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Author Topic: ADHD - Adderall is speed?
Phanto
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I've been doing some research into ADHD because I am concerned that I have this condition. I will by seeing a psych and all that to have meself evaluated, but in the meantime, I've accumulated some questions, the most pressing of which is the following.

It seems that a common medication for ADHD is dubbed Adderall. Adderall is a drug that contains salts that stimulate the body in an identical fashion that the drug "speed" does. But I've also read that if one has ADHD and takes Adderall, it will effect that person in a different way. I then look up what those effects are, and among them are relaxation and focus.

Yet it seems that those symptoms are also linked to usage of speed by those without ADHD.

So my question is, what are the primary differences? A person without takes a pill, and a person with does. How will their two reactions differ? Or are they identical, but the one without will form physical addiction?

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Belle
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I can't tell you what differences there are between a non-ADHD person and an ADHD person, but I can tell you that as a person diagnosed with ADHD taking Adderall, I don't feel like I'm on speed, though admittedly I've never taken speed so I can't be sure.

I don't feel hyper, in fact I sleep much better since I started taking the Adderall. INstead of being jumpy and fidgety, on the Adderall I'm calmer, and able to concentrate better. It's by no means a cure-all for my ADD, I still have symptoms that need to be managed and behavioral changes that I need to make, but I truly believe it helps, and it doesn't feel like I'm high or on something. I also don't think I'm addicted, because I usually don't take the adderall on weekends when I'm not in school or taking classes, and I don't feel a lack of it.

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Theca
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I was once taught that only people with adhd/add will have the calming/focusing effects of taking ritalin-type medications. But that is not always true, many people without add will have similar effects if they take a low dose. That is why we don't just give everyone who looks addish the drug just to see what happens. Instead, you have to get thoroughly examined by someone like a psychiatrist first.

One major difference is that abusers of speed-type drugs want the high. People being treated for add aren't looking for the high, and don't get the high, at the correct medical dose.

Anyone can become addicted to a drug like this used improperly (abused) but if the drug is used properly under the care of a physician for a true medical problem then that shouldn't happen.

(Belle, why don't you use it every day?)

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Kwea
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It reacts completely different on someone who has ADAH, which is why it is so important to get diagnosed.


Keep in mind that a lot of drugs mimic the efects of illegal ones at times, but that is why they are regulated and controlled substances.

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Phanto
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Thanks for the information all [Smile] . So it has calming, focusing effects in everyone at low dosages, but to someone with ADD it won't become addictive?
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Alucard...
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A few things worth mentioning:

1. Adderall is a combination of 4 different amphetamines. As with almost every oral medication, these 4 variants are congugated as "salts" (i.e. sodium chloride) so that they will disassociate when taken orally. This might seem simple, but the pharmacokinetics of oral drug formulations are really very complex, since drugs taken orally have to disassociate and still be lipophillic enough to be absorbed enterally. Some drugs that might be very very hydrophillic (water soluble/water loving) might also have very poor absorption from the digestive tract (enteral absorption).

So bottom line: Do not get hung up on the fact that Adderall is referred to as a "salt".

2. In the treatment of ADHD and ADD, stimulants help to allow a person to focus by affecting the part of the central nervous system that brings forth concentration. Sure, illegal amphetamines do this. So does cocaine. The BIG difference is that a person doesn't know what exactly is in a drug they are taking, and specifically what the dosage or concentration is. Many times, a dose might be considerably stronger than a person who is taking RX meds for ADHD might take, and illicits are, in many cases, taken more frequently.

Bottom line: Adderall could produce a high in someone who does not have ADHD, and may produce a high in someone with ADHD if taken in larger than prescribed doses. Many children who take these meds have trouble sleeping. Of course, they are not "high" but are stimulated enough to resist sleep.

Bottom line: Phanto, there is no ethical or legal way to determine what the effects of Adderall or illicit drugs might do to persons with or without ADHD. All of the above information is compiled with 2 majorly different sources: legitimate studies (in the case of Adderall) and subjective information gathering (In the case of illicit drugs...).

