What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription drug made up of a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is most frequently prescribed to treat people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a mental disorder characterized by a lack of focus, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Adderall is also used to treat people struggling with narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes intense daytime drowsiness. 

Adderall is classified as a stimulant. Similarly to other stimulants, Adderall speeds up the nervous system, elongating wake periods and intensifying focus. Adderall helps to organize the brain by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, bringing a normal level of stimulation to people’s brains who are otherwise overstimulated. Other examples of stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, and cocaine, as well as various diet aids.

Classifying Adderall 

The Federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 required that drugs be classified, or scheduled, according to their likelihood of forming dependence or being abused. This classification system ranges from Schedule I to V. Schedule I has the highest likelihood of dependence formation and/or abuse, and Schedule V has the lowest. 

Adderall is federally classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that it is relatively high in both the level of dependence formation and the potential to be abused.

Is Adderall a Narcotic?

While narcotics, also known as opioids, are hot topics of conversation these days, Adderall does not fall into this category. Narcotics are prescription painkillers that affect the nervous system oppositely than stimulants do: they lower the heart rate, relax the nervous system, and are oftentimes abused to reduce anxiety, tension and irritability. Adderall, on the other hand, is a stimulant.

Misusing and Abusing Adderall: Risks and Side Effects

Unfortunately, like many prescription drugs, Adderall is not always consumed as intended. This stimulant has gained popularity among college students who are under pressure to meet deadlines. These young people turn to Adderall to aid them in staying up all night to write papers, study for exams and finish assignments. 

Adderall can also decrease appetite, so some people seeking to lose weight abuse Adderall to suppress their desire to fill their plates. 

Regrettably, illegitimate retailers commonly sell Adderall online through unclassified pharmacies, making unregulated Adderall accessible to the public. Improper use of Adderall can lead to health risks and complications, however, and this lack of regulation is considered a public health risk. It is important to note as well that Adderall which is not obtained through legal means may contain traces of other illegal and highly dangerous drugs, such as fentanyl or methamphetamine. These traces could cause severe health complications, overdose and death.

Side effects of Adderall use can include: 

  • Stomach ache
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia 
  • Changes in vision 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Numbness 

If taken before the age of six, Adderall use can stunt the growth of children. If the user has a history of high blood pressure or pre-existing heart conditions, taking Adderall can cause heart attack, stroke, or sudden death. Adderall should not be taken apart from the recommendation and direction of a doctor.

Is Adderall Addictive?

Adderall may cultivate a level of dependence. People with ADHD generally have low levels of feel-good hormones such as dopamine, so Adderall increases dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels to provide better balance to the brain. When Adderall is misused by someone with regular levels of dopamine in their system, it can cause feelings of euphoria and an increased capacity to cope with stressful situations.

The removal of Adderall from the system can cause symptoms of withdrawal, including but not limited to feelings of depression, fatigue, insomnia or hypersomnia, and vivid dreams or nightmares.

Find Support in Addiction Recovery Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug use, or fear that you may be addicted to Adderall, you are not alone. Real Recovery is here to help you find answers and resources on your journey to health and wholeness. Contact us online today, or call 855-363-7325 to kickstart your path to mental, emotional and physical wellness.