You may have heard of the drug Adderall before. It is a prescribed medication, but some people use it for recreational purposes. Because of this, it has the potential to become addictive.
While it helps millions of people for medical purposes, Adderall can also have an adverse effect if abused. Below, we take a look at what Adderall is, what it’s used for, and its effects on the mind and body.
What Is Adderall?
In the U.S., Adderall is commonly used to treat a variety of disorders. For example, it’s used to manage the symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy.
Adderall is a combination drug containing both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The U.S. government considers Adderall to be a dangerous drug. Therefore, it’s only available with a prescription.
In other western countries, such as the U.K., Adderall gets prescribed much less frequently.
Along with its prescribed use, Adderall is also popular with recreational users. This is because it can trigger intense feelings of euphoria.
It’s also used illicitly for non-recreational purposes. College students sometimes use Adderall’s stimulant effects to concentrate on studying longer. They also take it to increase their focus.
Despite the belief that this drug enhances your ability to learn, there is no evidence of this compared to individuals who don’t have ADHD.
Sometimes, using Adderall to study can backfire. It can make users focus too intently on one specific task.
However, users are not always in control of what exactly that task is. Someone might take Adderall with the intention of studying all night but instead, they end up cleaning their living space for hours on end.
How Is It Taken?
Since Adderall is pharmaceutically manufactured, it’s almost always taken in pill form. People who take the drug illicitly might crush the drug into a powder and snort it. They might also dissolve it and inject it.
The two most common ways to get Adderall is through a legal prescription or buying it from someone who has a legal prescription. Some users might also order counterfeit drugs online. There are additional dangers associated with doing this, as bootleg Adderall might not contain the right substances.
Who Takes It?
Legitimate Adderall users take the drug because they’re suffering from some kind of disorder. ADHD and narcolepsy are two of the common conditions for which the drug is prescribed.
Since Adderall is a stimulant that can provide euphoric effects, it might also be taken at raves, parties, and festivals. It might also be taken illegally but non-recreationally to help with school or work. It’s popular with students who need to pull all-nighters to finish an essay, for instance.
People who want to lose weight might also use Adderall. This is because it suppresses the appetite
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A Brief History of Adderall
Adderall comes from amphetamine, which was first synthesized in Romania in 1887. But the scientist who discovered it didn’t ever find out about its physiological effects.
In 1929, a chemist in California named Gordon Alles discovered its effect on humans after injecting himself with 50mg of the drug. Alles went on to create Benzadrine, an amphetamine-based decongestant inhaler.
By the end of the 1930s, his creation had taken over the academic world. Students were using the drug to stay up late and get their work done.
During World War II, amphetamine was widely used by the Allies to keep soldiers alert and fit for combat that lasted long periods of time. After the war, amphetamine-based drugs became popular amongst housewives. These pills became known as “mother’s little helpers.”
In the 1970s, amphetamine drugs were made illegal without a prescription. By the ’90s, the patent had run out on amphetamine sulfate. This meant that there was no longer big money to be made in manufacturing this drug.
The pharmaceutical company Shire got around this problem by producing a pill that was a blend of four different amphetamine salts. While the effects of this new drug were virtually indistinguishable from amphetamine, Shire was able to patent this new pill. This pill was Adderall.
Consequences of Adderall Abuse
Since it’s essentially amphetamine, Adderall has virtually the same effects. Adderall boosts awareness levels and sometimes induces a feeling of euphoria. It does this by increasing the availability of neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and dopamine.
Effects on the Mind and Body
Adderall will also increase the heart rate, decrease blood flow, and open up the airways. This is why amphetamines were used as a decongestant in the past.
Like any drug, Adderall can also have some undesirable side effects. For example, it can cause loss of appetite, irritability, dry mouth, insomnia, and heart issues. These side effects can occur even when Adderall is prescribed.
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Short-Term Health Effects
- Disrupted heart rhythm
- Blood pressure problems
- Dry mouth
- Lack of inhibitions
Long-Term Health Effects
- Erratic behavior
- Risk of heart attack
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Abnormal blood pressure
- Physiological disorders, i.e. depression
- Addiction requiring rehab treatment
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Using Adderall With Other Drugs
Those prescribed Adderall for a disorder are less likely to abuse it and are more likely to follow its guidelines for use. Those who use it recreationally are much more likely to combine it with other drugs. This can often be very dangerous.
Which Drugs Are Commonly Used With Adderall?
People who use Adderall to party are likely to be polydrug users. This means they combine multiple drugs at once in order to get the effects they want.
People who take Adderall at clubs, parties, or festivals might combine it with alcohol. This is a bad idea, as this can increase the negative side effects and can also cause liver damage.
Stimulant users might also enjoy smoking cigarettes, even if they’re not normally smokers. This is because Adderall lowers your inhibitions and makes the sensation of smoking more pleasurable.
Since Adderall can prevent users from sleeping, it might be combined with drugs that can help you sleep. For example, people might use cannabis, benzodiazepines, or zolpidem to “come down” from the drug and get some sleep.
Treating Adderall Addiction
Don’t be fooled into thinking Adderall is always safe to use. It might be a prescription drug, but it’s essentially an amphetamine.
If you abuse Adderall, it’s possible you’ll have issues with dependence. Long-term use could also cause some serious physical and psychological symptoms.
If you’re abusing Adderall, consider taking the first steps towards getting help by contacting an addiction center.
Get in touch with us now for help with your Adderall addiction.