Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough -Prescription medications, when used appropriately and correctly, treat a specific condition to reduce and/or illuminate symptoms an illness and/or condition has caused. A doctor’s decision to prescribe the medication is based upon his/her diagnosis and the needs of the particular patient.
However, the desire for instant gratification, the vulnerability to make pain go away, and our quest for desirable feelings/sensations, can and has created a problem for those who have access to these medications. Even if the bottle clearly states directions, some people choose to create their own guidelines for medication use. As a result, prescription drugs like Adderall have become popularly used for reasons other than intended when prescribed.
The two true reasons Adderall is prescribed are to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is the first-choice option for medication to prescribe for ADHD because of its effectiveness. Adderall helps improve focus, attention, and acting impulsively.
Studies have shown improvement in as much as 75-80% of children who take it. For people with narcolepsy, it is able to increase being wakeful during the day. It can be taken orally in the form of a tablet that is termed “IR” for immediate release. Adderall XR can also be taken as a tablet and it is for extended release. It works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
Dopamine triggers the reward system, while norepinephrine affects blood vessels, blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate and breathing.
Adderall is a controlled substance which means it can cause psychological and/or physiological dependence. As of October 2022, there has been a shortage of Adderall. This has to do with its popularity as well as the spike is being prescribed during and post Covid 19. Ideally it issued to treat those with the pertinent diagnoses, but some take it for its side effects. Some of the side effects are desired by those seeking weight loss or who don’t have ADHD but want to achieve better focus and/or stay awake longer. Persons who are under stress might want to stay awake to study, meet deadlines, or meet all of their demands. Some may even want to be more awake during their nightlife. Therefore, Adderall can work for persons who are normal functioning but want to enhance these effects. Adderall has the ability to make someone feel more energic, euphoric, confident, and excited.
Taking, distributing, and/or selling drugs that are controlled substances is in fact, illegal. Doctors are educated professionals and prescribe with integrity. Not everything and everyone follows protocol and rules, so there is always room for activity that steers towards wrongdoing. When addiction and vulnerability are involved, the web of “left to our own devices” and those correlating decisions, can wreak havoc. Dependency on any medication is troublesome. Taking the risk of becoming dependent should be avoided at all costs. Adderall is effective but should only affect those who truly need it.