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Alucard...
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These meds have an addiction potential at any dosage, but as Belle and Theca have mentioned, you have nothing to worry about if taken as precribed by your doctor. Worst case scenario: if taken for long periods (months/years) you might have to step-down in dosage (taper) gradually to discontinue the medication.

Many times in children, the medication can be stopped abruptly, with no tapering. For example (as Belle said), many people do not take the meds on weekends or during summer and long breaks.

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Phanto
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I see [Smile] .

BTW, Alucard -- you a fan of Hellsing?

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Alucard...
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Phanto,

Pre-Hellsing. I love the Castlevania:SOTN game and it was my avatar on Battlenet for a long time...I also use it as my screenname for LAN gaming...

Since I was visiting Mr. Card's website, I thought it would be a clever name...

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Jill
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Okay, I'm certainly not an expert on these matters, so please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong (which I very well might be):

Adderall is a very low dosage of some of the same chemicals as speed. If you overdose on it, you'll get the same symptoms as speed. So don't take more than your doctor tells you to.

From what I understand, people with AD/HD have low levels of some neurotransmitters (namely norepinephrine and dopamine) in certain parts of the brain (either that or the receptors don't work well enough, it's been a long time since I studied this). ADHD medications stimulate these neurotransmitters and bring them up to their proper levels. In "normal" people, the drug stimulates the neurotransmitters so that they are above their normal level. Think of it as ADHD people have 10% of the chemical level they need, "normal" people have 100%, and people high on meth have 500% (these numbers were picked at random and are in no way accurate).

Addarrall isn't the only drug out there. Consider looking into Ritalin (and Concerta, and Ritalin-LA), Dexedrin, and longer-lasting forms of Addarall. It'll probably take awhile to find the right drug for you, if in fact you do have ADHD.

And Theca-- I don't take my Ritalin every day because I don't want to build up a tolerance for it.

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Goody Scrivener
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My daughter had a very bad - I'd call it psychotic - reaction to Adderall but is doing very well with a combination of Strattera and Risperdal. Of course, we also changed doctors at that same time because the doctor who prescribed the Adderall refused to listen to me that Missy was doing significantly worse than she was unmedicated and demanded that I keep her on a course of therapy that I and my family all felt was dangerous for her. Turns out that the doctor we moved to has been the recipient of quite a few of his disgruntled former patients and that this behavior is not abnormal for him based on reports she received from those other patients. My insurance company got quite an earful about him!!!

Strattera is a non-stimulant medication that came out in the last year or two. I believe it's the only non-stim on the market at the moment. Because of Missy's reaction to Adderall, the current doctor was hesitant to try Ritalin or Concerta, just in case the stimulants were the issue. We saw a lot of improvement very quickly on the Strattera but there was still a ways to go, so Dr. P. added a small amount of Risperdal in the morning, and then later an additional small amount in the evening. Now Missy is very much in control of herself, the behavioral issues we'd been dealing with for so many years are almost nonexistent, and she's really trying to fast-track (on her own power, not because the teachers are trying to force her) to catch up to her age level in school.

Be sure to document as much as you can with regard to how you behave when on any medication so you can give your doctor as much information as possible and hopefully prevent a severe reaction by responding before it gets to that point. Ask both the doctor AND the pharmacist about food reactions to anything that is prescribed - I found out after we'd switched away from Adderall that it *may* react to fruit juices and jelly. Because at the time she was unable to swallow pills and capsules, we had been administering the medicine by opening the capsule and mixing it into applesauce or sprinkling it into a PB&J sandwich at the suggestion of the pharmacy tech. We still don't know if that fed into the really bad episode she had.

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mackillian
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Well, Strattera is non-stimulant because it only acts on norepinephrine receptors. Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderall work on primarly dopamine.

I've been on the same dose of Ritalin (then to Adderall) for well over a year and have not built a tolerance for it. I take it every day.

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Kasie H
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I'd like my diploma to read something to the effect of "graduated cum laude without ever having taken Adderall."

Adderall is by far one of the most popular drugs on college campuses these days because it makes you focus like whoa. I have seen people do unbelievable things while taking the drug -- they can focus, complete unbelivable amounts of reading, crank out 20-page essays in no time flat. It's pretty ridiculous, actually.

