Your front-facing camera isn’t forgiving, is it? When it clicks on unexpectedly, at an angle you’re not prepared for, you get a glimpse of your face that might not be flattering, to say the least. “Is that how my chin looks all the time?! Oh my gosh my neck—oh no, my…” and on and on. Even though all these cameras and all these screens can give us new glimpses of ourselves, the obsession over how we look is not new. According to Sarah Lohman, an author and culinary historian, Americans’ dieting and obsession with weight can be traced back to the mid-1800s, which is also when the first graham crackers were invented–—for people who should be eating healthily. Weight and health have basically been on our national mind ever since. In a speech in the ‘60s, John F. Kennedy referenced young people neglecting their bodies by not focusing on physical fitness. As a reminder, there were zero video games to blame then. You can find information supporting our national struggle with obesity and you can find information saying that this is not really a problem and is being exaggerated. It is a fact according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), however, that the rate of obesity has been steadily rising since 1988 at least. This also means, unfortunately, eating disorders began to rise and they continue to be a problem. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that eating disorders impact lives not just in America, but all over the world. It also shows that women are more likely to struggle with an eating disorder than men. All these things combined mean the diet and exercise industry rakes in billions of dollars, we’re sold (and buy) things that promise quick weight-loss results, and our opinions of ourselves are constantly shifting when we’re told how fat (or skinny) we are. Finding a great way to lose weight is basically now a national pastime. What if a pill could solve your weight struggles, though? What if you could take a pill and just start losing weight? It’s a dangerous question because the answer is so enticing. The fact is, there is no safe weight-loss pill. There have been many in the past that claimed to help people lose weight, easily and safely, but the results aren’t that simple. Now people are using Adderall® to lose weight and it’s the same story. Taking Adderall may lead to weight loss, but there are dangerous side effects including the possibility of becoming dependent and/or addicted.
Side Effects To Overall Health: Adderall Is Not A Weight Loss Pill
Chances are if you’ve already heard of Adderall you’ve heard it referred to as the “study drug” or the pill that helps someone pay attention or stay awake. Adderall is the brand name, however, and the pill is classified as an amphetamine by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). There are a lot of people who get prescribed Adderall for legitimate reasons, most commonly for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and it can be perfectly safe to take. Like any prescription, if used properly and under supervision of a doctor, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Using Adderall for weight loss, however, is a different story. It’s not a pill designed for weight loss, that’s just a side effect. What Adderall is actually designed to do is balance the level of three brain chemicals: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Balancing those three chemicals in the brain of someone diagnosed with ADHD leads to them feeling calm. Normally, their brains are feeling under stimulated which makes them struggle to stay focused and pay attention. Specifically for weight loss, dopamine plays a large role. It’s sometimes called the “reward” chemical because it’s the one that tells the body “Hey, you feel good, whatever just happened was good!” This is one reason why Adderall leads to weight loss: it can produce the same effect as eating a full meal. Which means your body isn’t getting the signals from your brain it usually would, specifically the one that says “You’re hungry so you better eat.” If you don’t feel hungry you can go longer without eating, which can lead to weight loss.
Adderall Is For ADHD, Not Weight Loss
There are already other side effects to worry about when taking Adderall, like increased heart rate and higher blood pressure, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely unsafe. Doctors prescribe Adderall to help those with ADHD, like we mentioned, but also people struggling with narcolepsy. Doctors should not be prescribing Adderall for weight loss. Most of them don’t, in fact. People taking Adderall specifically for weight loss are most likely doing this without the direction or knowledge of a doctor. That’s one reason it’s dangerous, but here are some more.
By taking Adderall to suppress your appetite you could be starting a dangerous cycle. Simply not eating is an unhealthy way to lose weight, first of all, and can lead to struggling with anorexia. Second, you may become dependent on Adderall. Dependency is different from addiction but it can often lead to that as well. Dependency is when your body becomes used to the effects a drug creates. If you take Adderall for a long enough time your brain may become used to the raised levels of your brain chemicals, and so their effects on your body are weaker over time. This means you may have to begin taking more of the drug, or take it more often to achieve the same effect you experienced previously. It can also lead to dangerous bingeing and purging cycles if you ever stop taking Adderall. Your appetite will come back when you stop taking Adderall which means your body will begin telling you to eat again. Weight will naturally begin to return to your body. This can also lead to either beginning to take Adderall again, or start your struggle with an eating disorder. [middle-callout]
Addiction means you feel a strong urge and “need” for something. It also means you’ll do whatever it takes to get the thing you’re addicted to, which can lead to portions of your life suffering, not to mention physical and mental struggles as well. Taking Adderall to curb your appetite and thus lose weight can lead to addiction because you could become convinced the drug is the only way to achieve weight loss. It can lead to similar struggles as far as how your body reacts to dependency, but addiction is also rooted in how a substance affects you socially. Neglecting your day-to-day responsibilities, selling prized possessions or even stealing to make money for meeting your need, and depression developing are all ways addiction can affect us. Becoming addicted to Adderall could lead to all of these. Addiction is scary and can seem impossible to get past, but there are ways to find help.
Recovering From Adderall Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with Adderall addiction, Vertava is here to help. We offer comprehensive and compassionate treatment for Adderall addiction and can help guide you through the difficult portions, like withdrawal from Adderall. There’s one specific thing we use to help you, something unique: we use your strength. Your own dedication and strength are key ingredients in your own recovery. It might not feel like it, but we’re confident you have the power to change your life. Call us at 844.451.0263 and we can chat about how.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Fast Does Adderall Work For Weight Loss? Adderall may affect your weight and it may not. One possible side effect is appetite suppression, but there is not exactly an accurate timeline for when that may or may not happen. It’s also very dangerous to take Adderall for weight loss because it can lead to dependency, where your body begins needing Adderall to feel and react a certain way. It can also lead to addiction, where you feel strong urges to take Adderall and begin feeling like it’s the only way you can be happy and maintain your weight. What Does Adderall Do for Weight Loss? One of the possible side effects of Adderall is appetite suppression. Because Adderall alters how much dopamine is in the brain, the chemical sometimes called the “reward” chemical, your body can react by feeling less hungry. This is because eating releases dopamine to let us know we are satisfied, which is why sometimes a large meal can make you feel happy and at peace. When Adderall increases the amount of dopamine in your brain it can lead to your brain not telling your body to eat, since it already feels at peace and happy. Decreased appetite can lead to weight loss, but it’s a very slippery slope. You can then become dependent on Adderall to suppress your appetite, which can mean taking it more and more often. This can also lead to addiction.