Adderall® and Adderall Alternatives Epidemic

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 30% of students enrolled in competitive colleges take the drug non medically.

Medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, and Concerta were designed to treat ADHD. However, more and more college students are turning to these smart drugs even though they don’t’ have an ADHD diagnoses.  

According to a the National Survey on Drug Use and Health full time college students aged 18 to 22 were twice as likely then have used Adderall non medically in the past year.

There also seems to be a connection between nonmedical use of Adderall and stronger drugs. Non-medical users of Adderall were 8 times were likely to have used cocaine in the same period, they were also 8 times more likely to have been users of non-medical prescription tranquilizers and 5 times more likely to have nonmedical users prescription pain relievers.

Risks of Non Medical 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. 

Both Adderall and cocaine increase a person’s risk for a heart attack or stroke. Many students who take Adderall non-medically are also forced to take depressants such as pain relievers and tranquilizers that. 

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.    

Medical Alternatives to Adderall

Adderall – amphetamine based prescription drug for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Ritalin – One of the oldest used FDA approved prescription drugs for treating hyperactivity

Dexedrine – Central Nervous System stimulant with an amphetamine based action mechanism

Vyvanse – FDA approved in 2008 for maintenance treatment of Adult ADHD

Concerta – ADHD medication that is extremely similar to Ritalin in its chemical makeup

Focalin – Central Nervous System stimulant. A refined version of Ritalin

Modafinl – Sold under the trade name Provigil and classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance It improved wakefulness promoting agent.

Alternatives to Non-Medical Use of Adderall

Look for alternatives if you are using it not to treat a disease but simple for energy and focus. Over 90% of students who were using Adderall none medically did it in order to help with focus and concentration during studying.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Your body needs energy to support your unique metabolic requirements and active lifestyle. Start the day with a nutritious breakfast that includes complex carbohydrates. They provide a steady source of energy and increase your metabolism. Protein reduces lethargy and improves mood by stabilizing insulin and blood sugar levels. Iron-rich foods reduce fatigue by increasing the level of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. A lack of potassium and calcium can also contribute to fatigue. Eating a combination of evenly spaced smaller meals during the day will provide a consistent source of energy. Drink plenty of water because dehydration can cause or worsen fatigue. 
Skipping meals denies your body the essential vitamins and minerals that it requires. Some people consume large quantities of caffeine to counteract fatigue and boost their energy levels. Caffeine is beneficial in small amounts, but caffeine-laden energy drinks and similar beverages eventually worsen your energy deficit. Too much caffeine can also interfere with sleep. Alcohol and smoking deplete essential vitamins and minerals.

Get Adequate Sleep

Attaining sufficient sleep every night may be difficult due to school, work or personal demands, but chronic sleep deprivation can cause serious health issues. In addition to fatigue, sleep deprivation can cause diabetes, headaches and memory loss. Ensure that you sleep between seven and nine hours each day. As your body adjusts to the new schedule, you will fall asleep faster and sleep through the night. 

Get Plenty of Exercise

It may seem counterintuitive, but a sedentary lifestyle can cause fatigue. Exercise reduces stress, and it boosts energy levels by helping your body to produce endorphins. Try to schedule at least 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days per week. A brisk evening walk or bike ride can help increase energy levels as well. Exercise also helps you to sleep better at night. Limit your exposure to television and other electronic devices that encourage sedentary behavior. Turn these devices off at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime so that your mind has time to prepare for sleep.

Schedule Time to Relax

You should schedule recreational activities at least once or twice each week. Constant stress and pressure from your commitments can cause persistent fatigue. Learning how to relax can eliminate the insomnia that accompanies worry and anxiety. Focus on things that matter most by learning to say no to extraneous activities. Seek professional help if you need assistance coping with ongoing problems.

Fatigue is normally associated with unhealthy lifestyle choices. By making a few simple changes in your daily routine, you can counteract the effects of fatigue and live a fuller life. 


Natural nootropics such as Doxiderol have a combination of ingredients that work to boost focus and increase concentration. Doxiderol works in as quickly as 20 minutes to help with increased alertness and focus.


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Hildt, Elisabeth, Klaus Lieb, Christiana Bagusat, and Andreas G. Franke. "Reflections on Addiction in Students Using Stimulants for Neuroenhancement: A Preliminary Interview Study." BioMed Research International 2015 (2015): 1-7. Web.

"Increases in Adderall Abuse among High School and College-aged Youth." PsycEXTRA Dataset (2003): n. pag. Web.

"Nonmedical Use of Adderall among Full-time College Students." PsycEXTRA Dataset (2009): n. pag. Web.

Normann, Claus, and Mathias Berger. "Neuroenhancement: Status Quo and Perspectives." Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 258.S5 (2008): 110-14. Web.

“Doxiderol is not a substitute or treatment of ADHD. It is instead designed to support healthy brain function in non-disease states. The health related info on is meant for basic informational purposes only. . It is not intended to serve as medical advice, substitute for a doctor’s appointment or to be used for diagnosing or treating a disease. Users of this website are advised to consult with their physician before making any decisions concerning their health.”