How Dangerous is Adderall?
Although this might seem like an obvious question with an obvious answer, stop and think about it for a second. Is Adderall as dangerous as the media has made it out to be?
Okay, you’re right, it is! Still, there seems to be this narrative around the drug that blogs, news stations, and newspapers have constructed. Adderall is demonized as “legal meth” or “meth-lite.” While these are true to an extent, there’s much more going on than meets the eye.
This is true of most aspects of life. It’s also especially true for women in recovery! So, lets take a closer look at what Adderall is, the dangers it presents, and the benefits it offers for those struggling with ADHD.
I’d also like to share my personal story of Adderall abuse and how it affected my addiction to drugs and my eating disorder.
What is Adderall?
For most people reading this, I don’t have to tell you what Adderall is. You know! Still, I think it’s important to understand exactly what a drug is before we start condemning it.
Adderall is a prescription drug that’s commonly given to individuals struggling with ADD, ADHD, and narcolepsy.
It’s also a central nervous system stimulant. Its generic name is simply “amphetamine,” though it’s actually made up of four amphetamine salts. These are amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharate, and dextroamphetamine sulfate.
The above is a very important point! People often call Adderall legal meth. I know I’ve been guilty of using that name before! While legal meth has a catchy ring to it, it simply isn’t true. Adderall is an amphetamine, not methamphetamine.
Adderall Abuse: My Story
I abused Adderall throughout my teenage years. I bet most of you reading this can identify! Although I was never a full-fledged “Adderall addict,” I used it to control my weight and to catch a buzz.
See, like many other women in this world, I suffered from poor body image and an eating disorder. I’d take Adderall to keep from eating and to give myself energy (remember no food = no energy).
The first time I took Adderall, or Ritalin for that matter, I was fourteen. I’d started smoking and drinking two years earlier, and had been restricting for three. I remember the feeling that stimulants gave me was amazing. All of a sudden I didn’t care what other people thought of me (of course, I really did but I FELT invincible).
Over the next five years my addiction and eating disorder got worse and worse. I didn’t use Adderall much after I discovered other drugs. Still, whenever I needed a quick boost, this was my go to drug.
After getting sober, my thoughts began to return to Adderall. I was trying my best to live a spiritual way of life, but I was scared! I was scared of my weight, of what others thought of me, and of what boys would think of me. I was scared of everything!
Thankfully, I didn’t pick up a drug. I came close a couple of times though. I’d rationalize that Adderall was harmless because I wouldn’t use it to get high. I’d be using it to lose weight. Of course, that’s just as damaging. Plus, we all know that after we take one…we don’t stop.
Dangers of Adderall
The above is the real danger, I believe, of Adderall. The drug itself is dangerous, after all it is an amphetamine. Still, the idea that Adderall somehow isn’t as dangerous as other drugs makes it even more dangerous!
Addicts and alcoholics can be lulled into a false sense of comfort by our sick thinking. We can justify and rationalize everything and taking Adderall in recovery is no exception.
That’s where we run into trouble. Thinking that a prescription drug is somehow safer than a street drug is simply wrong! This is true of prescription painkillers, Adderall, benzo’s, or any of the hundreds of other controlled medications.
Is Adderall a Relapse?
Well, is it? The short answer is of course! Remember what I said above about there being more going on than meets the eye? This is a perfect example. In some cases, some rare cases, it’s okay to take Adderall in sobriety.
I’m talking, of course, about taking Adderall for a medical condition. Now there’s a very important caveat here. You need to take it as prescribed and only after consulting with a doctor, your sponsor, and a Higher Power.
It’s also important to check your intentions. Do you want to take Adderall for legitimate reasons, i.e. for a medical condition? Or are you trying to push the limits of your sobriety, i.e. having a freelapse?
If you’ve done all of the above, and have a doctor’s approval to take Adderall, then it’s okay. If not, then don’t take it!
What do you all think? Let us know on social media!