effort in", you have obviously never suffered. It kills me to hear some of the comments left, about how people with ADHD need to just "make an effort". I have gone my entire life struggling, and I actually try to do well in school. Adderall does not make me smarter, and I am 100% not addicted to it. If you have never suffered from ADHD, you don't have the right to judge people who have it. This medication has made such a huge and positive impact on my life. When I'm in class, I can actually concentrate. I don't play with my pen or move around like I did before. I feel normal for once in my life. How dare somebody criticize me for taking something that truly helps me. If you had a broken arm you would go to the doctor right? You wouldn't just let it heal on its own, because it wouldn't. And for those of you taking Adderall who don't have ADHD or ADD, you need help. You are the ones who need to put a little more effort in... Not me. All in all, don't judge someone just because they are different than you. God made all of us different for a reason and you shouldn't judge.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Me, too.

I, too, suffered from anxiety. After about 6 visits to my therapist, my therapist decided that my anxiety stemmed from performance issues and worrying as a result of decreased attention and concentration. I was interviewed extensively by both my therapist and a psychiatrist. I was prescribed Adderal, 10mg 2x/day. It definitely helps with attention and concentration. However, I do not have euphoric feelings or desire to more of a social butterfly. I will not lie, when it wears off, I am extremely tired, sometimes a little headachy, and blah. I don't like they way it feels when it wears off, but that effect usually only lasts for an hour and goes away. I usually cope with the adderal drop by going for a walk or exercise. During this adderal drop, I often contemplate adderal's worth because some days are worse than others. I will agree with others who state that it flattens your affect. I definitely do not experience extreme emotions, neither extreme happiness or anger. Sometimes I take a an Adderal, for example, on a Saturdays and Sundays, I don't take it and feel fine, no side-effects and my mood is fine. Taking breaks also decreases the need to bump up dosage. I am concerned about the large dosages that some bloggers have reported taking. It is not my intention to judge, as my closet has a few skeletons lurking about in it, but large dosages over an extended period of time might lead to possible cardiac issues. Please make sure to watch/ listen to your body and watch out for symptoms of cardiac issues such as vertigo, rapid heart rate, and low blood pressure. We were only born with one heart so take care of it. Getting all A's isn't worth risking your health. Do you know what they call a medical student who graduates with a C average? - DOCTOR!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thank you

I was so happy to see this post after reading most of the other ones which seemed to be aimed at just insulting someone. I agree that people who do not have ADHD do not understand and have absolutely no right to judge or make any type of accusations. I also struggled in school and was undiagnosed untill recently while in college and cannot beleive how much of a difference it has made for me. It is helpful to me so noone has the right to say anything about wether I should take it or not.

However, it broke my heart to see that earlier it seemed like people were being attacked for sharing their negative experience with adderall. I researched the drug before I began and was wary because I saw many stories about people being misdiagnosed and feeling great when starting the med only for it to eventually for whatever reason-being abuse or not- consuming their life and or causing these awful side effects. I just think that in the same way we expect them not to judge, neither should we. I wanted to know if there were any side effects before I started and just think it is wrong for anyone to make someone feel bad for being honest and sharing their point of view, because thats what it is...THEIR opinion and nobody elses.

Mike's picture

Can you take adderall when only needed

I am a scientist and I am in extreme pressure to focus and read lots of papers, understand and creatively interpret them in the context of my work to publish my results. I am not sure whether I have ADHD as I always excelled in the class throughout my school and also succeeded in national level exams and got into world's best universities for my masters and PhD. I am ambitious,always planned to beome a professor, but situations did not favour. Unfortunately I ended up training with professors who exploited me for years and did not help me to get to the level of running my own reserach group. I missed big discoveries, fame and name due to wrong choice of the labs I underwent my postdoctoral training. Over series of unfullfilled desire for recognition, I become anxious, worried and depressed at times over a period. I never took any serious medications as I was afriad not to lose my originality.

I clearly see some symptoms like, rapid talking, over enthusiastic some days, less motivated some days, often speak spontaneously before someone completes in an argument or for instance in a seminar before the speaker finsihes answering my first question. I am anxious and worried about future and often compare myself to my classmates who are professors who are not too smarter than me. It worries me a lot that my coolegues at my age are supervising PhD students and technical people while, I work always in the bench like a PhD student even after a decade.

I have racing thoughts which leads to frequent pause in my regular activities as I tend to pause and think even in shower and while doing some excercise. I have insomnia and my mind dwells in past and thinking only about what I would have been and what if I were to take right decisions going to another professor. Everytime, I read big discoveries, I think why did not I go there to that lab for my training.

As past cannot be reverted and I am getting old, I am in tremondous pressure to manage experimental work as well as focus my mind to read and write scientific papers on my results and research grants. I consulted PCP and he adviced me to take xanax and adderall. I took xanax for few days (0.5mg) only in the night and 10mg adderall in the day.
Adderall helped me focus so well first day and effect was not great after 2nd and 3rd day. I also read a lot about all medications and stopped it after a week. I also felt no hunger and weak when I took adderall. Also I had ghoosebumps and my frequency of urination increased. For two days I felt very hopeless and less motivated.

