Millions of teenagers and young adults are spreading the word about a “cheat code” for life. They say there is a miracle substance that can make it easy to study all night or complete boring tasks like cleaning your house and practicing an instrument for hours. The best part is that you won’t even mind these possibly mundane tasks. These high schoolers and college students attribute these miraculous effects to a “wonder drug” called Adderall. What they won’t necessarily tell you is that Adderall is also an incredibly dangerous drug that can kill you.
Adderall is prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These are “psychiatric diagnoses” for when a person (usually young people still in school or in college) are apparently not able to focus on the everyday tasks they’re confronted with. Adderall is a stimulant that is chemically very similar to cocaine. When someone with problems paying attention takes the drug, the stimulant can seem to get them to focus on the tasks before them with laser-like intensity.
The Drawbacks to a Seeming “Wonder Drug”
While more and more young people are taking advantage of Adderall to artificially boost their attention span and test scores, not enough of them know about the very serious drawbacks to their drug use. When a doctor prescribes the drug, the user is supposed to swallow the pills on a set schedule. When taken this way, the pills have a gradual effect and cause the amphetamine-like boost of focus and “energy” over the course of several hours or a day. Teens and young adults have quickly learned, however, that they can crush up the pills and snort them in order to get a much faster and more powerful high.
When you crush up the pills and take them this way, however, they are far more addictive, as well. Adderall can already be addictive, but when it is abused it becomes even more dangerous. Abusers of this drug have reported staying awake for days at a time and then crashing and sleeping for days at a time. These people can also feel high levels of paranoia and anxiety that are virtually inescapable.
Abusers will start to act out of character and do things that their families would never expect. Some families, like that of Adderall abuser Richard Fee, even found the lives of someone they love taken by the drug. Richard Fee started out taking the drug in college after it was recommended by a friend to help with studying, but before he knew it he had a full-blown drug problem. After graduating, Fee returned home to live with his parents, but all was not well. His parents found him acting stranger and stranger until one day they discovered that he had hung himself in his own bedroom closet.
The Connection to Other Drugs
Another problem with Adderall and other drugs used to treat ADD and ADHD is that they can be a bridge to abusing other drugs. Many users are prescribed the drugs to “treat” a condition, but they quickly find out that they love the way the drugs are temporarily making them feel. They then look for other drugs that can make them feel the same way, and lo and behold, there are cocaine, meth and many others ready to fill that need.
The real answer for teenagers and young adults is to stay away from these drugs completely. They can and do ruin lives every day, and you don’t want the next life they ruin to be your own.
Adderall Addiction: Lessons from a Son’s Suicide – http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2013/October/Adderall-Addiction-Lessons-from-a-Sons-Suicide/