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Effects Of Adderall Use

Adderall is a popular prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. The effects of Adderall can be positive when taken as intended, but for people who use the drug recreationally, the effects can be dangerous.

Understanding The Effects Of Adderall Use

Adderall is a combination of two Stimulant drugs: Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine. It is most commonly used to help people with ADHD control their activities and increase attention spans, but it can also be prescribed to treat narcolepsy. The drug works on the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine that stimulate the brain. Adderall is designed to improve hyperactivity, attention spans, and impulsive behavior, but the effects are greater when combined with behavioral therapy. Adderall is a federally controlled substance and classified as a schedule II drug for its high risk of abuse and addiction.

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Effects Of Adderall On The Body

The effects of Adderall use can help people with ADHD but can cause extreme euphoria among those who don’t have a medical reason to take it. Abuse of this drug has increased over the years due to people using it to get “high” or enhance their ability to think and focus. Adderall should only be taken under medical supervision as it can increase the risk for heart problems, high blood pressure, and mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, and strange behavior (including aggression). There is a risk of sudden death among those with a history of heart defects or other heart problems. Let your doctor know about any of the following:

  • Reactions you’ve experienced to other Stimulants
  • Family history of heart problems, high blood pressure, or stroke
  • Family history of mental health problems
  • Previous drug or alcohol abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Glaucoma or any eye problems

Some Stimulants may delay growth and development in children, so medical supervision is important when prescribing this drug to a child with ADHD. The effects of Adderall impact the entire body, but most side effects involve the central nervous and circulatory systems.

Central Nervous System

The effects of Adderall on the CNS can be positive when prescribed and taken as directed under the supervision of a physician. It is recommended to take the medication during the day, as it can interfere with sleep and make you feel more awake and alert. Other potential side effects include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Slowed speech
  • Changes in vision
  • Change in sex drive or performance

Talk to your doctor immediately if you experience any serious side effects such as:

  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Numbness of the limbs
  • Uncontrollable shaking or seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Worsening mental health conditions
  • Suicidal thoughts

Circulatory And Respiratory Systems

Like most other Stimulants, Adderall can make your blood vessels constrict, raise your blood pressure, and increase your heart rate. In some cases, there can be further interference with blood circulation resulting in numb, painful, blue or red fingers and toes. Serious side effects of Adderall include heart attack and stroke. Contact emergency services if you experience any chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or fainting. Sudden death can occur in people with preexisting heart conditions. Adderall should never be mixed with alcohol, as it can increase the risk of heart problems.

Digestive System

The effects of Adderall include an increase in glucose released into your system. This can cause side effects such as:

  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Weight gain can slow down in children who are taking Adderall. Adults may experience weight loss as a temporary side effect, but appetite should increase as the body adjusts to the medication.

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Effects Of Adderall Withdrawal

Adderall should only be used under a doctor’s supervision and for a short time. If you use this medication too often or take too much, you may notice withdrawal effects when stopping use. Symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Depression
  • Changes in mood
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches
  • Cramps

Some people have described the effects of Adderall withdrawal as being similar to a hangover or drunken state. Symptoms may begin a day or two after stopping use and may last a few days to several weeks. Although there is no treatment for an Adderall withdrawal, going to a rehab center can help you manage symptoms and maintain a regular routine.

Adderall Overdose

There is widespread belief that the effects of Adderall can improve a person’s ability to learn, so abuse is common amongst high school and college students. Adderall can help people with ADHD focus and be in control, and the drug also enhances thinking ability and focus in people who do not have ADHD, which makes the drug more attractive for abuse. Taking Adderall without having ADHD or not as prescribed can lead to serious side effects or even death. It is possible to overdose on Adderall and symptoms include:

  • Extreme restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Rapid breathing
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Tremors
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Increased heart rate

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Adderall, call a poison control center. If symptoms are present, call 9-1-1.

Find Treatment For Adderall Addiction

Adderall is a powerful Stimulant with short- and long-term effects on the mind and body. If you are dependent on Adderall or would like to stop taking it, talk to a healthcare provider about lowering your dose or detoxing. If you or a loved one is suffering from the effects of Adderall use or addiction, contact a dedicated treatment provider that can help answer questions about your rehab options.

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Ginni Correa

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  • Ginni Correa is a Latinx writer and activist living in Orlando, FL. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and double majored in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. After graduation, Ginni worked as an educator in public schools and an art therapist in a behavioral health hospital where she found a passion working with at-risk populations and advocating for social justice and equality. She is also experienced in translating and interpreting with an emphasis in language justice and creating multilingual spaces. Ginni’s mission is to build awareness and promote resources that can help people transform their lives. She believes in the importance of ending stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse while creating more accessible treatment in communities. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, crafting, and attending music festivals.

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Deborah Montross Nagel

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