Adderall-Worth the risk?

Adderall is a stimulaadderallnt drug prescribed mainly to ADHD patients to increase their focus and concentration.  There has been an enormous increase in the use of un-prescribed Adderall in college students recently.  A study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health watched mainly 18-25 year olds use of the drug from 2006-2011. Over this period of time, the amount of Adderall prescribed stayed the same but non-prescribed use of the drug rose 67% and emergency room visits rose 156%.

Why are there so many more emergency room visits? The recreational use of Adderall with, alcohol, marijuana, and/or cocaine has become much more common and is extremely dangerous.  When drinking alcohol while on Adderall one is much more likely to get alcohol poisoning.  The use of any drug (including alcohol) severely increases the chances of overdose and/or complications such as a heart attack.  It is also very easy for people who are already abusing the drug to become addicted. If one were addicted and didn’t take it one day they would feel foggy, tired, and unable to concentrate or be productive. The withdraw effects are severe and it is often difficult for users to quit on their own.

The majority of people who misuse Adderall are students but other large groups who abuse the drug are working professionals, athletes, and people with eating disorders.  Athletes use it to feel less tired and more focused during games, and people with eating disorders use it for its ability to suppress appetite.

The side effects perscription-useof using Adderall include irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, anxiety, paranoia, headaches, and depression.  Ultimately, if you are prescribed Adderall and use to because you actually cannot concentrate without it, the risk of these side effects are worth it.  If you are using it to “have a good time” and plan on using it with other drugs/alcohol the risk is most definitely not worth the reward of……? It is one’s own decision if they want to use it as a “study drug” but personally I do not think the risks of all these side effects and the long term effects are worth it.

8 thoughts on “Adderall-Worth the risk?

  1. Luyi Yao

    From my perspective, any kind of medicine should not be misused. One of my friend who is also in PSU, in order to regulate his circadian rhythm, eat melatonin every night before he sleeps. And now, he always dreams and talks nonsense. To some degree, i think it harms his body more or less. I think people should estimate the risks and benefits of medicine well, and then we can make decision. To be specific, I think if our conditions are not bad enough, we should not use drugs because the risk is too large (such as addiction and heart attack). Misusing drugs is a behavior that people do not value their health and do not respect doctor’s work.

  2. Lauren Elizabeth Jardine

    The topic of taking adderal is of great interest to me and I have many friends that take it with a prescription. The problem I find with adderal is that multiple people I know with adhd that take adderal daily are very casual about the idea of using cocaine. As, you mentioned, the effects of using adderal along with cocaine are very dangerous and has harmful side effects. However, many suggest that frequently using adderal makes cocaine not a big deal because they have many similarities in the way they affect your brain. It’s scary to think so many people who are prescribed adderal think that cocaine is somehow just as safe and that they feel like nothing bad can happen if they take it, just because they are used to adderal.

  3. Joshua Righter

    Overall, I liked your post, because not many people realize the risks of taking Adderall as much as they should. Like Derek said, getting a good grade on a test is not worth the health risk involved with using Adderall. Though one problem I found in your post was when you mentioned Adderall being very dangerous when mixed with other drugs like alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. The three drugs you mentioned when mixed with Adderall have massively different risks involved, so bunching them all together will possibly affect what the reader takes away from your post. It would have been helpful if you talked about the effects of mixing Adderall and marijuana, and Adderall and cocaine, instead of just talking about the effects mixing Adderall and alcohol.

  4. Olivia Anne Browne

    This is a great post. I think its very informative to write about this. I think a lot of college aged students take Adderall without even thinking about the repercussions. I really couldn’t have said a lot of this better myself. I agree with all your arguments. Its really scary some of the side effects that come into play especially around the additional use of other recreational drugs and or alcohol. I think this post alone definitely will spread some awareness to students and make them think a little bit more before they take it next time.
    Check out this article on the growing problem of adderall use on college campus’.

  5. Lauren Eve Ribeiro

    I really liked reading this blog because after getting to college I instantly saw the high demand for unprescribed Adderall. It would have been beneficial if in your blog you went more in-depth on whether the risk was worth it. For example:

    Taking the adderall:
    -If you take the adderall you can study more, perhaps get a better grade, concentrate more, etc.
    -If you take the adderall you could get a headache, paranoia, etc.

    Not taking the adderall:
    -If you do not take the adderall you do not run the risk of headaches and paranoia, etc.
    -If you do not take the adderall you may not be as productive and perhaps perform worse.

    I think in part the increase of unprescribed adderall has to do with the increased pressure for college students to do so well and get good grades. Students feel as though they need the adderall to perform to their best and live up to the high standards.

  6. Jacob Alexander Loffredo

    Great blog post Katelyn, I also did a blog on a similar topic. I couldn’t agree more with your opinion on your blog and how it is not worth the many risk that follow from taking the drug for recreational use or if you are unprescribed. Adderall is a very addictive drug as you mentioned, I believe there are many more health and cleaner alternatives to adderall such as coffee, good night sleeps, and even caffeine pills which are not good for you but like I said a cleaner alternative and better for not just the body but also the brain. Here is a cool article by CNN that goes in depth about the difference in grades students get when using adderall, all an all adderall is still under the category of an amphetamine pushing me to agree with your final conclusion that we should stay away.

  7. Francis Patrick Cotter

    I have a roommate that takes Adderall regularly. The personality difference after he takes it is noticeable. He also goes on long detailed tangents unprompted, but mostly just has his head down doing homework. Although this observation is anecdotal, it has some backing. This article ( ) although probably biased, details how Adderall can cause mood swings and personality shifts.
    Your statements on the rise in visits to the ER that were related to Adderall use lightly touch on the subject of third party variables. People who demonstrate risky behaviors such as the mixture of medications and alcohol are usually willing to go overboard on both. Therefore, a reverse hypothesis may work with that fact because it is the people that cause/increase the negative effects of Adderall.

  8. Derek William Drotman

    As soon as I got to college I could instantly see the craze and demand for Adderall increase. After reading your article I was aware that all over non-prescribed users are increasing at a crazy rate of 67%. Andrew always talks about risk and to me after reading your blog I don’t believe it is worth taking it after seeing the side effects. I mean having an irregular heartbeat or depression isnt worth the risk of getting a good grade on a test. I agree and don’t believe non-presided patients should use this drug. Also I was wondering if you think students are getting prescribed this drug even though they don’t really need it?

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