What is Adderall?
Adderall is an off label 'smart drug' which is supposedly used to improve concentration. Cognitive enhancers such as this are commonly used as a study drug as they can increase focus and attention.
Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are two prescription stimulants that improve focus and reduce impulsivity in the brain. It does this by increasing your dopamine and norepinephrine levels.
This drug is usually prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as it acts as a stimulant to a person's directed nervous system. Adderall is available in capsule form for those who find pills difficult to swallow. There are two types of Adderall, the immediate-release and the extended-release drug. The extended-release is called Adderall XR and the active ingredients are d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine. The main types of amphetamine in Adderall XR are released much more slowly over time.
What does Adderall do, and how is it used?
Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant which is why it is prescribed to people with ADHD as its effects can help improve their focus. This medication may make you may feel more awake during the day, as well as feel calmer and focused.
People use this medication to help improve their day to day life if they are suffering from ADHD or narcolepsy. However, some people choose to take it for recreational purposes and as a study enhancer.
Adderall has been known to slow child growth. In adults, it can cause changes that relate to your sex drive and performance. Stimulants such as this may make your blood vessels constrict which causes your blood to beat faster.
You can find more about how it makes you feel in the side-effects section of this article.
How do students use it to study?
Adderall is also used as an off-label study aid as this drug is used to stimulate your brain and improve concentration. This helps people get through all-night study sessions. Coffee isn't quite enough anymore and the use of study drugs is increasing throughout the student population.
Many students feel under increasing pressure these days to achieve better results at school and to help them get into good universities. By using smart drugs, students feel they can increase their focus when studying, helping them to work faster and achieve better results.
Why do people use study drugs?
A survey conducted in 2015 found that almost one in five Oxford University students use study drugs. 18% of the respondents have used study aid drugs without a prescription. This is to help them prepare for exams or to help them complete work. Of the students who admitted to having previously taken study drugs, 62% admitted they do so regularly.
Many of these students feel they could not succeed academically without using them. It is clear that prescription medicine abuse by students is due to the pressure to succeed whilst in a competitive learning environment.
According to the same survey, the student population is aware of the study drug problem and would like to university to do something to change it. One student suggested that the problem lies in Oxford's academic environment and the universities unrealistic workload.
Staffordshire University's Dean, Thomas Lancaster, describes the situation as a "dangerous world" and that universities need to have honest conversations with students to prevent it from happening.
What are the Negative Effects of using Adderall?
The side effects of Adderall use go hand in hand with addiction. Even if you are using Adderall as intended by your doctor, you can still experience some of these side effects, and potentially become addicted.
The NHS explains some of the common side effects associated with this kind of medication. Side effects include:
- Increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
- Loss of appetite. This can then lead to weight loss or poor weight gain.
- People might have trouble sleeping.
- Stomach aches.
- Upset Stomach and abdominal pain.
- Dry Mouth.
- Issues with sexual performance.
- Feelings of aggression, irritability, depression, anxiety or tension.
There are more severe side effects that can occur such as:
- Changes in Mood.
- Changes in behaviour or thinking.
- Fast heart rate.
- Thoughts of harming yourself.
- Suicidal thoughts.
While Adderall can seem like a miraculous solution due to its cognitive enhancement abilities, it has a dark side effect. For a significant number of people can lead to a problematic addition
Adderall causes an adjustment to the brain's reward system as a result increases dopamine which is associated with pleasure. This eventually leads to a lack of dopamine and unpleasant sensations such as low mood when you try to avoid using the medications. It can create a compulsion to start taking the drugs more often and this leads to various negative effects.
Adderall Addiction can begin one of two ways, either from taking Adderall legitimately or for recreational usage. Even if you are prescribed Adderall there is a possibility that you can become addicted, this is one of the reasons why it is a controlled substance in the UK.
Those who become addicted to Adderall even through prescription might find themselves taking medication for longer than necessary. They might begin increasing their dosages in contradiction to their doctor's recommendations.
Medical drugs can be abused just the same as recreational drugs, Adderal is a good example of this type of drug. It is a class-B substance because some people might take it just for the experience of a "high" but also because they want to use it as a study aid. Either way, according to UK Rehab taking a prescription medication recreationally often leads to addiction faster than if you were prescribed it as medication.
If you think you have an Adderal addiction, please seek help. Speak to your GP, an addiction specialist, or even join an addiction treatment programme.
Is Adderall Prescribed by the NHS?
It is not available on the NHS, but it's licenced in the USA for the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD.
