What Does Adderall do to a Normal Person?

What does Adderall do


What Does Adderall Do? 

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication. What does Adderall do and who is it for? Well, first let’s begin by talking about what it is. This medication is an amphetamine. That makes it a controlled substance because there is a potential for addiction. Amphetamines like Adderall work in part by increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. One of the neurotransmitters affected is dopamine. Increased levels of dopamine can cause euphoria among other things. This effect is a large part of what makes these medications addictive.

Medications in this class are usually prescribed for ADHD but also sometimes prescribed for narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder. It manifests as excessive daytime sleepiness. The stimulant effect can help people with ADHD focus more effectively. It helps people with narcolepsy avoid falling asleep during the daytime. If you are wondering what does Adderall do, the answer is it depends. The effect on neurotransmitters is more or less the same for anyone who takes it. The difference is in how each person responds to that increase in certain chemicals. A person with a naturally low level of those chemicals who takes Adderall as prescribed will notice a decrease in their symptoms.


Who Gets Adderall and what does it treat? 

You may also ask, what does Adderall treat? As we mentioned earlier, amphetamines are stimulant medications most often prescribed for Attention Deficit and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a brain condition which makes it difficult for a person to focus and tune out distractions. Amphetamines like Adderall can help counteract some of the symptoms of ADHD. They do this in part by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Primarily dopamine and norepinephrine. That helps increase activity in the part of the brain that handles executive function, like deciding what to focus on and what to prioritize, for example.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain which relay messages in the brain. Different ones attach to different receptors designed just for them. When they attach, the trigger an action in that particular brain cell. Science is still learning about how the brain works. Much remains a mystery. But we do understand a lot about the effects amphetamines create. When a person with a lower than average level of these brain chemicals takes Adderall, it reverses some of the symptoms of their condition. It helps a person with ADHD focus better, for example. When someone with closer to normal levels takes amphetamines or someone takes more than prescribed, they will have a higher than normal level of these neurotransmitters.


More About the Effects of Adderall

Adderall is a powerful medication that has potential for abuse. The positive effects at prescribed doses include greater ability to focus, improvement in short-term memory and reduced drowsiness. Adderall or any prescription stimulant taken without a prescription, or more than is prescribed, can have serious negative effects. In considering what does Adderall do, we must also look at side-effects

Some of the negative effects include:

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anorgasmia (inability to have an orgasm)
  • Impotence

Side Effects Can Be Serious 

These side effects can manifest even in someone who is taking the medication as prescribed, so it is good to be aware of them. Outright abuse, including overdose of Adderall and medications like it can result in much more serious side effects that can be deadly in some cases. You should never assume a drug is somehow “safe” to use in any quantity or conditions simply because it’s prescribed. If you take Adderall and experience any of the side effects listed above or below, talk to your doctor about them as soon as you can. You should know the answer to the question “what does Adderall do” before taking it.  They may be a sign that more serious adverse effects are on the way.

Here are a few of the more serious consequences of Adderall misuse or overdose:

  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Panic attacks
  • Stomach cramps
  • Cardiac arrest


We hope this article was informative and answered your questions about Adderall. Like any prescription medication, it must be taken according to doctors directions. Since it is a controlled substance, you should be fully aware it has addictive potential. Your doctor should know if you have any history of addiction before prescribing it. Now you should know the answer to the question “what does Adderall do”.  If you or someone you love is misusing Adderall or another amphetamine, Midwood Addiction Treatment can help. Give us a call at (888) MAT-1110 or reach out to us via our contact page here.

Ritalin vs Adderall Side Effects

Adderall vs Ritalin, what is the difference?

Ritalin vs Adderall: What Is The Difference?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become a very common diagnosis over the past several decades. This condition causes patients to have trouble paying attention, or to display impulsive behavior. As of 2011, approximately 11% of children between the ages of 4-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD. There are several treatment options available. Two of the most popular medications on the market are Ritalin and Adderall. Here, we will answer the following commonly asked questions:

  • Why does ADHD need to be treated?
  • How do Adderall and Ritalin work?
  • What are the side effects of Ritalin and Adderall?
  • How can these drugs be misused?
  • How is SUD from Ritalin and Adderall treated?


