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What is Adderall and How Does It Affect The Body and Brain?

What is Adderall and How Does It Affect The Body and Brain?

Adderall, or amphetamine-dextroamphetamine, is a prescription medication that was introduced to the market in 1996. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant medication that is used to treat the symptoms of hyperactivity and impulses. This prescription is most commonly used to help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but has become very common as a recreational drug. Many high school and college students tend to abuse this drug to cram in as much studying before big exams and projects.

Adderall helps to improve concentration and focus for patients diagnosed with ADHD. As a result, many abuse this easily obtainable drug to help them stay awake for school or work purposes, or to enhance their partying experience. Stimulants, like Adderall, tend to be addictive and create a physical and psychological dependence. Using any type of drug, prescription or over the counter, for the wrong reasons and in the wrong manner creates bigger issues on the body and brain.

Continue reading about the harmful effects Adderall can have on your body and brain. 

Effects of Adderall on the Body

Due to the fact that Adderall is a stimulant, it works by targeting the brain, which will cause issues in our bodies. Taking prescription medication recommended by your health care physician has positive effects on the body. Although, when taken incorrectly and misused, negative effects will occur. Thus, this can affect the central nervous system, the respiratory system, digestive system and can cause allergic reactions. 

Here is a list of potential side effects of Adderall:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Nervousness/ anxiety
  • Dizziness/ headaches 
  • Insomnia 
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Stomach pain (can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Chest pain
  •  Trouble breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Hostility/ behavioral problems 
  • Loss of appetite/ weight loss
  • Seizures
  • Sped up heart rate
  • Changes in sex drive/ performance

Thus, if you notice any of these symptoms or any unusual side effects, contact your healthcare provider. If you are using it in the proper way, doctors can reduce or tweak the dose to hopefully eliminate these issues. 

Effects of Adderall on the Brain

Because Adderall is often used to increase users’ energy levels and decrease the need for sleep, this can have negative side effects on the brain. Adderall increases the activity of several neurotransmitters. In effect, this can include serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Unfortunately, the change of our dopamine activity can alter our ability to experience a pleasure. 

Many abusers will build a dependence level on this type of drug, which causes trouble sleeping and concentrating. In addition, you may notice a lack of motivation and begin to feel depressed and irritable. When Adderall begins to leave the bloodstream, withdrawal symptoms can begin to occur. Withdrawing from any drug puts you at risk of aggression and suicidal thoughts. As a result, it is important to not try to fix these issues on your own, and to seek out a support system to help guide you.     

How to Get Help

If you are experiencing any symptoms when taking Adderall as prescribed, the first step is to reach out to your physician. Your doctor can decrease your dosage or start you on an alternative medication if necessary. When abusing a drug like Adderall, one can get easily addicted and not know how to get help. Reaching out to a recovery center, like Harm Reduction Center in South Florida, can be extremely helpful for seeking out professional help from people who can relate to your situation.