However, there is more to the Adderall portfolio than disgruntled patients who may have gotten more than they bargained for when the drug—a controlled substance—was prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
For some, according to the Abilene Reporter-News (9/25/12), the valued effects of Adderall have prompted misuses that could deliver grievous side effects.
A combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, Adderall has become a popular treatment for ADHD patients who have trouble concentrating, focusing or staying on-task. Adderall targets the neurotransmitters in the brain that control dopamine levels, with the aforementioned combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine serving to elevate dopamine levels.
The benefit for ADHD sufferers is a re-balance of the neurotransmitter located in the frontal cortex of the brain where reasoning, planning, focusing and problem solving are based. The increased dopamine produces mild-to-moderate euphoria, followed by a calming that allows for increased focus.
For Adderall patients correctly prescribed Adderall, there is a basket of side effects which, taken at their potential worst, can include Adderall heart attack, stroke or even death. Then there is aggression, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, fainting and seizures.
Here's the problem: students have discovered Adderall as a great study aid that is more effective than all-night cramming sessions with a pot of coffee. Students have discovered Adderall in a normal brain not suffering from deficiencies in the executive functions of the frontal cortex can evoke more intense concentration, together with the capacity to work for longer periods with increased focus.
Some parents, according to the New York Times (10/9/12), are actually pursuing Adderall prescriptions for children without ADHD, as a means to help improve their grades in school.
Health advocates conversant with Adderall effects point not only to the adverse reactions possible while actively taking the drug, but the fallout that could occur after coming off Adderall. The Reporter-News notes that post-Adderall reactions can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, hypersomnia, insomnia, paranoia, hyperactivity, irritability or personality changes. Severe withdrawal cases can cause psychosis long after usage.
READ MORE ADDERALL LEGAL NEWS
Adderall, possession of which without a prescription is deemed illegal in many states, is described as highly addictive. And yet, according to the Reporter-News as many as 20 percent of college students admitted using Adderall at one time or another to aid in their studying or test taking. In this community, Adderall is revered as a 'cognitive steroid.'
However in spite of its benefits, students or other abusers can experience heart problems, stroke or even Adderall death in extreme cases.