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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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:
If purchasing a drug that is being marketed as Adderall, it should look like pictures of the legitimate prescription pills. Anyone who buys Adderall in a powdered form should automatically assume there are other substances in the concoction.
The FDA makes the following recommendations to avoid buying impure drugs or purchasing counterfeit drugs that may be potentially dangerous:
(January 2017). Adderall. Food and Drug Administration. from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/011522s043lbl.pdf
(N.D.). Drug Scheduling. Drug Enforcement Administration. from https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling
(June 2012). Adderall Abuse on College Campuses: A Comprehensive Literature Review. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work. from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15433714.2010.525402
(January 2019). Adderall Images. Drugs.com. from https://www.drugs.com/adderall-images.html
(January 2018). How to Buy Medicines Safely From an Online Pharmacy. Food and Drug Administration. from https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048396.htm