I thought i can succeed without adderall, but my insomnia is causing me more tired. After 2-3 weeks now, I feel that I am not focussed, have tons of things to do, debate about it, plan a lot and find myself distracted and not doing what is needed. Can I take Adderall again for a month to set things right? Will it make me addictive?

Can adderall interfere with my creativity? Can one take xanax with adderall?

HOW WILL YOU DIAGNOISE MY STATE? DO I HAVE ADHD or HYPOMANIA?

I appreciate your time for reading it.
IF YOU ARE IN A SIMILAR POSITION OR KNOWLEDGABLE TO HELP ME I WILL APPRECIATE SUCH A FREND TO SHAPE MY CAREER BETTER.

THANKS

answer to the sientiest's picture

your answer is here my speedy gonzalaz

Look I'm on 80 mg of methadone. Around 4 o,clock I no longer have no motivation no energy I just wanna lay at home and think of nothing even tho I have my own business..anyways I get my hands on adderall once a month about 15 20s xr ill take two at a time but try to 80 myself through out the day they make me feel like every things possible. Big motivation all of sudden I wanna make planes for dinner with lost friends u know that kind of thing. But once it starts to come down u hit rock bottom. Because u were so far in the sky so wen ur parachute starts to wear off u slam and smash the ground in stead of just fallen.Deppressd big time . So Wut I do? Well I take two xanax blue footballs maybe three, and it calls my ass right down stress free makes me hungry so I get to eat and put food in my body before I go to sleep. And I get to sleep. Food and sleep to must haves for the body to make u feel good. And guess Wut? I wake my ass up and do it again cuz my body rested and I got some food n my belly and I do that till there gone . And then wen next month comes round I do it again. Wut the hell is wrong with yall staying up for three days str8? I mean you have to have sleep in order for ur body to be productive. I know what is yall just like being weekend and looking all crazy in the face cuz u wish u had some raw rock. Ha ha ha. Crack head. Look if u go up u must come down well let's take us some xanax to come down nice and cool don't be pulling all nighters like this weirdos . They prolly like getting geeked up and looking all crazy n the face.

marilyn's picture

The symptoms you describe

The symptoms you describe like racing thoughts, periodic insomnia, depressed state sound more like bipolar disorder than adhd. Also the tonality of your post which focused on your feelings of persecution and victimization almost to the point of self pity and blame or resentment of others' perceived superior standing, is strongly suggestive of a personality disorder like borderline. Clearly you have self esteem issues as well, de-valuing your achievement of PhD as if that were akin to learning to tie ones shoes, but also evident is that you've done well for yourself thus far that I find it astounding a MD would lay claim to all of that being suggestive of undiagnosed ADHD. That said... let me get to my point (lol) which was that I also take adderall with xanax, so yes it certainly can be done, and I suppose if it works for you that is what really matters. However, Adderall does NOT have any stimulating effect on me, but actually makes me quieter and even lazy. I take the xanax for panic attacks and severe night-time anxiety. Adderall relieves my anxiety well during the day but when I take it at night I wake too often.

Ryan's picture

Advice for a Scientist

Dear Mike,

I am an undergraduate student and veteran of the US armed forces, and I have had ADD my entire life. Needless to say my condition went untreated during my time in the service, and though I was able to cope it was often difficult. I am reluctant to give too many identifying details about myself, but I have always wanted to be a scientist, and I am a hard-sciences major on the way to fulfilling my dream. I went through the entire diagnostic process all over again, since it was to my benefit while I was in the service for any records of my condition to be unavailable, and while I already performed well in school before I was perscribed aderall (largely due to my willingness to work for many hours at a time with or without aderall), my performance significantly improved immediately afterwards, resulting in a high GPA for the Spring semester. During the Summer session I discovered that with the help of the aderall I could slack off considerably and still maintain high Bs in the relatively unimportant classes I was taking, but I seriously regret this lack of effort and its negative impact on my GPA and my knowledge in these courses. I have begun to work harder, and though it will be impossible for me to earn As in these courses, and would be almost impossible for me to earn anything lower than a B at this point, I have realized that it is important to maintain high standards regardless of what you can or can't get away with.
I grant that you are in many ways my superior, having already achieved so many of the things that I want so much. Nevertheless you are the one asking for advice and so I will give it. I don't think I need to tell you which parts of it are merely my opinions. I consider myself to be reasonably well informed and very rational, but of course anything I say which is contradicted by real research is almost certainly incorrect. That being said:

