Adderall belongs to the amphetamine class of drugs, which falls under the Schedule II class of controlled substances. Amphetamines, in general, speed up chemical processes throughout the brain and body. These effects produce feelings of euphoria, energy and confidence for people who use the drug for nonmedical purposes.
The recreational use of Adderall soon leads to abuse as the drug’s effects take over primary brain functions. With continued use, the effects of Adderall abuse damage a person’s overall health, psychological well-being, as well as his or her quality of life.
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Effects of Adderall Abuse
Like most all amphetamine-based drugs, Adderall wreaks havoc on normal brain chemical functions in cases of recreational drug use. According to the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Adderall functions as a psychoactive agent, altering neurotransmitter chemical processes as well as causing structural damage to the brain cells that secrete these chemicals.
Ultimately, the effects of Adderall abuse compound with continued abuse, causing actual brain damage that may be permanent in cases of chronic, long-term drug use. Over time, the effects of Adderall abuse leave the brain unable to function on its own. In the process, users undergo ongoing physical and psychological decline for as long as they keep using the drug.
Increasing Tolerance Levels
Adderall’s “high” effect results from the drug’s ability to force brain cells to secrete large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals. These interactions overwork cells and place an incredible strain on cell structures. Under these conditions, cells become unable to supply adequate amounts of chemicals to the brain and central nervous system.
Consequently, the damage done to chemical-secreting brain cells makes them increasingly less sensitive to Adderall’s effects over time. For someone expecting to experience the “high” effects of Adderall abuse, this loss in sensitivity weakens the desired effect. At this point, users start increasing their dosage amounts to bring on the desired drug effects.
This cycle continues for as long as a person keeps using the drug. This cycle also sets the stage for addiction to develop.
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The effects of Adderall abuse can breed physical dependency at a considerably faster rate than other types of drugs, such as opiates and sedatives. Physical dependency takes root once the brain can no longer carry out normal chemical functions on its own.
Once a person reaches this point, symptoms of physical dependency take the form of withdrawal effects. Withdrawal effects develop as various bodily functions start to breakdown as brain chemical imbalances worsen.
Withdrawal effects of Adderall abuse commonly take the form of:
- Problems sleeping
- Violent outbursts
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Profuse sweating
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Where addiction is concerned, the most powerful of drugs carry the highest potential for addiction. As a prescription amphetamine, Adderall most definitely carries a high addiction potential. Furthermore, the rate of a developing addiction moves faster as well, so someone can become addicted to Adderall fairly quickly.
Once addiction takes hold, the effects of Adderall abuse have impaired the brain’s reward system functions. For the most part, this reward system dictates a person’s motivations, learning processes and thinking or belief systems. These effects account for why addicts so easily give up family, friends and even jobs in favor of using drugs.