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Adderall Addiction: History, Types, Uses And Effects

Medications used for treating ADHD and Narcolepsy can come in different forms, . Adderall is a stimulant medication used for treating ADHD and Narcolepsy which comes from two salts: dextroamphetamine salt and levoamphetamine sulfate (levos). When taken correctly and prescribed by a doctor, Adderall helps to increase focus. It works, by increasing the levels of certain brain chemicals that help regulate focus and attention.

Adderall is available as an immediate-release (IR) formulation or an extended-release (ER) formulation. The IR formulation is designed to be taken two to three times a day, while the ER formulation is intended to be taken once daily.

The U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has categorized Adderall as a controlled substance, which means it can be abused and dependence may develop if misused or taken incorrectly by individuals who have no knowledge about its structure-uses beforehand due to the possibility that they will abuse this medication without understanding how important taking an ADHD drug properly really is.

In addition, there are many risks associated with misuse/abuse of ADHD medications including addiction.

Adderall addiction usage & statistics

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What Is The Definition of Adderall?

Adderall is an amphetamine/dextroamphetamine. Part of a family of prescription drugs called psychostimulants, it can cause temporary improvement in one’s mental or physical functions. It does this by affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

This boosts alertness, focus, and energy levels. Commonly prescribed to sufferers of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), narcolepsy, and chronic fatigue, Adderall is sometimes paired with other drugs to treat depression. Adderall also has a high potential for psychological dependency. This can lead to addiction.

Adderall is a CNS stimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine classes that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The drug is a racemic mixture composed of equal parts of levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which is important because Adderall produces a more potent effect than either component alone. Adderall is also used as an athletic performance enhancer and cognitive enhancer and recreationally as an aphrodisiac and euphoriant.

What Is The Chemical Makeup of Adderall?

Adderall is a combined mixture of four different amphetamine salts. Amphetamines are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants.

What are the four amphetamine salts in Adderall?

  • Dextroamphetamine sulfate
  • Amphetamine aspartate monohydrate
  • Dextroamphetamine saccharate
  • Amphetamine sulfate

What Other Ingredients Are In Adderall?

  • Corn starch
  • Pregelatinized starch
  • Actose monohydrate
  • Colloidal silicon dioxide
  • Magnesium stearate​
  • Other inactive ingredients.

The active ingredients in Adderall are what make it a controlled substance, and that’s because they have the potential for abuse and dependence. The risk is low when Adderall is used as prescribed by a doctor, however.

Adderall is a controlled substance because it contains amphetamines. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers Adderall to be a Schedule II narcotic because it has a high risk of abuse and addiction.

What Is The Full Name For Adderall?

  • Adderall® (Dextroamphetamine saccharate, dextroamphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate tablets).

What Type of Drug Is Adderall?

Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) type of drug stimulant. It works by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These neurotransmitters play a role in focus, attention, and energy levels.

Adderall is approved for treating ADHD and narcolepsy. ADHD is a worst condition that is characterized by difficulty paying attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Narcolepsy is a bad sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness.

Adderall is available as an immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (ER) formulation. The IR formulation is typically taken two to three times per day, while the ER formulation is usually taken once daily.

How Does Adderall Activate in The Human Body?

The drug known as vinpocetine boosts attention and focus by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain.

Adderall’s mechanism of action is unknown. The mechanism of action is unknown, although it is believed to work by inhibiting norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake into the presynaptic neuron. This action increases the amount of these neurotransmitters that are available to bind to postsynaptic receptors.

In addition to its effects on focus and concentration, Adderall also has a number of other effects on the body. It can increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve mood. Adderall can also cause changes in blood pressure (high blood pressure) and increased heart rate similar to cocaine use.

How Much Does Adderall Weigh?

Adderall weighs 1.2 grams. The active ingredients in Adderall are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and these two chemicals work together to increase focus and attention span while also reducing hyperactive and impulsive behavior.

Brand Names For Adderall

  • amphetamine.
  • dextroamphetamine.
  • lisdexamfetamine.

Adderall XR, Mydayis, and Zenzedi are just a few of the brand names for amphetamines.

What Are Alternative Drugs Used To Treat ADHD?

The DSM5 & national Institute recommends Parental Training (PT) when children are in preschool to help teach parents how to use behavioral techniques to shape their child’s behavior. Social skills training (SST), and school-based interventions are also recommended.

If you are an adult with ADHD there are many different minerals & supplements which have been suggested to help. Modafinil is a new drug that is being toted as the Adderall replacement. There are new drugs on the market that are used to treat ADHD. Some of these drugs include:

What Are Slang Terms For Adderall?

