Adderall is a favorite amongst college students and those diagnosed with A.D.H.D. For college students, they use the amphetamine as a way to cram information all night before a big test. Those with A.D.H.D. take Adderall to help control impulsive ticks and stay focused. But what exactly does Adderall do to allow these reactions within the #Central Nervous System?

Enhances dopamine secretion

Dopamine is the happy, feel-good chemical that releases when something great happens to you. Say you won $100 on a scratch-off. You would then become happy and excited, you may even want to play again. That is what dopamine does to your body.


Now when someone takes Adderall, the drug triggers the release of dopamine. This enhanced secretion provides the user with a euphoric feeling, putting them in a better mood. It's also tied in with pleasure and reward. When something interests you, the brain will secrete dopamine to keep you focused so you can retain the information. This is another reason why Adderall is used for studying.

Adderall stimulates "fight or flight" mode

We all know what this is. When our body senses a threat, our brain secretes stress hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline). This natural response causes the human body to become alert, have increased heart rate, it slows down the metabolism, and can even inhibit saliva secretion. When an individual takes Adderall, the "#Fight Or Flight" mode will activate. This gives the user all of the listed effects above.


Most of these are negative side effects of Adderall, like headaches and stomach pains due to overstimulation.

Decreased appetite

This pertains to the dopamine secretion. Since dopamine mixes with pleasure, the user will gain pleasure from eating much sooner; limiting food intake. Many American's use Adderall as a weight loss drug for this reason, but this method leads to addiction. When the effects wear off the user's appetite will come roaring back, which leads to taking more Adderall to keep the hunger at bay.

Adderall blocks reuptake

For those who don't know, reuptake is the process of reverting one's body back to a homeostatic state. Let's go back to the $100 scratch-off. At a certain point, your brain will realize that too much dopamine is being secreted into the system from this small victory. Reuptake will kick in and remove the dopamine, putting you in a normal state of mind. Amphetamines, like Adderall, block this process so the brain continuously secretes chemicals without limitation.


All of these effects can lead to addiction

Even when taken in prescribed amounts, the way Adderall mimics our bodies natural secretions can lead to addiction. When the drug wears off, the lack of dopamine makes the user want to take more. During usage, the central nervous system is constantly releasing these feel-good, responsive chemicals. When the Adderall wears off and reuptake starts its work, the user will start feeling sluggish, depressed, hungry, and irritable. In the long run, your brain will have a hard time secreting dopamine when it needs to. This can cause the user's body to become reliant on Adderall to feel happy; leading to overuse and depression afterward.