Pardon my French here, but Adderall is the most dangerous drug on this planet and it can f*** you up. The big problem, too, is that it is popped like candy by college students throughout the country. This medication was never intended for use by healthy adults, but it has become the new, glam way to focus on studying despite the fact that it is absolutely terrifying. Then, when you add in the fact that thousands of children diagnosed with ADHD are being prescribed the pills every day, Adderall becomes not just dangerous, but an absolute epidemic leading to serious health risks, mental changes, and even death. I can’t say it enough…this so called “study drug” is worse than the plague because at least we try to avoid that. This medicine is freely prescribed by physicians and bought and sold in colleges faster than alcohol. If you aren’t that familiar with Adderall, or you are just now hearing about it, stay away. Stay very far away. Want to know why? Let’s talk about it.
Speed, Cocaine, and Adderall?
You know those drugs that are illegal? The ones that everyone tells you will destroy your life? Well, Adderall and other ADHD medicines like Ritalin are actually scarily close in composition to both speed and cocaine. So yes, medicines that doctors give to our CHILDREN are similar to illicit drugs we spend our lives trying to keep kids away from. Consider what Siobhan had to say. She is a young woman who was mixed up on numerous illicit drugs including cocaine, meth, and marijuana. However, the one that scared her the most was Adderall: “Obviously, I had a drug problem, but Adderall was the one drug that made me completely snap. I started believing my paranoia…At one point, the paranoia and hallucinations got so bad I thought we were refugees living in my apartment hiding in cupboards and in my closets.” (Hennessy, 2013) That not enough to scare you? Consider Sam then. He is yet another college student who got addicted to the pills. “My brain literally couldn’t function. I was paranoid. I would eat a banana a day, and I was always sleep deprived. I had to force feed myself because I really didn’t want to eat. My life spun totally out of control. I always felt a sense of impending doom.” (Hennessy, 2013) Someone who only identifies themselves as “I Miss Myself” in forums says “And what scares me the most is I cannot stop taking it. I cannot. There are NO BENEFITS for me in this drug and I can’t put it down. I’m so scared. I have no idea what to do. I know I am addicted to Adderall. I know it has made me this lifeless person.” (Myself, 2008) What scares me the most about that story is that it was a cry for help back in 2008. There don’t seem to be any new posts from “I Miss Myself.” It leaves one wondering if they are still addicted, if they got away from the drug, or something worse happened. Because that’s the kind of things you have to think about with something as dangerous as Adderall. It causes that many problems – and yet it is one of the most readily available medications on the market. Just about anyone can walk into a doctor’s office and fake ADHD enough to get prescribed the medicine. This is such a common medicine, in fact, that 96% of pharmacies across the United States in 2014 experienced Adderall shortages. (Adderall Statistics, 2014) This gives you an idea of how many prescriptions get written out every year.
Why Canada Banned Adderall
A few years ago, Canada even put a ban on the medicine. They later lifted it under the pressure of demand, but their reasons certainly are scary. According to Shire Pharmaceuticals, the company that makes Adderall, 12 children in the United States and Canada died suddenly and seemingly for no reason while taking Adderall between the years of 1999 and 2003. Of course, the pharma company immediately stated that there was no risk from taking the medicine as compared to any other. However, do you really want to risk a child just dying? The children who died suddenly were all between the ages of 7 and 16, the ages when ADHD are most commonly diagnosed. It turns out that five of the children had unknown heart defects. The other seven children were otherwise healthy. And, at least one of the children had only been taking the drug for one day. You begin to wonder why on earth anyone would ever take such a drug!
The Side Effects
Here is the especially scary part. The drug manufacturer has known the dangerous side effects of Adderall since it started being used in 1996. They have never been a secret, and while they are very dangerous, everyone seems to overlook them. So, what side effects does the company list?
- Nervousness and Excitability
- Unreasonable Fear
- Blurry Vision
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Stomach Pain, Nausea, and Vomiting
- Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss
- Extreme Increased Heart Rate
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Heart Palpitations
- Aggressive Behavior
- Thoughts of Suicide
- Development of Hepatitis
- Allergic Reactions
- Development of Mental Disorders
- Kidney Failure
- Development of Other Drug Addictions
- Compulsive Skin Picking
- Development of Muscle Twitches
- Difficulty with Voluntary Movements
Additionally, Healthline notes that Adderall can cause slowed or stunted growth in children. One source states that Adderall can cause episodes of psychosis, increased aggression, hallucinations, and maniacal behavior. Many patients experience hearing voices too. And, of course, the FDA actually includes a warning that the drug could possibly cause sudden death in children. (Huff, 2010)
Mixing It Up
While the drug is often prescribed to children, it has become an epidemic in college students who use it to focus or stay awake when studying. While it is dangerous all on its own, it is especially dangerous when mixed with alcohol (which, of course, is commonplace in college students). When the two are mixed together, it can lead to malnutrition, muscle tremors, heart arrhythmia, fevers, and even convulsions. Combining the two can also do severe damage to the heart. So, ask yourself, is this the type of risk you are willing to take? Would you want to have hallucinations? Do you want to risk heart damage? Do you want to take the chance of sudden death? There are other solutions that can resolve focus problems and boost performance. Instead of taking so many chances with health and mental wellbeing, why not consider your other (and infinitely safer) options?
