Is Adderall Bad For You
Is Adderall Bad For You
Adderall is one of the most widely prescribed medications for children in the United States. Used to treat A.D.H.D. (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Adderall is a stimulant that consists of amphetamine salts. While it is effective when properly used, especially when coupled with therapy, Adderall is also the drug of choice for high school and college students, as well as professionals, to “boost” their mental and cognitive abilities.
Adderall can definitely make people feel like they are focusing more, but what are the risks of taking Adderall without a prescription or for treating A.D.H.D.?
Children on Adderall
Adderall is one of the most prevalent prescription drugs in America. The number of Adderall prescriptions for children has been well over 4 million per year since the late 1990s. Adderall gained so much notoriety that, in 2016, Time Magazine published the article “Generation Adderall” that details the history of the drug and a familiar Adderall addiction story that focuses on one person’s difficulty in trying to stop using the drug, both with and without an Adderall prescription.
According to a National Survey of Children’s Health by the CDC, 6.1 million children between 2-17 years of age were diagnosed with A.D.H.D. in 2016 (the most current year available). Of those children with A.D.H.D., more than 6 out of every 10 were taking medication, usually Adderall. More than 5% of all children are on some form of stimulant medication to treat the attention disorder. However, less than half of children with A.D.H.D received any sort of behavioral therapy for the disorder.
Cognitive Enhancer Myth
Using Adderall to enhance academic and cognitive abilities, though, has been quietly debunked. According to new research from the University of Alabama, people who used Adderall experienced some little bump in scores as those who were given a placebo pill.
However, the (false) promise of higher test scores, improved focus, and better job performance remains entrenched in America’s mainstream culture. While Adderall doesn’t really improve these areas, Adderall does pose physical and mental health risks, especially in people who don’t have A.D.H.D.
Adderall and Depression
Adderall has been linked to an increase in symptoms of depression since 1999. Symptoms of depression are most common during the Adderall “come down.” The comedown refers to the immediate period of time after the drug’s effects have worn off and the amphetamine is no longer affecting the brain. After Adderall has worn off, feelings of anxiety and depression are common. This can lead to someone increasing their use of the drug to combat the sense of despair and depression.
Adderall and Addiction
The American Academy of Neurology warns that amphetamines like Adderall can be addictive. Classified as a Schedule II drug with other substances like Oxycontin and morphine. Addiction to Adderall can be challenging to understand because abuse of the prescription drug (defined as using the drug without a prescription or not as prescribed) is so common. Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include fatigue, moodiness, and depression.
Many people mistakenly think that prescription drugs are safe because a doctor administers them. This is true as long as the medication is taken as prescribed. However, the opioid epidemic and problem with over-prescribing highly addictive and potentially deadly opioids and benzodiazepines have contributed to the record-breaking drug overdoses in recent years.
Amphetamine poses immediate health risks, too. Ranging from cognitive impairments to physical disorders. These side effects include:
- Shortness of breath; trouble breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Numb fingers (from poor circulation caused by Adderall)
- Increased nervousness (especially those who don’t have A.D.H.D.)
So, Is Adderall Bad for You?
When used to treat A.D.H.D. and with the supervision of a physician, Adderall is highly effective in improving a person’s ability to concentrate. The risks of depression and other issues associated with Adderall are relatively low.
Adderall is “bad” for people who misuse or abuse the drug. For those who use it as a “smart pill” or “enhancer,” using Adderall increases depression, has no real cognitive enhancing properties and can be bad for overall health and well-being. If you or a loved one is struggling with an Adderall dependence or addiction, specialized addiction treatment improves a person’s chances at recovery than trying to control addiction without help.
Call us now if you have any questions or want to know how our treatment program can help you with your substance use disorder today.