When discussing Adderall for studying, you need to be aware that if you like how you feel when you’re on this drug, you probably don’t have ADHD.
Table of Contents
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription drug, meaning it’s a controlled substance in the U.S., and it’s classified as a stimulant. When someone takes Adderall, it acts on the central nervous system in a stimulating way, and the particular brain neurotransmitters it affects are dopamine and norepinephrine as well as serotonin.
Adderall is prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy in less common situations. When someone is diagnosed with ADHD, it can help them in several ways including allowing them to concentrate and focus more, and it can improve behavioral control.
Adderall comes in different types and doses. There is immediate-release and extended release, and as the name implies, with immediate-release the effects are felt much more quickly and more strongly than with extended-release. Relative to extended-release Adderall, immediate-release versions of the medicine are shorter-acting and usually wear off after a few hours. The effects of extended-release Adderall can last up to 10 hours in some cases.
The Risks & Side Effects of Adderall
Adderall can be helpful for the disorders it’s prescribed to treat, but it also has potential risks and side effects associated with its use, and it’s frequently abused by people who don’t have diagnosed ADHD.
The side effects of Adderall can include loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, headaches, nausea and vomiting. These are relatively common side effects, even when people are prescribed the medicine. There can be severe side effects stemming from the use of Adderall, particularly when it’s abused without a prescription. Some of the more serious side effects can include mood changes such as depression, heart-related problems, changes in heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
Something that should be noted when talking about Adderall for studying is the fact that if you like how you feel when you’re on this drug, you probably don’t have ADHD. Research has shown that people who feel euphoric when taking a stimulant like Adderall are less likely to have genes predisposing them to ADHD. This is probably why people with ADHD are less likely to abuse Adderall and other stimulants.
Despite the risks and the fact that it’s a controlled substance, people have started using Adderall for studying. It’s not uncommon on campuses across the country to see students using Adderall for studying on a regular basis. It’s relatively easy for them to come by, and the theory is that it allows them to focus for long periods of time without falling asleep or losing interest.
Adderall is often referred to as a “study drug,” and students and even young professionals frequently use it to increase their focus and level of productivity. Adderall and drugs like it are also called “smart drugs,” and even though it can be a risky strategy, there are 1 in 5 students who use study drugs.Many college campuses around the country report that it’s an increasingly significant problem, and along with students using it without a prescription, there’s also been a rise in people getting prescriptions for the drug.
There tends to be a misconception that somehow Adderall and other similar drugs are safer than drugs sold on the street, but the effects and consequences are often very similar.
So, does Adderall work for studying? Yes, in the short-term, but there are caveats.
First, while using Adderall does work for studying, you can quickly develop a tolerance to it. When you have a tolerance to a drug, it means it no longer has the effect it once did. It may have a diminished effect or no effect at all. When you develop a tolerance to Adderall, you have to take higher and higher doses, and eventually, it may not work at all to help you study.
Also, if you’re using Adderall to study something more creative or you need to write a paper as an example, it may do more harm than good.
Another reason to reconsider Adderall for studying? When Adderall is used for studying it can feel great for a few hours, but as the effects wear off, people will go through a comedown similar to what happens with other drugs like cocaine. During this time the person will likely feel anxious, depressed and can have a range of other adverse side effects, which can counteract the productivity achieved while on Adderall.
There’s also the health risks associated with Adderall and the potential for addiction. If someone is regularly relying on Adderall to study they may become addicted to the drug, and if they become physically dependent then they will go through withdrawal when they attempt to stop using them.
While Adderall does work for studying, the benefits rarely outweigh the risks.
People frequently wonder if there are alternatives to Adderall for studying. There aren’t going to be many non-prescription products that are as potent as Adderall, which is why it’s a controlled substance available only by prescription. However, some products promise to have at least some of the benefits of Adderall without as many of the risks. There’s a field of products called nootropics which are also often called smart drugs, and they aim to provide cognitive benefits.
Nootropics and other herbal supplements may help boost your energy and cognitive skills, but you’re not likely to experience the euphoric high of Adderall or similar drugs like Ritalin. With that being said, you’re also not likely to have the uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous side effects of so-called prescription “study drugs” either.