Understanding Adderall: ADHD Treatment, Risks, and Prevention

They influence neurotransmitters in the brain to enhance focus, attention, and impulse control. However, Adderall is often abused and used as a substance.

Now, the question is, why does this seemingly harmless medication get abused? What addictive qualities does it come with? Who abuses Adderall? Are they children or adults?
And lastly, how long does Adderall stay in one’s system?

Moreover, with these questions, many parents are also concerned if the medication is at all safe for their children

In this article, we shall help you find the answers to all these questions. So keep reading.

Addictive Qualities In Adderall

Addictive Qualities In Adderall
Source: Sante Center For Healing

Adderall has addictive properties that are similar to Meth. Moreover, Adderall is readily available as a prescription drug. Therefore, it has a higher chance of becoming an addictive substance among people who have a substance use disorder.

Adderall increases the norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the CNS (central nervous system). These two neuromodulators affect the brain and body in the following manner:

  • Norepinephrine: It helps the brain respond to events. Furthermore, it affects the brain’s function by determining how much attention it pays to a stimulus. This, in turn, affects how an individual reacts to different stimuli.
  • Dopamine: This neuromodulator is commonly known as the “feel-good” chemical. Dopamine creates a rewarding effect in the brain. It is a natural chemical that stimulates biological functions. However, with the use of drugs like Adderall, one can unnaturally higher the levels of this chemical in the brain. Therefore, when one takes this drug, it might make them feel unusually happy.

Since Adderall is a prescribed medication, when taken under a doctor’s advice and guidance, it does not cause addiction issues. However, people often take this drug unprescribed and on a regular basis. This leads to addiction and the abuse of the substance.

Who Abuses Adderall?

Who Abuses Adderall
Source: NPR

Adderall is a prescribed medicine that helps children and young adults with ADHD. It helps them improve focus and concentration. It can act as a direct stimulant on the central nervous system.

According to a UCLA study, young children taking Adderall medication for ADHD do not show any unusual pattern of addiction. They do not exhibit symptoms of addiction even when they grow up. Adderall and Ritalin peak effectiveness used to treat ADHD symptoms in young individuals.

This study involved 15 individuals from ages 8 to 20 who were prescribed Adderall by doctors for ADHD. These individuals were neither less nor more likely to develop any addiction, be it alcohol or other substances.

Therefore, Adderall, when prescribed and taken only in prescribed dosage, only helps reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

This signifies that the addictive issue with this drug becomes apparent only when people abuse it. For children or adults, when Adderall is taken in unprescribed dosage and regularly without prescription, it starts unfolding the addictive nature.

How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System?

Depending on the test performed, one can detect Adderall in your system anywhere from 20 to 96 hours after your last usage.

After the last use, you can find Adderall in the urine for 72–96 hours, the blood for 46 hours, the saliva for 20–50 hours, and the hair for up to three months.

Numerous parameters, including urine pH, weight, frequency of usage, dosage, age, and latest use, affect how long it can be detected.

Adderall is a prescribed drug. However, it often gets abused, which can result in addiction and even overdosing.

The adverse side effects of abusing Adderall are the following:

  • Weight loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Mental symptoms.

Treatment for substance abuse by professionals is beneficial for people living with an addiction disorder.

After being absorbed into the digestive system, Adderall is either excreted unaltered in urine or deactivated by the liver.

Approximately 20–25% of it transforms into metabolites, such as benzoic and hippuric acids.

A person’s weight, frequency of usage, dosage, previous dose, urine pH, and renal or liver damage affect how long Adderall stays in their system.

Higher urine pH slows medication removal, whereas lower pH speeds it up. A few other factors are liver or kidney dysfunction and weight.

Avoiding Adderall Abuse

Abusers of Adderall frequently use other people’s prescription drugs or obtain them illegally. Therefore, it heightens the high.

Adults use it to enhance memory or productivity at work, while high school and college students use it to boost performance.

In addition, they might take it by unusual means, including crushing, snorting, or injecting.

Therefore, parents, teachers, caregivers, and doctors must stay aware of the negative impacts of this medication.

If the doctor prescribes Adderall to your child, ensure they take it under the supervision of an adult. Moreover, you must keep the prescriptions away from the reach of other family members.

Read Next: ADHD in Adults: It’s More Common Than You Might Think

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