1) Aderall will not impede your creativity, unless your creative side as you perceive it is a byproduct of a life of sloth and ignorance to facts. As you know science is a creative process, but it is a process which will only be aided by improved recall, attention, and motivation. I can come up with solutions to problems (sorry for being vague, but I don't want anyone to guess who I am) in five minutes on Aderall that would have otherwise taken me ten, if I had even managed to concentrate for ten minutes straight.
2) As long as you get your Aderall legally from a competent and licensed psychiatrist, there is someone whose job it is to make sure that it's not making you crazy or hurting you. If you notice specific effects of aderall use that you dislike, mention them to your doctor. Don't make assumptions about what kinds of negative effects it will have though, as these will merely contribute to the placebo effect. I don't know if it's true or not, but I hypothesize that the increased mental control that aderall gives a patient actually enhances the placebo effect; there's no reason that the benefits wouldn't extend to unconscious processes too. I think I've observed this phenomenon in myself. Though it may be some kind of meta-placebo effect :) This can make you more emotional at times, if you want to be, or less if you don't.
3) Which goes right into my next point. On Aderall, you are in control of your own mind. Use this power wisely and you'll succeed... use it to enhance your own self destructive tendencies and you will fail.
4) Your personality will change a little bit when you are on it, and this isn't necessarily bad, but I personally try to stay on a relatively low dose so that I can take a break from it without experiencing bad withdrawal symptoms. You may find that you are constantly geeking out on whatever it is you are supposed to be doing. And that's good! Just remember that you are a person, and your girlfriend doesn't necessarily want to hear what you have to say about lepton spin right now.
5) Sometimes you will find yourself focusing on a task that you shouldn't necessarily be doing right now, because you really want to be doing it, value it more intrinsically than what you are supposed to be doing, etc. Example: answering someone's question on the internet :)
Remember that you are in control of your own mind (after this next one I'm going to take my own advice and get back to work).
6) Whenever possible, try to take your pills before noon, and don't drink coffee after dinner... otherwise you will have trouble sleeping.

Two more short and possibly significant facts about me before I go: 1. Watch out for your writing... you may notice that in this post I've occasionally become verbose or stylistically excessive. I'm not going to bother to edit myself, though. 2. I stumbled on this page while I was doing a Google search for "are you more likely to forget things you learn while on aderall?" I still don't know the answer, but I have reasons to think that you don't (good grades on final exams in classes with highly cumulative subject matter is a good example)... it was a rumor I heard and continue to disbelieve. If I'm right (hopefully) then prove me right, and if I'm wrong then by all means prove me wrong... but hopefully not too wrong, since I like knowing things. Now go out there and do great things!

-Ryan

PS: Wow... that is a really long post. Must be the Aderall. It seems like it might be too long to be posted, but I'm not getting any errors... if it ends up being posted a bunch of times I apologize.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Master's student taking ADDerall

Dear Mike,

If you are still looking for a friend in similar circusmtances, please feel free to write... I think it's very valuable to be able to share with people who can relate. I am a mature student doing a Master's in France who should have been established in a professional career long ago. Due to personal trauma, Bipolar illness, ADD, social anxiety disorder, and God knows what else, I continue to struggle in my quest for a compatible and fulfilling career.

In fact I'm supposed to give a lecture at a major international conference next week - and I have not finished writing my paper! How's that for anxiety. In spite of taking 20 mg of ADDerall XR, I have difficulty focusing, suffer from panic attacks, heart burn...

What to do????????????????? I desperately want to be a university professor and researcher and have long dreamed of travelling to conferences. Now that my opportunity is here, I just want to run and hide. I don't want to quit but I feel so lost and in pain, like I'm in a fog.

I hope we all find relief soon, find solutions and move forward,

Best regards,

L.L.

Kerri's picture

Think Twice Before Taking Adderall

I just want to warn all individuals that are thinking about taking Adderall. I was diagnoised with adhd when I was 7 but I did not start taking medications until I was 15. I started with Ritalin, which I took from age 15-21. I started taking prescribed doses, but then over time my consumption of the medication increased. I started using it for recreational purposes.

When I was 21, a friend gave me an entire months prescription to Adderall. I was instantly hooked to Adderall. I obtained the drug illegaly for 8 months but now,Iy own prescription. I usually take the entire 60 pills in 7 days and then I buy it from other people who have a prescription to Adderall.

Adderall was awsome at first. I was getting good grades and I was very productive. Not to mention, I lost a significant amount of weight. I was 170 and went down to 128 in only a few months. I felt great at first.

However, Adderall completely controls my life. I have horrible anxiety and recently was prescribed to anxiety/depression medications, and sleep medication. I barly sleep for several days but then I will crash and sleep for 15 hours in one night. I use to be very outgoing and fun to be around. Now,I live alone and I barly leave me apartment. I completely isolate myself from my friends and family. I often become easily irratated, anger, and I'm emotional unstable. I can't even maintain succsessful interpersonal relationships anymore. I have started to obsessively pick my skin, I constantly clean my apartment over and over again, I spend hours on Facebook, and surfing the web. This has caused me to be distracted from my homeowork, therefore, my grades are seriously suffering.

In addition, I have noticed physical health problems. I have always have severe heart burn when I am on Adderall, my stomach aches, my Kidneys have been hurting(only while on Adderall), sometimes my heart beats irregularly, sore throat, blurred vision, headaches, cotten mouth, shacking, numbness in my fingertips, slight twitching of legs and arms, dry eyes, my muscles are very sore sometimes while on the med, and I tend to clench my jaw, which leads to my jaw being sore.

Sadly, even though acknowledge the negative influence Adderall has had on my life, I continue to take it, and in large amounts. I usually take around 150mg per day. I went two days without it last week and experienced withdrawal symptoms. I spelt several hours, constantly consumed food, was irritable, unable to engage in daily tasks and functioning, and felt hopeless.

