Amphetamines are chemical compounds that increase the release of hormones called “neurotransmitters”, including norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, by stimulating the central nervous system in the brain. As the concentrations of these hormones in synapses (connections of neurons) increase, neurons are triggered and become more excited. Drugs (Adderall) produced using amphetamine and its derivatives are used in the treatments of Narcolepsy (a sleep disorder) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome. Adderall has started to be used not only by patients but also abroad, especially among students, because it improves cognitive performance. So, are these drugs really enough to make us “super-intelligent” overnight?
Adderall is an amphetamine derivative that, when used at therapeutic doses (effective dose), increases alertness and attention in people. With the taking of the drug, the release of neurotransmitters, which provide communication in our central nervous system and each of which has a different task, begins to increase. The main ones are dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Dopamine stimulates our reward system and increases cognitive activity. Serotonin has many effects depending on the region it stimulates in our brain. Affects our sleep state, emotions, hunger, sexual desire. The task of norepinephrine is to control the autonomic nervous system; that is, it creates a kind of “fight or flight” response by affecting our heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
By increasing the concentration of these neurotransmitters, amphetamines prevent distraction, prolong our wakefulness and increase our working hours. This drug, which increases muscle strength and athletic performance, also delays our feeling of tiredness.
Well, the bad news is that these compounds do not increase our cognitive development and learning level. It only promises to work and focus in times that we normally cannot reach, thanks to our brain that is on alert and constantly awake while under the influence of the drug.
Is It Worth It?
So, is it really worth to ignore the side effects of a drug that is chemically similar to methamphetamine which is used as a drug?
These drugs have very serious and vital side effects:
- Tachycardia (accelerated heartbeat),
- Sleeping disorders,
- Panic attack,
- Erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting an erection),
- Increase in suicidality.
Chemicals with a high addictive rate in the drug content can cause physical or psychological addiction. In physical dependence, when the drug is used regularly, tolerance develops in the brain to amphetamine and its derivatives. As a result, higher doses are required. In psychological addiction, the use of the drug becomes the priority of the individual. These individuals cannot do their jobs without Adderall and start using high doses willingly.
The “Drug Enforcement Administration”, an agency that fights drug trafficking and use in the United States, lists Adderall and its derivatives, which are increasingly abused, in the same list as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.