Why Does ADHD Need To Be Treated?

 ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Typically diagnosed in childhood and often continuing into adulthood. The normal energy levels and excitability of young children are not ADHD. Symptoms to look for include:

  • Excessive daydreaming
  • Pattern of forgetfulness
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Taking careless risks for one’s age level
  • Inability to resist temptation
  • Inability to get along well with others

Scientists are still studying what exactly causes ADHD. Current theories point to genetics as a primary cause. Other potential causes could be environmental factors such as lead exposure or smoking/drug use during pregnancy. Other potential causes could be lead paint exposure, brain injury at an early age, or low birth weight. Contrary to popular belief, sugar intake or early use of TV have not been shown to affect ADHD in children.


How Do Adderall and Ritalin Work?

 Both Adderall and Ritalin are prescription stimulants. For patients with ADHD, these medications provide a calming effect. This helps the patient focus on tasks. This can be especially important for children, as those with untreated ADHD tend to struggle in school. Studies have shown both medications to be effective in lowering symptoms in children. Both medications are typically taken as a pill by mouth, and can come in various dosage amounts.


What Are The Side Effects Of Ritalin And Adderall?

 As stimulants, both Adderall and Ritalin blocks the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps the patient focus. The main difference between the two drugs is that Adderall is an amphetamine based drug.  Ritalin is considered by some as a less potent drug than Adderall. However, it still must be closely supervised. Side effects of both drugs include:

  • Increased agitation
  • Sleep problems
  • Nervousness or jitteriness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased appetite
  • Mood swings


How Can These Drugs Be Misused?

 Sadly, both Ritalin and Adderall have become popular drugs to abuse. Some teenagers and young adults begin taking stimulants to stay awake longer. Others may believe (mistakenly) that the increased focus makes them “smarter” on tests or schoolwork. When taken outside of a doctors supervision, though, prescription stimulants can hijack the brain’s normal functions. Over time, the brain will send out distress signals for lack of drug. These distress signals are known as withdrawal. Patients may experience the following symptoms during withdrawal:

  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Fatigue

Continued misuse of these drugs can cause malnutrition, hostility, paranoia, and severe heart problems. This condition is known as substance use disorder (SUD.) If you or a loved one is living with SUD from prescription stimulants, you should seek treatment.


How Is SUD from Ritalin and Adderall Treated?

 Facilities like ours treat SUD from prescription stimulants in two step. First, patients will undergo a medically supervised detox. After that, patients enter our extended treatment program.



In detox, the body is given time and treatment to purge unwanted drugs from the system. A medical team may prescribe medication as needed to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. During a full medical detox, patients have 24 hour medical supervision and support. Outpatient detox is different in that patients may either go home or to a sober living facility in the evening. These facilities offer all of the comforts of home, without access to drugs or alcohol.



After the detox process the patient usually moves into their regular treatment phase at the partial hospitalization level of care. The patient will continue living at a sober living house, and will spend most of the day in therapy. Trained addiction therapists can help patients identify use triggers and develop coping strategies for sober living. Many programs also offer holistic treatment options, such as meditation, art therapy, or job placement services. Patients may also attend 12 step meetings, as well as family therapy sessions for loved ones.


Contact Us

 If you are currently living with SUD from Ritalin or Adderall, contact us today. Addiction is a medical condition, not a moral failure. Our team offers compassionate care and will treat you with the utmost respect. We accept most major insurance plans, and can work with you on payment options.


Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

A nurse standing.

Is It Common To Abuse Prescription Drugs?

Perhaps this goes without saying. But commonly abused prescription drugs cause a great deal of pain for people who become addicted. As human beings, we do not like pain. We do most anything we can to avoid it. And why wouldn’t we? Pain hurts! Naturally, we want to avoid it. Our brains can even adapt to motivate us to avoid pain. Prescription drugs can (and do!) offer relief from pain. If they didn’t, then people would not willingly break laws to acquire them.