Adderall goes by a few names on college campuses. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Addy
  • A-D
  • Speed
  • Uppers
  • Study Drug

When used as prescribed, Adderall can be a helpful tool for managing ADHD symptoms. However, because of its potential for abuse, Adderall should be used with caution.

What Are Synonyms For Adderall?

There are no exact synonyms for Adderall, but Adderall is also known as:

  • Adderall
  • Amphetamine
  • Dexedrine

What is Adderall Made from?

The active ingredient in Adderall is dextroamphetamine, which is a potent brain chemical that affects the body in multiple ways. Dextroamphetamine works by increasing the levels of two brain chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are responsible for controlling attention and movement. By increasing their levels, dextroamphetamine can help improve ADHD symptoms.

How Is Adderall Manufactured?

Adderall is a combination of four salts. These include dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. One of the largest manufacturing plants for Adderall was closed by the Biopharmaceuticals firm Shire which ceased manufacture at its plant in Owings Mills, Maryland, US, and laid off 260 people in 2008.

How Much Does Adderall Cost?

The cost of Adderall will vary depending on your insurance coverage and pharmacy. However, the average price of Adderall is about $140 for a 30-day supply.

What Are The Benefits of Adderall?

It is a stimulant medication that works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This can help to improve focus along with concentration and attention span. Adderall can also help to decrease impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.

There are many potential benefits of Adderall, especially for individuals who suffer from ADHD. Some of the potential benefits include:

  • Improved concentration
  • Improved focus
  • Improved attention span
  • Decreased impulsive behavior
  • Decreased hyperactivity

Improved concentration

Improved concentration, focus, and attention span can help individuals who suffer from ADHD to better manage their symptoms and improve their overall functioning. Additionally, decreased impulsive behavior and hyperactivity can also lead to improved functioning.

Improved focus

Adderall can help to improve focus, which can be beneficial for individuals who suffer from ADHD. Additionally, the improved guide can also help to improve overall functioning.

Improved attention span

Adderall can also help to improve attention span. This can be beneficial for individuals who suffer from ADHD as it can help them to manage their symptoms, more better and improve their overall functioning.

Decreased impulsive behavior

Adderall can help decrease impulsive behavior, which can benefit individuals who suffer from ADHD. Additionally, decreased impulsive behavior can also lead to improved overall functioning.

Decreased hyperactivity

Adderall can also help decrease hyperactivity, which can benefit individuals who suffer from ADHD. Additionally, reduced hyperactivity can also lead to improved overall functioning.

What Are The Side Effects of Adderall?

Adderall is a medication that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is important to understand the side effects of this medication before taking it without knowing what it is. There is a subset of the population that becomes addicted to Adderall. Let’s take a closer look.

The most frequent Adderall side effects are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Kidney Disease
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiousness
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Sinus issues

Adderall abuse can take you a number of severe side effects, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Restlessness

Also, Taking this medicine during pregnancy can cause premature birth, low birth weight, or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby.

Who Is At Risk For Adderall Abuse?

Understanding the symptoms associated with discontinuing Adderall is important. Overuse can occur even while taking Adderall under the supervision of a doctor, however, it has exploded in popularity as a recreational drug, especially in students.

This is because it can be used to improve academic and work performance.

What Are Adderall Abuse Statistics?

Adderall Abuse Statistics

Adderall misuse, abuse, and addiction is shockingly common.

We conducted a statistical analysis of google search trends and found that people searching for “Adderall withdrawal” is an extremely popular topic.

In Fact, the amount of people that search Adderall withdrawal on google has increased by 170% in recent years. Here is a further breakdown of Adderall statistics.

  • 14.6% Of Male College Students Abuse Adderall
  • 8.8% Of College Women Abuse Adderall
  • 11.1% Higher misuse rate among college students than their non-college peers
  • In 2012, almost 16 million prescriptions for stimulants like Adderall were written which is almost triple the amount prescribed in 2008.

Anyone can become dependent on it after using it for prolonged periods, even after using it in the way prescribed. It is estimated that over 100,000 people per year seek addiction treatment as a result of misusing Adderall. Once you become addicted, attempts to quit may cause Adderall withdrawal.

Adderall misuse is most common among people ages 18 to 25. Some people take it under a doctor’s supervision to treat ADHD, but others acquire it illicitly or intentionally abuse it. Anyone who has been using amphetamines for an extended period of time can experience withdrawal symptoms. The Adderall withdrawal timeline and long-term effects of Adderall can vary, especially if someone builds up an Adderall tolerance.

