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Adderall Abuse and Addiction

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulating drug. The constituents of Adderall are amphetamine and the dextroamphetamine. This drug is prescribed to stimulate the nervous system in the certain disease conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Narcolepsy.  An overdose of Adderall is a common emergency case due to its widespread availability, euphoric effects, and potent stimulant actions. The alertness and the improved moods are the triggering factors for its increased abuse among the teenage population.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a trade name while chemically, the drug is composed of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is a commonly prescribed to stimulate the central nervous system in some disease conditions. It increases the attention span and helps to stay more focused on the task. This has led to its abuse by many students and the professionals in order to get rid of the drowsiness and improve the brain activity during the working or studying hours. Adderall is excessively used by the students during exams. A greater competitive environment and academic challenges have further led to its widespread use among the teenagers. Commonly, the student population has named it as a ‘Study Drug’ as it improves their ability to stay focused on the subject. The routes of administration of this drug are oral, intramuscular, intravenous or rectal. The oral form which includes the tablets and capsules is the preferable mode of consumption. The various street names given to Adderall include:

  • Beans
  • Black Beauties
  • Dexies
  • Pep Pills
  • Speed
  • Uppers
  • Copilots
  • Study Buddies

How does Adderall Work?

Adderall is a central nervous stimulant which works by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Epinephrine, histamine and serotonin levels also get augmented with the use of this drug. It has the following effects:

  • Cognitive enhancement
  • CNS Stimulation
  • Improved attention

What are the medical uses of Adderall?

The drug is used for various purposes. The approved medicinal uses of the drug include the treatment of:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Narcolepsy

There are many non-approved purposes for which the drug is widely used and this is a reason for the greater addiction percentages among masses.

  • Many athletes use this drug to improve their performance by increasing the endurance capabilities and mental alertness.
  • Many student misuse the drug during exams to increase their alertness and attention span.
  • It is used for recreational purposes due to euphoric effects produced by it.
  • It is used as aphrodisiac.

What are dosage amounts of Adderall?

The dosage of this drug varies depending upon the disease and the age group. The drug quantity used for the treatment of ADHD in children under 5 years of age is 2.5mg daily. From 6 years onwards, the dose is 5 mg once or twice daily depending on the severity of the condition. Very rarely the dose is increased up to 40 mg per day.

For Narcolepsy the dose ranges from 5 – 60 mg daily. For the age range 6 to 12 years, the starting dose is 5mg daily. From 12 years and onwards, the initial dose of Adderall is 10 mg. The doses are then increased in accordance with the patient’s response and the improvement of symptoms.

Is it possible to overdose on Adderall?

There are high chances to overdose on Adderall. The drug is usually prescribed for the ADHD which is common among children. The younger population is a lot more susceptible to overdosing than the adults. Moreover, the recreational uses of this drug have led to many cases of overdose. It should only be taken according to the doctor’s recommended dose.

What are the motivations for Adderall abuse?

There are many reasons for which this drug is abused.

  • Many people take this drug in an increasing amount in an effort to lose their weight rapidly since it suppresses hunger.
  • The students use it to improve mental alertness and wakefullness.
  • The athletes use it to boost up their athletic performances.
  • It is used to elevate moods and reduce the level of stress hormones.
  • The drug is used for staying awake during exams by the students.

Is Adderall addictive?

The addictive potential of the drug is very small when taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor. The recreational uses for the production of euphoric and stimulant effects have increased the risk for the development of addiction. The effect of the drug wears off within 24 hours after which the abuser feels its withdrawal effects. These can develop within 24 hours of the last dose. Some of these include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depressed Mood
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Drug Craving
  • Lucid dreams

Adderall drug combinations:

The common drugs used in combination with Adderall are alcohol, Xanax, and marijuana. The combination of Adderall and alcohol is dangerous because Adderall masks the effects of alcohol resulting into an overdose of alcohol. The symptoms like drowsiness and loss of coordination often go unnoticed. Hence, alcohol overdose can result into poisoning and even death.  Combining it with Xanax and marijuana is dangerous because these two are also highly addictive drugs. Polydrug abuse increases the risk of overdosing and death.

American statistics on Adderall abuse:

The statistical figures for the United States show the severity of the problem.

  • The average age for the abusers of Adderall ranges from 18 to 25 years.
  • The emergency admissions of Adderall abusers increased up to 156 % from 2006 to 2011.
  • 73 % reported stress as a reason for this addiction.
  • 54 % of the children population reported adopting this habit from their close friends.
  • 60 % abusers of this drug are the teenagers.
  • More than 160, 000 people were admitted to the rehabilitation centers due to Adderall abuse during 2012.