We live in a fast-paced world and this overstimulation is causing our thought processes to speed up. With any purchase just a click away, the ability to fast forward through on demand television, and incessant refreshing of social media feeds, our attention spans are a hot commodity. While this is a big payday for corporations, this rampant pace is a detriment to our brain power. That is why cases of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children has “sharply increased” from 6.1% to 10.2% over the last 20 years. It’s also why the Drug Enforcement Agency reported a 40% rise in Adderall prescriptions between 2007 and 2012.
Adderall is a controlled substance that is available only by prescription. Its stimulatory effects increase focus. While Adderall is ideal for a quick focus fix, it may become a dangerous medication in the long run. One study found that 77% of students named Adderall their stimulant of choice to get through college. This scholarly crutch can open the door for Adderall abuse and many other health disadvantages. Let’s take a look at one of the most abused substances among college students, the long-term side effects of Adderall, and how to avoid falling under its spell.
What is Adderall?
The active ingredient in Adderall is a chemical compound known as dextroamphetamine-amphetamine. A member of the amphetamine family, amphetamine prescriptions jumped 1600% from 2000 to 2010.
Dextroamphetamine-amphetamine acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system. Under the Controlled Substance Act, doctors are allowed to prescribe this powerful stimulant when symptoms in patients include:
- Short attention span
Depending on the dosage required, there are two ways to administer the prescription. They are both oral, however, there are a number of dosages you may be prescribed.
Adderall prescriptions include:
- Extended-release capsule
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 25 mg
- 30 mg
- 5 mg
- 7.5 mg
- 10 mg
- 12.5 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
Since Adderall is an amphetamine, the drug causes presynaptic nerve terminals to release volatile molecules known as catecholamines. Catecholamines stimulate areas of the central nervous system that release neurotransmitters in the system. In particular, they trigger the release of:
- Dopamine (rewarding mechanism)
- Norepinephrine (brain mobilization hormone)
- Serotonin (regulation of body temperature, pleasure)
This trifecta of hormones is known as the monoamine system. Another task of Adderall is to inhibit the reuptake of these hormones. That way your body doesn’t burn through these neurotransmitters so quickly. Therefore, you have an elongated focus and increased performance.
What is the Problem with Adderall?
There seem to be many benefits of Adderall. After all, there is a reason why this drug is prescribed in the first place. However, like many other prescription medications on the Controlled Substance Act list, people who use Adderall may abuse the drug.
As we mentioned, Adderall increases your dopamine and norepinephrine levels. A jolt of these hormones results in the user experiencing euphoric sensations. Essentially, using Adderall creates a high.
Over time, the user can build up a tolerance to this high. Like anyone addicted to a substance, long-term Adderall users will seek out that once blissful feeling they first experienced. As a result, they may increase the number of pills they use. After a while, the drug that was once used to spark productivity overcomes the person’s life.
While the pitfalls of addiction are one of the drawbacks of long-term Adderall use, it’s not the only one. Several other long-term side effects may have implications on your system. Let’s take a look at some of these issues.
Adderall and Cardiovascular Disease
The addictive nature of Adderall is alarming not just because of the dependability aspect. There is alarming evidence that links long-term abuse of Adderall to cardiovascular disease.
When Adderall is in our bloodstream, it disrupts three crucial functions throughout the body. Introducing Adderall into our system causes:
- Elevated body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Higher blood pressure
In small doses, these reactions are fine. They are natural side effects you’d feel when getting a rush of energy, drinking a cup of coffee, or going on a run. However, abusing Adderall can cause these conditions to become chronic. If you are in a constant state of high blood pressure and body temperature, you run the risk of developing hypertension.
Adderall and Body Dysmorphia
Another side effect of Adderall is that it acts as an appetite suppressant. As we mentioned earlier, Adderall causes the amount of dopamine in your system to increase. Research on dopamine suggests that this neurotransmitter works in two ways.