I feel that I was in denial about the extend of my Adderall abuse and the effects it has had on my life. Adderall abuse is sometimes easy to hide from others at first. This may be due to the fact that Adderall at first was increasing my level of productivity, higher gpa, and staying on top or errands and chores. However, now my grades, interpersonal relationships, mental health, physical health, employment status are suffering greatly due to my Adderall abuse issues. Please, if you are considering using Adderall, whether for recreational purposes, for school, work, or for ADHD symptoms, I advise you to explore other options.

Scott G's picture

From my doing, Adderall has helped, and hurt me severely

Adderall gave me supreme focus.. The usual story. I'm a smart person with ADHD so I used it to keep me on task, and excelling at school. I have an addictive personality and used alcohol on a regular basis prior to being prescribed through now. I take adderall to get me through my day, and at night I drink a lot (1/2 to 1 1/2 pint(s) of liquor) and go out. It's like when I'm on the adderall I think so hard I can't stop being focused on everything until I get a different drug in me (alcohol mainly sometimes marijuana also) to flip the switch from scholar to normal person. I sense my health deteriorating. I stopped liking things I used to like. I dropped out of University of Michigan with a promising future to invest in the stock market because "I feel like I'm figuring it out". I've lost a lot of money since.. My situation has made me depressed. I refuse to take handouts from people (family) because I know I should be doing better (more successful). I'm bitter, lonely, defensive, and knowing my situation I feel that I deserve it and am not good enough to socially enter into others' lives. I'm angry at myself so I intentionally won't eat, and maybe I'll take more adderall that day.. Leading to more drinking that evening. When I don't take adderall I'm super tired.. I can't get the ball rolling on anything if I don't take adderall.. I recently did a physical and the doctor notified me that I had a heart murmur, which I'm sure is related to my abuse of adderall and alcohol. Also when I take adderall my digestive system speeds up within minutes it feels like.. and I'm using the restroom, I've had some problems I don't want to mention there.. Which led me to decrease my intake. Today I decided to quit drinking (it's an honest attempt) because I'm down to only a couple thousand in the stock market and I know I'll be needing a job soon so I must change my state of mind. I'm 24 years old/young. I'm extremely bored without drinking so I'm doing a lot of research about drinking and adderall related topics to motivate me to not over-indulge on adderall use, and stop drinking in an addictive manner.

Wish me luck and I just wanted to say that many of these posts are good. People should know that there's great benefits from using it, and they also should understand that like anything else, you shouldn't overindulge.

For the record I've weighed 150-165lbs my entire time using adderall. I'm currently prescribed 30mgxr and 20mg instant 1 each daily. My daily intake typically ranges from 30-50mgs, but a couple months ago was as high as 60-90mgs which didn't last more than a month.

Serendip Visitor's picture

All I can say is...I

All I can say is...I appreciate your story...because mine is the exact same...adderall and alcohol...seem to go hand and hand...would like to stop the alcohol to ease the adderall...so the cycle continues...

Anna Bella's picture

Can you help?

Hello, I read your post on Adderall addiction and your experience with it and I was wondering if we could chat offline? You may be able to help me. Do you have an email address/IM? Please let me know. Thanks!

Ashley's picture

Wow, you basically summed up

Wow, you basically summed up my life the past few months! I have been prescribed adderall 20mg 2xdaily but I do not think I truly have ADHD. I usually take 2 pills in the morning and and 2 in the afternoon and I will be doing the same as you said, cleaning my entire apartment, not interacting with people like I used to-- and I am a social butterfly. I am graduating college in August, and I am currently taking summer classes so my work load is a lot right now. It takes me hours-- sometimes over 12-13 hours to do something that should only take me 1-2. It takes me much longer to do things that usually would have taken me much less. I don't sleep at night not just because of the adderall, but because my work is NOT done and I continue to stay up to complete it-- even though I am 100% focused to do it, I just seriously takes me forever. I have found myself literally feeling like I've been losing my mind! I haven't slept in days and for me to sleep I have to either drink or not take my adderall and crash for hours!!! I don't want to go to my doctor and say I have this issue because I am afraid they will take me off of adderall. I just wish it worked like it did when I first started taking it.

jess's picture

I can relate to some of this.

I can relate to some of this. I don't think all of my problems are due to adderall though, I think the primary reason is because I am just unmotivated in life right now.... don't like what I am doing college/don't know what I want to do. I have always had problems with depression and have a loner side to me (though can be very social). I think it is multiple things and it's equally important to look at where you are in life besides merely the addiction.

Sometimes people can feel addicted to a drug and seemingly its the drug destroying their life, but in actuality, something else is getting to them. I thought I was addicted to a certain drug before (for a long period of time where I was not taking adderall). After I fixed what was making me so depressed, I barely touched the crap again. Didn't even feel the urge to, no withdrawal, nothing.

BUT the whole taking HOURS to do things that I feel in the past would have taken me much much much less is driving me insane.

Charli's picture

Dont you want to get better?

Dont you want to get better? I mean it sounds like you can not stand the way things are going with you life, and with all the effects adderall has on you when your on it this thing will kill you. If I was you I would check myself into a rehab clinic, because I would feel totally out of control with my life and that would kill be to have to live my day according to my drugs. I do take adderall and so I undstand how easy it is to get out of control. Anyway I wish you the best of luck with this addiction. Good Luck

Anonymous's picture

Abusing Adderall

...maybe the first problem was abusing the drug by taking almost 9 pills a day when youre supposed to take 1. I have not had any problems...but then again, I take 1 pill (like youre supposed to)...versus the 9 per day.

