Do College Students Really Abuse Adderall?

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription supplement that is primarily used to treat attention deficit problems. It is a supplement derived from four different types of amphetamines: it is equal parts dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. Adderall in College is very commonly used, and most college students typically abuse the drug.

Three main groups of people use Adderall: people with ADD or ADHD, people with sleeping disorders, and college students who may have all of the above or neither. The drug is commonly used in an illegal and off-label fashion, but it is a very common drug in general. Given the increasing number of children and adults who are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, there is going to be more and more Adderall in the public sphere.

Adderall History

It is impossible to look at the history of Adderall without looking at the history of amphetamines themselves. Romanian chemist Lazăr Edeleanu first created amphetamines back in 1887. One of the components of modern Adderall, amphetamine sulfate, was patented in 1932 by Californian biochemist Gorden Alles. His work contributed to the development of Benzedrine in 1934, which was used on college campuses the way Adderall is used today. Drugs like Benzedrine have been used with and without prescriptions ever since.

How To Use Adderall

People who legally receive Adderall through a pharmaceutical prescription should simply use it as directed. However, some of them might develop adverse side effects as a result of their Adderall prescriptions, and so they should always consult with their doctors if they think that they have reached the point where the drugs are starting Noopept, Piracetam, and Sulbutiamine.

The people who use Adderall in an off-label fashion will typically use it before a test or some other deadline. Some of them will become dependent on Adderall, and they might use it more frequently than that.

Use For ADHD

One of the main ways that ADD and ADHD patients are treated is through Adderall. These patients will often be prescribed Adderall more often than not. Adderall does treat the symptoms of ADD and ADHD very well. It may seem somewhat odd that patients who are having a difficult time concentrating are being given something that is basically a set of powerful stimulants, since stimulants energize you, and giving stimulation to a person who is already hyperactive may seem counterproductive.

However, many ADHD patients report that they are able to use that new energy more effectively than they would otherwise. Directed energy is more important than raw energy. It seems that people with ADHD also do not thrive with depressants either. The parts of the brain that govern focus and attention are stimulated right alongside other parts of the brain, so the process works, as counterproductive as it might seem on paper.


Adderall will indeed improve a person’s attention span. Many people feel more energized and focused after they take Adderall for the first time, and they will continue to feel that way as they develop an Adderall regimen.

Some people report that they feel generally more lucid as soon as they really start taking Adderall. Being more focused in general helps people make full use of their mental abilities, so that makes sense. It’s also true that people who are overly tired are going to find it hard to think in general, which is why getting enough sleep is so integral to the intellectual performance.

Adderall masks the effects of sleeplessness, which can include impaired or reduced cognitive performance. However, it should be noted that almost any supplement that was able to wake a person up would produce similar effects. People often have a difficult time concentrating when they haven’t gotten enough sleep, and Adderall can help them with that part of the problem as well. There are actually few benefits when using Adderall in college, as it is most commonly abused (taken off-label by those without a real need for it.) Unfortunately, the use of the drug can cause addiction, weight-loss, and a number of other serious side effects when it is taken above that of what is directed.

Recommended Dosage

Adults will take 20 mg of Adderall every day in order to treat their ADD and ADHD symptoms. In most cases, people who get a valid prescription will be instructed to take dosages of around that level. Children will take a much smaller dose that will vary depending upon a child’s weight and a child’s age, with children who have lifelong ADD or ADHD taking progressively more of the supplement. Typical doses used by college students are usually therapeutic dosages, ranging from 10mg-60mg daily.

Individuals who take Adderall in an off-label manner will often take it inconsistently. They won’t be on it regularly in the manner of a person who is taking it as part of a regimen for medicinal reasons. Usually, these people will buy it off of someone with a valid prescription on the night before an exam, or during some other intense time during the school year or the work year. They may take a dose that is much larger than 20 mg during those sessions, which is another factor that can raise the risks associated with taking Adderall in an off-label fashion.

