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Adderall is a drug made from certain amphetamine salts to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Since 2007, in the United States, prescriptions have over doubled. And even those people who do not have a prescription are using them as well.
It is estimated that about 30% of university students use Adderall during school.
It is very close to methamphetamine, commonly known as “meth.” After taking one tablet, it takes about one hour for the effects to start.
It affects receptors in the brain through your central nervous system (CNS), increasing the effects of serotonin and dopamine. However, genetic studies looking at people with ADHD found that these people may have dysfunctional dopamine release.
Due to the lack of dopamine, the brain is constantly seeking out stimulants, resulting in distractibility usually found in ADHD patients.
The serotonin and dopamine released by Adderall help the patient focus, and they are less distracted.
Adderall releases norepinephrine, which activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), it initiates the “fight or flight response.” This results in your body moving energy and blood to your organs, moving it away from your digestive system and limbs, which increases alertness.
Can Non-ADHD Adderall Users get Better Grades?
A study done with 32 people without ADHD did four cognitive tests. They were given a 10mg tablet in one test and were told Adderall. They were given a placebo in the second test but were told Adderall. They were given a 10mg tablet in the third but were told it was a placebo. Finally, they were given a placebo and told it was a placebo.
The two groups who had done the best had thought they had taken Adderall. Regardless of whether they had or not. The group that did the worst was the group that took it but was told it was a placebo.
Although some studies have found that it can increase repetitive learning tasks, it does not make a difference in most cognitive tasks or complex learning techniques such as those needed for an exam.
Any increase in studying skills could be because the drug gives you energy, allowing you to stay awake all night and study as it has a similar chemical structure to meth.
The long-term effects of Adderall are the constant release of serotonin and dopamine causes the brain to stop producing them naturally over time. Therefore, you need to keep taking more and more Adderall to get the same desired effects, making it highly addictive.
Over long-term use, it gave the patients an inability to feel pleasure without a chemical stimulant, and these effects can stay long after stopping it.
Adderall is a growing issue, so much so that millennials are being referred to as “Generation Adderall.”