Korey's picture

Need Help.

I'm currently doing a research project and adderall is one of a few drugs in my research, so what i'm asking is if any one who has taken Adderall (or is taken it) could tell me how it feels when your on it and after the effects wears off. You don't have to give me your name, also you dont all information used in my research, if sited, will be anonymous, so i will not be using names im my research project. My email is k.j.mcgann@clasnet.sunyocc.edu.
Thank YOU.

Michelle Nelson's picture

Interview about college students' attitudes toward Adderall use

Hi Kerri,

My name is Michelle Nelson and I am writing an article for my college newspaper about students using Adderall as a study aide. I would like to interview you so you could tell your story about your experience with Adderall.

If you would like, I could e-mail you my list of questions. You can reach me at elle.g.nelson@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Michelle Nelson

Kelsie's picture

Adderall

How does Adderall work? Does it really help you in school? Because I'm a straight A student and lately I haven't been able to focus. I'm always zoned out..or super tired! I have two C'S and a D. Thank you for your help!

Kelsie

Alemap's picture

Wouldn't even take an aspirin but...

I struggled with extreme disorganization, a brain that never shut down, tons of unfinished projects and various symptoms of adhd that made life terrible for the last twenty plus years. I reluctantly took adderall xr under a physicians care. And for the first time in my life I actually am in control of something from start to finish. Not only that, I have maintained control.

I was able to accomplish in less than two weeks things that I couldn't accomplish in two, three or even six years. I am someone who would barely even take an aspirin, much less adderall xr (amphetamines). But it worked.

I feel blessed to finally be out of the adhd "fog" but, wish I'd been diagnosed a lot earlier in my life.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Yes! This is exactly how it

Yes! This is exactly how it has been for me. It's nice to see a positive stories among all the chilling accounts of addiction.

I'm an undergrad about to graduate. I've always been a very good student, possibly the best student to come through my department (that's what several of my profs have said anyway, publicly, in front of mass audiences--not like it's some ass-kissing situation, as don't seek out their attention at all). But all throughout my educational career I've wondered why someone as supposedly "smart" as me struggles so much with the most basic tools of being a student: sitting down and focusing for long periods of time, staying organized, etc. I've struggled with this so much that I've spent days just perfecting various bizarre coping mechanisms meant to help me focus, and it takes so much mental and emotional energy for me just to get the As and A-s that other students seem to toss off in their spare time that inevitably I was almost always suicidally depressed and doubting both my ability as a student/writer and my general self-worth.

Or, that is, until I finally broke down and admitted that I probably have some kind of attentional problem. I was wary of trying a schedule-2 substance since my past with coffee--of all things!--has been pretty messy, but it turns out that small doses of the Adderall provide the benefit that I could only occasionally get from all the coffee I was drinking. I finally feel like I can complete things efficiently, I'm organized, and I 100% trust my ability to work for the first time that I can recall. As someone who at best would have been consistently miserable throughout life w/o some kind of solution to my attentional problems, and at worst may have finally succeeded in killing myself, this treatment has been like a dream come true.

Anonymous's picture

Help Me please

I use adderall for sports..particularly basketball. When im on the drug i truly believe i can jump higher and run faster (or it seems that way). I know it is cheating, but I dont see how its any different from ppl using it to overcome homework or an exam (considering GPA's are compared between students). I just want to know, is it making me play better? Because i want to stop taking adderall for sports. i dont want to risk failing a drug test.

Charli's picture

no its not.. trust me.. this

no its not.. trust me.. this is all in your head

Anonymous's picture

my advice

What's going on man? Just trying to be helpful with some advice.

I played basketball my whole life and Division 2 in college. I am 26 and just now discovering the incredible focus powers of adderall. If I was in your position, I would be so tempted to use it regularly. I have no doubt it makes you perform better. However...

You must be aware of the dangers it presents to you. Obviously you know that Adderall is an amphetamine, and will put a fast pace and possible strain on your heart. There IS a precedent of athletes dying who were on ADHD medication.

You may never have an issue, but I will never use this drug athletically unless there was a lot at stake. (aka Duke vs. Butler) =D

Let me know if my advice helps at all. Good luck to you.

Anonymous's picture

In college, Family history abuse

I'm a junior in college, having one hell of a time working 3 jobs, carrying a full load while coming home to an unstable environment. Being extremely motivated to succeed, I heard adderall helped some friends of mine perform on another level with their school work. There is an unfair pressure on me to finish school and be on my own due to my parents neglegence cause by their own depression and self centeredness. I have always, not to sound conceited have made the most beneficial logical life decisions, some would say funny coming from a girl. But now I'm facing a more challenging issue with not having any guidance at this critical point in my life, with all of my stress from my disfunctional home situation moving in and out 4 times in the last year trying to find affordable housing in orange county while in school(there's none) ..... In short, life seems impossible. The only thing I know is that all of my success or failure will only be my own despite my distractions. I know this sounds more like a personal blog than an adderall post, but what i think is the hidden non-prescription use of adderall is hope. A chance for someone to again have confidence in themselves that they can achieve their goals despite the bull going on in all of our lives. They can get what they've always wanted in they work hard enough with this aid. This is what I'm hoping to get. A prescription pat on the back that can help cheer me on when I'm "in the
weeds" like we say in the restaurant industry. I'm not saying I'm not at risk of becoming addicted, but I believe it's worth a try, to give me some kind of a freaking break!!

