Adderall can help ADHD and narcolepsy symptoms when taken as prescribed by a doctor. It’s also one of the most abused prescription stimulants by teens and young adults. Get answers to questions like:
- How long does Adderall last?
- How does it work, and why is it prescribed?
- Is Adderall addictive?
- And more
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant. It’s made up of:
- Amphetamine – A stimulant that works on the brain to make you feel more focused, energetic, and confident.
- Dextroamphetamine – A stimulant that can help control impulses and hyperactivity, which is why it’s useful for people struggling with ADHD.
Adderall is prescribed by doctors to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy. It is sometimes used off-label for depression and weight loss.
How Does Adderall Work?
Adderall works on the central nervous system to increase neurotransmitter activity of:
These neurotransmitters are responsible for things like:
Adderall works on the brain to make these chemical balances more like those who do not struggle with ADHD and narcolepsy.
What Is Adderall Prescribed For?
Adderall is prescribed for:
- ADHD in children and adults
Some physicians may prescribe Adderall for weight loss in extreme cases or as a complement to other medications in people who are depressed. These uses are not approved by the FDA, so they are considered “off label.”
What Does Adderall Look Like?
Adderall comes in several tablet forms that are round or oval and have “AD” printed on them.
- Orange Adderall (12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg)
- White to off-white Adderall (5 mg)
- Blue Adderall (7.5 mg and 10 mg)
Extended-release Adderall (Adderall XR) comes in blue and orange tablets. They have “Adderall XR” printed on them.
What Does Adderall Feel Like?
People who use Adderall as prescribed by a physician describe its effects as keeping them more alert, energized, focused, and motivated. People who use it to achieve an Adderall high say in large doses the drug brings on euphoria, energy, confidence, and “superhuman” feelings.
What Are Side Effects of Adderall?
Common Adderall side effects may include:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
Less common Adderall side effects may include:
- Runny nose
- Muscle pain
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?
The liver breaks down Adderall and it leaves your body through urine.
- How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Urine?
Adderall can be detected in urine for up to 72 hours.
- How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Blood?
Adderall can be detected in your blood for up to 46 hours.
- How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Saliva?
Adderall can be detected in your saliva for up to 50 hours.
- How Long Can You Detect Adderall in Your Hair?
Adderall can be detected in hair follicles for up to three months.
What Are Adderall Street Names?
When people use Adderall without a physician’s prescription, they may refer to the drug as:
- Red pep
- Red dexies
What Milligrams Does Adderall Come In?
Regular Adderall, which lasts around four hours comes in:
- 5 mg
- 7.5 mg
- 10 mg
- 12.5 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
Adderall extended release (Adderall XR) lasts all day and comes in:
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
- 50 mg (generic form only)
- 70 mg (generic form only)
An extended release (XR) drug typically has a special coating or mixer that makes it take longer to leave your body than immediate-release (IR) drugs. This keeps the therapeutic dose at a steady level for longer.
Adderall Fast Facts
Here are some quick facts about Adderall:
- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes Adderall as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has high potential for abuse and dependency.
- Over one 6-year period, Adderall abuse increased by 67%, and emergency room visits increased by 156%.
- Twenty-five percent of college students say they have used stimulants like Adderall to keep them alert for schoolwork or exams, according to one survey. Almost 9% said a doctor prescribed Adderall to them.
- Misuse of Adderall is underreported, with one study showing about 28.7% of high school students who had used the drug reporting otherwise.
- A little more than 4% of 12th graders have reported using Adderall in the past year.
- Adderall was one of the most abused prescription drugs in the U.S. in 2016.
- Two percent of college students report using Adderall within a one-month period.
Alternatives to Adderall
Many people rely on Adderall to manage their narcolepsy or ADHD symptoms. For people looking for alternatives to Adderall, the International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology lists these options.
- Bacopa monnieri
- Huperzine A
- Maritime pine Bark Extract
Always consult a physician before taking any medications.
Get Help for Adderall Abuse
If you or someone you love is abusing Adderall, consult with addiction experts. Adderall misuse can have serious consequences. Footprints to Recovery provides medical drug detox to keep you safe and as comfortable as possible during Adderall withdrawal. We offer inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment to help you address the underlying reasons of your substance abuse and learn healthy coping skills. Contact us today.
Questions about treatment options?
Our admissions team is available 24/7 to listen to your story and help you get started with the next steps.