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Adderall

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Adderall

adderall-iconAdderall is a phenethylamine stimulant that is primarily prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. It contains a variety of amphetamines including dextroamphetamine saccharate and sulfate, amphetamine sulfate and amphetamine aspartate.

Adderall is prescribed in doses ranging from 5 to 15mg. The doses are color-coded: 5mg tablets are white, 7.5 to 10mg tablets are blue and doses above 12mg are yellow. Amphetamines are the only active ingredients. It is considered to be more potent than primary competitor Ritalin as well as having fewer side effects.

It is listed as a Schedule II drug due to the strong amphetamine content. While it is considered safe to use in prescribed doses for those who have ADD or narcolepsy, it has high potential for addiction and seems to exert even more of an addictive effect in those who don’t have these disorders. The drug is commonly abused by students for a perceived mental edge as well as for purely recreational purposes such as staying awake or concentrating.

Prescription Adderall is taken orally in tablet form, but when used illicitly it is sometimes crushed and snorted. Side effects can include anxiety, insomnia and headache.

Street Names 

Adderall is called dexies, beans, black beauties, double trouble, Christmas trees or pep pills on the street.

The Common Forms of Adderall

Adderall is prescribed in tablet or capsule form, often in doses of 10mg, 15 mg, 20mg and 30mg. These tablets are also sold illicitly on the streets.

Drug Class 

Adderall is an amphetamine stimulant. It is a trade name for a combination of four types of amphetamines that are balanced in equal proportion in each dose.

What is the DEA Schedule?

The DEA lists Adderall as a Schedule II drug. It has strong potential for addiction, but also  has valid medical application in the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy. Most addiction arises from recreational use rather than from medical treatment.

Common Forms of Use

When used medically, Adderall tablets are taken orally. Students who use them to gain an edge in their studies also generally take them this way. Recreational users who are after the amphetamine stimulant effects will often crush and snort these tablets, or dissolve the crushed tablet in water and inject it to increase the effects.

General Effects of Use

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that provides a feeling of energy and focus. Studies have also shown improvements in self-control of behavior and small gains to IQ while the drug is active. Students often use it as a performance enhancer when taking tests or studying, but athletes sometimes also use it to gain a competitive edge.

Negative Short-Term Effects

Users may experience increased blood pressure and heart rate, problems with sexual function, loss of appetite, difficulty urinating, mood swings, anxiety and insomnia. Negative side effects are relatively rare when used according to doctor’s orders, and usually only occur with abuse of larger amounts of the drug or more frequent use.

Negative Long-Term Effects

For the most part, long-term studies thus far have shown no health complications when children use Adderall medically for a period of years. The longest-running of these studies began with a group of children in the 1970’s and has followed them to the present day, where they are now in their 40’s. No health complications related to the Adderall have been seen.

If this medication is abused at higher doses regularly, however, it is possible that long-term health consequences common to amphetamines may be experienced. These can include brain damage, the development of a permanent state of psychosis, a compromised immune system and chronic insomnia.

What are the Dangers of Use?

Amphetamine overdose is always a possibility when Adderall is used recreationally. Severe overdoses can have a wide range of potentially fatal symptoms such as cerebral hemorrhage, circulatory collapse and kidney failure.

Injection of Adderall is also dangerous as the tablets have filler particles that do not dissolve in water. These particles can block veins.

Drugs Commonly Mixed with Adderall

Adderall is usually abused on its own. Young users who are abusing it recreationally may mix it with alcohol in a party setting, however, and this is a dangerous combination. Adderall masks the effects of alcohol, leading to potential alcohol poisoning. Spontaneous heart attacks have also been seen in college students that mixed Adderall and liquor.

Mixing Adderall with any other stimulant also greatly increases the amphetamine overdose risk.

Adderall Abuse and Addiction Rates

Statistics collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that Adderall is prescribed to over 16 million people each year. While the majority will use it safely for a medical condition, about 115,000 will enter rehab for an amphetamine addiction.

Full-time college students between the age of 18 and 22 are twice as likely as anyone else to abuse it, many of them taking unsafe dosages without a prescription. About 15% of all college students will try Adderall or a similar stimulant, but only about 2% actually have prescriptions.

A statistical link between Adderall abuse and heavy drinking has also been seen. A U.S. Department of Health & Human Services survey found that 90% of college Adderall abusers also binge drink.

The Best Treatment for Adderall Abuse

Since it is made up of amphetamines, Adderall can cause a strong addiction. If this has happened, the user will need a period of detox followed by a period of at least 30 days of inpatient treatment at a certified medical facility. Patients learn how to manage their condition both behaviorally and medically, and any underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to it are also treated. For more information about treating Adderall dependence visit Adderall Rehab.

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