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What Happens if You Take Adderall When You Don’t Have ADHD

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Unprescribed drug use can have long-term consequences. When it comes to taking Adderall, if you don’t have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there are potentially serious side effects that can come with it. Adderall is a common drug that people with ADHD take to increase focus and attention, especially in students. Unfortunately, as school wraps up and students head into finals, the potential for Adderall abuse increases. Let’s look at the potential consequences of taking Adderall when you don’t have ADHD.

What Does Adderall Do if You Don’t Have ADHD?

For children and adults with ADHD, Adderall is a prescribed medication that can improve focus and productivity, increase memory, and control impulsive behaviors. It can also improve energy and motivation, so it is commonly prescribed to patients with narcolepsy as well.

Patients with ADHD typically have a dopamine deficiency. Dopamine is the chemical in the brain that helps us “feel good.” Dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter that helps relay messages across the brain, which improves memory, movement, motivation, mood, attention, and more.

For patients without ADHD, their dopamine levels are considered normal. Taking Adderall could lead to a dopamine overload characterized by intense euphoric feelings and increased energy. While this may not seem bad, chronic use of Adderall, like long-term use of any drug, can lead to a tolerance of the drug. This can make the brain rely on the increased dopamine levels, which can lead to addiction and the person taking it being unable to function without it.

Side effects of using Adderall without ADHD include:

  • Headaches

  • Loss of appetite

  • Insomnia

  • Jitteriness

  • Weight Loss

  • Higher blood pressure

  • Heart palpitations

Adderall Withdrawal

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, tolerance of Adderall can lead to health problems that affect work, social, and home life. If someone develops an addiction to Adderall and they stop using it, they can experience withdrawal. Withdrawal can have a negative effect on a person that can lead to other health problems.

Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue

  • Sleep problems

  • Insomnia

  • Increased appetite

  • Headaches

  • Nightmares

  • Anxiety

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Achiness

  • Depression and suicidal thoughts

Treatment for Adderall Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with Adderall addiction, treatment is available. The first step in the process is reaching out for help. Our Knoxville drug rehab center is here to help you achieve peace and well-being. Our whole-person approach to treatment focuses on strengthening mental health, personal empowerment, and family support. You don’t have to be alone if you are suffering from addiction to Adderall. We can help you on the path to recovery.


Contact Tennessee Wellness Center at (865) 205-2770 to discuss your next steps.
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