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Adderall: Superdrug or short-lived illusion?

What is Adderall?

Adderall (dextroamphetamine) is a commonly prescribed drug that was first synthesized in the 1920s. It was discovered by chemist Gordon Alles while he was trying to find a cure for other ailments. Although the initial formula wasn’t quite the drug it is today, it was an essential building block. Various forms were produced between 1930 and 1970, intended to be used as a mood booster or diet pill. Pharmaceutical executive, Roger Griggs, is responsible for the form of dextroamphetamine that is commonly prescribed today. 1

What is it Used to Treat?

Adderall, also known as Concerta, is used to treat mood disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and narcolepsy.

Drug Class

Dextroamphetamine is classified as a stimulant. In terms of drug classification, stimulants don’t necessarily affect energy levels, but rather they cause mind and body certain sensations. This includes both improved mood and focus.

Drug Schedule

Dextroamphetamine is a schedule 2 drug. Like other schedule 2 drugs, it poses a severe risk of dependency and long-term changes if not taken appropriately.

Other Similar Drugs

Ritalin vs. Adderall

The biggest difference between Ritalin and Adderall is the time it takes each drug to work and how long the drug stays in the system. Ritalin is the quicker acting of the two and takes approximately 30 minutes to kick in. The effects of Ritalin persist for 3-5 hours after each dose.

Comparatively, dextroamphetamine also kicks in around 30 minutes, but it can last for up to 12 hours. Times can vary based on dosage strength and individual health factors.2

Vyvanse vs. Adderall

Another alternative to dextroamphetamine is Vyvanse. The most significant difference between the two drugs is time. Vyvanse attaches to the brain, causing a longer-lasting, more consistent release. The effects of Vyvanse can be felt for up to 14 hours per dose, making its effects longer lasting than both dextroamphetamine and Ritalin.

Dexedrine vs Adderall

Dexedrine, in terms of both use and effects, is practically identical to Ritalin. Much like Ritalin, Dexedrine is a fast-acting drug, taking effect after around 30-45 minutes. An extended form of Dexedrine, Dexedrine Spansule, is used to stretch the drug’s effects over 6 hours. Much like other dextroamphetamine alternatives, Dexedrine preference is a matter of time, age, and lifestyle.

Natural Alternatives to Adderall

It’s worth noting that, while there are natural alternatives to dextroamphetamine, none are necessarily as balanced as the drug itself and other pharmaceuticals. For example, Adderall is actually the precision combination of two drugs, amphetamine, and dextroamphetamine.3 These drugs create a healthy chemical balance with set dosage amounts.4 Natural alternatives aren’t guaranteed to be as refined, but some of the alternatives include:

  • Amino Acids – Natural building block for cellular health.
  • Caffeine – Natural Stimulant with minimal negative side effects.
  • Natural Supplements – This includes vitamins, minerals, and naturally occurring chemicals.
  • Mindfulness – Mindfulness and other meditation practices can help one gain better control of their focus.

Video: 10 Adderall Facts

​​Transcript: what many people don't realize is that there is more to adderall than they might think so we're here to present you with ten facts about a dural to make you more aware fact one a dural is medication under the class of drugs known as stimulants stimulants are substances that excite the brain taking safe dosage quantities of stimulants such as a dural can effectively heighten certain desirable attributes such as focus energy alertness and attention do you wonder what this may feel like imagine being in a forest and suddenly seeing a bear instantly you become alert focusing all your attention on what your next step should be these feelings of heightened emotions are often experienced when taking a stimulant fact to a dural is most often prescribed for individuals with ADHD ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a medical condition that is often characterized by symptoms such as distractibility hyperactivity and inattention a dural is known to help alleviate these symptoms fact adderall simulates chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and norepinephrine individuals with ADHD often have a deficiency of dopamine and norepinephrine chemicals within their brain to combat this a dural increases the release of these molecules in the brain and prevents their breakdown this allows for the reduction of symptoms of hyperactivity inattention and impulsivity fact for a dural is the most commonly abused prescription stimulant amongst college students studies have shown that about % of students have you stimulants such as a dural for academic reasons however % of these students also believe that a dural is not dangerous while the majority of this percentage are college students research has shown that younger students recreationally use a dural as well specifically . of eighth graders .% of tenth graders and % of th graders have also used adderall without a prescription fact a dural is commonly used as a study aid in college students everyday struggles of completing assignment after assignment substances like adderall are commonly used to enhance academic productivity and attention one study examined tweets related to adderall the tweets confirm the popular use of a dural as a study aid with the highest number of related tweets during exam periods in addition the most common side effects that were tweeted about where sleep deprivation and loss of appetite although mainly used as a study aid a dural has other uses a study demonstrated that around nineteen percent of college students have used prescription stimulants in combination with alcohol for recreational use fact six a dural is the most widely prescribed stimulant drug the years the diagnosis of mental health disorders such as ADHD have increased with this comes an increased use of adderall specifically the amount of prescriptions made for stimulants such as a dural have increased by three hundred and sixty eight point five percent between the years of and fact there are several short-term effects associated with a dural use some of these effects include gastrointestinal problems blurry vision increased body temperature increased blood pressure increased heart rate reduced circulation irritability and insomnia fact there are some long-term effects associated with federal use some of these effects include significant weight loss slowed weight gain cardiovascular impairments hallucinations psychotic episodes mood changes anxiety sleep difficulties heart attacks or even death fact a dural is an addictive drug that can cause serious negative effects stimulants are addictive substances because they activate your reward pathway leading to positive emotions with regular abusive adderall drug tolerance is likely to occur meaning your body no longer reacts to this drug during this time your body may experience withdrawal symptoms including violent mood swings extreme fatigue and uncontrollable cravings to avoid this higher doses of adderall are typically taken to sustain rewarding effects and this can lead to adverse reactions such as hallucinations depression anxiety and obsessive behavior eventually an overdose may occur because of this which may result in a decline in brain function brain bleeding circulatory system failure kidney failure muscle breakdown comas or even death finally fact there are some alternatives for recreational use of a dural some alternatives that research suggests are caffeine a good night's sleep daily exercise and a well-balanced diet to help improve cognitive performances we hope that with these facts you've learned something new about adderall thanks for watching English (auto-generated) AllRelatedWatched