The closest equivalent treatment to Adederal in the UK is dexamfetamine and it requires frequent dosages throughout the day. This is usually prescribed to children with ADHD and adults suffering from narcolepsy as it is a prescription stimulant.
If you have to swap from the prolonged release of Adderall XRthen the NHS would prescribe you Lis-dexamfetamine. This is because it is the prolonged-release version of dexamphetamine, however, it is restricted to secondary care prescribing. If you are swapping from Adderall XR the NHS has a useful guide on how to make the transition.
The other UK equivalents to Adderall are Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Atomoxetine (Strattera), Lisdexamfetamine (Elvanse), Guanfacine (Intuniv), and Modafinil (Provigil).
Methylphenidate which is sold under the name Ritalin is another substance used to treat ADHD. Ritalin is used in a similar way to Adderall as it increases the concentration of neurotransmitters in the brain. These transmitters are linked to problem-solving, which makes it an ideal "study enhancer".
Modafinil is a popular smart drug alternative to Adderall in the UK and is frequently used by students to help them study for tests and exams. The drug is usually used as a medicine to treat sleepiness related to narcolepsy, shift workers' sleep disorders and obstructive sleep apnea.
Both Modafinil and Ritalin are controlled drugs in the UK. Controlled substances have been in place since 1970 and it governs the distribution of medications such as these.
Can you buy Adderall in the UK?
You will not be prescribed Adderall in the UK as it is a powerful stimulant. The most common way that people acquire Adderall in the UK is to buy it from visiting students from countries where prescriptions are more readily available.
Some off-brand users manage to buy through an illegal online retailer or from friends, which makes the price vary greatly. Non-therapeutic uses of amphetamines carry several risks which you will find in the side effects section of this article. Purchasing prescription medications from unregulated online pharmacies can be dangerous for substances, and it is not recommended.
However, many people use this option as it can be much more affordable than the street price which is usually inflated.
In some cases, specialised treatments for ADHD might result in a prescription of Adderall, but the UK has alternative medications
Is Adderall legal in the UK?
In the UK, Adderall is considered a class-B controlled substance under the misuse of Drugs Act in 1971. The penalties for possessing Adderall are up to 5 years in prison with an unlimited fine. If you are caught supplying Adderall then you can be imprisoned for up to 14 years with an unlimited fine.
As Adderall is illegal in the UK students have taken to using Modafinil as a cognitive enhancement pill instead. It's a criminal offence to sell Modafinil in person or online without a valid prescription. But, it is legal to buy and import it for personal use. As a result, it's the most popular type of "smart pill" as it can help them stay alert for longer.
What are the alternatives to Adderall?
Adderall does have its place and can be safely used as medication as long as people use it as intended. If you have been prescribed Adderall by a doctor you should continue to take it or speak to your doctor if have any concerns.
However, the recent use as a study drug has led to reported side effects and health issues which are very concerning. It is because of these issues that we do not suggest the use of Adderall as a Nootropic. There are many different alternatives in the nootropic market today.
Some available nootropics are made with natural ingredients which have been used in herbal medicines throughout history.
We recommend trying nootropics such as ashwagandha to help you with concentration and focus. Ashwagandha is a natural nootropic that has been used throughout the years as a form of alternative medicine for many different treatments.
Our Ashwagandha capsules are a safe, easy and tasty way to take ashwagandha.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are supplements and substances which are claimed to have positive effects on your cognitive function. They are said to improve cognitive functions such as attention, memory, creativity and motivation for those who are well and healthy.
It s agreed by the FDA that taking prescription nootropics for conditions such as Alzheimer's and ADHD may prove useful. To use these types of medications if you are perfectly well is not advised and is considered to be quite controversial.
Nootropics are natural supplements that can be taken to improve cognitive function. They are usually derived from herbs, plants, mushrooms, and other plant extracts. Some of them are better known for their ability to increase energy levels while others may help boost libido and cognitive function.
Ashwagandha is one of the most popular natural nootropics and has traditionally been used in Ayurveda to help boost memory. Taking two doses of ashwagandha daily could help improve your memory, attention and task performance.
This makes it an ideal alternative to Adderall for those using it as a study drug.
Conclusion / Takeaway
Adderall is a powerful stimulant that can cause serious health problems. The fact that it is now being used as a study drug means that there will be more cases of Adderall abuse.
We hope that our guide helps you understand what the dangers of Adderal are and that natural solutions like ashwagandha can be much safer.