The use of Adderall should not be taken lightly.
Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is a central nervous system stimulant and prescribed primarily used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. There are many children as well as adults who take Adderall. Taking Adderall as prescribed may help increase the ability to maintain focus and control impulsive behavior. It is available as a tablet and extended-release capsule, coming in various doses depending on the size of the patient and the severity of symptoms.
Even when taken under a physician’s supervision, this drug may cause side effects, including:
- Digestive problems
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Loss of appetite
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
Because this drug is a stimulant, abuse has become increasingly common among high school and college students. For individuals who do not medically need the drug, it gives them energy and decreases appetite, which is why it is often abused by people wishing to lose weight and by students who wish to have extra energy to handle school, keep up grades, work, etc. Because it comes in tablet and capsule form, Adderall can be snorted by crushing the tablets or by emptying the contents out of the capsules. Snorting this medication can be very dangerous.
Some side effects of abusing Adderall are:
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of weight
- Shortness of breath
- Heart attack or stroke due to increase in blood pressure
- Death in users with heart conditions
- Dependence and addiction
Along with these physical side effects, abuse of Adderall can also have serious effects on mental and emotional health. It can cause mood swings, aggression, and violent behavior. It is often thought that prescribed medications are safe, but this is not so. Adderall is highly addictive, which is why it is classified as a Schedule ll controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Schedule ll drugs are defined as, “having a high potential for abuse. The drug has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.”
Abuse of Adderall may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Long-term continued use or high dosage abuse can lead to serious physical and mental conditions such as:
- Aggressive behavior
- Blistering skin
- Chest pain
- Slurred speech
- Numbness in the arms or legs
Help should be sought immediately if you notice these symptoms. Overdosing on an amphetamine medication like Adderall is life-threatening.
Symptoms of overdose are:
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of consciousness
If you think that you or someone you care about may have an addiction to Adderall, know that many addiction treatment services are well educated in helping people get through this addiction to go on and lead healthy lives.
List of Schedule 2 (II) Drugs. (n.d.). Retrieved February, 2016.
Hom, E. J. (2013). Adderall: Uses, Abuses & Side Effects. Retrieved February, 2016.