Last updated: September 30th, 2019
Adderall is one of the most well-known medications in the world. In many ways, I’m thankful for Adderall, because Adderall is the drug that put ADHD “on the map” as a medical condition.
Without Adderall, I’m not sure if many people would even know what ADHD is.
On the other hand, I have mixed views on Adderall. It’s probably my least favorite ADHD medication due to its gritty, short-lasting stimulation.
But at the same time, I respect that many people are able to use a low dose of Adderall to successfully manage their ADHD symptoms for many, many years.
So, this article serves as an all-inclusive resource for everything to do with Adderall. In this article, you’ll learn about:
- A general overview of Adderall
- Adderall’s effects
- The potential benefits of taking Adderall
- Famous people who have used Adderall
- The possible risks of taking Adderall
- Final opinion: Is taking Adderall a good idea if you have ADHD?
Let’s get started…
A general overview of Adderall
Adderall is one of the most popular stimulant-based ADHD medications in the world.
It’s a simple combination of four different amphetamine salts.
Adderall is composed of:
- 25% levoamphetamine salts
- 75% dextroamphetamine salts
You hear the word “Adderall” pop up in rap songs, movies, and TV shows all the time.
Sometimes, I think about how lucky the people at Shire are to have scored millions of dollars in free publicity for their ADHD product.
Note: Shire no longer produces “brand name” Adderall IR. Teva is now the company that produces brand name Adderall IR. However, Shire still produces brand name Adderall XR.
(Just in case you weren’t aware, Adderall IR is the ‘instant release’ version of Adderall. This is a relatively short-lasting ADHD medication. Adderall XR is the ‘extended release’ version of Adderall. This one is long-lasting, and works all day long).
Today, there are various generic versions of Adderall IR and Adderall XR, which makes these medications readily available to people with ADHD.
Oftentimes, using Adderall is a low-cost and easy way to treat your ADHD symptoms. Most physicians are extremely familiar with Adderall, so it’s an easy drug to prescribe, and it’s relatively safe when used at low therapeutic doses to treat ADHD symptoms.
Unfortunately, Adderall has picked up a pretty nasty negative reputation in the mainstream media. This is mainly because many people who don’t actually have ADHD acquire Adderall, and then take Adderall to get high. This is what gives Adderall (and ADHD) a bad reputation.
But in reality, people with ADHD can actually benefit from taking Adderall, because Adderall increases the activity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. As you may know, people with ADHD lack dopamine. So, taking Adderall is an easy and relatively safe way for people with ADHD to acquire the dopamine that they need.
Early in this article, I mentioned that taking Adderall feels ‘gritty’ and ‘short-lasting’.
That’s because Adderall isn’t my favorite ADHD medication, personally speaking.
But, I do have to admit that Adderall is a pretty potent ADHD medication for the most part.
Adderall’s effects are powerful.
After taking Adderall, you’ll most likely feel:
- Ready to accomplish tasks
- Euphoric (the euphoria eventually wears off with repeated use)
There’s some truth to the rumor that many high-powered CEOs and Silicon Valley programmers are taking Adderall.
People who like to perform at a high-level tend to enjoy taking Adderall, because Adderall boosts your performance in almost every possible way. In fact, it’s been shown that 9.25% of professional Major League Baseball (MLB) players have been diagnosed with ADHD, and have a prescription for Adderall. There are about 1200 baseball players in the MLB, and about 111 of them use Adderall. These are men who compete at the pinnacle of mental and physical performance.
So when it comes to managing your ADHD symptoms with Adderall, you’ll probably feel like an “upgraded” version of yourself. You’ll most likely be able to use Adderall to get a grip on your career, take care of your health, and live a more active and engaged lifestyle.
The potential benefits of taking Adderall
If Adderall works well for your brain and body, then you could experience some pretty exciting benefits.
For example, Adderall is one of the few medications that can make crunching numbers in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet pretty fun.
Adderall helps a ton with anything that requires repetition.
If you have to record your expenses, pay the bills, update your accounting records, study for a test, or get organized – then taking Adderall could provide you with some much-needed relief.
Oftentimes, people with ADHD have so much trouble with accomplishing the most basic tasks. We’ll avoid starting on projects, and then feel guilty for doing so. It’s a really vicious cycle.
Thankfully, taking a small dose of stimulant ADHD medication like Adderall is all that your brain needs to produce a burst of dopamine, and finally get things done.
At the end of the day, most people with ADHD just want to achieve positive results in their day-to-day life, and live a happy, healthy lifestyle without much friction.
So, I genuinely believe that a little bit of Adderall goes a long way in helping people with ADHD function.
Famous people who have used Adderall
Some people with ADHD actually feel “guilty” for taking Adderall.
But, I think that most people with ADHD have already dealt with enough guilt for a lifetime…
You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking ADHD medication. You should be happy to take Adderall if it provides you with positive results.
There are millions of people who have used (and currently use) Adderall to manage their ADHD symptoms.
Approximately 13.1 million prescriptions were written just for Adderall XR in 2016 (including generic prescriptions).
Of these millions of Adderall users in America, some are actually high-profile figures who you wouldn’t expect.
Justin Bieber has been pretty open about using Adderall for his ADHD.
He claims that his mind “doesn’t work properly.”
