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More than ever Adderall has been sweeping college campuses across the United States, often regarded as a helpful tool to “Stay awake and party” or “stay focused while studying”. It seems the use of Adderall is taken very lightly by both students and their doctors who are providing them with their prescriptions.  However, many people do not understand the effects Adderall can have, and many are not taking into consideration the dangers of Adderall use.

Treatment Alternatives, a drug treatment center in Massachusetts has everything you need to know about using Adderall.

What is this pill intended for?

Adderall is a prescription pill that was originally intended to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

What is this pill being used for?

Adderall is commonly known around college ca13mpuses as the pill that helps you study, stay focused, and stay awake. It’s essentially everything a stressed out college student dreams for in a pill, which is why so many college students are carelessly turning to Adderall for help without being aware of the consequences. Since its release in 1996, Adderall prescriptions have tripled, causing concern for both Doctors and the DEA. Studies have shown a shockingly high number of college students mentioning it or discussing it online as well.

What happens to your brain when you take Adderall? 

When you take Adderall, the chemicals cross the blood-brain barrier, which restricts the passage of foreign substances to the brain. Once inside your brain, Adderall affects nerves in your brain located in the Prefrontal Cortex (planning and personality development), the Nucleus Accumbens (where your reward circuits are), and the Ventral Tegmental Area (rich in dopamine and serotonin pathways).  Once these nerves are affected, they release excessive amounts of dopamine. Adderall then blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine. Interrupting the reuptake process alters your brain activity.

Once the Adderall has taken effect on your brain, it causes pleasure, movement, wakefulness, and focused attention.

Can you become addicted to Adderall?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Adderall as a “Schedule II Substance”, which means it has high potential for abuse and can lead to severe dependency. The increase of dopamine caused by Adderall causes euphoric feelings which are not natural, therefore the user will feel an urge to continue use. This is one of the many dangers of Adderall, because this is how habits are formed.

What damage is caused by Adderall?

Any kind of drug use is going to have immediate and long lasting effects on the user. Reversible effects such as weight loss, rashes, blistering, itching, dry mouth, and respiratory illness may be cured. However, Adderall use can have irreversible affects as well. This permanent damage can include heart attack, irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest, liver damage, stroke within your eyes, face and throat.

As with any addiction, the user will find consequences in their health, work life, relationships, and self-esteem. Consequences include inability to follow direction, poor coordination, damage to nerve brain cells, erratic behavior, and feelings of dissatisfaction.

The dangers of Adderall have been noted in emergency facilities as well: Mixing ADHD drugs with other drugs or alcohol sent almost 16,000 people to the emergency room between 2005 and 2008.

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