These stimulants manipulate the brain’s ability to communicate between neurons by increasing release or absorption of dopamine and norepinephrine, helping to improve focus and overall function. This produces results of improved function in the prefrontal cortex, which helps with executive function in the brain. 2 This is the ideal result, but brain changes, predispositions to addiction, and other factors can lead users to develop a debilitating study drug addiction.
Adderall addiction is a growing problem, especially for teens and young adults. On average, 4% of older teens and young adults are abusing study drugs like Adderall and Ritalin each year. 3 Adderall addiction can and does happen, with the user growing dependent on the study drug just to function. They may feel that they need Adderall to get through the day or they’re constantly craving the drug.
Adderall addicts abuse the prescription drug by either taking more than prescribed, taking it more often than prescribed, or taking the study drug when they don’t have a prescription for it. In the 1970s, 30% of US college students reported amphetamine abuse, and that number has been growing since the 1990s. 4
So, what happens if you abuse drugs like amphetamines? One study linked methamphetamine and amphetamine abuse, such as study drug addiction, to brain changes that include reduction in crucial brain receptors for dopamine and serotonin.4
Adderall and study drug abuse short-term side effects can include dry mouth, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, tweaking, headaches, and blurred vision. Many study drugs also raise blood pressure, increasing a user’s risk of heart attack or stroke. 5 If you are taking study drugs that aren’t prescribed to you, you’re not cleared to safely take these drugs and any existing medical problems may worsen with the side effects of these drugs.
Study drugs aren’t as safe as you’d like to think. One of the most common myths about drug addiction is that prescription pills like Adderall just aren’t addictive. Adderall addiction can happen, and it can have frightening long-term effects.