Chris Guillebeau is a popular entrepreneur and traveler who I respect for being so open about his life, ADHD, and Adderall usage.
What I really like about Guillebeau’s story is that he uses Adderall in a very responsible way, as he only takes 5 milligram doses.
I’m the same way, because I like to take the smallest doses of ADHD medication possible. I find that small doses work best over the long-term.
And yes, I realize that 5 milligram doses of Adderall will not work for everyone. Please take the amount of ADHD medication that works best for your life.
Aubrey Huff won the World Series with the San Francisco Giants.
He also used Adderall seemingly off-label to deal with his severe depression and anxiety (and most likely for performance enhancement purposes as well).
I’m not sure if Aubrey Huff used Adderall for the right reasons. But, I still think it’s worth noting that he was one of the best athletes in the world at one point, while he was using Adderall.
There are probably thousands of other professional athletes, CEOs, and entertainers who use Adderall.
You just don’t hear much about public figures who use Adderall, because most people don’t want to spill all of their dirty little secrets.
Adderall has a pretty negative reputation in the mainstream media (unfortunately), and some things are better kept private for this reason.
I fully respect people’s right to keep their medication usage private.
Plus, beyond the swarms of famous people who secretly use Adderall, there are also tens of thousands of students in medical school, law school, business school, and dental school who use Adderall to manage their ADHD symptoms as well.
Adderall is so popular because it actually works for ADHD.
The possible risks of taking Adderall
Everything in life comes with risks.
If you use a low, therapeutic dose of Adderall to treat your ADHD symptoms, then you honestly don’t have much to worry about.
But, I still think it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of taking Adderall…
Lack of sleep
Experiencing a lack of sleep is the most destructive potential side effect of taking Adderall.
If you can’t get good sleep at night, then your quality of life will probably drop off a cliff.
Taking a small, therapeutic dose of Adderall shouldn’t affect your sleep much.
But, if you take too much Adderall, it’s really easy to feel “wired” at night, and you might lose a few hours of sleep. This “sleep debt” can start to add up over time, and negatively affect your life.
Lack of appetite
The worst feeling is knowing that you’re hungry, but not having any appetite for food whatsoever.
Taking Adderall sort of kills your appetite. But, this is actually a pretty easy side effect to solve.
Just make sure to take your dose of Adderall with a big, healthy meal.
If you can eat at least one big, healthy meal per day, then you’ll probably be fine. And if you can finish off your day by drinking a green vegetable smoothie, this will ensure that you get all of the nutrition that your body needs.
Increased heart rate
It should make sense that taking any type of stimulant drug will increase your heart rate, whether you’re drinking coffee or using Adderall.
But luckily, most research shows that the cardiovascular risks of Adderall are negligible when Adderall is used therapeutically to treat ADHD symptoms.
Of course, if your family has a history of heart problems, that’s a different story entirely, and you should not use Adderall if that is the case.
If you’re worried about cardiovascular risks while taking Adderall, just make sure to schedule regular blood tests, cardiac workups, and general check-ups with your physician.
In most cases, everything is going to be OK, and a little bit of Adderall shouldn’t cause you any problems in this area.
Thinking too much can be a problem when you’re using Adderall.
In some cases, racing thoughts leads to increased anxiety, worrying, and similar problems.
This side effect of Adderall is probably the easiest to manage, because you can just perform some deep breathing exercises, exercise, or meditate if you find yourself thinking too much. That usually does the trick.
Stifled creativity is a much bigger problem than most people imagine…
You need to be creative in order to succeed in the type of world that we live in today.
And I do believe that Adderall stifles creativity in the sense that it makes you feel a little bit robotic. But, this is a problem that all ADHD medications produce. So, it would be unfair to blame this problem entirely on Adderall.
Here’s my solution to this problem:
Do your creative work before you take Adderall, and then take Adderall before you need to do your more “mechanical” or repetitive work.
Final opinion: Is taking Adderall a good idea if you have ADHD?
Overall, I believe that Adderall is an effective medication for many people with ADHD.
I thoroughly enjoyed using Adderall occasionally in college.
It’s a high-quality medication, because it helps millions of people with ADHD concentrate for hours on end.
But at the same time, I personally think that there are better ADHD products available.
Vyvanse, for example, is a much smoother and longer-lasting ADHD medication that’s manufactured by the same company that makes Adderall.
I used Vyvanse every day for a period of one year, and I found Vyvanse to be much more sustainable than Adderall.
Vyvanse doesn’t produce the ‘edginess’ or ‘grittiness’ that typically comes with taking Adderall. You can take Vyvanse every day without having to deal with the harsh mood swings that Adderall could give you.
But of course, some people will prefer taking Adderall over Vyvanse, because Adderall has a much shorter half-life. You can pop an Adderall in the morning, knock out some work for 4 to 5 hours, and feel the effects gradually wear off shortly thereafter. If you were to take a Vyvanse capsule, then you would feel stimulated for 8 to 12 hours, which might be too much time for some people.
At the end of the day, your best option is to chat with your physician about trying Adderall, Vyvanse, or maybe Concerta (methylphenidate), and figure out for yourself which option works best for your lifestyle. That way, you’ll know exactly which ADHD medication to take.
Have you taken Adderall for your ADHD? Are you a fan of Adderall, or not?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing what’s on your mind.