Short and Long-Term Effects of Adderall on Your Body

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want an easy way to enhance their performance, and that’s what draws many people into using (and later, abusing) Adderall. While at first glance Adderall may seem to only offer benefits, it can lead to some terrible consequences. 

In this article we’ll look at what Adderall does to the body, the short and long-term effects and how long Adderall stays in the body.

What does Adderall do to the body?

Adderall is the brand name for a combination of two substances called amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall works by boosting dopamine and norepinephrine in order to increase focus, organization and listening. It is a stimulant taken orally, most commonly used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). It is also prescribed to help control behavioral problems and sometimes for the treatment of narcolepsy. 

While taking the medication according to a doctor’s prescription can improve focus and alertness, Adderall can also easily be misused. Even those who have a prescription for the medication can develop an addiction.

What are the short-term effects of Adderall?

Generally, it takes around 30 minutes to one hour for the substance to take effect. Most individuals who are prescribed Adderall take the drug in the morning so that they are able to focus during school or work. Adderall takes several hours to wear off, so inability to focus may return in the afternoon. Occasionally, people take multiple doses in a day.

In the hours that the medication is taking effect and the hours that follow, here are the short-term Adderall effects you can expect.

  • Increased focus on a task
  • Improved ability to pay attention
  • Improved ability to listen
  • Increased alertness
  • Feeling of euphoria
  • Irritability
  • Raised body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in appetite
  • Abdominal pain

Like all drugs, the way Adderall impacts the body will differ based on numerous factors, among them a person’s metabolism, the amount of substance taken, a person’s size, whether the person has eaten recently and whether the person has taken the substance before.

What are the long-term effects of Adderall?

Adderall impacts the body in a way similar to other stimulants. Over time, a tolerance to the substance can build up, requiring more and more of the drug to get the same positive effect. When someone abuses Adderall, numerous consequences occur. Addiction can cause dysfunction in relationships, occupation and daily living. Alongside those areas, here are the physical effects that could result from Adderall abuse.

  • Addiction
  • Skin rashes
  • Insomnia
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac arrest and irregular heartbeat
  • Weight changes
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia-like symptoms, such as paranoid delusions and mood disturbances

Suddenly stopping regular Adderall use can lead to withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can include the following. 

  • Cravings
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood changes
  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Suicidality

Sometimes a doctor who prescribes Adderall will have the patient take a break from the substance for a period of time to see if their behavior changes. If you do have a prescription to Adderall, consider asking your doctor about taking a break so you can see the impact that the medication is having, and if ending usage or changing the dosage is a good idea.

How long does Adderall stay in the body?

While Adderall may only have an effect for a few hours, the substance can be detected in the body’s system much longer. According to the American Addiction Centers, after the last use Adderall can be detected in saliva for 20 to 50 hours, blood for up to 46 hours and urine 72 to 96 hours. Like for most substances, a hair follicle test can detect Adderall for up to three months after the last use.

What should I do if I have an addiction to Adderall?

Like any medication, taking Adderall can become an addictive habit, resulting in disastrous consequences for your body and your life. In order to prevent an addiction to Adderall, never increase the dosage, take it more frequently or for longer that your doctor recommends. Harmful Adderall effects are not worth the pain; there are healthier ways to find focus.

If you have already developed an Adderall addiction, recovery is possible. While treatment for Adderall addiction will differ slightly from other addictions, most rehab facilities and outpatient programs also provide treatment for getting clean from Adderall. Learn more about how to break an Adderall addiction here.

Get professional help now

Every day that you wait an Adderall addiction becomes harder to break. Don’t waste another minute living your life chained down by substances- reach out to Mazzitti & Sullivan Counseling. At Mazzitti & Sullivan you’ll be treated with respect and dignity as you embrace recovery. Call 800-809-2925 to get the treatment you need.