Adderall and Athletes


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Recently, the NFL and MLB has cracked down on the use of Adderall as a performance enhancer. The catcher on my favorite team, Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies, got suspended 25 games for testing positive for Adderall. NFL players were reported using Adderall during off season training to stay awake and focused for meetings when they were tired. Adderall can be easily obtained on college campuses, because of there effects on studying and concentration. I have used Adderall and it definitely helps me study and concentrate more. I don't think it should be banned for pro athletes, but they say it is giving athletes a competitive edge on the field. How does it give them an edge? Also, how does it work? Is it addictive?

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I was not aware that Adderall can improve reaction time and concentration in athletes. This is a very serious edge in sports. I wish I had taken this as a football player in high school, this would have helped me catch passes. This would have helped greatly for me in hockey as well, by reacting quicker to plays. Adderall enter's the bloodstream, and stimulates the brain's production of norepinephrine and dopamine. These two are associated with attention and behavior. The slower that the brain absorbs the Adderall, the more it improves the concentration abilities and alertness.

So, it can clearly give a person a slight edge athletically. It is very slight though. But, if you have a prescription to it then do you have the right to use it? 

Is Adderall dangerous or addictive? This may be one of the reasons that sports don't want Adderall being abused by athletes. Adderall can be addictive because of dependence. After you experience how well Adderall works, people become dependent on it and will go to great extents to obtain it. People will steal it, steal money for it, or even lie to a doctor to gain a prescription to the pill. As far as the dangers of Adderall, there are a few serious ones. Some of the dangers include an irregular heartbeat, unusually high blood pressure, and an increased chance of cardiovascular failure or seizures. In some people, repeated use of Adderall can lead to feelings of hostility and paranoia. 
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After doing the reasearch, my opinion on Adderall has changed. I always thought that it wasn't addictive or dangerous, but it definitely can be. The one thing that worried me was when I saw that it can cause an irregular heartbeat, because that can be very dangerous during high paced and high contact sports such as football. I think that new rules and exceptions should be made for certain Adderall patients. I am curious to see where this topic is within a year from now.

1 Comment

Adderall is most definitely a performance enhancing drug. This article from the New York Times is an interesting account from players who took the drug when they played. Adderall zoned them into the action and gave them an unfair advantage. You also touched on the danger aspects of adderall. Running around playing sports is not the best thing to mix with cardiovascular failure. Interesting post regarding the pros and cons

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