From what I hear, it's a low dosage form of speed, but I really have no idea. But I do know that if you don't have ADHD, it *definitely* affects you.

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Ryuko
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Yep. My roommate's friend used to sell hers during finals week, or just give it out. Can't remember. I try not to hang around her too much. She's an OK person, just colossally effed up.
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Nato
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quote:
Kwea:
Keep in mind that a lot of drugs mimic the efects of illegal ones at times, but that is why they are regulated and controlled substances.

Adderall mimics the effects of amphetamines because it is an amphetamine. Different legal classifications don't separate them too much. I'm not sure that this is what you meant to imply by that.

While the effects on patients with ADHD include a sort of calming, they include the sort of focusing that many non-prescribed users want.

Adderall is an easy drug to abuse, whether orally injested or taken in other, more serious ways. I wouldn't say it's completely dangerless even with a doctor's prescription. I guess the dangerous side effects (psychotic episodes and heart risk?) are quite rare.


-- I read a big article in the paper just a few days ago.

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mackillian
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I had a nice long coherent post written out and firefox FROZE and QUIT on me. [Mad]
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Danzig
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If you think Adderall is bad check out Desoxyn...

Yes, it is speed. It is a mixture of four different amphetamine salts. In low doses, it makes you concentrate. In higher doses, it gets you amped. Unlike Dexedrine, Adderall has l-amphetamine salts in it as well, which do nothing but cause annoying peripheral stimulation. Personally I liked Concerta better for any conceivable purpose one might have for a stimulant, not all of which are recreational even for non-ADHD folks.

As for addiction... it is not physical. When you go off a run, you feel tired. (Duh.) If you have done too much, you might feel depressed, which can be alleviated by narcotics, time, or benzos, in order of most to least preferable. Mentally, it is more powerful in some than others. For myself I find I want it not so much for the high as for the performance upgrades moderate use can bring. If I want a stimulant high for its own sake I take cocaine, which in addition to being more fun lets me fall asleep at a decent hour. However people who have never used cocaine or have a poor understanding of the drug's effects might have a harder time staying off. Another factor is that it is dirt cheap, but this is offset by the general low quantities available without a prescription.

Should you get a prescription? Depends. If you want to "abuse" it for non-recreational purposes, just watch out for state-dependent learning. I find it is much more suited to highly repetetive tasks, although it does help crank out the papers if you know the topic thoroughly. Be wary of mistiming when the dose wears off; coming down half an hour before a test will do you little good. For recreational "abuse", no one needs my advice. For "legitimate" use, be aware of the health risks, but do not worry about addiction unless you have really low self-esteem, struggle with anorexia, or other serious psychological issues. Basically, if you are not trying to abuse it, you will not.

I like IR better than XR. You can make an IR into an XR of the equivalent dose by breaking the pill into halves or thirds and waiting about four hours between dosing. XRs tend to keep one up for too long if not taken right when they wake up, and making it into an IR is annoying and probably loses a bit of the dose.

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DarkRiku
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I don't have ADD or ADHD and once I took one of my brother's 20mg Aderall pills. To shorten the story I couldn't do P.E.(or just about any really physical activity)that day because my heart rate went up just walking down the hall to the bathroom. It was strange!
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Chaz_King
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I have ADHD, and the only drug I have taken was Strattera, however I do know about the effects of the other drugs, and the description alucard gave was pretty much acurate.

In the ADHD brain a stimulant like ritalin will actually raise your focus levels to that of a normal person assuming that you don't take an ammount that is too high.

Strattera is a good drug to start off with though as it isn't a methamphetimine. However it still does have side effects.

If you think you have ADD, check to see if your local state has any laws concerning ADD & Disabilities. In Texas I got tested for free by the Texas Rehabilitation Commision, and if I hadn't already gotten secondary education (vocational school =P) then they would have also paid for college, so it is worth looking into.

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Danzig
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Adderall is not a methamphetamine. It is several amphetamine salts. There is a difference.
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HudsonAva123
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what's important is the medicine you are taking is prescribed by physician for you then nothing has to worry. Its normal to have side effects but of course if the side effects is not normal anymore then go and ask your doctor. that's it.
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