Bay Area Smart Drug Pathway to Addiction –
Pharmaceutical Drug Addiction: But I Have a Prescription!
In 2018, widespread addiction to ‘smart drug’ Adderall is flying under the radar.
Students, coders, tech entrepreneurs and workers in all industries are taking the prescription stimulant Adderall. For some, this began as a childhood prescription for ADHD. Others obtain and take Adderall illegally, as a ‘smart drug’ or ‘performance enhancer’.
Current estimates for U.S. university students currently taking Adderall is 25-30% of students. In the movie trailer featured at the end of this article, Take Your Pills, some students say ‘everyone’ is taking Adderall.
The chemical classification for Adderall is: Amphetamine.
Main quality of amphetamines: They are very addictive.
Adderall is a combination of two stimulant drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Adderall in 1960.
Amphetamines are Schedule II stimulants, which means that they have a high potential for abuse and limited medical uses.
Adderall is only available through a prescription that cannot be refilled without authorization from a physician.
When Do Prescription Drugs Become an Addiction?
We have all read the headlines about celebrities misusing prescription drugs.
For example, Elvis Presley, up until the day he died, was a poster boy for pharmaceutical drug addiction. Many individuals do not perceive an existing drug addiction – if it involves prescription drugs.
‘Functional Addiction‘ is becoming common in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and other high pressure work environments.
If discussing methamphetamine addiction, most will visualize a desperate, grunged-out myth of depravity that is light years removed from the “safe” medical images of a dutiful shrink writing out a prescription for Adderall.
The fact is: Addiction can happen to anyone.
Signs of Addiction – Adderall and Amphetamines
- Tolerance (need more to achieve the same effect)
- Cardiovascular failure or lethal seizures
- Severe weight loss
- Physical deterioration
- Severe dental problems
- Hostility or feelings of paranoia; episodes of violence
- Confusion; visual or auditory hallucinations
- Delusions (ants crawling on or under skin, for example)
Smart Drugs Pathway to Addiction
In 2018 – students, coders, tech entrepreneurs and workers in all industries feel pressure to succeed. And the pressure is not only to succeed. For many, an internally enforced mandate is to be absolutely awesome at all times.
The addiction process can be gradual and insidious. If taken on a regular basis, the following ‘survival’ pattern often develops.
- Adderall (and amphetamines) – cause difficulty in sleeping.
- To enable sleep, individuals take prescription opioids.
- Larger doses of Adderall are then needed to achieve the same alertness levels.
- Larger doses of opioids are needed to relax and sleep.
- At this point, the individual has developed a dependency.
- If dependency is not halted, addiction will occur; ‘functional addiction‘.
- With addiction – school, careers and personal relationships will suffer; or become unsustainable.
Do I Have a Substance Abuse Problem?
Just making it to work every day is not an indicator of physical or emotional health.
For help in looking honestly at your lifestyle, take our online Addiction Self Assessment.
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Trailer – Take Your Pills
Adderall side effects may include better performance, at first. But at what cost?
In America, medication is becoming almost as much a staple of childhood as Disney and McDonald’s. Kids pack their pills for school or college along with their lunch money. Some are taking drugs for depression and anxiety, others for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The right drugs at the right time can save young people from profound distress and enable them to concentrate in class. But some adolescents, critics say, are given medication to mask the ordinary emotional turmoil of growing up. And there is a risk that they will never learn to live without it.
According to America’s Centers for Disease Control in 2015, 11% of four- to 17-year-olds in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD, a label for those who are disruptive in class and unable to concentrate; just over 6% are taking medication.
Medication for ADHD has long provoked controversy. But in recent years, the big upturn in the U.S. has been in prescribing for depression and anxiety. It is now generally accepted, says David Healy, professor of psychiatry at Bangor University, that 20%-25% of students at most universities in the US are on medication, often on multiple prescriptions. There, he says, taking your meds is often seen as proof that a young person is dealing with their problems. “But you are not going to learn coping skills if you are taking pills,” he adds.