While there are plenty of illicit drugs that are used and abused by people every day, prescription medications can be just as dangerous when not taken as instructed by a physician.
Take Adderall, for instance. This combination medication, which is often prescribed to treat those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a type of stimulant. It is a popular drug of misuse in the United States.
Adderall works by changing chemicals in the brain and helps people stay focused, increases the ability to pay attention and controls behavioral issues. This drug is also prescribed to help treat narcolepsy, a type of sleeping disorder, as well as to help patients stay awake during the day. It is relatively safe when taken as prescribed by a physician.
Who Misuses Adderall?
While Adderall may be prescribed by physicians to treat specific symptoms, others may misuse the medication to get high. Because Adderall stimulates the central nervous system (CNS), it can give people a burst of energy and make them feel extremely confident.
Adderall can also induce feelings of euphoria and can even suppress the appetite. People who use Adderall for any of these purposes can find themselves using the drug more frequently in an effort to constantly achieve the same levels of pleasure.
The effects of Adderall make this substance an attractive substance among high school and college students who want to stay awake, focused and mentally superior to keep up with their studies. Many young adults may also turn to Adderall to maintain their energy levels when partying.
In fact, full-time college students between the ages of 18 to 22 years of age are twice as likely to misuse Adderall when compared with young adults within the same age group who are not in college, according to a report by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
What Are the Dangers of Misusing Adderall?
Unfortunately, many people who take Adderall that is not prescribed to them may not be aware of the addictive potential of the drug. While they may use Adderall to boost energy levels and stay mentally focused, they may be unknowingly putting themselves at risk of addiction.
Adderall is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II substance, a category of drugs with some medical purposes but that can cause a substance use disorder.
People who misuse Adderall typically adjust to the drug over time, thereby causing them to crave more of it in order to experience the same effects. As a result, Adderall addiction can develop.
It is not uncommon for some people to mistakenly believe that Adderall is not an addictive or dangerous drug because it is prescribed by physicians, oftentimes to children to combat the effects of ADHD. In reality, however, Adderall can quickly become addictive if used improperly.
Further, Adderall misuse can cause serious side effects, some of which can be fatal. Heart attack, stroke and liver failure have been reported as a result of Adderall misuse. Taking other drugs or drinking alcohol in combination with Adderall can amplify the effects of Adderall misuse.
What Are the Signs of Adderall Addiction?
Typically a person who is addicted to Adderall may display health signs, such as:
- Lack of appetite
- Extreme excitability
- High energy
- Secretive behavior
- Social withdrawal
- Irregular heartbeat