Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder. A person with this disorder may have the following symptoms: fidgeting, constant moving, excessive talking, disorganization, procrastination and difficulty paying attention. Treatment and management are crucial for granting those diagnosed with ADHD the opportunity to live easier. How do psychiatrists test for ADHD? They use a standardized ADD/ADHD questionnaire. One of these questions would be something similar to, “Do you have trouble reading written material unless it is very interesting? A) Never, B) Sometimes, C) Moderately, D) Always.” A patient may knowingly or unknowingly be biased toward answering these questions as if they do have ADHD because such a suspicion is the reason why they made the appointment with the physiatrist. Additionally, this test is pseudoscientific: anyone can choose his result. Once diagnosing ADHD, the psychiatrist may start the patient on a 5-10 mg/ per day prescription of Adderall. The Substance Control Act of 1970 restricts anyone from possessing more than a month supply of this drug. Adderall is an intense drug of which everyone should be aware.
Students who are not diagnosed with ADHD yet take Adderall because it allows them to study for long periods of time and increase their efficiency while studying. This stimulant increases the mind’s ability to receive, retain and recall information. Students receive higher grades since grades are mainly a function of the quantity and quality of study hours. As you read this, you are probably wondering why everyone is not taking Adderall if it leads to higher grades? It is because this drug creates a systemic health risk. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
If you are taking Adderall without a prescription, are using it to study, to party or as a weight loss drug, then you are abusing it. Adderall boosts your heart rate and blood pressure, so you are at risk of suffering a seizure or worse if you are in poor physical condition. Side effects vary from person to person but some include, excessive sweating, sleep insomnia, anxiety and unhealthy weight loss. Adderall is a cognitive steroid. Just as steroids are performance enhancing drugs banned from most professional sports because they provide athletes with strength beyond their natural limits and impose harmful risks, so Adderall pushes the mind past its natural limit.
Moreover, users can develop an everyday dependency for Adderall, and frequent users may suffer severe depression and feel completely drained of energy on days when they do not take the drug. Abuse of this amphetamine can potentially lead to addictions to drugs beyond Adderall.
The only people who should be taking Adderall are those who actually need it to negate their ADHD. The drug causes a release of potent neurotransmitter chemicals which require more and more Adderall to release the same neurotransmitters again. The mind constantly builds a tolerance for the drug but the heart does not. A student abusing Adderall is building up an uncontrollable tolerance that will push their heart rate above the limit.
Health is more important than anything else and should not be sacrificed for grades. College students need to understand that Adderall abuse causes severe problems that are not worth the risk.