Normal (and abusive) Uses for Adderall


shutterstock_144663947Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. When used properly, it can be effective with treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. However, some end up abusing it which can lead to adverse effects. We’ll explore the difference between normal and abusive uses for Adderall ahead.


When prescribed for ADHD, Adderall helps to control symptoms like difficulty focusing, remaining still, or controlling actions. With narcolepsy, the medication works by treating excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep. Sometimes, Adderall is prescribed for treating some forms of obesity and depression that is resistant to other treatments.


When Adderall is taken in a non medical setting—as done with many full-time students—it can lead to dependence, abuse, and even withdrawals. People who use the medication non medically do so to achieve the following:


  • increase alertness
  • increase concentration
  • increase libido
  • lose weight
  • help focus energy
  • stay awake
  • suppress appetite


All stimulants affect the mesolimbic pathway in the brain, which begins a cycle of desire and reward, thus making the drug addictive. Anyone abusing a stimulant, including Adderall, is at risk of becoming addictive because of its nature. Because these people abuse the drug in order to achieve specific effects, they can easily develop a bad habit of how the medication is used. Adderall occurs in several ways, including:


  • taking a higher dose of the substance than prescribed
  • taking the medicine through a non-approved method like snorting
  • taking the drug for reasons other than medical need, such as to stay awake for long periods of time
  • taking the medication more frequently than prescribed
  • taking someone else’s medication
  • purchasing the drug from an illicit source for recreational use


Adderall abuse can lead to a number of negative side effects, which can include:


  • anxiety
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • restlessness
  • digestive issues
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • excessive fatigue
  • difficulty sleeping
  • changes in sex drive


Those who are prescribed Adderall for a specific ailment typically do not become addicted to the medication, but when they decide to quit using they should follow a tapering schedule as well to avoid experiencing any negative side effects.
For help with any questions regarding Adderall abuse, or for assistance with planning and executing a detox from the medication, call LEAD Recovery today at 800-380-0012.