When we first consume food, our hypothalamus releases the hormone to let us know that the body appreciates the food. Dopamine will then reach your gut. Here, your body gets the signal to stop eating because the system is satiated.
By flooding your body with dopamine, especially by digesting an Adderall capsule, you are telling your mind you aren’t hungry. Since taking Adderall suppresses appetite, it opens the door for those with an eating disorder to abuse the drug.
Adderall May Cause Depression
Sure, the initial euphoric rush of Adderall left a lasting impression. Chasing that glory may lead you to a path of mental illness. An analysis on Adderall and brain damage concluded, “Chronic users of methamphetamine have multiple abnormalities in brain chemistry, function, and structure, particularly in the striatum of the basal ganglia, the brain region with the highest dopamine concentrations.”
Long-term use of Adderall seems to alter the wiring in your brain. As a result, you come to depend on Adderall for your boost of dopamine since left to its own accord, your body can no longer produce enough to stave off feelings of depression.
Adderall and Digestive Issues
Since Adderall effects your serotonin reuptake, that means the parts of your system dictated by this neurotransmitter are also affected. One of the primary functions of serotonin is to modulate how your muscles move, including gut motility. Therefore, long-term use of Adderall may negatively impact how your digestive system works.
Typically, Adderall slows down your digestive tract. Therefore, food doesn’t get broken down as efficiently. The backup of solid particles can cause uncomfortable digestive issues such as cramping, constipation, and gas. Consequently, the long-term damage caused by these symptoms may result in inflammation, autoimmune disease, or leaky gut syndrome.
How to Increased Focus Without Adderall
There is a place for pharmaceutical chemicals in wellness. However, sometimes these medications are quick fixes rather than long-term solutions. This conundrum is what millions who use Adderall face. They need help with focus and counterproductivity. Unfortunately, the long-term damage of Adderall may not be worth the benefits.
If you want to improve your focus without the long-term side effects, try an all-natural solution. For centuries, our ancestors relied on botanicals and herbs to promote optimal wellness. Now, we have the science to confirm some of the hypotheses past humans conjured up. Several organic ingredients may have a positive impact on focus and hyperactivity, to the point where they may be a suitable alternative for Adderall.
Tranquility Labs has used the research done on natural ways to combat hyperactivity in order to formulate an all-natural supplement that may increase your overall focus and performance. Instead of relying on Adderall for long-term use, try an approach with no known side effects, let alone ones as consequential as methamphetamines. Try Focusene.
Focusene for Improved Focus and Productivity
One of the primary all-natural ingredients in Focusene is dandelion. These flowers are abundant in luteolin. Research on this phytochemical finds that it’s a potent antagonist of Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4). Luteolin as a PDE4 inhibitor is essential for cognitive function and memory. Otherwise, PDE4 will burn through cAMP signals in your brain and you won’t experience the full benefits of natural serotonin and dopamine production.
In addition to dandelion, Focusene contains forskolin. Forskolin is the primary phytochemical found in the Coleus Forskohlii plant. It has shown to boost cAMP activity in the brain. So, while the luteolin in dandelion works to inhibit PDE4 from breaking down cAMP, anything that does get broken down will be replenished by the addition of Forskolin.
Focusene is also rich in phenylalanine. This amino acid is the precursor to dopamine. However, it also boosts levels of a lesser known neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Acetylcholine’s primary purpose is to motor the neurons that activate muscles. Therefore, Focusene not only improves your cognitive function, but it may also have a positive impact on physical endurance.
While Focusene has several other beneficial botanicals that may make transitioning off Adderall easier, one of the most important is vitamin B6. The Standard American Diet (SAD) contains trace amounts of micronutrients. Therefore, we run the risk of a deficiency of essential B vitamins.
Seeing as vitamin B6 is essential in proper brain function and serotonin production, it was a no-brainer to add this supplement to Focusene. Studies suggest that low levels of vitamin B6 may result in “anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, and emotional instability.” If you are experiencing those symptoms and are taking Adderall to treat them, you might want to consider going the all-natural route with Focusene.