The medication that goes by the brand name Adderall is a combination of two stimulant drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

If Adderall is purchased from a pharmacy, all ingredients are listed. If it is bought on the street in counterfeit pills, however, it may be cut with other substances.

Is Adderall Cut With Other Drugs?

If a person is getting Adderall from a pharmacy, only the substances listed above are in the medication. Any individual who purchases Adderall pills from a legitimate source can be assured that the substance is relatively pure.

People who buy drugs off the street from unauthorized sources may be paying for certain types of imitation or knockoff drugs produced illegally. People who get Adderall in a powdered form run the serious risk of getting a drug that is either cut with potentially dangerous substances or getting a different drug altogether.

Adderall’s Use

This medication is primarily used in the treatment of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). It may be used to enhance wakefulness in individuals who have a neurological condition that produces lethargy.

There are two major forms of Adderall: an immediate-release version and an extended-release version.

The major two ingredients in Adderall are the stimulants listed above. There may also be inert substances in the medication, such as binders and other substances that do not produce psychoactive effects.

Adderall is a controlled substance (listed as a Schedule II controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA]). This means that only individuals with a prescription for the drug are allowed to legally possess and take it. However, stimulants used to treat ADHD, like Adderall, have become significant drugs of abuse, particularly among younger people.

Adderall Abuse

People who abuse Adderall will typically grind up the pills and then snort them, mix them with water or some other liquid and inject them, or smoke the substance. The most common method of abuse is taking it orally or snorting it.

According to an extensive review of Adderall abuse in colleges published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, Adderall may commonly be abused with other stimulants like cocaine, alcohol, and prescription drugs like opiates or benzodiazepines.

What Do Adderall Pills Look Like?

Different Adderall pills can look different, depending on the dosage, whether or not they are immediate-release or extended-release pills, and whether or not they are generic or the brand name Adderall.

Different Types of Adderall Pills

  •  The 5 mg (milligrams) immediate-release Adderall pill is white, round, and has the stamp AD on it.
  •  The 7.5 mg immediate-release pill is blue and oval-shaped, with an imprint of AD 7.5.
  •  The 10 mg pill is blue and round, with a stamp AD 10.
  •  The 20 mg pill is orange and round, with the stamp AD 20.
  •  Other immediate-release pills also exist in different doses.

Adderall extended-release medications are typically in capsules with one clear end, allowing one to view the medication inside. The medication will typically look like little pellets.

Adderall extended-release pills are usually blue or orange with a stamp on them.

Beware of Counterfeit Drugs

Whenever a person purchases prescription medications online from a questionable source, from someone who sells them on the street, or from other sources where a prescription is not required, they should be suspicious that the substance they are buying has additives. The additives can be inert or other drugs, such as PCP (phencyclidine), methamphetamine, or even fentanyl, which can lead to serious issues.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when buying a drug from a dealer or online, it is difficult to actually know:

  •  How the drug was made
  •  Whether or not the drug is mixed with other substances
  •  The environment and conditions under which the drug is made
  •  Whether or not the drug is contaminated

Further Cautions

If purchasing a drug that is being marketed as Adderall, it should look like pictures of the legitimate prescription pills.

Person in a red sweater putting white pills from a prescription bottle into their hand palmAnyone who buys Adderall in a powdered form should automatically assume there are other substances in the concoction.

“There are no legitimate ways to visually determine what other substances are included in pills or powder, so the best bet is to avoid the substance altogether.

Laboratory tests can often determine what substances are contained within pills or powders, but most individuals do not have access to professional laboratory testing equipment.”

FDA Recommendations

The FDA makes the following recommendations to avoid buying impure drugs or purchasing counterfeit drugs that may be potentially dangerous:

  •  Never purchase a prescription medication online if you do not have a legitimate prescription for the drug.
  •  Only purchase medications from state-licensed pharmacy websites.
  •  Only purchase medications from pharmacies located within the United States.
  •  Do not buy medications from websites that sell the medication to people without a prescription.
  •  Do not buy medications from sites that use so-called “cyber physicians” to write a prescription after you fill out a questionnaire.
  •  Avoid giving personal information to any website.
  •  Only use websites that have licensed pharmacists available to answer questions.
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