First, let’s talk about all-natural supplements. There are so many things right in nature that can help to boost mental performance for the job or college. They don’t come along with serious side effects and they will not even do damage for the long term. There are many different options you could choose, but you will certainly want to consider something like Nootropics. This is a series of “brain drugs” that are safe and all-natural. And, they can improve focus, energy, thought processes, and memory. Since they have little to no side effects, you don’t even have to worry about any dangers from taking them. There’s a reason why many very successful people in the world take Nootropics – because they work.
Changing your diet can go a long way toward building your brain power too. In fact, there are certain ingredients, often called brain foods, which are perfect for developing focus and cognitive boosts. Some of these include:
- Oily Fish – These are full of essential fatty acids, which will improve brain function as well as help your heart and joints. The best choices for oily fish include sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon, and trout.
- Blueberries – Often referred to as a super food, the blueberry has been associated with improving short term memory and delaying memory loss overall.
- Tomatoes – Full of lycopene, tomatoes can help stave off free radical damage to the brain.
- Pumpkin Seeds – These seeds are full of zinc and they can help enhance your memory and focus your thinking skills. Just a handful a day can do the trick.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is full of vitamin K, which will improve cognitive function.
- Sage – This herb has been shown through numerous studies to improve memory function.
- Nuts – Certain nuts including walnuts and cashews, can prevent cognitive decline as well as boost memory now.
By changing your diet and including brain foods, then you can develop better focus and cognitive power without ever touching drugs. Additionally, if you have a child who is diagnosed ADHD, then look into diets designed especially for them. These diets can help improve focus and lessen the symptoms of ADHD without taking any risks with your child’s wellbeing.
Have you ever considered meditation? It can be a fantastic way to boost performance. That’s because it is essentially like hitting the reset button in the mind. Throughout the day, you are exposed to so many stimulations – work, home, school, family, friends, activities, etc. It creates an overstimulated environment. It is impossible to focus on any one thing. And, that means everything suffers. You find yourself overly stressed out, losing sleep, and worrying about everything you haven’t gotten done. Once you have been immersed in this type of stressful, on the go environment, it is very hard to get out of it. That’s one of the reasons why college students reach for Adderall. They think it is the only way they can stay awake, focus, and handle tests. There is a better way to handle this – meditation. It allows your brain to clear out and relax, which means your mind can focus better throughout the day. And, people who meditate a little every day find that their performance is boosted in the short and long term. If you have never meditated before, then here are some basic steps you can take to give it a try. Consider meditating for just 15 minutes each morning or before a test. Here’s what you need to do.
- Always choose a comfortable place to meditate. It needs to be quiet and without distractions. This could be in a quiet room or even in the woods if you like nature.
- You also want to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. Wear loose clothing that doesn’t bind and sit in a very comfortable position.
- Once you are in your quiet place and you are comfortable, close your eyes to block out all distractions.
- Then, simply focus on each breath you take. Imagine every bit of air coming into your lungs as you inhale and then going out of your lungs as you exhale. Only let your mind think about this.
- For fifteen minutes, just be in the moment, experiencing oxygen as it flows through your body. If you find your mind wandering, pull it back to your breathing.
As you get used to meditating, you may wish to move up to 30 minutes a day. When you get done with meditating, you will feel refreshed and clearheaded, the perfect way to go into a test or big school project. There are healthy and safe ways that you can boost your mental performance. And these are much better than taking a drug that causes hallucinations, hearing voices, and even death. A dozen children have died from Adderall. College students tell nightmarish stories of addiction and loss of free will. It is a scary story and yet thousands of people still take it every day. When it comes to risking life and wellbeing, it just isn’t worth the risk – not when there are better and completely safe options available. References Adderall Statistics. (2014). Retrieved from Statistics Brain: http://www.statisticbrain.com/adderall-statistics/ Hennessy, A. (2013, July 2013). Adderall Can Really F*** You Up. Retrieved from Vice: http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/adderall-can-really-fuck-you-up Myself, I. M. (2008, July 22). I’m 100% Positive Adderall Ruined My Life. Retrieved from Drugs: http://www.drugs.com/forum/need-talk/im-100-positive-adderall-ruined-my-life-49091.html http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/news/20050210/sudden-death-in-12-kids-on-adhd-drug-adderall http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63163/adderall-oral/details/list-sideeffects http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adderall-effects-on-body http://elitedaily.com/life/why-adderall-scares-me/1100021/ http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower