A prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, Adderall can affect the brain and body. The effects of Adderall peak within 1-2 hours in the system after use but may last longer, depending on the individual. Learn more about how Adderall affects the brain and body.


The Body

Amphetamine (Adderall) works in the body by impacting the brain and nervous system. Unpleasant and dangerous side effects can be present following use. Some symptoms may include:

  • Stomach pain or aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Behavioral issues

Each individual reacts differently to the effects of Adderall. A person may act unpredictably when taking Adderall in a way other than prescribed by a treating physician. Adderall may be safe up to 40 mg for children and 60 mg for adults depending on a person’s tolerance level to amphetamines.


Effect on Brain and Nervous System

Amphetamine salts found in Adderall are central nervous system stimulants. Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. People who use Adderall for nonmedical reasons may experience euphoria. Pursuing a high can push a body’s tolerance level to the brink of addiction and over the edge, requiring more and more of the drug to feel the same effects. This can have detrimental effects on the body and brain over time.


Peak Levels

Adderall reaches a peak saturation in the blood within 1-2 hours of use. People may crush or snort the powder from tablets to receive more immediate effects. The practice is quite dangerous as snorting Adderall can result in increased adverse effects, overdose, or sudden death. Adderall may last in the body for several days though extended-release formulas may remain effective throughout the day of use.


Adderall Use

A doctor who prescribes Adderall will suggest using it only ‘as prescribed.’ When an individual seeks to take Adderall ‘as needed’ or with large amounts of vitamin C may risk lessening the effects of the drug. Adderall may be taken on an empty stomach to receive the best effect. Mixing alcohol with Adderall does not enhance its effects. Drinking while on the drug may increase a person’s risk of alcohol poisoning or related accidents including death.

As a drug, Adderall is not right for everyone. Amphetamine salts should not be prescribed to anyone who does not need them for legitimate medical purposes due to the risky side effects. Addiction is possible as it is highly addictive due to the euphoric feelings it may create. People with a history of addictive behavior are advised to proceed with caution and speak to a therapist prior to use. Adderall may also trigger serious side effects in people with a history of seizures or cardiovascular conditions.

Adderall is a drug with addictive properties. If you struggle with quitting Adderall, call Hired Power to see how we can support your journey to recovery from prescription drug or other substance use disorders.