Adderall is a powerful stimulant, which gives it a high recreational value. With its ability to increase alertness and energy levels, it is often seen as a boon for those in the hard-partying crowd who find the drug increases their capacity for alcohol and other drugs.
Some enjoy the speeded-up high all stimulants can bring while others use Adderall to increase their overall performance levels. Adderall can also be helpful for losing weight, thanks to its ability to increase heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.
NIDA reports that stimulants had long been used to:
- Treat obesity
- Alleviate asthma and other respiratory issues
- Soothe neurological disorders
- Contribute to the treatment of an array of other ailments
Their popularity for medical use had since waned, however, as their potential for addiction and abuse became more evident.
Adderall Abuse among College Students
Adderall remains on the market as a drug for treating narcolepsy and ADHD, but its benefits for recreational use has not gone unnoticed, especially among the college crowd.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration data from its 2006 to 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates just how alluring Adderall can be for full-time college students. A total of 6.4 percent of full-time students aged 18 to 22 had used Adderall non-medically over the past year. Full-time college students in that age range were more than twice as likely to use Adderall as people of the same age who were not attending college full time.
Combining Adderall with alcohol is common, as is using Adderall with other drugs. Of the students who admitted to non-medical Adderall use, 79.9 percent said they used marijuana in the past year, 24.5 percent had abused prescription tranquilizers in the past year and 44.9 percent admitted to abusing prescription pain relievers. Cocaine use was also higher in the Adderall-abusing students, with 28.9 percent saying they had used cocaine over the past year.
Because it’s a stimulant, Adderall can be especially dangerous when mixed with other stimulants, such as cocaine. The combination can significantly increase the risk of stroke or heart attack.
Adderall as a Party Drug
An article in The Dartmouth outlined how college students abused the drug by crushing the pill and then snorting the powder. One student admitted to consuming up to 70 milligrams of Adderall throughout the all-night party, usually by initially snorting half of the drug and then waiting 30 minutes before snorting the other half.
The particular student said he purchases the prescription drug from friends diagnosed with ADHD who have been prescribed the drug for medical use. He said the cost ranges from $5 to $15 per pill, with a single pill containing 10 to 20 milligrams of the medication.
People who use Adderall recreationally prefer the fast-acting version of the drug for an instant and powerful high, although a slow-acting, 12-hour formula is also on the market to help deter Adderall abuse.