In this blog, Midwood Addiction Treatment sifts through the following ideas:


  • The necessity of a prescription
  • Defining prescription drug abuse
  • Drugs most often abused
  • Treating prescription drug abuse
  • Getting help for yourself or someone else


The Necessity of A Prescription

Have you ever wondered why you need a prescription in the first place? You have ownership over your own body, after all. You ought to have access to the medication that you need…right? Perhaps that idea works in theory. But in practice it would likely prove disastrous.


Chemists develop pharmaceuticals in labs. These substances involve different kinds of molecules, compounds, and other chemicals. Before a pharmaceutical company can sell a new medicine, they must test it. But just because the FDA approves a medicine, that doesn’t mean the public has automatic access to it.


You’ve no doubt watched television (or your favorite streaming service) recently. You see the ads for new medications. The announcer always goes over the side effects. Side effects can adversely affect your health. Moreover, some medications react poorly when taken together. This can also harm you. For these reasons, we need prescriptions to help keep us safe. And alive. But the most commonly abused prescription drugs are a certain source of harm for many.


Defining Prescription Drug Abuse

Abuse constitutes breaking a boundary. To properly define it, we must understand these boundaries. Consider a person who visits their doctor for a certain problem. The doctor prescribes medication. The person must stick to the directions of their prescription. They ought to take the exact dosage on time. One must never exceed one’s dose. Also, your prescription belongs to you. Never give away or sell a prescription. When the prescription runs out, get it refilled. Take your medicine, and only your medicine. Anything beyond these guidelines becomes abuse.


Ways to abuse prescription drugs:


  • Taking more than the recommended dose
  • Giving someone else your medication
  • Selling your medication
  • Mixing your medication with alcohol or other drugs
  • Using your prescription recreationally, i.e. to have fun or get high
  • Consuming medication not prescribed to you


Drug Most Often Abused

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these categories make up the most commonly abused prescription drugs:




Opioids come from the opium poppy. Historically, ancient societies used the “gum” from the poppy as a painkiller. In our era, we have derived medications from this plant. When reading opioids, you may also come across the word “opiates.” These words do have different meanings. “Opiates” specifically refers to natural substances: opium, codeine, and morphine. “Opioids” includes both natural opioids (“opiates”) and synthetic opioids. Synthetic opioids include drugs like fentanyl, heroin, Demerol, hydrocodone, etc.


CNS Depressants

Our brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). Brain impulses travel down the spine. From there, they venture out into the nerves. Then, our bodies respond. For people who struggle with anger, anxiety, or panic, this process happens very quickly. CNS depressants slow this process down. Benzodiazepines represent a frequently abused CNS depressant.



Stimulants have the opposite effect of depressants. Rather than slowing things down, stimulants add speed to the brain’s processes. For this reason, “speed” has become a common slang term for stimulants. You may also hear the term “uppers.” Stimulants decrease the appetite and provide energy. This excess energy usually leads to insomnia or other sleep disturbances.


Cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine represent common stimulants. However, everyday substances like caffeine, tobacco, and chocolate also belong to this category. We might also include alcohol as a stimulant. Depending on the circumstance, alcohol can also act as a depressant.


Treating Prescription Drug Abuse

Science has given us different treatment options for prescription drug abuse. Sometimes that treatment might include changes to one’s medication. Consider opioid use disorder. Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) provides a possible treatment. MOUD can help mitigate cravings.


While medication gives us a valuable tool, one cannot merely medicate a problem away. All treatment plans ought to include some form of therapy or counseling. A counselor can give a client an outside perspective. They can offer observations that the client might not see. Then, the client can explore possible remedies to their unique situation.

Getting Help For Yourself Or Someone Else

Perhaps you struggle with addiction to prescription drugs. Or, maybe you care about someone who does.  Reading this article represented something new for you. Navigating to this page means you’ve come to a pivot. And now, you need to take action.


If you or someone you love struggles with addiction to prescription drugs, call Midwood Addiction Treatment now. Not ready to talk? No problem. Fill out our contact form instead.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Adderall has a half-life of 9 to 14 hours, which means that, after this time, only about half of the drug remains in the body. Adderall will completely clear from a person’s system in 3 days. However, this can vary based on several factors.