Anonymous's picture

MTV True Life: I'm on adderall

Hi David, I ran across your posting and knew I had to respond. I have been trying to watch the episode of MTV's True Life for about a year, ever since my adderall addiction began. Is there any way you could send me the link or direct me to this? I've heard so much about it, especially when I went to rehab last summer, 3,000 miles away. Unfortunately, the dangers of abusing this drug are not broadcasted enough, so I thank you for counseling those who are struggling with this disease. My desire is to counsel as well, I have great empathy for those with depression and addiction.

I'm a 21 year old college student and my life has completely been torn to pieces because of my powerlessness. It started with a desire to look better in a bikini and to get good grades (even though my grades were better before adderall). I was able to get a prescription with no trouble at all, simply pretended to have ADHD. I'm surprised my Psychiatrist lacks the ability to notice that I'm full of bullshit, have noticeable paranoia, and am skinnier with each appointment. Obviously I'm the epitome of an addict; I have mastered manipulation.
Adderall addictions are gradually becoming an epidemic to me. When I joined a sorority at my university 2 years ago, I observed girls snorting and taking it like candy. Most of them were prescribed. Abusing the substance to party harder or cram for finals is normal and frequent, not to mention looking thin. I don't enjoy life anymore, I am basically friendless and empty due to this drug. This breaks my heart, not to mention my familys and all the people who have tried to intervene. I want my life back so badly. I hope MTV does another True Life or something similar regarding substance abuse with adderall again. Thanks for your time.

PS. To readers who actually have ADHD and benefit from Adderall, I hope you don't find my comments to be offensive. It must be frustrating to have strict regulations getting the medication, etc. I apologize that abusers, like me, make your lives difficult. If I could, I would rewind back to before I picked up my first prescription, the day I became hooked.

Michelle Nelson's picture

Interview about college students' attitudes toward Adderall use

My name is Michelle Nelson and I am writing an article for my college newspaper about college students using Adderall as a study aide. I would like to interview you for the article so you could share your experience with the drug.

If you would like, I could e-mail you my questions at your convenience. You can reach me at elle.g.nelson@gmail.com

Thanks,

Michelle Nelson

Anonymous's picture

College and Adderall

Any engineer who says it would be impossible to succeed without Adderall because teachers expect more than is possible from students is probably just not one of the brightest students. I am a physics and math double major and a senior at a major institution. I find the work load pretty stressful at times, but manage to play in a band, hold a job where I host a TV show, and do improv acting once a week.

Too much work...need drugs...BULLSH*T. I don't need adderall to do my work. But you know what? I take it because it is freaking awesome and does nothing but help. Stop lying and saying it is necessary. The truth is that it freaking rules and makes everything better, that's why we take it.

Anonymous's picture

RE: College and Adderall

Good for you- but how about you think for one second that you might not be able to put yourself into someone else's shoes? Are you that smug and ostentatious that you think you have some deeper understanding of other people's lives? I'm a senior in college. I go to school full time and also coordinate a group home for developmentally disabled adults where I spend 70-80 hours every week--at times covering awake overnight shifts before class the next day. Needless to say I don't sleep much as it as but my body has adapted to the schedule without the use of Adderall. However by the time midterms and finals come around I will find a few Adderall to help me make it through the week. And yes, I do need them. Without them I would be forced to either quit the job that I love, or drop out of my senior year of college.

Could I have made some different decisions with this final year of school? Yeah of course I could have, but my job is in my field of study and it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Quitting my job would cut off my ability to pay for school and leave me unable to pay rent or bills. I can't get student loans for personal reasons and I won't allow my parents to spend their money on my college. They've already supported me for 18 years, I think I owe them enough as it is. Dropping out isn't an option either because I'll be pursuing a higher education after graduating. So if I NEED to take some Adderall to make it through two or three weeks of the year, I'm going to take it and I'm going to take it responsibly (although I suppose it's still considered abuse since I don't have a prescription). All I'm saying is don't act like you know, or could ever understand, peoples' lives that you don't even know. It's just pretentious.

Anonymous's picture

adderall doesn't make you smarter...ie it is all genetic

You all have some wide-ranging opinions on Adderall, hopefully my first-hand perspective helps you guys get some clarity on it:

I am currently a business (information systems/accounting) student who has taken Adderall for 2 years.

In high school, I was able to study fine without Adderall though I did require tutors for certain subjects. I received a merit scholarship to university based off of my Adderall-free grades. I did hang around with the wrong crowd and indeed did abuse Adderall one time when taking the SAT and my score rose 120 points.

Once at university, I ended up again falling in with the wrong crowd, and once I stopped playing sports, and lost my support network: school got very difficult.

It was at this point that I obtained a prescription to Adderall, and watched as my grades rose initially. The problem is that I kept having to up the dosage to get the sharp feelling back.

