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Productivity in a Pill? The Risks of Misusing ADHD Drugs

on Thursday, 14 May 2015. Posted in Breaking News

Adderall is a prescription stimulant that contains both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, powerful stimulants that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but can be addictive and dangerous if misused. Like many medications, some people use Adderall inappropriately, unaware of the serious dangers of taking the drug outside of medical supervision.

Students and workers looking for an extra dose of energy and focus so they can put in longer hours on a stressful job are particularly tempted to naively misuse this powerful stimulant. Here are some of the facts on the extent of the dangers of Adderall addiction.

A rising trend:

A story published in the New York Times on April 18, 2015 found that although no current statically data exists, antidotal evidence suggests Adderall abuse and addiction is a growing problem. The article quoted several heads of rehab centers, as well as users themselves who feel like they need the drug in order to function in their jobs.

A 2013 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that emergency room visits caused by overdosing on prescription stimulants tripled from 2005 to 2011. Furthermore, between 2010 and 2012, the people entering an addiction recovery program specifically for stimulants rose by 15 percent.

In today's competitive, non-stop work environment, many workers feel the pressure to sleep less and increase their productivity. They may turn to Adderall because they feel pressured to work harder and have more energy.

For a task that might otherwise feel tedious, the stimulant can increase attention and motivation. While it might not really improve concentration or your ability to observe new information, it can create the appearance of more productivity.


Of course, there are many people who need Adderall to treat ADHD and have found it to be enormously helpful to control impulses and concentrate on tasks. Medical doctors are expected to conduct a thorough testing into someone's condition before prescribing a low dosage and carefully monitoring its effects. However, there are many people, who either lie to doctors or buy the drugs illegally from others, and are therefore unaware of the dangers that come from overdosing.

People may think that because a doctor prescribes them, that Adderall is safer than illegal drugs with stimulant effects. However, at high doses the drug is very addictive and can have serious side effects.

Like many drugs, using Adderall over time builds tolerance, so that your body no longer responds to a normal dosage, and you must take more to get the same desired effects. What initially felt like a pick-me-up turns into a crutch, without which you feel unable to function, even though continuing to use is harmful.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults avoid taking more than 40 mg dosages per day. However, someone casually taking pills to feel more alert and continue to work hard after inadequate sleep may take significantly more. Overdoses can be extremely risky.

Too much Adderall makes brain becomes over excited, which can raise anxiety and cause hallucinations, a more irritable and impulsive personality. Physically it can even prove deadly, suppressing appetites, raising blood pressure, and causing shortness of breath.

For help:

In whatever work you do, strive to live a balanced life. When you feel yourself getting tired or too stressed to concentrate, take a break and rest.

Then return to the job with renewed rest and presence. Artificially inflating your attention with drugs will not truly expand your limitations, but it can subject your body and mind to significant risk.

If you are misusing ADHD medication, especially if you find yourself taking more than you used to get the same effects, seek help immediately. Although you may feel helpless against your addiction, or unsure how to function in the world without it, there are many people able to help you.

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