Testing can be conducted using urine, hair, saliva, and blood. Detection times for Adderall varies depending on the source that is analyzed:

  • Urine, Adderall can be detected for up to 4-7 days.
  • Saliva, Adderall can be detected 20 minutes after use and up to 48 hours.
  • Hair, Adderall can be detected about one week after use and up to 90 days.
  • Blood, Adderall can be detected 12-24 hours after use and can be identified for 24 hours.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is an amphetamine and central nervous system stimulant. It is commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition in which people find it difficult to focus on a single task and may act impulsively. Individuals with ADHD use the medication daily on a fixed therapeutic regimen, and it induces a calming effect, allowing them to concentrate on tasks at hand.

Because it is a stimulant such as meth or cocaine, Adderall boosts dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward and attention. When stimulants are introduced into the body, they increase the amount of dopamine, but they also impair the body’s ability to make its own dopamine after extended use and can cause many side effects.

How Is Adderall Misused?

Like many psychoactive drugs, Adderall can be misused and become addictive. When used in a way other than as directed, Adderall can rapidly increase the amount of dopamine in the brain and produce feelings of euphoria. To continue achieving this effect, the amount of medication used must be increased over time as the brain adjusts to the drug’s presence and reduces its response accordingly (tolerance). This effect can initiate a cycle of abusing Adderall that eventually results in full-blown physiological dependence.

Factors that Influence How Long Adderall Stays in Your System

  • Body Composition

Body composition can influence the length of time it takes for a person’s body to eliminate Adderall. Height, weight, body fat percentage and muscle mass all play a part in this timeline. Surprisingly, a person with low muscle mass and high body fat will probably clear Adderall faster than someone with high muscle mass and less fat, because having more muscle means an individual has more water in their body. Because the ingredients of Adderall are hydrophilic (having a tendency to mix with or dissolve in water) this allows it to circulate in the body for a longer period.

  •  pH Levels

The pH levels in the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts may influence how long Adderall remains in the system. If a person has a high pH level, the kidneys will take longer to process Adderall. Those will a lower pH level are likely to eliminate the drug more rapidly because the drug is able to remain in a hydrophilic state. These levels may be affected by the consumption of food and drinks.

  • Food Intake

Food consumption can affect how rapidly the body is able to eliminate Adderall. When food is in the system, the body will be working to breakdown the food as well as the medication, meaning it may take longer to complete both processes.

  • Organ Function

Organs such as the liver and kidneys play a vital role in ridding the body of many potentially toxic substances, including Adderall. When an organ does not function optimally, these metabolic processes are slowed. If kidney function or liver function is not normal, the drug may stay in the system longer than it should—or even be recirculated.

  • Dosage Amount

The drug dosage can also significantly affect how long it takes to clear the system. The more Adderall someone has consumed, the longer it will take for the body to eliminate it since there is more of the drug in the system to metabolize.

  • Frequency of Use

The bodies of those who have been using Adderall regularly for an extended period will probably take longer to clear it in comparison to persons who have only used the drug occasionally. When the drug is used daily, it can accumulate in the body, and, in turn, it will take the body longer to break down all of the drugs in the system.

Treatment for Adderall Abuse

The longer a person has been misusing Adderall, the more intense an addiction can become. Withdrawal symptoms that manifest shortly after discontinuing can make it very difficult for users to quit on their own.

Fortunately, Adderall abuse and addiction is very treatable, and there are many effective options available. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a comprehensive approach to substance abuse that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and much more.

If you need help overcoming an addiction to Adderall, please contact us as soon as possible. Discover how we can help you free yourself from the chains of addiction and recover for life!

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
We provide a comprehensive, holistic method to treatment, encompassing a wide array of different evidence-based practices in combination. All of Midwood Addiction Treatment’s primary therapists are either licensed or master’s level clinicians.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Call us now to learn about our treatment options.