I recall one instance where I took a test and was so tweaked out that the clock became blurry. Though I posted the best grades in the class, I became increasingly paranoid and suspicious. I literally lost my mind to this addiction, and began tracking the stock market daily. I made investments that made over 300%, yet I could not have a basic conversation with a stranger. It was like I had Asperger's or something. Though most of my friends were bad people to begin with, even I had become to crazy for them. I couldn't even fit in with the degenerates of the gene pool.

I completely lost touch with reality due to this drug, and went from being a social, well-liked, typical guy to a machine, incapable of feeling anything. I guess you could say it was almost schizophrenic-like trance.

I realized that I had a deeper pain than just Adderall addiction, and I am properly treating the depression I have suffered from my whole life.

Now I am getting back to normal. I can talk with people again, I have self-worth, and I'm making friends like I used to. I am now on antidepressants/anxiety medicine, which perhaps I should've been prescribed initially instead of Adderall. I believe the effects of Adderall have left me with lasting damage and I may eventually have to raise my dosage. I still take Adderall, though consistently, everyday. I find I need to raise the dosage to study at a high level, but in the end it isn't worth it to go over the top.

No one is meant to play God. You have to take the cards you've been dealt and make the best of it. As far as depression goes, I think that needs to be treated as a chemical-imbalance. Adderall is nothing but speed. I feel good for the first time in my life thanks to the anti-depressants, and I don't care that my grades are going to shit because although Adderall can help you with grades, it's not worth it in the end. At least in my case.

I'm content with who I am. I was blessed by the Lord both athletically and physically, and was given many mental talents. Although my mental talents may not be up to par with other peoples, I don't mind because after going down that hell of a road I went down, where I essentially thought nothing was real, I can be happy with who I am today.

My final thoughts after this rambling post is you have to be careful with Adderall:
-You have to know your limitations
-You have to be aware of your talents
-You have to accept the way God made you, and figure out how to use that to make money, good grades aren't the end-all or ticket to a high-paying job if you are too whacked out to even understand a conversation

Anonymous's picture

Your story actually pulled me

Your story actually pulled me back to last summer when I first started taking anit-depressants. Be careful because what you described about feeling good, and self worth then your assessment on adderall and how you didn't have any friends etc. I have always been a friendly person, good at school, my job, and with friends. However I started taking Zoloft because of panic attacks and it turned my world upside down. It took a few months for it to take full effect but once it did I could not recognize dreams from reality, and lost most of my friends because I didn't care, I felt good, happy, and that was all that mattered. Soon all feeling went away, and I mean all, like an empty shell. Be careful with anti-depressants. They are meant to treat you fast and get most of the symptoms out of the way. However our society says your "this" take a pill without finding out the true underlying problems causing those symptoms. After taking an SSRI for 5 months, it took me almost a year before I started feeling normal again. Good luck my friend, hope all turns out well.

Anonymous's picture

Adderall

Hello, I read your posting here, thank you for sharing your story about Adderall. I've just been prescribed Adderall for the 1st time and as like I do all prescriptions, I looked up information about what exactly it does to a person. I wanted to be informed properly before just blindly starting a new medication, even though prescribed by a doctor without my asking the doctor for it. I suffer from severe lack of concentration and motivation in getting anything done, can't even pick up the phone to make a call MANY times! I feel like a prisoner in my body that doesn't work, it's extremely frustrating. I am wondering, from your perspective, having had taken this medication,... is it worth it to take this medication when prescribed and run the risk of long-term use and possibly getting addicted, especially being depressed? I have also been diagnosed with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder). I take the medication Pristiq, but it doesn't seem to help my depression at all! Curious if you don't mind, what anti-depressant did you find works for you? I am wondering if my doctor is indeed on the right path in helping me and prescribing Adderall or if I need a different anti-depressant as well? I am embarrassed to talk about this with anyone, friends or family, so would really appreciate your thoughts and insight, having had very personal experience.
Kind Regards,
:o)

Serendip Visitor's picture

Adderall--my experience

For the past four years my life has ben a rollercoaster. I was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder early in 2007 when I started having panic attacks, extreme insomnia and worsening depression. I was hospitalized in a mental health facility (on my own will) when I became suicidal. I have lived my whole life with depression and thought thats just the way it is. I have tried every medication in the book to treat my disorder, only to experience horrible side effects. The medications they gave me to help me sleep only made my insomnia worse. Depression medications made me more depressed. I felt like I was wired backwards. I had ran out of options. I stopped taking all medications except adivan which controlled my panic attacks. My life was in the shitter because I couldnt hold a job, complete the simplest of tasks and suffered from uncontrolable emotions and violent outbursts. My uncle had similar problems and for the longest time self medicated with large amounts of alcohol. My uncle came to visit a couple months ago and he seemed like a different person. He told me he finally went to the doctor and they put him on adderall. He was drinking a lot less and actually seemed to be happy for the first time since I have known him. I asked my doctor about this and if it was a good idea. He said its not generally recomended to give someone with insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks a stimulant but what the hell, I have tried everything else. From the first day I felt better. I was able to focus, I became more sociable and started doing thing that used to terrify me. I admit when you first start taking it most people will love it because it does make you feel euforic. I also experimented with my doses and would get high. I dont have a really addictive personality so I was able to find a dose that worked without negative side effects. I have ben working out, doing more things for myself and I actually sleep better at night. I still have manic and depressive episodes but they are not as severe. I can leave the safety of my house, do what I need to do without a meltdown or panic attack. I realize this is getting long winded so ill try to wrap it up. If you are thinking of taking it make sure you doing it for the correct reasons. Dont take it to get high, loose weight or get a better grade on a test. Explore other options before taking it because it is addictive and doctors can often missdiagnose someone. If you have had problems with addiction before I would NOT recomend it. I hope this helps someone who needs advice from a person that has ben to hell and back.

