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What Does Adderall Feel Like?

Adderall is a commonly prescribed drug for ADHD. However, it can cause addiction and death when abused. Read on to learn how to prevent Adderall misuse.


Article Contents

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication that works as a psychostimulant. In America, over 16 million people take this drug or its alternatives to treat a variety of illnesses. The substance was originally synthesized in the 1930s and was marketed as a diet and energy pill that found use on both the battlefield and in everyday homes. The early years of Adderall precede medical science research into the dangers of stimulants or addiction in general.1  

What is Adderall Used to Treat?

Adderall is most used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. It is prescribed to help curb the effects of learning disorders in adults and children as young as nine years old. It can also help with narcolepsy and chronic fatigue (source).

In the non-medical community, Adderall may also be rumored to treat anxiety. However, it can intensify the effects of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.1     

Street Names

Adderall, when obtained illegally, may also be called:

  • Addys
  • Crank 
  • Upper 
  • Speed 
  • Scrips (Interchangeable amount perception drug use) 
  • Black Beauties 
  • Study Buddy 

Side Effects of Adderall

Adderall, as a psychostimulant, can cause negative side effects even when taken responsibly. More severe Adderall side effects occur in individuals that take the drug but do not show signs of ADHD, meaning they use it recreationally. Additionally, when taken in excess, it can cause negative physical symptoms as well.

When taken as prescribed, Adderall can improve attention, memory, and cognitive reasoning. Each of these side effects plays a major role in academic learning. Moreover, because Adderall boosts mental performance, there’s a connection between it and quality of life.2    

Adderall Effects

The side effects of this substance cause several brain and body changes, especially when taken to excess. Here are some of the most common negative effects of the drug.
  • Confusion
  • Irritability 
  • Aggression 
  • Headaches 
  • Insomnia 
  • Body pain 
  • Twitchiness 
  • Red eyes 
Moreover, when taken in excess, the liver and kidney will have a hard time filtering the drug out of the body. This difficulty can cause severe stress on internal organs and lead to cramps and discomfort. It can also cause an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure.2

Adderall Overdose

The majority of Adderall snorting misuse occurs in college-aged individuals eighteen to twenty-five. While many Adderall misusers obtain and take the drug at parties, a large portion of them develops dependency from using it as a study drug.

There are roughly twenty-five Adderall-related overdoses in emergency rooms annually. However, that number does not account for non-fatal visits, aggravation of comorbid disorders, or the residual mental state from long-term misuse. An example is that this drug causes high blood pressure, which significantly raises the chance of heart attacks and strokes. The long-term effects of an elevated heart rate include worn-out heart valves, which can lead to difficulty breathing and low energy levels for years following misuse.

Consider individuals suffering from mental illnesses like addiction, depression, or anxiety; taking Adderall may lead to relapse and worsening mental health symptoms.3       

How Long Does Adderall Last?

Adderall remains active in the body for up to six hours. However, the extended-release version can last up to twelve hours. Most Adderall prescriptions suggest taking the drug in the morning to avoid disrupting sleep patterns. It is rarely recommended to take more than two doses per day. 4         

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall is detectable for up to three months in hair and up to five days in urine samples. Metabolites, the residuals leftover from chemicals, can last much longer in the system. The build-up of this drug’s metabolites can cause long-term issues in the kidney and liver. 4   

What Happens When You Snort Adderall?

Snorting any drug gets it into the bloodstream faster which causes more intense symptoms. 

Side Effects of Snorting Adderall

Snorting Adderall causes amplified feelings of energy, focus, and mental speed. However, snorting the drug also causes damage to the inner nose, which can lead to a breakdown of tissue resulting in ruined breathing passages, frequent mucus build-up, and severe sinus infection. 

Snorting Adderall vs. Taking It Orally

Adderall is meant to be taken in manageable oral doses. When taken as recommended, it produces the intended effect. Snorting this drug can cause the effects to occur much quicker and stronger than intended, which can result in dependency.

The initial effects of an excess of Adderall snorting may be pleasurable. The pleasure is caused by the brain rapidly producing dopamine and other positive brain chemicals. Adderall is addictive and harmful when taken in excess regardless of the method. However, nasal ingestion of the drug increases the likelihood of dependency.5      

Signs of Adderall Abuse

Adderall abuse can occur in anyone, even those with no prior history of drug abuse. It takes a medical or addiction professional to diagnose drug dependency. However, there are signs to look for if you or a loved one needs help.5  

Signs That Someone Is Snorting Adderall

  • Visual: Dilated pupils, twitchiness, and clammy skin are a few of the common visual cues of substance abuse. An individual may look disheveled or tired due to insomnia from this dependency. Long-term snorting from Adderall can cause a deviated septum which manifests as a thinning of the nose.
  • BehavioralIn excess, this drug causes extreme levels of aggression, anxiety, paranoia, and other mood disorders. To the friends and families of individuals with Adderall addiction, it may seem as though the person changed overnight, which can be a key indicator of drug use. Individuals suffering from dependency are more prone to cancel plans, disregard responsibilities. As a result, relationships began to suffer.  

The Dangers of Adderall Abuse

The side effects of Adderall snorting and corresponding overdoses occur from recreational use or allergies to the drug. Over 1,400 people visit the emergency room annually due to Adderall overdose, and that number is rising. 6

Like any drug, Adderall impacts more than just cognitive function, internal organs can also feel the effects of chronic drug use. Here’s how snorting it affects your brain and body when abused.    


Excess use of this drug disrupts various brain chemicals, which results in mania, hallucination, and lowered cognitive reasoning. This response can cause a person to engage in dangerous behavior or put others at risk due to their debilitating mental state.

In long-term abuse, this substance lowers the amount of positive brain chemicals like dopamine which results in depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Adderall, akin to cocaine and methamphetamine, causes drastic changes to the reward and motivation center of the brain. A person suffering from dependency will feel tired and low energy to these changes.  

Blood Pressure

Adderall, a stimulant, increases blood pressure and heart rate which can result in stroke and heart attacks. Long-term use can make breathing and blood flow difficult. It can also lead to kidney disease and liver failure. 

Respiration Rates

Increased heart rates cause rapid breathing and hyperventilation, which can cause a person to pass out or choke.  


Adderall can cause seizures in a small percentage of its users. However, the likelihood of drug-induced seizures goes up in cases of poly-drug use. Individuals that engage in multiple drugs, including alcohol, at once have the highest chance of having a seizure and other health complications.  

Getting Help for Adderall Addiction

Getting help for Adderall snorting and addiction can start with as little as a call or visit to a rehabilitation clinic or drug recovery group. Dependency is a lifelong journey, but it is essential to start as soon as possible. Here are two ways to get sober.  


Drug detoxing involves abstaining from drug use and allowing your body to heal. Detoxing will cause symptoms of withdrawal which vary between drugs. Adderall withdrawal causes nervousness, insomnia, irritability, low energy levels, and trouble focusing. Withdrawal symptoms can last a few days to a few months, depending on the history of use. In a medical environment, there are systems in place to help ease withdrawal symptoms.   


Medication may be prescribed to treat the effects of Adderall snorting, abuse, and withdrawal, and any underlying health issues such as depression. A medical professional may also help develop a diet plan to ensure the person in recovery has the energy and nutrition needed for long-term rehabilitation. 


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