Ashley (and Elliot), 4/18/18
T: How do you feel when college students abuse stimulants like Adderall?
A: It's very frustrating, especially because I don't think a lot of college students know the dangers of abusing Adderall and stimulants in general. This is a medicine that's enhancing certain chemicals in your brain; it adds more than what you should have in your brain for someone who is neuro-typical and doesn't need a stimulant. So, I mean, long-term effects, you can really damage your brain by doing that. And for someone who really needs stimulants, it can make it harder for them to access stimulants. When you're a college student and you go to a psychiatrist and say, “Hey, I have ADHD, or I may have ADHD, I would like to try a stimulant,” they assume you're going to be selling it because a lot of college students do sell Adderall for really cheap prices. So that's been a huge hindrance for me. I've been trying to get a stimulant now for two years, and I actually went on the black market to get stimulants from someone and try them out. That's when I knew for a fact that it was an ADHD diagnosis for me—instantly clicked with me. It was the most normal day of my life. So whenever I see friends that may be taking Adderall, I usually talk to them and say, “Hey, do you know what this can do to you?” It doesn't actually enhance your brain if you're neuro-typical; it gives you kind of this inflated ego feeling like, “Oh yeah, I can write this paper in two hours.” It gives you that superhuman mindset, but it doesn't actually help you. It's not going to help you study better. It doesn't do anything. Stimulants are addicting and can cause dependency in some people. Like I said before, it changes your brain chemistry and damages the brain’s natural reward center. If you frequently abuse stimulants, you are at greater risk for anxiety, depression, panic attacks, heart disease, and emotional withdrawal.* And I really recommend that people who don't need it just don't take it; it's just so much better for you to not take it. There's no point in abusing it if you don't need it. That's where I stand on that.