I went for most of my life without using medication to manage my ADHD. I vividly remember that first day I took my first Adderall. It’s like the world slowed down - I was calm, I could focus, that pressing need to be up and moving was gone. Adderall improved my quality of life and ability to function, but is it right for your child? Here are some things to consider so that you can make an informed decision:
What is Adderall?
A stimulant. This is the most basic way to describe it. Stimulants increase blood pressure and heart rate, constrict blood vessels, increase blood glucose, and open breathing pathways.
For most people, taking a stimulant increases energy, alertness, and activity. Society has groomed us to grab that cup of coffee or an energy drink if we need a pick-me-up. Students who push themselves too hard resort to taking stimulants to get through finals week.
Interestingly, stimulants have an opposite effect on people with ADD/ADHD when it comes to energy. Have you found that drinking caffeine actually calms you down? I sure did. It seems counter-intuitive but it works!
More specifically, Adderall is a cocktail of dextroamphetamines and amphetamines - narcotics. To be on Adderall, you’re required to undergo random drug tests periodically. Not only that, but any wrong moves with your medication and you could end up spending some time with your local Drug Enforcement Agency. Adderall is a powerful drug that has positive and potentially negative results.
An extended release version of Adderall is available, which lessens the severity of the "ups" in the morning and "crashes" in the afternoon. This option has a much higher price tag, but might be worth discussing with your doctor.
Is Adderall Addictive?
Have you ever seen those news stories showing the “before and after” photos of meth users? You can bet that those people were addicted. While Adderall is a different type of amphetamine, it can still be highly addictive, especially if abused. People who take Adderall should work with their doctors closely and follow his/her recommendation.
Besides the potential for addiction, there are several potentially dangerous side effects to using Adderall. As I mentioned earlier, it increases blood pressure and heart rate. This could develop into heart and circulatory problems. It can significantly affect many things such as your central nervous, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as vision. Interestingly, amphetamines used to be prescribed as an appetite suppressant to assist in weight loss - using Adderall might result in a reduced appetite. For a more comprehensive list of side effects, click here.
Using Adderall is a huge financial commitment! Even when choosing the generic extended release option, I spent $150 a month on my prescription. Low deductible insurance plans can soften the blow, but $1,800 a year is a pretty steep investment.
From the moment I started taking Adderall, I wanted to find a better, permanent, and drug-free solution. This eventually led me to try Crossinology Brain Integration. Needless to say, the results did not disappoint. To read more about my experience, click here.
Please consult with your doctor if you are looking at options for treatment of ADD/ADHD.