Adderall is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S., as well as one of the most abused. When used correctly, the drug helps improve the symptoms of ADHD. However, many people use Adderall for purposes other than it is intended. In recent years, ADHD medications have been spotlighted on college campuses as “˜study drugs’, with as many as 20 to 30 percent of students abusing Adderall to increase concentration. However, it is not just college students who are taking Adderall for the wrong reasons. In fact, some people are using the substance not for greater focus, but for a different purpose entirely” weight loss. Adderall abuse continues to grow among college-aged students.
How Adderall Causes Weight Loss
Adderall is an amphetamine drug, which induces weight loss in up to 33 percent of people who take it. The drug speeds up the body’s metabolism, causing it to burn energy faster. It also stimulates dopamine in the brain, which leads to a loss of appetite. The result is temporary weight loss that is often reversed once a person stops taking the drug. Some people who abuse Adderall may even increase dosages of the drug over time as their bodies build up a tolerance to the drug.
Though there are many faces of amphetamine drug abuse in the U.S., stimulant use among women is especially high” especially those ages 20-44. Many of these women are the “˜girls next door’ who would not fit the standard description of a drug abuser. In fact, those who abuse Adderall for weight loss purposes may not even be acquiring the medication from known drug dealers. Instead, they may be faking symptoms to their doctors in order to obtain a legitimate prescription. Others may even steal the pills from their own children, who may have been prescribed the medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Adderall Abuse in Hollywood
Kym Douglas, co-author of “The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets,” says that Adderall is a commonly abused drug among people in Hollywood who want to drop a few pounds. In fact, Douglas claims that make-up artists and stylists who frequently work with celebrities often buzz about Adderall use among their clients and point fingers when a starlet suddenly drops a few sizes. Charles Sophy, a psychiatrist and medical director for the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services, says that women will come into his practice asking for ADHD medication and specifically request Adderall instead of an alternative medication that does not provide the same appetite-suppressing effects.
Dangers of Adderall Abuse
Adderall is not a diet pill and should not be taken by anyone for any purpose other than what it is prescribed. The substance is controlled because it can be highly addictive. Often, those abusing Adderall will do so at higher dosages than it is prescribed, potentially causing dangerous side effects and increasing the risk of dependency.
Side effects of Adderall abuse include dry mouth, constipation, lower libido and muscle fasciculation (twitching). Some people may have severe reactions to Adderall especially taken in high doses. This may include paranoia, hallucinations, blurred vision, hives, rash, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and even coma.