Adderall, Ritalin, AD/HD, and Abuse Essays

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Adderall, Ritalin, AD/HD, and Abuse

Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are behavioral disorders affecting attention span, impulse control, and self-discipline. They are usually associated with children, although adults can suffer from the same disorders. It is estimated that 4% - 6% of the U.S. population suffers from AD/HD, and children with the disorders carry them into adulthood more than half the time. Typically medicated with psychostimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall, (methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, respectively), concern over these disorders surrounds problems such as over-diagnosis or misuse of the prescription medications.

ADD is characterized by an inability to concentrate,
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Other short term effects include faster heart rate and breathing, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, dry mouth, perspiration, and a feeling of superiority. More severe side effects include aggression and hostility, or even strange, incessant behavior. Flushing, tremors, and hallucinations are common of overdose. The effects of methylphenidate are often likened to those of cocaine and studies have shown similarities in the two. Both drugs have the ability to block dopamine transporters. The reuptake of catecholamines noradrenaline and dopamine are blocked, leaving them in the synapse in increased concentrations, promoting the elevation of mood and the feelings of alertness, well-being, verboseness, or superiority (1). In addition, a study using baboons showed that the regions of distribution of methylphenidate and cocaine in the brain are similar, and there is competition for binding sites between the two on the post-synaptic terminal (1).

In 1996, the FDA approved Adderall, a combination of mixed amphetamine salts amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, for the treatment of AD/HD. Adderall is an alternative medication to Ritalin (methylphenidate), and is often prescribed as the Plan B when Ritalin is not effective. With duration in the brain lasting twice as long as methylphenidate, Adderall can be
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