The medication, Adderall, has proven to be an effective medication in controlling and treating ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ADD (attention deficit disorder) and narcolepsy for decades. A few years ago, Adderall resurfaced and began making headlines as a weight loss drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not give its seal of approval when it comes to taking Adderall as a weight loss drug.
From college students to busy moms, Adderall has seen a significant and marked increase in use in recent years. College students are taking it for increased energy and focus. Busy moms and many women are taking Adderall as an alternative to diet and exercise; Adderall is an appetite suppressant. This growing trend and shift in its use are alarmingly dangerous for a wide number of reasons.
How Adderall Works From A Weight Loss Standpoint
This doctor-prescribed medication contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Both of these are stimulants that directly impact and affect certain chemicals in the brain. In people using Adderall for non-medical or recreational reasons, appetite suppression and an increase in focus is the desired goal. Since this drug offers both common side effects, many people are taking Adderall to help them stay awake and study or lose large amounts of weight relatively quickly.
How Is Adderall Dangerous?
Many people see the use of Adderall as a quick fix to their lack of focus or weight issues. The medical risks of taking Adderall to get through finals or drop a few pounds is simply not worth potentially permanently jeopardizing your health. Some of the most common side effects associated with Adderall are mood swings, high blood pressure, increase in heart rate or arrhythmia, headache or migraines, and trouble sleeping. If you have heart problems or an already-diagnosed heart defect, you will most likely not be prescribed Adderall under any circumstance. Similarly, if you have risk factors for developing a heart condition, your doctor is less likely to prescribe the drug.
In addition to the more common side effects associated with Adderall use, there are also many more serious, and potentially fatal, impacts that long-term use can bring about when taking this potent drug. Adderall has a boxed warning. Not all prescribed medications have a boxed warning label. These labels are applied to certain drugs that pose significant health risks; these warnings are given by the FDA. The warning on the drug Adderall clearly states that there is a significant and high risk of becoming dependent with continued use. You can become both physically and psychologically dependent on the drug, and Adderall addiction is a serious risk. Any consumption of Adderall comes with additional life-threatening risks. It can cause irreversible heart problems and even sudden death.
As a class II drug, anyone taking Adderall needs to be monitored regularly and closely by their doctor. If there is an increase in blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, tachycardia or another related factor present that may indicate an increased risk of stroke, death or heart attack, your doctor will most likely cease prescribing you Adderall. In order to be prescribed Adderall, you need to convey to your doctor that you have an underlying condition that can medically be linked to justify prescribing the drug. Most doctors will not prescribe Adderall strictly in conjunction with weight loss. This means that in order to obtain a prescription, you essentially have to falsify symptoms to your doctor or healthcare professional. If you attempt to order Adderall online, you risk accidentally purchasing it from an undercover agent; this will result in jail time. Losing 20 pounds is not worth having a permanent criminal record following you around for life.
Less Dangerous, But Still Noteworthy, Reasons Why Adderall Is Dangerous
Adderall stimulates the dopamine center of the brain; dopamine is the pleasure-triggering hormone. Over time, you will need more Adderall to continue to lose or maintain your weight. If you decide to stop taking Adderall, you will put the weight back on in a relatively short period of time. The reason this happens is that the appetite-suppressing quality of Adderall causes most people to limit their caloric intake each day; this sends their bodies into starvation mode.
Due to its chemical compound, Adderall is also known to cause anxiety. High doses taken over a short period of time have been proven to cause paranoia, fear, mood swings, an intense and irrational hostility and a sharp rise in acute stress. In patients utilizing the drug for medical purposes, the drug has the opposite impact. If you experience an intense anxiety or any of the mentioned symptoms while taking Adderall for non-medical conditions or weight loss, you are at an increased risk of developing panic attacks and irreversible heart conditions.
Adderall was taken off the market back in the 1980s. Originally called Obetrol, it was specifically prescribed as a weight loss drug. It was pulled due to its highly addictive properties and negative side effects. If it was an effective treatment for weight loss, it would not have been pulled from the market.
Due to Adderall’s ability to increase focus, it inadvertently hinders creativity. Continued use of the drug limits the brain’s ability to activate the parts of the brain responsible for imagination, innovation, and ideas. Creative thinking is important in our daily lives as well as in a work environment. Long-term use of Adderall gives you the methodical and cognitive ability of a robot, and it diminishes your ability to create new ideas, theories, and free-thinking content.
Despite the warnings, Adderall continues to be used and abused as a weight loss drug and study aid. Some people even take dangerously-high doses from time to time to mimic the feeling that the drug speed produces. Even when used as prescribed by doctors and for diagnosed medical conditions, Adderall can be a dangerous drug. When used for non-medical purposes like weight loss, your risk of dependency, developing irreversible conditions and even dying is significantly increased.