It is also true that the people who take a little bit of Adderall each and every day, such as the people with a valid prescription, are going to build up more of a tolerance to the drug, which is going to moderate its side effects and its main effects to a certain extent. The people who take it occasionally are going to be able to feel the effects in full, and that includes the unfortunate side effects of the supplement. On the one hand, they will probably be able to get a lot for a very small dose, and many of them will only need 10 mg or so of the drug in order to feel the effects. On the other hand, their systems may respond more poorly to the supplement as a result.

Side Effects

Adderall carries far more side effects than the typical supplement that has been used for nootropic purposes. Adderall is a drug based on amphetamines, and the majority of drugs derived from amphetamines have been removed from the market.

For one thing, Adderall is prone to raising people’s heart rates and blood pressure. Any stimulant is going to do so to a certain extent, and Adderall is a very powerful stimulant. People who abuse Adderall can develop long-term problems with high blood pressure and long-term heart problems as a result.

Lots of people get dry mouth from taking Adderall. While this is a mild symptom by itself, people need saliva for the sake of dental health and for oral hygiene in general. People who are getting this symptom should try to increase their fluid consumption, or they should try doing other things that increase the production of saliva, such as chewing sugarless gum.

Lots of patients become dizzier after they start taking Adderall. Adderall also tends to cause headaches. While these are some of the milder symptoms that are attributed to Adderall, they can be very frustrating for the people who are trying to concentrate on a task, and it may force them to take other medications just to compensate for the irritation of a headache.

Adderall is also not without its psychological symptoms. People who have anxiety disorders will find that Adderall will make all of those symptoms worse, or at least most of them worse. Some people with depression found that their depression got worse after they started taking Adderall. People who are about to complete difficult tasks already have to battle to keep their depression and anxiety in check, so the effects of Adderall can really take their toll on these folks.

The Adderall Experience

Many people report that Adderall makes it feel like their minds and everything else is starting to race. Adderall is a stimulant. Every single one of its components is a powerful stimulant. Adderall is going to help all people feel more awake and focused, at least to a certain extent.


In-depth Adderall research goes back to the 1930s, assuming that people count all research into the development of amphetamines as research into Adderall in general. The side effects and the main effects of Adderall have received similar levels of attention. People have found that Adderall can slightly improve intellectual performance, although the long-term effects of Adderall on a person’s intellectual performance have not been evaluated in the same way. Adderall can also raise a person’s blood pressure and heart rate in a way that has unsettling long-term implications for the people with a family history of those sorts of conditions or other risk factors for those conditions.

Adderall vs Ritalin

In terms of the drug effects, Ritalin will start working faster than Adderall, at least for many people. Some people say that the buzz wears off faster as well, which can make Adderall the better supplement.

Adderall vs Provigil

Provigil is another name for Modafinil, and Modafinil has become a worthy competitor for Adderall today. Modafinil has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of ADD and ADHD for both adults and children. Modafinil has been used in the treatment of sleeping disorders as well, and it has been effective in that regard. However, Modafinil does not have the same adverse side effects as Adderall.


Legal Status

Adderall, like a lot of prescription drugs, has a complicated legal status. It is legal for people with a prescription. The off-label usage of Adderall is so common on college campuses that it can feel familiar enough to be legal, but it still isn’t. Students who get caught carrying Adderall without valid prescriptions will face criminal charges as if they had been caught with any other drug within the same class of drugs. The DEA regards them as Schedule II drugs. Adderall is illegal to use in college without a valid prescription.

Final Thoughts

Adderall is a drug that has certainly helped a lot of people with ADD and ADHD. However, it is also a drug that takes much more than it gives. Many other drugs are being developed all the time that will help with attention deficit problems, including the normal ones that neuro-typical people will feel when they are trying to complete a difficult task. Given the troubling history of Adderall, it is possible that its reputation is not going to age especially well, which has been the case for many other drugs with a similar origin and a similar history. Taking Adderall in college is a very bad idea, and should be avoided at all costs unless absolutely necessary.

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