I'm a 24-year-old student with ADHD. I was recently prescribed a prescription for Adderall (60 tablets po q day). One minute prior to writing this thread, I took my first pill.
There are a few issues about this drug that I'd like to talk with you about. I want to know what you think of this medication, if it should be legalized for everyone, if "normal" people should abuse the drug for academic gain, etc. There are many things about my disorder and medication that I know, but I'd like to garner some good feedback on these issues regardless. If you would also read this article from Serendipity, I think it will give a more comprehensive perspective on what messages I'm meaning to share with you:
Adderall: College Students' Best Friend-- Or Worst Enemy?? | Serendip Studio
In accordance with DP's Fair Use rules I can't share more of the article.Attention deficit hyperactive disorder is a neurologically based behavioral disorder that afflicts children and adults alike (1). Characterized by inability to pay attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive actions, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD for short, this disorder has become a popular diagnosis for students who claim that they are unable to concentrate or focus on their studies (2). Much research has been done in recent years regarding ADHD, its neurological basis in the brain, and how to treat it effectively (1). Many prescription drugs have been released onto the market that effectively target the levels of certain hormones which in turn enable one to counteract the symptoms of ADHD (3).
However, drugs such as Adderall, which were developed solely for those properly diagnosed with the disorder, are beginning to be used recreationally by those whom admit to not having ADHD, but either find that they perform better with its aid or simply enjoy the high of the prescription drug (4). What does this mean for college students? Is recreational use of this drug dangerous physically? Mentally? Does the use of Adderall by those not diagnosed with pose the threat of an addiction? Is an addiction to a drug that seems to make you more efficient a bad thing?
Wikipedia also shares an article on Adderall that I think is important to this discussion:
Adderall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Basically Kristin Jenkins (the author) is arguing against those normal students who use this drug for academic gain. Genius, like power, is utterly seductive. She continues to argue her point of view while providing cited sources to back up her argument.Adderall is a psychostimulant drug. It belongs to the phenethylamine and amphetamine chemical classes. Adderall is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall is a combination of four amphetamine salts (racemic amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, racemic amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharide, and dextroamphetamine sulfate). It works as a reuptake inhibitor for dopamine and norepinephrine. It is available in two formulations: IR (Instant Release) and XR (Extended Release). The immediate release formulation is indicated for use in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, while the XR formulation is approved for use only with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Important side effects of therapeutic dextroamphetamine include stunted growth in young people and occasionally a psychosis can occur at therapeutic doses during chronic therapy as a treatment emergent side effect. When abused at high doses the risk of experiencing side effects and their severity increases. May include sweating or shaking.
Like other stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, Adderall directly affects the mesolimbic reward pathway in the brain. Amphetamine salt preparations are considered to have high abuse potential, and it is classified as Schedule II by the US DEA. With the Safe Streets and Communities Act in Canada, Adderall has been reclassified from Schedule III to Schedule I.
To paraphrase some of the article, ADHD is a neurological and heritable disorder that can be passed on from parent to child. Scientists don't 100% know everything about the disorder, but they do know a lot about it. They know that ADHD affects the frontal cortex, and that that area of the brain deals with reasoning, planning, focusing, and problem solving. Dopamine, which is an important neurotransmitter dealing with that part of the brain, is deficient. Without "normal" amounts of this chemical, those executive functions suffer. This is why Adderall is prescribed; it helps to balance out these problems.
There are a few arguments in a nutshell I'd like to go over with you on this drug, it's control, the disorder itself, and basic drug policy.
1) Do you think ADHD/ADD exists? There are some out there that think my disorder is made-up, and that we simply need to "shape up" and try harder. To me that's both ignorant and offensive to those who actually suffer with the disorder. How would you feel if I told you your loved one suffering with bipolar disorder or depression was simply not trying hard enough and he/she simply had a made-up problem? You probably wouldn't like that. In truth ADHD/ADD is heritable. If two adults have ADHD/ADD, the chances of their children having the disorder increase. We're not faking; we exist.
2) Do you think it's cheating if "normal" people using this Schedule II drugs are cheating? Personally I think they are, because it's a prescription drug not intended for people with already-normal levels of dopamine and other chemicals in their brains. I am particularly curious what libertarians think on this issue, and if it's simple a matter of "personal choice." Also, if normal students taking Adderall is cheating, what else is cheating? Does this include caffiene, supplements, and other chemical means of academic enhancement?
3) As mentioned earlier in #2, do you think Adderall should be legalized for all to use? If you think either yes or no, why? Do you think policy should change on this?
This poll will be a little different: it's Multiple Choice. Please click on the options of the poll you agree with.