Adderall is a stimulant drug used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It works by regulating the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which people with ADHD do not produce in sufficient quantities.
Abuse of Adderall is common among high school and college students. Because it helps people with ADHD to focus, students mistakenly believe that it can help them get better grades. With so many students diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Adderall, it is easily accessible. The benefits of Adderall to people who do not have ADHD are highly exaggerated, but the adverse side effects are all too real.
What Adderall does not do
As a stimulant that works on the central nervous system, Adderall does make otherwise healthy people stay more awake and alert. This may help to make the task of studying more enjoyable. Nevertheless, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation cites research showing that Adderall does nothing to improve academic performance. Those who had taken it before a cognitive function test did no better than those who had not.
What Adderall can do
Abuse of Adderall can cause both mental and physical side effects, some of which can be severe. People who have abused Adderall report personality changes such as a loss of sense of humor and empathy. Some experienced suicidal thoughts, depression and mood swings. Physical side effects include headaches, blurred vision, dehydration and high blood pressure. Adderall abuse can also damage vital organs such as the brain and kidneys.
Students who misuse Adderall can also face serious legal consequences. Both those who possess the drug without a prescription and those who supply it to friends may be at risk.