Adderall is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit disorder. There comes its name from the English term: Attention Deficit Disorder.
It is currently a medication that is most often prescribed in adults and is quite popular among the university community, as well as among young professionals and also among athletes, which has generated a lot of controversies.
What exactly is the Adderall?
Adderall is a medicine made from amphetamines. For their part, amphetamines are synthetic substances that belong to the group of central nervous system stimulating agents (psychostimulants or psychoactive agents ), and as such, what they do is stimulate both attention and physical performance.
In other words, Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that is medically prescribed, especially for attention deficit disorder (without hyperactivity). Still, it is also used, for example, to treat narcolepsy. Not only that, but in recent years, its recreational use and for purposes such as improving school, physical, or work performance has increased significantly.
It is approved for production and marketing in the United States since 2001 under the name ADDERALL TX, in tablets with a concentration of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 mg.
Technically stimulants favor and increase the release of catecholamines in the brain, that is, substances such as norepinephrine, adrenaline, and dopamine that are transported in the bloodstream and the neural networks so that we can respond to stressful situations.
The latter has the effect of increasing reaction times, causing a sensation of alertness and of always being awake, and even producing euphoria, thus increasing tolerance to pain. Therefore, Adderall is used to maintain longer attention and to improve physical performance.
As for its adverse effects, the constant and prolonged use of amphetamines can cause sleep disturbances, anxiety, psychotic, and manic episodes, issues that may eventually require the taking of other drugs.
Among the most severe side effects, and since it significantly accelerates the heart rhythm, a relationship between amphetamine intake and sudden death, cardiovascular accidents, psychotic or manic episodes, visual disturbance, and the development of gastrointestinal diseases has been reported, Endocrine and liver.
Therefore, it is contraindicated in people who have symptoms of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, agitated states, or a history of addiction to psychoactive drugs. Similarly, it can increase impulsivity in the case of children who have a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Apart from all of the above, perhaps the most problematic and controversial effect of amphetamines is that they are highly addictive substances, which means that they generate a lot of problems, not only at the private but also public level: the need to consume them increases gradually, as well as tolerance (which also increases the dose that needs to be taken); and then the likelihood of uncontrolled use increases the number of people susceptible to developing chronic diseases and even the illegal market.
Difference between Adderall and Ritalin
The difference between Adderall and Ritalin is that the essential component of Adderall is an amphetamine, and the primary element of Ritalin is methylphenidate. Both amphetamine and methylphenidate are substances that stimulate the nervous system, so their effects are practically the same.
What is the controversy?
The use of Adderall (as well as Ritalin) has generated significant controversy in recent years, especially for its highly addictive and highly normalized effects.
It has also been widely discussed because, although educational and work performance has improved, the use of these types of drugs often hides shortcomings that are typical of educational and employment environments. In other words, they are used in an increasingly popular and standardized way, not only to compensate for difficulties in the teaching-learning process of children but also among the university community or among young professionals and athletes who are required to maintain productivity rhythms that They go beyond their abilities.
Consequently, its commercialization is growing, even when the tendency to diagnose attention deficit disorders on a large scale (especially in the United States) has already been questioned.
Some say that drugs were used to make people disconnect from social reality, as a means of escape and to reach different states of consciousness. Now, it seems that they are used for the opposite purpose, to make us connect with that social reality, as quickly and as best as possible.