Who Abuses Adderall?

Adderall abuse most commonly affects 18 through 25-year-olds. Most dextroamphetamine abuse occurs from individuals gaining access to the drug through a friend or family member with a prescription.

Rates of Abuse

In terms of non-academic individuals such as those that already graduated college or those who never attended, Adderall abuse is most prevalent in women. 10.1% of women have admitted to dextroamphetamine misuse compared to 5.3% of men. While this number doesn’t reflect all individuals with dextroamphetamine dependency, it does serve to paint a numerical trend. Recent studies have shown that the non-prescribed use of Adderall has increased by over 60% percent.5

Students

College students have the greatest risk for dextroamphetamine dependency. Collegiate men ages 18-25 exhibit higher rates of dextroamphetamine addiction compared to women. Approximately 14.6% of male collegiate are documented with Adderall dependency. The general medical consensus is that college students facing large workloads and financial stress are more likely to abuse Adderall.6

Eating Disorders

An earlier form of dextroamphetamine, named Obetrol, was marketed as a diet pill. This is because the chemical compound in both drugs suppresses hunger cravings. For this reason, dextroamphetamine is often abused in a bid to lose weight, potentially contributing to those suffering from an eating disorder.

Adderall Side Effects

Desired Effects

The primary desired effects of Adderall are to improve focus, stabilize mood, and suppress negative behavior.7

Common Side Effects

  • Headache – Caused by increased blood pressure and unhealthy chemical balances.
  • Discomfort – Dextroamphetamine can cause bloating and restlessness. This discomfort can also contribute to insomnia.
  • Diarrhea – Dextroamphetamine messes with several bodily functions. The gastrointestinal tract is one of them.
  • Bladder pain – The kidney and livers are constantly working to cleanse the body. Illicit drug use can overwork them and result in bladder infections and cramps.
  • Irregular heartbeat – As a stimulant, dextroamphetamine can cause severely interrupted heart rhythm.
  • Tiredness – Brought on by insomnia, discomfort, headaches, and more. The result of these symptoms is extremely low energy levels.
  • Loss of appetite – Dextroamphetamine suppresses appetite.
  • Insomnia – Dextroamphetamine disrupts sleep patterns and, in combination with its other side effects, can contribute to severe insomnia.

Long-Term Effects of Adderall Use

  • High Blood Pressure – Adderall abuse causes an increased heart rate. Over time, this leads to high blood pressure and/or irregular heart rhythm. The side effects of this condition include low energy levels, high risk of heart attacks and strokes, reduced cardio functions, headaches, and chest pain.
  • Dependency – As a schedule 2 drug, dextroamphetamine is addictive. Dependency on dextroamphetamine and other drugs causes drastic psychological changes, emotional instability, poor finances, and ruined interpersonal relationships.
  • Organ Failure – As a foreign substance, dextroamphetamine is filtered out of the body by the kidney and liver. Dextroamphetamine abuse can lead to an excess buildup in these organs. This buildup can reduce the kidney and liver’s performance, which in turn leads to organ shut down. In the event of organ failure, a person increases their risk of contracting serious illnesses.
  • Decreased Mental Stability – Adderall abuse has a profound effect on sleep patterns, emotions, and day-to-day life. These changes can contribute to declining mental performance. Additionally, should withdrawal become a factor, an individual may experience severe confusion and/or depression.

Adderall Overdose

Dextroamphetamine, as a stimulant, impacts heart rhythm when taken in access. Eventually, this leads to a heart attack or stroke. Adderall overdose symptoms include extreme confusion, incoherent speech, and severe jitters. The risk of overdose is increased when dextroamphetamine is mixed with other substances. Taking other drugs, even prescribed ones as intended, can cause a variety of side effects. Consult a doctor before combining medication.

