Adderall is used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, but has been abused in many circumstances. ADHD has been known to produce certain symptoms, which can have serious negative effects. Adderall helps in the reduction of these symptoms. However, the addictive nature of Adderall has made it one of the most abused medications without prescriptions from medical practitioners. Adderall has, nevertheless, been used effectively as attention stimulant that helps the patients to perform well throughout the day (Helms, 1476). It is, therefore, only important that awareness on the use of Adderall in persons with ADHD be increased in order to maximize the positive effects of the psycho-stimulant treatment as opposed to its negative effects.
The use of Adderall in ADHD
Methylphenidate has often been used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. However, many of the scientific research and studies have placed Adderall above methylphenidate in order of efficacy. Adderall, when used by persons with ADHD, it is more efficacious and lasts relatively longer in stimulating the persons’ attention (Joan and Davis 56). Further, it is more effective when applied in small doses than when used excessively. This is one of the issues that bring a point of concern in as far as Adderall abuse is concerned. Its excessive use is not what makes it effective, but rather; it only creates more side effects. Adderall is more efficient in psycho-stimulation due to the fact that it has the ability to increase the dopamine levels while preventing the re-uptake of the same (Joan and Davis 58).
Side effects of Adderall and Public Awareness
Despite the positive effects that Adderall has in psycho stimulation, it also, like other treatment, poses serious and adverse negative effects; the perfect reason why it is important to undertake an intensive awareness on the use of Adderall in the treatment of ADHD. Some of the most adverse side effects that require effective medical response include rapid and uneven heartbeat, light-headedness, which may result in fainting, where there is high blood pressure that causes problems like unsettled concentration, and where the user feels restless and finds it extremely difficult to concentrate (Helms, 1476). Blurred vision and severe headache, excessive discomfort at the chest due to severe chest pains, seizure and numbness are also among some of the adverse side effects of Adderall treatment of ADHD. Insomnia, diarrhoea and constipation, appetite loss and weight loss, loss of sex drive and impotence, dizziness and headache are also some of the side effects although they are a bit mild (Donatelle 232).
Despite all these Adderall use related side effects, it is important to note that often, people have over-used the treatment. It has been identified to be addictive hence increasing the chances of its abuse. Just like other treatments, excessive use of Adderall does not help treat ADHD. In fact, it only makes the disorder worse by creating after use problems like troubled concentration, diarrhoea, dizziness, and headache. Instead of stimulating concentration, it only succeeds in creating more attention problems when used in excess (Andrews, et al, 226).
Scientific studies have shown that the use of Adderall by pregnant women is extremely dangerous to the unborn child. The rats used in one of the studies indicated that there exist long-term behavioural and neurological changes hat emanates from prenatal and early postnatal amphetamine exposure (Grilly 101). It has also been established that there are chances of low birth weight or even premature birth and the baby may show withdrawal symptoms if the mother used Adderall during pregnancy most especially when she abused the medication. In fact, sudden deaths of children have been linked with the use of Adderall treatment drugs. Consequently, in some nations, the government has made an initiative to highly control the sale of the drugs (Grilly 101).
More studies were have also been commissioned to establish the effects of Adderall treatments. They have indicated that there are high risks of a patient developing cardiac defects resulting from the use of Adderall drugs (Donatelle, 232). The rate of heart beat is increased and consequently the blood pressure, when drugs of amphetamine category such as Adderall are used in the treatment of any disorder or disease. The situation gets worse when overused. However, Adderall drugs are only more dangerous when used in a way not prescribed by certified physicians or when administered in response to addiction demands (Moore, 54).
Caution is also given to patients with pre-existing mental or cardiac illness since the drug has the ability of aggravating the situation. Persons with a history of drug abuse are also advised not to use Adderall, but may resort to other medical options that respond to the same problem of ADHD. This is due to the addiction nature of Adderall that makes it possible for people to abuse (Donatelle, 232).
The above mentioned issues evidently illustrate that the use of Adderall has side effects; something that is shared by a number of treatment compounds. However, when used in small doses, it is more effective in stimulating one’s attention in the process of combating attention deficit. Excessive use of Adderall is extremely harmful to one’s body given the fact that it produces many side effects that in the end override the intended benefits and functions (Grilly, 343). It is, therefore, advisable for the doctors to undertake close and effective observation of their patients to ensure that there is no abuse. Prescriptions should be normal and standard taking into consideration the action of the drug in the body and the half-life of the different strains of Adderall used. It is medically unethical for doctors to provide prescriptions without confirming the status of the patient’s body. Medical examination to identify the pulse rate is necessary. In addition, medical history of the patient with relation to mental illness, cardiac problems or drug abuse or addiction is of primary importance before making a decision of putting persons with ADHD in Adderall treatment (Andrews, et al, 226).
Awareness of the drug use should be enhanced most specially in colleges and universities where students have in many cases used Adderall as study drugs to make them stay awake for long periods without sleep as they study. This academic use of Adderall has contributed immensely to its overuse and addiction thereby affecting many users negatively without them realizing it. The use of Adderall has also been identified in sports to an extent that many spots organizations banned the use of the drugs by athletes without any confirmed practitioners prescriptions. It is used as a performance enhancing substance, which is against the sporting policies (Andrews, et al, 226).
Adderall has also in the past been used as recreational substance due to its stimulant nature. Some people crush and snort it while others mix it with water in order to use it as injections. Some people use it together with alcohol in order to achieve high level recreation (Moore, 54).
The above mentioned different uses of Adderall indicate the extent to which the drug is abused. Awareness is thus important in order to make people understand that it is only meant for the treatment of ADHD, which should also be done in small doses. In order to reinforce the effective use of Adderall, majorly for the stimulation of attention in people with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, the government ought to legislate against over-the-counter sale of the drug. It should only be made available in hospitals where patients are given after the certification and prescription by the doctors, which should be followed by proper medical examination. Persons found selling the drugs to people who are not prescribed for should be prosecuted (Andrews, et al, 226).
The problem that faces the administration of Adderall is that there is not a single standardized dosage because adjustments are allowed according to the patients’ therapeutic needs. However, it is important to consider the fact that Adderall must only be administered in lower dosages despite the adjustments. First and foremost, it is absolutely not recommended for persons or children under the age of 3 years old. Between 3 and 5 years old, the dosage should be 2.5 mg daily with recommended increase of 2.5 mg on weekly intervals. For 6 or more years old children, it is advisable to start them on a 5 mg once or twice a day with increments of the same at weekly intervals on daily basis. The drug administration at all ages should be stopped whenever optimal response is achieved (Grilly, 343).
Adderall is effective in the treatment of ADHD, but must be ethically administered. Doctors should prescribe the medication after undertaking detailed medical examination in order to identify whether the patient qualifies for the use of the drug. It must be used only for therapeutic roles only without disposing the drugs for non-therapeutic use. In order to reinforce the awareness, governments should intervene and pass legislations that control the sale and use of the drug.