The word on Wall Street is, cocaine is over, and everyone is taking Adderall to survive the all-nighters, the tedious work, and the hangovers from one-too-many the night before.
So what is Adderall and why does it make people more efficient?
We decided to put together some facts on what this amphetamine (yes, that’s what it is) does to your body because it’s not all fun and games. Canada pulled the drug off the shelves in 2005 because it was believed to be the source of 20 deaths over 10 years, according to NPR.
So know what you’re dealing with.
Serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline are the chemicals in your brain that make you happy and they're released when you do something you love (favourite sport, seeing your favourite band, whatever floats your boat).
These chemicals are stored in your brain for use when you do what you love, but Adderall breaks them free and sends them to your synapses. That's when you feel charged.
When Adderall wears off, they go back into storage.
Adderall releases dopamine, but it also stops the chemical from replenishing itself.
When dopamine is released it usually moves from one neuron to the next. When it's done, it goes back to neuron number one to rest before it starts again in a process called reuptake.
Adderall prevents reuptake, and the dopamine just kind of disappears. That's when you feel like you should take more Adderall.
According to the FDA, you should not take Adderall if you have heart problems. Here's why:
Stimulant medications cause a modest increase in average blood pressure (about 2-4 mmHg) and average heart rate (about 3-6 bpm)... and individuals may have larger increases. While the mean changes alone would not be expected to have short-term consequences, all patients should be monitored for larger changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Caution is indicated in treating patients whose underlying medical conditions might be compromised by increases in blood pressure or heart rate, e.g., those with preexisting hypertension, heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, or ventricular arrhythmia
Treatment emergent psychotic or manic symptoms, e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania in children and adolescents without prior history of psychotic illness or mania can be caused by stimulants at usual doses. If such symptoms occur, consideration should be given to a possible causal role of the stimulant, and discontinuation of treatment may be appropriate.
The effects of that over stimulation can also lead to anything from headaches and psychotic episodes to insomnia, restlessness and dizziness.
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