Adderall: Helpful to most... but is it Harmful?


| 9 Comments
adderall_ucf_study_drug_college.jpg
As a college student drowning in homework on a daily basis, the thought of popping an adderall before a late night study session is always somewhat tempting.  Since the drug is prescribed to a decent amount of people it's easy to get ahold of in Penn State's population of 40,000.  Plenty of students use it, plenty of students don't.  The question isn't whether it gets the job done or not, because you can ask anyone who's a common user of the drug and they'll tell you it's nothing but helpful to them.  The question is whether it's harmful to those who aren't prescribed it.  In an article in Vox Magazine, Bridget Mullen mentions the fact that it's commonly against university policy to sell prescription drugs to other students.  This law can be harmful to those breaking it because they can face a lot of charges.  They can also face criminal charges of up to $20,000 in fines or time behind bars.  People aren't caught often, but when they are it's usually while they're getting in trouble for something else and they happen to have the medication on them.  Then comes the possibility of Adderall being physically harmful.  In a blog post I found by Kristin Jenkins, an experiment was performed on people using Adderall in small doses or irregularly, and it was found that it was most likely harmless.  Some scientists don't agree with this conclusion, but it seemed that most people we're affected in a bad way from the drug unless they became addicted.

In conclusion, it was actually difficult to find a lot of solid scientific conclusions about the unprescribed use of Adderall.  If you're not taking it on a daily basis, and you're getting good results from it, I say continue with caution.  But the choice is really up to you!

9 Comments

There is a reason why one needs a prescription to take adderall- it's a controlled substance. It alters chemicals in the brain to help with focus. People who are prescribed to adderall have natural problems with focus, therefore, they need medical help to concentrate on the same level as people without ADD and ADHD do. Just in that itself, if you do not have an attention disorder, you should not need to take adderall. I understand that it does help everybody focus more, but people who don't have trouble in the first place are getting an extra kick of attention that causes them to almost speed a little. In the study you talked about, adderall was claimed non-habit-forming. However, even though the chemical might not be addictive, the productivity probably is. When students are used to only getting work done while taking adderall, they might resort to taking adderall every time they have homework to do because it gets done at a much faster pace. And because it is illegal to take adderall that is not prescribed to you, you are entering an addictive illegal cycle. Do you think this is a worth while relationship to study? Are there other ways of becoming addicted to something without the actual chemical/physical addiction?

I think Adderall can be very helpful, and yes it may become addictive, but that can be said for many things. Coffee has become an addiction for may kids because it wakes them up. The use of Adderall can be very helpful, because with the many distractions a college kids has in their day it is very hard to concentrate, almost as if you had ADD. The other factor is I have many friends who are prescribed Adderall when, to me they don't appear to "need" extra help to focus. In fact one of those friends hates taking because of the way it makes him feel. In my opinion I see no harm in taking Adderall infrequently to help one study for a big exam, however the frequent use can be very harmful. I have one friend who relies on it not just for studying but for staying awake to go out and party. His saying has become "Ill be with my three friends this week, naddie,vladie, and addi"

I think addictive is an incorrect word to use, rather, it is potentially habit forming. The aforementioned individual and his three "friends" would more likely be due to a poor life style rather than an addiction. In the FDA's website they say it can be abused or lead to dependence which means it could be abused or it could be habit forming; none of which are specificed because of the clause "or". If it said "and/or" it'd be a different story. The common side effects of the medication include: trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, nervousness, nausea,stomach ache, and head ache. Serious side effects include: slowing of growth (height weight) in children, siezures (mainly with patients who have a history of siezure), and eyesight changes (blurred vision). P.S. Are there any scientific conclusions on the prescribed use of adderall rahter than unprescribed use of it?

