The Long-Term Effects of Adderall on the Brain - Music City Interventions

The Long-Term Effects of Adderall on the Brain

Adderall is a prescription medication that people often begin using in childhood to address the symptoms of ADHD. The drug is best known for helping people improve their attention and ability to stay focused on a task. While research shows that it benefits people who need it when they take it as prescribed, the long-term effects of Adderall pose serious side effects. Adderall is an amphetamine, which means it stimulates the central nervous system.

Your brain on Adderall is hyper-stimulated. This is why many students and working professionals use Adderall to stay awake as they study and work on significant projects. At first, this might come with the perk of getting better grades or having more energy. However, misusing the medication can train your brain to become dependent upon an unnatural source of stimulation. Over time, you could face long-term effects of Adderall that limit your productivity and impact your overall wellbeing.

How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall is made of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These drugs bind to the norepinephrine and dopamine receptors in your brain that are responsible for releasing hormones that influence your behavior and emotional responses to an experience. Your brain on Adderall floods with hormones that make you feel good in the moment as you become more alert and focused. Taking Adderall without a prescription or in excessive amounts can also generate a sense of short-lived euphoria. Wondering what does Adderall do to your brain is often a sign that you might be misusing the drug in a way that can lead to long-term effects.

What Does Adderall Do to Your Brain Over Time?

Your brain is responsive to new stimuli, and it is constantly reassessing how and when to release hormones such as dopamine. When you take Adderall for a long time, your brain will become dependent upon the drug. The constant flood of artificially stimulated feel-good hormones impacts your brain’s reward center. This can cause it to stop releasing dopamine as it used to naturally. If you stop taking the medication at this point, you might notice withdrawal symptoms and cravings as your brain struggles to work correctly without the extra stimulation.

What Are the Long-Term Adderall Effects on Personality?

The long-term effects of Adderall are often most noticeable as personality changes. If you use this drug for a long time, you might experience depression, anxiety, and hallucinations that cause you to act differently. The changes that occur in your brain can also cause paranoia during ordinary situations. You might also act more aggressively, have mood swings, or stop feeling motivated to make progress in your life.

Is Adderall Motivation Real?

Feeling motivated is a common side effect of using Adderall, and many people develop an addiction after using the medication for this purpose. Adderall motivation is linked to the increase of hormones in your brain that help you feel focused. Unfortunately, your sense of reason will also begin to fade as soon as the drug starts to leave your body. Apathy is another one of the Adderall effects on personality that everyone should know about before using this drug.

What Are Healthier Ways to Boost Motivation?

There are many natural ways to build motivation without resorting to using Adderall, and you’ll find that your drive to accomplish things lasts longer when it isn’t dependent upon a chemical. Healthier alternatives to Adderall motivation include the following:

  • Reward your brain by meeting small, actionable goals
  • Develop a new routine with the help of a mentor
  • Spend time engaging in physical activity that naturally stimulates endorphins
  • Increase dopamine levels in the brain by having fun with a sober companion

Can You Reverse the Long-Term Effects of Adderall?

Once you understand the answer to how does Adderall work, it becomes clear that there is still hope to reverse or prevent long-term effects from using the drug. You’ll first need help quitting the drug, which often requires professional treatment. With the right types of support, you can get through the first stages of withdrawal, where personality and physical changes are the most apparent.

You’ll also want to remember that it takes time for the brain to heal from addiction. At first, you might notice that you don’t feel as happy or motivated when you engage in a pleasurable experience. This is because your brain is still learning how to release the right amount of dopamine and respond to it independently. Continuing to do new things that support a healthier lifestyle helps your brain practice balancing your hormone levels until you regain your former sense of happiness. Be patient with yourself during this time, and remember that making it through challenges is just part of the journey to better health.

Music City Interventions serves families and their loved ones affected by drug and alcohol addiction. We’ve made it our primary purpose to work with clients using caring intervention methods that protect their privacy while offering an effective way to treat their addiction.