Adderall Withdrawal

Adderall withdrawal is commonly characterized as feeling unfocused and experiencing mental fog. Additional Adderall withdrawal side effects include irritability, insomnia, drug cravings, and extreme tiredness. To be safe, dosages are typically decreased over an extended period to lessen the effects of withdrawal. However, in terms of addiction, treatment programs are more efficient.

How Long Does Adderall Last?

Testing for Adderall Use

Adderall can be detected in the hair, urine, or blood. While Dextroamphetamine is only active for a fraction of that time, it leaves behind metabolites. Metabolites are essentially the residue of recently ingested chemicals. These metabolites linger much longer than the active substance. Testing for dextroamphetamine is most common in rehabilitation environments where a patient is at a higher risk of overdose or relapse.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall can stay in the body for up to 72 hours. This varies based on dosage and individual health factors. However, abuse causes excess dextroamphetamine to be detected for longer than 72 hours. Additionally, as a stimulant, it interacts with other drugs, making it extremely unsafe to combine with another substance.

Video: The Study Drug

​​Transcript: Adderall is the brand name for a mixture of amphetamine salts that was developed for treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a.k.a. ADHD. Since , prescriptions have doubled in the U.S, and even those who don't have a prescription are using. An estimated % of university students used Adderall at some poinas a study enhancer. But, what happens to your brain on Adderall? Adderall is a combination of amphetamine salts, and therefore is, yup, a close relative of methamphetamine, commonly known as meth! When Adderall is ingested, it takes effect on the brain within an hour of use. Adderall affects neuroreceptors in the central nervous system, increasing the effect of serotonin and dopamine. In patients with ADHD, genetic studies have indicated that these individuals may have dysfunctional dopamine release. Because of the lack of dopamine, it is theorized that the brain is constantly seeking out stimulants, resulting in the distractibility commonly seen in ADHD patients. The dopamine and serotonin released by Adderall overcomes this deficit in ADHD patients, causing increased focus and making you feel less distracted. Adderall also causes the release of norepinephrine, which activates the sympathetic nervous system, initiating your fight-or-flight response. This results in your body moving blood and energy towards the major organs and away from your limbs and digestion, which essentially increases alertness. But in non-ADHD users, can it help you get better grades? To investigate this, researchers had people without ADHD perform four cognitive tests. In one instance, they were given milligrams of Adderall and was told it was Adderall. In the second, they were given a placebo but was told it was Adderall. In the third round, they were given milligrams of Adderall, but was told it was a placebo. And finally, they were given a placebo and were indeed told it was a placebo. The two groups that did the best were those who thought they had taken Adderall, regardless of whether they had or not. In fact, the group that did the worst were those who took Adderall but was told it was placebo. This is because although some studies have found that Adderall can increase repetitive learning tasks, it does not make a difference when it comes to most cognitive tasks or complex learning techniques like those needed for an exam. Any increase in studying skills may be from the fact that the drug gives you energy, and can help keep you awake for a night of studying. because, as we said earlier, it is similar in chemical structure to meth. The benefits of Adderall in academic circles is still up for debate. But, the long-term detrimental effects of Adderall abuse are clear. Consistent release of serotonin and dopamine causes the brain to stop producing them naturally over time. Therefore, you need to keep taking more and more Adderall to get the same effect, making it highly addictive. Long-term users of Adderall developed an inability to feel pleasure without a chemical stimulant, and these effects can linger even after you stop taking Adderall. Adderall is a growing problem, so much so the millenials have been referred to as "Generation Adderall." The abuse of Adderall in our culture is following a similar pattern to the current opioid crisis. Which means, as a society, we need to put measures in place to protect people. Gregory Brown Thanks to Sal, our editor, for narrating this video and, wow, turns out Adderall is pretty intense! Mitchell Moffit But if you do need help with your exams or school, we have some scientific study tips and other advice over in a bunch of videos we've made, I put some there and in the description below. Gregory Thanks so much! Make sure you're subscribed for a new video next Thursday.

Treatment for Adderall Addiction

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is an option for those going through Adderall withdrawal. Inpatient treatment provides 24/7 support for mental and physical needs. Care providers also help build an initial support system needed to overcome addiction. Inpatient treatments can include sober living homes, rehabilitation programs, and direct hospital care.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is an option for those who choose not to be away from home for an extended period and for individuals who complete inpatient treatments. Outpatient treatments include a long-term care plan, set check-ins, and continued treatment. Outpatient care can also include visiting a doctor and psychologist on a routine basis.

Therapies

Therapies for dextroamphetamine dependency and general addiction include talk therapy, psychiatric help, and trauma counseling. Therapy can provide the coping tools needed to maintain sobriety and better process emotional addiction triggers.

Adderall, although widely prescribed, is highly addictive and dangerous. It’s best not to only take dextroamphetamine as intended and with a doctor’s orders.

Resources

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