The Study Drug that Kills Reported on The Dr. Oz Show
As reported on The Dr. Oz Show, it’s used to treat ADHD; “borrowed” by moms to lose weight; and now, is used as a study drug by teens that results in numerous deaths every year―Adderall.
Adderall is a legal psychostimulant medication that has been reported to work effectively in the treatment of children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and in adults who suffer from narcolepsy. Adderall consists of a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine―both of which are central nervous system stimulants that affect a person’s brain chemistry and nerve cell conduction that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
The active amphetamine ingredients in Adderall have previously been detected in some weight loss supplements that have since been banned. And, in a previous episode of The Dr. Oz Show last year, Adderall and Ritalin were reported to be the drug of choice of moms who would “borrow” their child’s ADHD meds to get a little extra boost through a tough day or to drop a few pounds.
The stimulant ability of Adderall has been proven effective in treating ADHD by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure, movement and attention. Children diagnosed with ADHD have lower than normal levels of dopamine and typically benefit from meds that increase their dopamine levels which then creates a calming and a focusing effect.
This calming and focusing effect along with a euphoric high described by many abusers of Adderall has caught the attention of teenage high school students and college students who are looking for an edge in staying awake and absorbing more information during long study sessions.
In fact, in an article printed last year in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, readers were alerted to the growing trend of substance abuse involving Adderall at the University of Minnesota where the popularity of the drug led to the creation of a short film titled "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving Adderall," that became a hit and award winner at the University of Minnesota Film Festival.
The reason for the growth in abuse of Adderall is partly due to public perception that it is a legal drug and is considered safe for children with ADHD. It is also partly due to because it is so inexpensive and easy to obtain. In other words, a person does not have to resort to crime to pay for his habit or deal in dark alleys with felons.
But this does not mean there are no legal repercussions if caught possessing or selling Adderall. As a classified Schedule II drug, a person caught possessing Adderall without a prescription is committing a Class B felony that is punishable by 18 months of probation and up to 30 days in jail. Selling or distributing Adderall can result in 24 months of probation and up to 60 days in jail. For a teen who believes that getting caught is no big deal, it can be a life changer for someone hoping to get admitted to a college or university.
However, obtaining Adderall can be done legally without fear of reprisal from the law via a prescription from a single clinic visit―hence, a failure in the medical system involving diagnoses of ADHD. According to the Star Tribune article, a local hospital in Minnesota reported that that one in four adult ADHD patients fakes or exaggerates symptoms in order to get prescription drugs.
Some health experts say that this failure is due to physicians not using more-selective criteria in determining whether or not someone coming to them really does have symptoms of ADHD. Typically, a diagnosis is often made simply by answers to questions from the patient who has schooled himself or herself in what to say to convince the physician that they have ADHD.
So what’s the danger of taking Adderall if a person does not really have ADHD? At first, no significant danger when a single pill of small dosage is taken. However Adderall just like any other amphetamine-containing drug is very addictive. The beginning line of many stories from people who survived an addiction to Adderall typically begins with, “It started at first with just one pill….”
With long-term usage of Adderall comes an increased tolerance to the drug by the body and thusly an increase in dosage and number of times taken per day. Not only are there physical effects that can include dangerously high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and even fatal aortic aneurisms, but hallucinations and debilitating psychosis as well that is permanently damaging to the brain and to an otherwise promising life.
For stories from families who have dealt with Adderall abuse in their own home, you can find several posts from viewers of The Dr. Oz Show under the webpage titled “Deadly Adderall Abuse.”
According to experts, the best defense is a good offense toward preventing Adderall abuse in the home. Health authorities recommend that in families with a child with ADHD and a legitimate prescription for Adderall, that:
• A locked medical cabinet be installed to prevent theft within the home by siblings or their friends.
• A record of the number of pills needs to be maintained to account for any that may wind up missing.
• You should watch your children for the signs and symptoms of Adderall abuse that include:
* Weight loss
* Outbursts of aggression
* Inability to sleep
* Picking at the skin
* Noticeable changes in appearance
* The onset of more serious psychiatric symptoms
If you suspect that someone in your family is abusing Adderall, seek professional help immediately. Simply going cold turkey could be fatal and needs to be monitored by a trained health professional.
For an informative article about Moms who take ADHD meds to lose weight, follow the link to an article titled “Mother's Little Helper Diet Drug Causes Weight Loss (and Addiction)” reported from an episode of The Dr. Oz Show.
Image Source: Courtesy of Wikipedia
The Dr. Oz Show: “Deadly Adderall Abuse”
Minnesota Star Tribune: “Students faking ADHD to get drugs”