Is Adderall Bad For You? Uses, Side Effects, and Alternatives

Over the last few years, the Adderall craze has become more evident than ever…

Updated: September 17, 2016

It’s no secret that many college students are in dire need of more time. Between classes and studying, not to mention extracurricular activities, students can find themselves worn out and exhausted. Unfortunately, there’s no mercy when it comes to grades and deadlines for assignments.

     Trying to read, study, and retain information while already mentally drained can be a difficult task. For many, just staying awake presents a challenge. Because of this, many students find themselves turning to a prescription drug known as Adderall.

The Adderall epidemic is not specific to students either, even young business professionals are now using Adderall as a means to concentrate on projects and work longer hours without sleep.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name for a prescription drug that combines the ingredients dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Both ingredients are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain that can influence hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Adderall is commonly prescribed to those suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Under these circumstances, Adderall can help by increasing the attention span of the patient. In some cases, Adderall is used to treat symptoms of narcolepsy which can also include excessive and daytime sleepiness.

The problem today is, many of the people that are now taking Adderall, are not suffering from the conditions that would normally be required to take Adderall. With Adderall effecting chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, it can produce feelings of euphoria which can in turn increase the chances of addiction. This may be the reason Adderall is listed as a “schedule 2” drug in the controlled substance category with cocaine. These schedules are based on the abuse and dependency potential of the drug. An example of this is the number of people now using the drug to get “high”, are even going as far as snorting it and even mixing the drug with water and injecting it with a syringe. Sadly, anybody going to this extreme to get a “feeling” from a drug meant to help you study or focus, shows the dangers that can come with the addiction and misuse of any substance including prescription drugs like Adderall.

What are the Side Effects of Adderall?

First and most importantly, if you think you’re experiencing an allergic reaction to Adderall call for emergency medical help. This may include but is certainly not limited to: hives, difficult breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some of the more common reported side effects of Adderall or the ingredients dextroamphetamine and amphetamine are:

  • Stomach aches or pains
  • Bladder pain
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Difficulty urinating or (burning sensation)
  • Faster, irregular heartbeat
  • Lower back and side pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of nervousness
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Dry mouth

So what’s the problem with Adderall?

As if the common side effects of Adderall weren’t enough to deem it dangerous already, the long term effects could prove it to be not worth the risk.

Adderall has been known to lead to drug-tolerance. This means that over time, the body needs higher doses to achieve the same effect. In addition, Neuroscience News released a report stating that students who use Adderall long term will experience a significant depletion of dopamine when they attempt to quit taking it.

Some of the long term side effects of Adderall can be depression, hostility, or even paranoia. This could be due to the increased availability of neurotransmitters over long periods of use. To make matters worse, many have noticed withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, disorientation, fatigue, and mental depression.

The Conclusion…

It’s apparent that Adderall can not only have harmful side effects, but a high potential for addiction and psychological dependency. Unless you’re diagnosed with a condition that would deem Adderall necessary, its potential to become addictive and the negative effects it can cause, may do more harm than good. It would be wise to stay away from prescription drugs unless they’re directly prescribed to you. The good news is, there are other alternatives that can produce the same results (increased focus and concentration), without the harmful side effects. To learn more about one of these new revolutionary “smart drugs” that can be an alternative to Adderall since it helps with memory, energy, concentration, and focus click here.