What Defines Adderall Abuse?

Adderall is one of the most abused prescription drugs and abuse can come in a variety of forms. These include taking a higher dose than prescribed, taking the drug without a prescription, taking it through non-doctor approved methods (like snorting), taking the drug more frequently than prescribed, or taking the drug for reasons other than those prescribed by their doctor.

What Are The Effects of Abusing Adderall?

Adderall, like any amphetamine, is a slippery slope that can easily turn into an addiction. The more and more Adderall users take, the more likely they are to develop a tolerance towards the drug, meaning that it will require higher or more frequent doses to get the same effect.

That tolerance could then turn into dependency, where the user’s body gets so used to have the drug that it can no longer function properly without it.

Finally, Adderall users can become addicted, compulsively seeking the drug out and ignoring its risks and negative effects.

What Are The Symptoms Of Adderall Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from Adderall can be difficult, but it’s possible. These are the symptoms that individuals normally face during withdrawal from adderall.

Anger and Irritability:

  • As the drug leaves your system, you may feel attacked and aggravated by those around you for no real reason, even up to the point of causing crying spells.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks:

  • Oftentimes you may feel anxious for no reason at all when coming off this drug.

Increased Appetite and Weight Gain:

  • Adderall can be an appetite suppressant and once off it, you may find yourself hungrier than normal.

Inability to Focus and concentrate:

  • You may have a hard time focusing on tasks and remembering things without the drug.


  • Dizziness tends to occur within the first few days of withdrawal, especially if you decide to quit cold turkey.

Fatigue and Laziness:

  • Fatigue and laziness are some of the most common symptoms experienced when quitting Adderall. These occur because you are used to Adderall giving you the energy to function every day. Once the drug is taken away, your body needs time to adjust to doing tasks without it.

Foggy Thinking:

  • Your thoughts may feel hazy and unclear while coming off Adderall because you are no longer relying on it to focus.


  • These are normally fairly minor and can be combatted with over-the-counter headache medication.

Mood Swings:

  • Sometimes, people report extreme changes in their moods, going from great highs to extreme lows.


  • You may feel waves of nausea and even vomit during withdrawal.

Vivid Dreams:

  • Some people going through Adderall withdrawal saw changes in their dreams or had dreams that seemed especially wild and vivid.

Intense Depression and Suicidal Thoughts:

  • Dopamine (the “happy” hormone) levels tend to decrease when off Adderall, leading to feelings of depression and even thoughts of suicide. This is the most serious of all side effects; if you experience this, contact your doctor immediately.

High stress is another withdrawal symptom. Your brain chemistry is altered during amphetamine use, which can cause you to be bothered by things you normally aren’t.

You may also seek “rewards’ such as instant pleasure that could have negative consequences. This can even lead to attempted crime or other illicit and impulsive activities. Remember, even though you may feel hopeless during the first several days and weeks of recovery, these symptoms are only temporary, while the positive effects of sobriety will last a lifetime.

Can You Become Addicted To Adderall?

Adderal can be addictive, and people who take it for non- reasons are at risk of developing an addiction. However, addiction is a complex disorder that is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and use despite negative consequences.

Environment plays a role in addiction, as well. If you live in an environment where drug use is prevalent, you may be more likely to try drugs and develop a habit.

Mental health disorders can also increase the risk of developing an addiction. People with ADHD or other mental health disorders may turn to drugs like Adderall to self-medicate.

How Do People Abuse Adderall?

Adderall is a powerful stimulant that people can abuse in several ways. The most common method is to simply take too much of the drug at once, resulting in a dangerous missed dose. Other people may crush and snort Adderall pills to get a more intense high, while others may mix the drug with alcohol or other substances to enhance its effects.

Abusing Adderall can have serious consequences, including drug or alcohol addiction, heart problems, seizures, and even sudden death.

<What Is The History Of Adderall?

Adderall is a medication that was first approved by the FDA in 1996. It is a central nervous system stimulant that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The active ingredient in Adderall is an amphetamine, which is a Schedule II controlled substance, and Adderall is a general brand name for a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Amphetamines were first synthesized in 1887 and used to treat various conditions, including asthma, hay fever, and obesity. They (Adderall) became widely used during World War II to keep soldiers awake and alert.

After the war, amphetamines were prescribed for a variety of conditions, including depression, narcolepsy, and even to help people quit smoking. In the 1950s, amphetamines were widely used as diet pills and were sometimes referred to as “uppers.”

