What Are the Long Term Effects of Adderall?

what are the long term effects of Adderall

Adderall is an addictive prescription stimulant with effects similar to meth.

While a physician may prescribe Adderall to someone who demonstrates a genuine need, but that's not to say there aren't negative side-effects. This is especially true for people who take the drug without a prescription.

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So, what are the long-term effects of Adderall use?

What Are the Long Term Effects of Adderall

In this article, you will discover some of the long-term effects of taking Adderall so you understand the risks associated with the drug. Below, you will find a list covering some of these risks in detail.

  • Addiction
  • Heart-related issues
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Changes in the brain
  • Malnutrition
  • Skin disorders

Let's take a closer look.


Students who habitually use Adderall at unprescribed doses are at a high risk of becoming addicted. When people take Adderall habitually, they quickly develop an inability to function normally without it.

In other words, they develop an addiction.

Taking Adderall without a prescription is a form of substance abuse. This occurs when people share or sell the drug to others, which is both dangerous and illegal. Students usually abuse Adderall for one of two reasons – to increase focus while studying or to increase the amount of alcohol they can drink.

Serious complications that negatively impact your mental and physical health are likely to develop once you become addicted to Adderall.

Heart-Related Issues

Taking stimulants such as Adderall over a long period can lead to premature aging of your organs, according to studies. This type of chronic intoxications puts stress on the nervous system, the kidneys and the cardiovascular system.

Part of the reason this happens is that stimulants such as Adderall elevate heart rates and create higher blood pressure or hypertension. These can lead to other symptoms that when combined, lead to heart problems.

Psychiatric Problems

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common long-term effects of Adderall use. Adderall can also trigger psychosis, which can appear like schizophrenia. You may experience hallucinations that cause you to see, hear, feel, taste or smell things that are not actually there.

You may also experience confused thinking, delusions, mood swings, and behavioral changes. For instance, you may begin to withdraw from society, and experience quick-shifting moods that are out of your control.

Changes in the Brain

Reports of neurotoxicity have shown that excessive amounts of amphetamines such as Adderall create changes in the brain, especially when it comes to chemicals like dopamine. These alterations can lead to the brain’s inability to produce enough dopamine on its own to allow you to feel happy.

This leads to depression and anxiety in some. In others, structural abnormalities have shown up through brain imaging.

Other studies show Adderall can change the way your brain responds to new drugs, making it more difficult in times when you are not using the medicine. Meaning, when you stop taking Adderall, your ability to pay attention and focus becomes significantly worse.

This could lead to you needing more Adderall to maintain proper functioning. Many of the brain changes are related to dopamine levels.


Adderall is a stimulant, meaning it gives you energy, helps you focus and gives you mental clarity. Another trait is that it decreases your appetite. Many who use Adderall feel less hungry than those who are not on stimulants.

Stimulants have long been noted to create weight loss. But because of their danger when abused, the government has banned most stimulants for this purpose. Adderall cannot be prescribed for weight loss. However, those taking it for other reasons, do find themselves losing weight.

Such weight loss may not even be needed by some. In fact, some Adderall users become malnourished. This is because they eat much less, have an increase in energy, burn excessive calories without doing much, and do not crave food, all effects of stimulants.

If someone on Adderall is not eating properly, they are not getting nutrients needed to remain healthy. Malnutrition can have negative effects on the body and can even lead to death in severe cases.

Skin Disorders

Long-time use of Adderall can lead to unhealthy skin. This is because all your body is unhealthy. As mentioned above, malnutrition can play a negative role in how well your body ages. If you are malnourished due to the use of Adderall, your immune system will weaken, and your skin will be susceptible to disorders.

Acne is another skin disorder you may notice when using Adderall. Furthermore, you may find yourself picking your skin, creating sores that you pick and make worse. This may be due to the hallucinations created by stimulant use.

Adderall is one stimulant that can lead to hallucinations. When this happens, some think they see and feel bugs trying to burrow under the skin. This is when the picking and scratching begins, leading to open wounds that are susceptible to bacteria and other germs.

How to Avoid Long-Term Effects of Adderall?

Harm reduction therapy, as noted in the Harm Reduction Journal, has been shown to help you reduce the amount of Adderall you take until you get to a level of use that is no longer harmful to your health. This is just one treatment to help you avoid the long-term effects of Adderall.

Other treatments include individual or group counseling, peer mentoring, and learning skills that will help you better manage your personal and educational lifestyle so that you do not feel the need to be dependent on Adderall.

There are local facilities structured to help you. Whether you need prevention, intervention or follow-through, an individualized program can be developed to meet your needs regarding your Adderall use.

Photo by Christian Erfurt