I am so glad you blogged about this! My roommates and I debate about this all the time. Some friends of mine take it occasionally to help them focus when they have a lot of work to do, some of my friends never take it, and others never take it at all.
It's not just adderrall, but similar drugs like ritalin and vyvanse as well. The people I know with prescriptions act like their "speeding" all day, have no appetite, and can't sleep at night. They take these drugs everyday and will admit that they feel as if they can never go off of it. This is why I find it unhealthy, especially because of how easily these drugs are prescribed. It's not hard at all to get a prescription, it seems like saying "I get distracted easily" will get almost any kid a prescription to one of these three drugs when they don't really need it.
Ive never taken any of these drugs, simply because I don't want to have to depend on them to get my work done. I definitely have issues focusing and concentrating on my work, but I think all college student do to a certain degree. I also think some students are just lazy and have to use these drugs to do any work at all.
I wonder if there have been any experiments where students are given placebos... it would seem to me that telling a student you're giving them adderall may make them focus more.


This topic is of very interest to me because, I really didn’t know anybody that used these types of drugs until last year during finals week. I was shocked and I judged the person very quickly. I have recently found out that it is quite common and in the college community its not necessarily frown upon. It made me open to try it because most of the people that I know that take it say that it helps. I am just afraid of the consequences like it not balancing correctly in my body. My roommate rarely uses it and the only real time she does is during finals week. I am curious to know if there are different levels of the drug and if one is stronger than the other. I found an article that compares Concerta to Adderall, which both treat ADHD.

This topic is of very interest to me because, I really didn’t know anybody that used these types of drugs until last year during finals week. I was shocked and I judged the person very quickly. I have recently found out that it is quite common and in the college community its not necessarily frown upon. It made me open to try it because most of the people that I know that take it say that it helps. I am just afraid of the consequences like it not balancing correctly in my body. My roommate rarely uses it and the only real time she does is during finals week. I am curious to know if there are different levels of the drug and if one is stronger than the other. I found an article that compares Concerta to Adderall, which both treat ADHD.

As stressed college students, I know many of us are probably tempted by the prospect of a pill that could instantly make us more focused and productive. We are easily distracted, lazy, and would rather be doing other things. But I did some research that found there are a lot of common side effects to adderall which will probably make all of us reconsider using it: according to Web MD, some of the most common side effects include trouble sleeping, vomiting, nervousness and a loss of appetite. Are those things worth being more focused on writing your paper? It's up to you. There are less common but more severe side effects like heart attack, stroke, and seizure. Those things definitely aren't worth risking, if you ask me. There are ways to focus without pills, like the self control app (google it, it's really helpful) and studying in a quiet room. I'd say think twice before using adderall- is there anyone who thinks these side effects are worth risking if you don't have to because of a prescription?

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-63163-Adderall+Oral.aspx?drugid=63163&drugname=Adderall+Oral&pagenumber=6

As stressed college students, I know many of us are probably tempted by the prospect of a pill that could instantly make us more focused and productive. We are easily distracted, lazy, and would rather be doing other things. But I did some research that found there are a lot of common side effects to adderall which will probably make all of us reconsider using it: according to Web MD, some of the most common side effects include trouble sleeping, vomiting, nervousness and a loss of appetite. Are those things worth being more focused on writing your paper? It's up to you. There are less common but more severe side effects like heart attack, stroke, and seizure. Those things definitely aren't worth risking, if you ask me. There are ways to focus without pills, like the self control app (google it, it's really helpful) and studying in a quiet room. I'd say think twice before using adderall- is there anyone who thinks these side effects are worth risking if you don't have to because of a prescription?

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-63163-Adderall+Oral.aspx?drugid=63163&drugname=Adderall+Oral&pagenumber=6

You bring up good points, there doesnt seem to be many ways the drug seems harmful. But when you think about it, if it's so harmless why isn't it an over the counter drug? If it's beneficial to anyone why can anyone buy it? Why do you need to meet certain criteria to be given this drug? If you ask me i think giving you body anything it doesn't need can't be good for it. Although they haven't really found many arguments against it, there must be reasons. I also thinks the use of aderal for people who don't need it bring up the topic of cheating. In sports if you use a drug unprescribed to you that enhances your performance you can get in a lot of trouble. Aderal is similar in the way that it does give you an unfair advantage over other properly functioning students who just make them selves study for x amount of hours a day.

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