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Is it OK to take adderall if I don't have ADD?
Q: okay, i have been taking adderall ((dl-amphetamine) treatment for add people) but im not a.d.d. I just buy it off kids from school. I feel smarter, and can concentrate easily, so i take it on a daily basis. I just wanted to know if this will affect me since I'm not supposed to be taking it. It would be greatly appreciated if you could take the time to answer and email me back. thank you very much!

A: One very important thing for you to know is that it is very likely a felony in your state to buy adderall (a schedule II substance) without a prescription. Be aware of the legal, school, and familial risks.

Adderall is a hybrid amphetamine composed of four different amphetamine salts which act on different time scales. As an amphetamine, it tends to have a classic amphetamine reaction in those people who do not have specific medical need for it. As dose increases, people are more likely experience a speedy effect, tend towards compulsive organization, will have difficulty sleeping, and at higher doses may experience jaw clenching and dehydration. Many people find the 'speedy' effect of drugs like adderall recreationally desirable, sometimes as a way to stay up, to allow for more energy, or to get caught up on work or cleaning that they have been procrastinating for some period of time.

In people who do have attention deficit disorder, adderal has somewhat different effects. It generally loses the sense of being a 'fun' thing to do, but is seen as an effective way to keep thoughts organized, stay on task, and accomplish things. Most ADD users of adderal or similar drugs develop little interest in overmedicating on a regular basis, although most know that an occasional extra 5 or 10 mg in the morning will give a bit of a speedy edge and perhaps make up for some slacking days, but tend to utilize this edge very rarely.

Because of your sense of how this amphetamine is affecting you, I would like to encourage you to check out the common symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. There are many pages on the net that discuss symptoms, but here are a couple:'s ADHD Diagnosis Page to take a look at some of the diagnostic criteria for ADD. If you find that you fit this profile, despite your belief that you do not have ADD, a visit to a psychiatrist or neurologist may be in order to discuss the situation in more detail. It may be helpful to be honest with them about your discovery that ADD medications assist you with your daily work. (You should keep in mind, however, that drugs like Adderall are considered by the FDA to have a high profile for abuse on the street, and therefore in the USA are only available in 30-day prescriptions with no refills). Many physicians are wary of 'patients' showing up lookging for a script for amphetamines.

Currently (2001), ADD is a very popular diagnosis and many children and adults are prescribed stimulants as a treatment. One thing to keep in mind is that while some people very clearly fit the diagnosis of ADD, there are continuums of focus, attention, calm, et cetera along which everyone falls. Each of us moves along those continuums depending on time of day, day of week, week of the year, etc. Stress, diet, and sleep quality can radically affect one's ability to focus and concentrate and should be the first issues to explore when addressing attention problems.

Almost everyone wishes they could focus more than they can and has trouble staying consistently engaged in school, work, reading, and other activities. Proper dosages of stimulants work for many people in the short term to increase focus, but there are many pitfalls and problems associated with regular strong stimulant use. Many people do respond well to stimulants and they are used by millions of people to effectively manage symptoms of ADD.

The world's spiritual traditions and many mind-body practices (such as meditation, tai-chi, yoga, and the like) have as one of their primary goals to increase the ability to focus, concentrate, and relax. Meditation is taught by many traditions as one of the best ways to build the ability to concentrate over a lifetime. Anxiety and inability to focus are some of the most common complaints people have as they age and you might consider looking into a mind-body practice as an additional or alternate method of developing focus and clarity.

If after all of this you determine that you are certain that you do not have ADD, and
just find the stimulant property of Adderall helpful, here are some things to watch out for: Any amphetamine can cause side effects such as loss of appetite, decrease in body weight, loss of sleep, and at higher doses increases in blood pressure, pulse rate, and tachycardia. Recreational users of amphetamines tend to find that tolerance develops over time. In some cases, recreational users get to a point where taking a sedative is necessary to counteract the amphetamine enough to sleep. If you find that you are experiencing any of these side effects regularly, or that you are finding it necessary to increase your daily dosage, you are likely to face future problems and should stop your self-medication.

There are many reasons to work with a physician when taking stimulants, not the least of which that if you procure a prescription for them you will not have to fear criminal prosecution for possession if you are caught with them during a traffic stop or other accidental contact with authorities. Another good reason for working with a physician or a non-amphetamine using partner is to help have an external check on your use. It is very easy with stimulants and other regular-use drugs to use more often than may be healthy and it is very difficult to be able to see this from the inside. Working with a buddy-system where someone else you trust has can give you feedback about your use will increase your ability to stay safe. One of the sayings among experienced psychoactive users is "don't fly without a co-pilot" and this applies to daily medication even more.

Remember to be careful in your explorations and to keep clear watch over your usage patterns and side effects. There is a reason that amphetamines are prescribed in such a restricted fashion, and if you choose to use them regularly without the watchful eye of a physician, you should check yourself, to the best of your knowledge and ability, for the same symptoms of abuse and developing tolerance that they would be watching for. Keep a journal of your experience to help track how it works for you, side effects, dosage, mood swings, ability to concentrate, etc.

Here are some interesting URLs to check out:

Asked By : adderall
Answered By : purlah / earth
Published Date : 3 / 5 / 2001
Last Edited Date : 4 / 10 / 2008
Question ID : 1600

Categories: [ Amphetamines ] [ ADD ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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