Ant's picture

Good Stuff

I am 26 years old and just got my first prescription to Adderall. I have always had ADHD but was able to get by. I had a lot of disciplinary problems in middle and high school. I did my undergrad in engineering and did a masters part time after I started working full time. However, I was always frustrated in school because it was so difficult for me to pay attention to what the teachers were saying. I rarely learned anything from class and had to teach myself almost everything. About 90% of all mistakes I made on my tests and assignments were from what would be called "careless mistakes." For instance, I would often miss words like "not" or read "28" as "8" (my vision is perfect). As I got older I structured myself and tried to minimize the effects of my ADHD with some success. Long story short is that I finally pushed myself to see a psychiatrist and got the prescription. I am in grad school again part time and I redid some of my old homework that I originally did when I wasn't taking Adderall. I found a lot of those careless mistakes (used wrong numbers that were given in the problems). Now everything is much clearer and I am not making those mistakes.

I love this stuff so much and only wish I had it before. There are a lot of details I am leaving out of this story for the sake of being brief but Adderall is changing my life for the better, a change I wish I did earlier.

Anonymous's picture

Necessary

I'm a junior engineering student at a top ten school. To the people that say that it's cheating for a college student to take adderall, you don't have the slightest clue of what is required of college students. I suspect that college students today are bombarded with a workload greater than any other time in collegiate history.

I am very aware of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs; my brother went to rehab for an addiction to oxycontin. Thus I was extremely hesitant to try adderall. I went through the first two years of school without doing it, even though everyone around me was doing it. Finally, I caved. It was literally either a choice between using adderall, or failing out of the college of engineering. It is preposterous to claim that anyone would choose the latter. Adderall is a necessary part of the modern college students life, and I will make no apologies for using it.

I'd like to note that at this time, I've only done adderall three times. Never more than one pill ingested orally. I would never use adderall to help me finish a few homework problems. I use it to help me study for important tests and to help me stay focused when writing extremely technical papers (it's very easy to lose your focus when the subject matter is, by its very nature, incredibly dry).

I've never felt the urge to abuse adderall, although I have seen my share of adderall abuse. A couple of my old roommates would snort adderall nearly every weekend. But it's not realistic to think that these are the consequences of using adderall every once in a while to help study. I'd blame that problem on sheer ignorance about the dangers of any drug that effects the central nervous system.

The truth is, adderall works. Extraordinarily well. The difference between studying on and off adderall is profound. I find that I retain virtually all the information that I have studied when on adderall; its not like I can only remember the information when I take another pill. Don't expect to see college students stop using it any time soon.

igor's picture

Adderall = Amhetamine(Speed)

Now again, long time ago to be diagnosed as ADHD person means, that you(for example) forget to go to toilet to do things. Or you can't read even three words, cos you started to think about bananas. Or you forget to go into bus, cos when bus arrived you was thinking about woman boobs and so on. In this case doctor gave amphetamine(now it's called Adderall, they are really similar). Are you really do the same things I just described? :))

Anonymous's picture

Absurd

How ADHD people can study in the universities and then get responsible job? It's like monkey driving school bus. Who gives possibility to ADHD people study in the universities?

Anonymous's picture

I am a college student who

I am a college student who suffers from ADHD, and I'm not quite sure if this is an insult towards individuals who suffer from ADHD because your grammar is absolutely horrible. If it is indeed insulting, I believe anyone with ADHD is 300% more capable than yourself to function in a university, not to mention in the working world. Go back to second grade where they covered sentence structure. FUNDAMENTALS!!!

Anonymous's picture

Stupid students

Believe me, when you make pauses after adderall, you feel yourself like twice stupid. That's the side effect. After all you get addicted, like amphetamine user. And amphetamine users usually live short lives.

anom's picture

“For people with ADD, it just

“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).”

This is ridiculous... So if someone really wants to be successful in sports but genetically they are unable to put on size or strength (common, there is no denying that genetics play a major role) they should be allowed to take steroids because it makes them normal, compared to the genetically blessed athletes.

Its partially the schools fault too, that it has gotten to this. Here engineers are notorious for copying.. but it's because the workload is insane and some of us have to work part time, ect... Now when profs find out people are copying they make the assignments even longer and harder. When you have that much to do, and are copying half of it you're actually learning very little. It would be way more beneficial to have less of a workload and more measures to prevent copying.

Anonymous's picture

If you weren't genetically

If you weren't genetically blessed to be able to compete in a category then find another category to compete in that you will excel at without drug assistance. You will build on your self-esteem. My son has ADHD. he was diagnosed in the 5th grade. We practiced focusing technics so he wouldn't have to take any medications because they made him listless and his awesome personality was gone. Maybe you should teach yourself how to stay on task instead of using something your body doesn't need.

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