I Take Adderall Everyday Because I Have To

Bad Habits | Evelyn Maroon | January 20, 2016

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Every single day for the past 7 years of my life I have taken a pill to get through my day. My parents, teachers and dance instructors had always said I was “high-energy” and “a little scatter-brained”. It was so humiliating as a kid to not understand why you just felt stupider than all your friends. It caused a huge amount of stress and anxiety for both me and my parents.

After a year of testing, visits with learning specialists, and countless doctor’s appointments, I was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at the age of 13.

My world completely changed.

I started taking Adderall. I wasn’t so behind or confused all the time and had so much more control over everything going on in my head. I didn’t constantly feel like an idiot. It was like night and day.

Since then I’ve tried every kind of drug in the book. Trust me, anything – you fucking name it. Adderall IR, Adderall XR, Vyvance, Concerta, Ritalin, Focaline, Strattera – just to name a few.  It took me years to find the right kind and dose.

It wasn’t until just recently that I truly felt like myself on my medicine and came to terms with my disorder.

When I came to Miami I was in awe by the amount of ADHD medications circulating through the school. “Holy shit I guess I’m not that dumb. Everyone takes Adderall.” It seriously blew my mind. I had no idea the power of this drug until I came to college.

I didn’t get why someone who didn’t have this disease would want to take a drug for it. I had no idea the impact it could have on someone who didn’t have ADHD. I still don’t and never will understand what it feels like to take Adderall when you don’t have ADHD. Actually, I can’t imagine it. It’s probably fucking crazy.

I didn’t understand why everyone was feening for it all the time.

You would not believe how many people hit me up for Adderall daily. Especially during finals. Literally everyone around you is cracked out. Even the really smart people you think don’t take Adderall ever – I’m telling you, they DO.

I will admit that as a generation, our attention spans have gone to nothing because of instant gratification/social media/technology, etc. – same old shit we hear every day. But today everyone and their fucking mother thinks they have some level of ADD or ADHD. There are so many bogus prescriptions out there. (I even started to question my own diagnosis at one point.)

ADHD is a real genetic disorder that causes a chemical imbalance of dopamine neurotransmitters in your brain. Your mind is flying all over the place so much that it doesn’t know where to go. It sucks.

Adderall is a combination of stimulants (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) that ultimately restore the balance of those neurotransmitters in your brain. It has a chemical makeup similar to methamphetamine and MDMA (ecstasy).

For someone who doesn’t have ADHD, taking Adderall surges your dopamine levels way beyond their natural state, giving you that euphoric kind of feeling (not too far from the feeling you get after doing a line of blow-not that I would know what that feels like).

But what most people don’t know is that this euphoria comes with a high risk of pretty serious side effects.

Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance (along with heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine) which means there is a high risk for addiction and abuse when taken.

Other serious long-term effects include:

  • Depression
  • Overdose (leading to cardiac arrest)
  • Anxiety
  • Slowed or difficult speech.
  • Chest pain.
  • Hives or rash.
  • Blistering or peeling skin
  • Changes in vision.
  • Aggressive behavior.
  • Paranoia.
  • Mania.
  • Seizures.

Developing depression is the most common long-term effect of Adderall abuse.  Your brain shouldn’t be in that constant euphoric state because the second you stop-you hit a really low place. And unlike those with ADHD, the drug ends up over-stimulating the brain of a healthy person.

For normal people, you get to take Adderall when you want to – days you “need to do a lot of shit” or study for finals.

Even when I do take my medicine, I never have the advantage that normal people do when they take Adderall. I can’t even explain how envious I am of every single person who doesn’t need to take this drug every morning and gets to use it at their leisure.

I go through the high and low of this drug every damn day.

I’ve developed so many habits over the past 7 years (besides fine herbs) on how to take care of myself – making sure to eat substantial meals, drinking lots of water throughout the day and doing some form of physical activity to sweat out those amphetamines (avoiding the horrible come down when you’re so hangry all you want is a blunt and 5 burritos).

I encourage you to really think twice the next time you think you need Adderall. Do you really need it? You might be able to write a 20-page research paper, clean your entire house, cure cancer and read all the Harry Potter books in one day but that’s besides the point.

I get it  -everyone takes it.

But I’ll never really understand what it feels like to be normal and take Adderall. But if I had the liberty to choose, I would never take it if I didn’t have to.