Adderall is the brand name for the mixture of narcotic stimulant drugs dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Like other powerful stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, Adderall directly affects the mesolimbic reward pathway in the brain. Because of this, Adderall has a relatively high potential for Adderall abuse and addiction.
Adderall is most commonly prescribed to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) because it can have a reversed calming effect in some people (particularly children under the age of 16) and can increase focus and concentration. However, Adderall is controversial because it is basically a form of speed and it has a very high potential for abuse and serious health problems. Not only is Adderall abuse harmful to the user physically and mentally, but it can lead to the abuse of drugs like ecstasy and crystal meth, which can cause irreparable damage (even death) in as little as one dose.
Concern about Adderall abuse is heightened by the explosion in the number of ADHD diagnoses and the corresponding use of medications to treat them. An University of California/Berkley study co-funded by the National Institute of Mental Health found that spending worldwide on drugs to treat ADHD rose 274 percent between 1993 and 2003, with the United States accounting for 83 percent of the market by the end of that decade. Adderall sales have increased more than 3,000 percent since 2002 for Shire Pharmaceuticals, Adderall’s distributor.
Adderall's reputation has caused the drug to fall into the hands of people who want it rather than need it, leading to Adderall abuse. Adderall has become especially popular among college students and a study by the University of Wisconsin found that as many as one in five college students have taken Adderall or Ritalin, a similar stimulant, without a doctor’s prescription.
Adderall abuse can cause a range of problems including difficulty sleeping, feelings of hostility, anxiety or paranoia, and a hyper-energetic, aroused state (mania). Some users may experience undesirable or unhealthy weight loss. Especially when snorted, Adderall can cause a potentially dangerous increase in heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure.
Most people who suffer with Adderall Abuse problems initially believe that they can conquer addiction on their own. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. When someone with an Adderall abuse problem makes an attempt to quit using and tries to detox without professional help, statistics show that the results do not last long. Research into the effects of long-term Adderall abuse has shown that substantial changes in the way the brain functions are present long after the addict has stopped using Adderall. This is why a person who wishes to recover from Adderall abuse needs more than just strong will power to stop using. Users attempting to quit on their own must conquer detox, drug cravings, re-stimulation from their past, and changes in their brain function. It is no wonder that recovering from Adderall abuse without professional help is an uphill battle.