What is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant drug in the news because of its rapidly growing misuse when it came on the market in 1996. Suppose you take this drug properly according to the doctor’s prescription. In that case, it will surely help treat narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness) symptoms and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults.
Adderall works on people with ADHD to increase attention span and focus. If one misuses Adderall, it can cause the following adverse effects:
- Headache, dizziness, nausea;
- Paranoia, anxiety, and depression;
- Sleep disorders;
- Mood swings, aggression, irritability;
- Constipation, frequent urination;
- Sexual dysfunction or lack of desire to have sex;
- High blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack; or
- Overdose or death (especially on overuse or interaction with any other drug)
How to get prescribed Adderall?
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Adderall contains two ingredients, namely, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and both stimulants increase an individual’s dopamine and norepinephrine levels.
Dopamine is a chemical substance responsible for transmitting signals in the brain. Dopamine plays a significant role in assigning a person’s behavior. While it can be good if it encourages healthy conduct, it can also be harmful if the dopamine source is not healthy behavior. Taking a drug recreationally that releases dopamine can result in problems of drugs and addiction.
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter and hormone that transmits signs towards the nerve endings throughout the body. Norepinephrine helps wake the body, improve focus and alertness, increases energy, regulates stress reactions, improves memory storage, and more. We are still not definitive on the role of this component in drug abuse and addiction, but the fact that it combines with dopamine may suggest its role. The psychological effects of increased norepinephrine can result in abuse and addiction.
The dangers of Adderall use
Adderall is a controlled drug under schedule II, which means a high risk for abuse and dependence. Medications under this schedule also have the potential to cause severe physical and psychological support. The risk of Adderall addiction and misuse is present even if you take it with a prescription. Long-term effects of this drug and signs of Adderall abuse include organ damage, seizures, brain damage, and more.
Adderall withdrawal and overdose
The most common withdrawal symptoms after leaving Adderall suddenly include tiredness and inability to concentrate or focus. Severe Adderall withdrawal symptoms usually affect only those taking this drug in high doses for a longer duration.
People attaining tolerance of Adderall also face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, oversleeping or insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.
The aftereffects of sudden discontinuation of this drug begin anywhere from 6 to 36 hours after the last use and stay anywhere from 5 days to 4 weeks, depending upon the severity and duration of a person’s Adderall use.
Adderall effects on the brain
Adderall increases dopamine levels, and other neurotransmitters in the brain change the brain’s reward center’s pattern. Without the medication, it becomes more difficult for the brain to stimulate on its own and in a traditional way, resulting in dependency. Often, increasingly large amounts of Adderall are required to achieve the same effects due to built-up tolerance.
Recognizing the signs of Adderall overdose
Adderall does not come with a high potential for overdose. If you use Adderall recreationally, it increases the possibility of overdose. The common signs of Adderall overdose are:
- Stomach pain
- Rapid breathing
- Heart attack (rare)
Recognizing the Adderall abuse signs in friends and family
The symptoms of Adderall abuse your family member or friend may have can vary from subtle to severe; it can be physical, psychological, or even both. If someone is exhibiting the following symptoms, the person needs to consult the medical healthcare provider:
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- Running out of prescriptions early
- No appetite with sudden weight loss
- Impulsive behavior, aggression
- Not sleeping or sleeping too much
- Unusual excitement
- Memory loss
- Inhaling drugs
- Excessive talking
- Mental instability
What are the side effects of Adderall?
Adderall may cause trouble sleeping, nervousness, fever, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach upset, or pain.
You need to tell the doctor or pharmacist about all the other drugs you are using. Keep track of this medicine. Adderall side effects that may cause severe problem includes:
- Shortness of breath;
- Swelling in certain body parts;
- Outbursts of words or sounds;
- Severe headache;
- Blurred vision;
- Extreme tiredness;
- Trouble speaking;
- Prolonged or frequent erection in males
- Uncontrolled movements;
- Changes in sexual activity or desire;
- Signs of blood flow issue in the toes or fingers (such as a change in skin color, pain, coldness, numbness); or
- Mental disorders or mood changes include abnormal thoughts, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, depression, agitation, aggression.