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Adderall Side Effects

Adderall Side Effects

Adderall Side Effects | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Adderall Side Effects and Abuse Warning Signs – Those who misuse Adderall often display unusual behavior such as over-excitability and excessive talkativeness. They also face health risks that range from arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) to overdose.

Signs of Adderall Abuse

Adderall is a powerful stimulant, and it can be difficult to identify signs that someone is abusing the drug. People commonly abuse Adderall to enhance alertness and productivity or lose weight. Adderall abusers are often students, young professionals, and other motivated people who work in high-stress jobs with long hours, such as truck drivers and nurses.

Even though an individual does not appear to be a drug abuser, they are still a potential addict. What’s more, Adderall can provide a temporary boost to performance for some, so abuse can initially resemble a positive change. Nonetheless, Adderall is a stimulant that taxes the body and central nervous system of those who abuse it, leading to complications.

Telltale signs of Adderall abuse may include:

  • Excessive talkativeness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Unusual excitability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Financial troubles
  • Aggression
  • Sleep problems
  • Secretive behavior
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Incomplete thoughts
  • Relationship problems
  • Poor hygiene
  • Frequently taking pills
  • Financial problems
  • Overworking
  • Overconcentrating
  • Running out of pills
  • Disorientation/confusion
  • Mania and impulsivity

Dangers and Side Effects of Adderall

Many people who use Adderall erroneously assume that the drug is safe because it is prescribed by a physician. Adderall is indicated to treat people, including children, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a result, some people may believe the drug is safe to take because it is used on children.

Truthfully, however, Adderall is a potent stimulant that can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening side effects. Indeed, an Adderall overdose can precipitate a stroke, heart attack, or liver failure. Combining Adderall with other substances, such as alcohol or other stimulants increases the risk of overdose.

Adderall use can also induce physical alterations in the neurocircuitry of the brain. These alterations can then lead to an adverse change in behavior and the development of mental health conditions such as depression. Some Adderall addicts have suicidal thoughts after taking the drug for an extended period.

Adderall Side Effects | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Some users have even injected Adderall to experience more intense effects by administering the drug straight into the bloodstream. Injecting Adderall may provide a more euphoric high, but it is also a very effective means to induce an overdose.

Athletes who have used Adderall have died because of increased blood pressure that led to heat stroke and cardiac arrest. For this reason, since 1968, amphetamines, including Adderall, have been banned by the International Olympic Committee primarily due to the hazards of these drugs. And in 2005, the Canadian government banned the sale of Adderall XR (the extended-release version) due to 20 deaths related to the use of this drug.

Side effects of Adderall abuse may include the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hallucinations
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack or loss of strength
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Skin-picking
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Twitching
  • Seizures and convulsions

Identifying an Adderall Addiction

Adderall prescriptions increased by nearly fivefold between 2002-2012, making it the drug more accessible to potential abusers through friends or family members. Compared to other drugs, the use of Adderall is less stigmatized, and as such, many don’t recognize when a loved one has a serious problem. People dependent on Adderall may feign symptoms of ADHD to receive their own prescription.

Not everyone who misuses Adderall will develop an addiction. While it is a slippery slope, taking an Adderall occasionally to stay awake or increase productivity is not the same as requiring the drug to function. The key to identifying an Adderall addiction is being able to recognize certain problematic behaviors.

For example, those who are addicted to Adderall prioritize drug attainment and use over everything else in their lives because they can’t function without it. Also, those who are addicted are often unable to control how much Adderall they use and may start neglecting important obligations.

Getting Treatment for Adderall Addiction

The withdrawal symptoms of Adderall can make it extremely difficult for users to quit without medical support. If someone dependent on Adderall attempts to quit “cold turkey,” they will experience highly unpleasant effects that are essentially the inverse of the drug’s desirable effects. These withdrawal symptoms can include fatigue, loss of alertness and concentration, dysphoria, and an unusually slow heartbeat.

There are many forms of treatment available for people addicted to Adderall. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers an integrated approach to drug abuse that includes services essential to the recovery process, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), counseling, group support, health and wellness programs, and aftercare planning.

If you suspect that you or someone you love is addicted to Adderall, please contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction and begin to experience the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve!