More Americans are abusing prescription drugs than the traditional hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and ecstasy put together.
Many students abuse Adderall because it acts as a stimulant and can give them the focus they need to study for hours or write pages and pages of a term paper. The statistics are alarming; up to 25% of students enrolled in competitive colleges take the drug to help them study.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is essentially a mixture of different amphetamine salts. Traditionally it has been used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. According to the data company I.M.S. Health there were 14 million prescriptions of Adderall written in 2011 for Americans from the ages of 20-39. This is over 2 times the amount written just 4 hours years before.
How Does Adderall Work?
Adderall works as a stimulant affecting the central nervous system, and chemicals in the brain that regulate it. The chemicals in Adderall affect the brain pleasure circuit. There are two key tasks that need to take place in the brain for proper function: the release of dopamine and the clearing of excess dopamine. Adderall triggers the release of dopamine but then essentially blocks its reuptake. This results in constant pleasure hitting the brain.
Risks of Adderall Use – Why look for Adderall Alternatives?
Adderall is a schedule II drug, meaning there is a high risk of abuse and dependence on the drug. The longer you use the drug the more likely you are to become dependent. Your brain starts “needing” the pleasurable state that Adderall provides you. All of a sudden you are double your dose just to get the same level of satisfaction that a single dose gave you. The cycle starts to build a tolerance and if you ever decide to stop taking the drug you will have a very painful crash.
Adderall is also illegal to use and have without a prescription. Since it is a schedule II substance the possession or distribution of Adderall without a prescription is punishable by prison time. There are many other risks of abusing Adderall including: heart attack, hypertension, aggressive behavior and psychosis.