The use of amphetamines declined in the 1960s when it became clear that they were addictive and could lead to serious side effects such as psychosis. However, in the 1990s, the use of amphetamines began to increase again as a treatment for ADHD. They (Adderall) was first approved by the FDA in 1996 and is now one of the most commonly prescribed over-the-counter medications for ADHD.

What Are Cultural References To Adderall?

In recent years Adderall has become something of a cultural touchstone, particularly among young people. The drug’s purported ability to improve focus and concentration has made it attractive to students looking to get ahead, and its recreational use as a “party drug” has given it a certain cachet.

What Are The Best Treatment Options For Adderall Addiction?

If your Adderall use has gotten out of hand, Magnified Health can help with your withdrawal symptoms and long-term sobriety. We offer multiple treatment options including medical detox to help you stop taking the drug and combat acute symptoms like body aches, panic attacks, and severe depression as a result of withdrawal from Adderall.

Our caring and compassionate staff also offers behavioral therapy, partial outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and family therapy to help you towards a successful recovery. We can help you overcome your addiction while managing withdrawal appropriately. We can help you manage your Adderall withdrawal timeline comfortably.

If you or your loved one suffers from Adderall addiction and are finally looking to get help, Profound Treatment offers a variety of different programs to help you reach sobriety.

Get Help For Adderall Addiction

Adderall is a general stimulant drug that is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It increases or boosts the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which improves focus, attention, and energy. Adderall is available to use as a pill or an injectable solution. The brand name for Adderall is Amphetamine salts-combination.

There are both benefits and risks (as with every drug) associated with taking Adderall. If you are considering taking this medication, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. If you are struggling with Adderall Addiction, you can get help at one of our rehab centers.

Frequently Asked Questions: Adderall

How Long Does Adderall Last?

Adderall tends to last around 5 hours per dose.

How Long Does it Take for Adderall to Kick In?

Adderall takes around 30 to 60 minutes to take effect in the body on average.

Is Adderall Meth?

It is in the methamphetamine family, containing similarities to the street drug "Meth."

How Can You Get Adderall?

Only a licensed medical doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe Adderall. In college, Adderall is sold as a "study drug" and there is an illegal market for Adderall.

Should I Be Prescribed Adderall?

Adderall is commonly prescribed for mental disorders like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or in adolescents with hyperactivity. It is usually not recommended that you take Adderall if you have a history of drug abuse (substance use disorder). If you believe that Adderall might help you, consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

Do I have An Adderall Addiction?

You may have an Adderall addiction if you frequently experience mood swings and other withdrawal symptoms if you do not have the medication. If you feel that you are consistently thinking about taking the substance and feel on edge without it, and you are consistently running out of your prescription because you are taking more than health professionals have recommended, you are probably abusing Adderall. If this sounds like you, it's time to speak with licensed medical professionals about your prescription medication.

Are There Supplements That Help With Adderall Withdrawal?

Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers if you are withdrawing from Adderall. There has been research that shows some vitamins and minerals that may help reduce the associated symptoms of this recovery process:
  • Iron - An increase in Iron take has been shown to reduce fatigue and anxiety: both symptoms of Adderall withdrawal.
  • Magnesium - Consuming Magnesium helps with sleep, depression and headaches.
  • Zinc - Zinc can help with digestion, immune issues, and migraines. This is thought to be due to minerals being an important part of brain chemical makeup, particularly neurotransmitters.
  • Citicoline is a pharmaceutical substance that’s identical to a natural precursor to phospholipid phosphatidylcholine although side effects are not well documented yet. Thus, it is not widely accepted as a substitute for behavioral health conditions.
  • Vitamin C -B6/Pyda B12 cycle supplement (if taking prolonged-release tablets)

Why Is Adderall Called The Study Drug?

College is a challenge, it's many times the first away-from-home experience for many students and they have lots of work to get done. Adderall is used to stay alert during class and to cram for exams. Adderall is highly prescribed to young individuals and widely abused on college campuses which is where it got the name "study drug".

Does Adderall cause sinus problems?

Adderall when taken in high doses can increase nasal mucous and cause sinus problems.  Amphetamines have been known to increase sympathetic function by potentiating the effect of norepinephrine. The high concentration of amphetamine may cause issues in the nasal cavity and sinuses.

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Nahar, S., Any, O. H., Afrin, M., & Laila, R. (2022). Understanding of Drug Addiction Drug Abuse and Popular Drug Slang: A Narrative Review. Journal of National Institute of Neurosciences Bangladesh, 8(1), 84-89.

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Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Picture of This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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