For years, coffee has been a trustworthy source of focus and energy when tired workers just needed to get the job done. For some people, though, caffeine isn’t enough. Students and professionals alike are more often turning to illegal substances for an energy boost.
One of the most commonly abused substances today actually comes with a prescription. It’s called Adderall and it’s prescribed to individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. For these individuals, Adderall causes a feeling of calmness and even drowsiness. For people without ADHD, the effects are much different.
Adderall is a cousin to amphetamines and, when used by people who don’t have ADHD, it can provide energy, a desire to be productive, and lasting wakefulness. People who abuse Adderall say that they can perform tasks at faster-than-normal speeds because they have tons of energy to dedicate to whatever they’re doing, and they don’t need to sleep because Adderall keeps them awake all night.
Adderall has become wildly popular among college students and overworked business professionals because it provides the allusion of productivity and a good work ethic.
College students take Adderall when they need to cram for tests or write an entire finals papers in a single night. Recent studies show that as many as 1 in 5 college students use Adderall or Ritalin (another common ADHD medication) to help them study. However, research has shown that Adderall typically does not help you create quality content or more efficiently retain information. It just makes you feel that the quality of your work is better because of the dopamine boost it gives you.
Businesspeople abuse Adderall because it gives them the energy and personable feelings they need to interact enthusiastically with clients. It also gives them the extra boost they need to get all of their paperwork done at the end of the day. Initially, people who abuse Adderall think it’s the solution to all of their problems. But every choice has a cost, and abusing Adderall is no exception.
The problem with Adderall is it is highly addictive, and it causes side effects that can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s health and career. Often, people who begin taking Adderall view the drug as a very positive thing. It makes them feel more sociable, productive, and it doesn’t appear to have any negative side effects – at first.
However, the dangers of abusing Adderall are very real. People who abuse Adderall on a regular basis form addictions because they feel excessively tired and depressed when the drug isn’t in their systems. So what do they do to counteract the comedown? They take more Adderall. Some people will stay awake on Adderall for three or four days at a time, getting no sleep and eating very little. Lack of sleep is very unhealthy for your body, and a period of insomnia this long can cause hallucinations and poor concentration skills. Add to that the fact that the amphetamine makes your body function at a faster-than-normal pace, and you’re at serious risk of dehydration.
Taking Adderall can also lead to side effects including high blood pressure, aggression, depression and even suicidal thoughts or actions. The use of Adderall can also lead to the use of other illegal substances. Adderall users often end up drinking and using marijuana because these depressants may provide the person with a way to go to sleep. Other drugs like painkillers and cocaine may become integrated into the person’s substance abuse habits because he or she may need a way to keep feeling energized when no more Adderall is available.
Some Adderall users face even worse consequences than withdrawal. Possession of Adderall without a prescription is considered a felony in many states, and Adderall is considered a controlled substance grouped with other highly addictive drugs.
Many people who abuse Adderall buy the pills from a friend, coworker, or family member who has a legitimate prescription. Giving a prescription drug to someone whose name isn’t on the prescription bottle is just as dangerous for the provider as it is for the receiver. While peer and coworkers my make Adderall abuse seem tempting, the effects of addiction and withdrawal, and the possible criminal charges, make it not worth the risk.
If you’re considering abusing Adderall, please understand that a temporary energy boost is not worth the lifelong struggle with addiction.
Posted on October 8th, 2013 in Blog