Adderall is abused mostly by college students and young adults. Estimates are that somewhere between 20-30 percent of college students regularly abuse Adderall.
Adderall has the dubious distinction of being the latest addition to the rogue's gallery of lawful drugs that have made the transition to the black market. In recent years, abuse of Adderall and its imitators has increased by nearly 200 percent. Calling it an "upper" is like calling a hydrogen bomb a grenade. It is made of pure amphetamine, it's already picked up its share of street monikers: Speed, Beans, Black Beauties, Christmas Trees, and Double Trouble, amongst others.
What are the pluses in this wonder-drug? In ordinary people it often but not always offers increased concentration. It also keeps people awake for more studying and lots more partying. It often offers a sense of euphoria and happiness and a lot better and more frequent sex, all fun at parties.
Between the glut of pop-psychology theories (often fraudulent) and the never-ending blitz of promotion by Big Pharma, people now believe they can diagnose themselves with something like ADHD as easily as ascertaining if they have a head cold and believe they have the ability to determine the correct medication for their condition. Sometimes they're grandiosely right. Most of the time, however, they're wrong on both counts. Even more of the time, diagnosis is irrelevant. The relevant question is where's the "connection?" Sadly, that's where many of us physicians fit in. We certainly don't intend to, but often serve as the 'connection'. Then, of course, there are those 'patients' and doctors that inhabit the bottom of the barrel: lying 'patients' and immoral doctors. Scripts can and are sold, for lots of money. Never mind the human cost, there's money to be made and drugs to be copped. Take that prescription to the pharmacy. Or, take your money to a nearby local University. You'll pay $30 to $40 dollars per pill for a very small amount of Adderall, usually sold to you by a student. Sales are usually student to student although the numbers of genuine drug dealers are growing rapidly in numbers, bringing with them all the problems of low-life, criminal drug dealers. Dealers recognize good business opportunities. Imagining little Johnny, having just finished Geography 1A, dealing with a real dealer chills the mind.
Illicit Adderall is taken in many ways. Most obviously, a pill can be swallowed. Pills can also be chewed, ground up and snorted, and ground up and injected (the most dangerous way of administration, by far). And then there's 'Stuffing'. This is accomplished by 'stuffing' Adderall in any orifice with a mucous membrane (anus, vagina, penis, mouth, etc.). Shooting gets the most immediate and strongest effect. Snorting is second, chewing third, and stuffing fourth. What 'stuffing' lacks in immediate 'oomph' and the loss of whatever dignity the person may retain, is made up by the length of effect and allows for the greatest amount of Adderall to be used at one time. The anus and vagina are big places and can hold a great deal of Adderall.
Sadly, there's no free lunch.
1) Side effects are numerous. Some are minor, some serious, and some very serious. Most users have no clue as to negative side effects and usually don't care. Ignorance, we suppose, is bliss. The most important and most negative side-effect is the Overdose. Overdose with Adderall is nasty. Results include Cardiac and/or pulmonary arrest, death, severe and lasting mental effects/defects. Which one happens to you is a matter of chance. If you're in an Emergency Room and still alive your chances are relatively good. If you overdose at your apartment and are alone, the chance of your living is slim. If you Over Dose at a party, maybe a Frat Party, you've probably bought it. Drunken, high Frat boys are not known for their medical skills or even a modicum of clear thinking. Minor side effects include anxiety, and transient depression. More serious effects include heart palpitations, elevation of blood pressure, Tourette's syndrome, seizures, stroke, and psychotic episodes or plain old psychosis.
2) Adderall is very, very addictive. Along with the 'fun' of physical and psychological damage, this drug opens the awful Pandora's Box of addiction, with all its' sadness, pain and misery. Adderall not only opens this Box, but also resides within. It is a 'gateway' drug, often leading to other fun drugs like cocaine, heroin, E, etc.
3) The Law. The sale, possession and use of Adderall for illegitimate purposes is a felony. The Drug Enforcement Administration and police are getting better and better at catching end users. Jail, fines and a criminal record are doled out more and more frequently.
4) There are the "grown-up" ramifications, those real-life, practical consequences that aren't even on the radar of the average college kid. For example, life and health insurance: If one lies about a diagnosis, such as ADHD, they still have the diagnosis on their medical records. Health Insurance companies do not have a reputation for being the most empathetic or understanding of institutions, and that's not just towards those who are actually sick. "I have ADHD (lying or not), and I take Adderall" are very good, probably, certain reasons for turn down. Arrests usually aren't flattering criteria for getting a job. Anybody know about Google? Police records are as easy to find as Adderall on campus. More and more employers search prospective employees backgrounds.
Can one live without Adderall?
As far as the fun, this seems to come with the package (you're the package). There's already a place producing more than enough chemicals on its own to make you horny and rowdy: your own body. And, at least, those are free and legal.
The first six pack of 40's is on us.