Side effects of Adderall include irritation, restlessness, increased difficulty sleeping, and increased blood pressure.
After the medication wears off, users may experience decreased concentration, increased irritability, fatigue, and lethargy. These short terms effects are not particularly severe when Adderall is taken at recommended dosages, but can become dangerous at higher doses and over sustained periods of abuse.
Is Adderall dangerous to use?
Adderall can be very dangerous if not used as prescribed. Adderall is an amphetamine and has the potential to be highly addictive. Long terms dangers of Adderall abuse include sleep disorders, hallucinations, paranoia, increased blood pressure, headaches, difficulty breathing, mood swings, depression and suicidal thoughts, anxiety, constipation and abdominal pain, abrupt weight loss, and tremors.
What is Adderall
Adderall is a legal medicine in the United States and Canada. Doctors in these countries can prescribe it to treat:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
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Can Adderall be harmful?
Many consumers incorrectly assume that this drug is safe because it is prescribed to children. In fact, Adderall is an amphetamine. As such it can very well be addictive, and uninformed people are especially prone to that risk.
People who don’t take the dosage suggestions seriously continue taking it without medical guidance or prescriptions. That puts them at risk of developing physical dependency and increasing tolerance to the drug.
Addicted individuals who miss a dose have higher chances to harm themselves or to overdose during the next drug intake.
Several addicted athletes died after their blood pressure increased and led them to heat strokes or even cardiac arrests. That is precisely why the International Olympic Committee banned all amphetamines in 1968, including Adderall.
Other than physical harm, the drug also induces psychological changes which can have profound impacts on a person’s personal relationships, their financial situation and professional performance. So it is not an issue that concerns only the addict. It becomes a problem to that person’s whole environment.
Short-Term Adderall Side Effects
Whether you are addicted or not, taking that medication can lead to immediate adverse side effects.
Unwanted Effects in Non-Abusers
Even patients that take their medication seriously and follow the doctor’s guideline, they can be at risk. After some time of exposure the can start feeling some unwanted sensations right after taking a dose:
- Increased troubles to sleep
- Increased blood pressure
Adverse Adderall Side Effects
People who abuse Adderall may first feel euphoria and invigoration similar to the effects of cocaine. But as soon as these sensations fade after using up all drug molecules, they experience the exact opposite:
- Decrease of concentration and focus
- Increase of irritability
- Lethargy and a depressive state
Effects of Mixing Adderall with Alcohol
Those who use Adderall for recreational purpose and mix it with other substances increase the danger of harm.
A common practice is to mix Adderall with alcohol to boost and combine desired effects of both substances. That is a particularly dangerous thing to do, because:
- Adderall masks some of the warning signs of excessive alcohol abuse, such as lethargy or slurred speech. Typically the person or those surrounding the drunk person could notice the alcohol excess. But in the present case, Adderall does not hamper effects of alcohol intoxication, but only masks the symptoms. Without warning signs, that person risks a sudden alcohol poisoning without warning signs.
- Alcohol and Adderall both are very dehydrating. Mixing both substances can lead to extreme cases of dehydration, especially if the person is drunk and misses the physiological cues.
- Alcohol is a depressant. When drinking during Adderall withdrawal, it exacerbates psychological consequences, such as anxiety or depression. Therefore, the last thing to do during Adderall detox is to drink alcohol. It will not stimulate mood, as alcohol does on its own. Due to a chemical imbalance that Adderall withdrawal causes, the effect will be the opposite.
Long-Term Effects of Taking Adderall
As a stimulant, Adderall increases energy and concentration. At the same time, that decreases the need to sleep and suppresses appetite. Over a longer period, that can lead to the following consequences:
- Sleep disorders and fatigue
- Hallucinations and paranoia
- Increase in blood pressure and heart diseases
- Irritability and inability to concentrate
- Dry mouth and bad breath
- Difficulty in breathing
- Mood swings, aggression
- Lack of motivation, depressive state and sometimes suicide thoughts
- Episodes of anxiety and paranoia
- Constipation and abdominal pain
- Abrupt weight loss
Additional Factors Impacting Adderall Effects
Some Adderall addicts have their ways to increase the desired effects. There are two approaches people often use instead of ingesting pills.
- Adderall delivers the drug directly to the bloodstream. The substance acts much faster, and the high is more intense than by swallowing pills.
- Snorting. Crushing the pills and snorting the powder also sends the chemical quicker to the brain. The additional risk with snorting is the damage to nasal and sinus cavities.
In both cases, the active substance is absorbed much quicker than the usual way of entering the bloodstream by the digestive tract.
Also, the users are at higher risk of overdose, because they have less control of the drug’s intensity.
Gender and Adderall Impact
Adderall side effects in men. Many male Adderall addicts end up experiencing prostate problems. That can result in an inability to urinate or sharp pain. While these problems can fade after quitting Adderall, it is always best to consult a physician. Besides Adderall, these symptoms can be a sign of a urinary tract infection or sometimes even prostate cancer.
Adderall side effects in women. The biggest issue with Adderall for women is the alarming rate of consumption increase. It raised by 750% from 2002 to 2010 in women between 26-39. Especially young mothers tend to abuse it to gain energy and take better care of daily responsibilities. Other women use it as a quick fix for weight loss. It is sadly a common practice that young mothers use their children to obtain Adderall prescription for their own purposes.
Adderall is illegal in numerous countries because of its dangers. Even in countries where it is legal (Canada, United States), it still is labeled as potentially highly addictive.
The concerns are especially high because Adderall is a medication to treat for children. In some countries, health care professionals have special regulations regarding Adderall. For example, in the United Kingdom doctors have the following guidelines:
- Not prescribing Adderall to children under the age of five years under any circumstances
- Children over five years old should only use it if no other viable options are available