Is Adderall A Narcotic Or A Controlled Substance?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 5, 2020

Adderall is a stimulant, available by prescription, to treat ADHD. Medications like Adderall are grouped into different classifications, based on how addictive they can be and other factors.

Is Adderall A Controlled Substance?

Adderall contains two medications, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is the brand name of one of the most commonly prescribed medications to treat ADHD, and has also been prescribed in the treatment of narcolepsy.

Medications like Adderall stimulate the central nervous system which helps people to concentrate. Adderall can also give a person who struggles with ADHD the ability to calm down, while also providing more energy. This reduces distractibility and allows a person to focus.

Adderall is a substance that is abused often. Sometimes it is abused by taking too much or using someone else’s prescription. When a person abuses Adderall, they tend to feel euphoric and have extremely high energy, as well as a boost of self-confidence.

However, like any other drug of abuse, Adderall abuse is dangerous. Some negative effects of abusing Adderall include high blood pressure, being unable to sleep, and irregular heart rate. These effects will worsen over time.

Adderall is classified as a controlled substance because it has a high potential for abuse. The following is additional information on controlled substances and how Adderall meets the criteria for one.

Adderall Is A Controlled Substance

In 1970, the Drug Enforcement Administration began enforcing what is known as The Controlled Substances Act. Medications fall under one of five classifications, known as “Schedules”. These schedules show the potential for abuse and the safety of a medication.

Adderall and Adderall XR are both Schedule II substances, like the other stimulant medications used to treat ADHD.

Schedule II Controlled Substances show a high potential for abuse, and should only be taken as prescribed. Other medications that are Schedule II controlled substances are Ritalin and narcotics, such as OxyContin, Dilaudid, and fentanyl.

While some narcotics are also listed under the Schedule II classification, Adderall is not a narcotic. Some people use the terms narcotic and controlled substance interchangeably, but according to the DEA website, these terms are not the same.

Is Adderall An Opioid?

Across the country, opioid abuse is running rampant, and while Adderall abuse is on the rise at staggering rates, Adderall is not an opioid.

Opioids are depressants, they work in the body to slow it down and eliminate pain. Conversely, Adderall is a stimulant and has an opposite effect on the central nervous system.

Both opioids and stimulants can activate dopamine receptors in the brain, which has been connected to addiction and addictive behaviors.

Being Prescribed Adderall

If your doctor has decided to prescribe Adderall to you, it is important to take Adderall only as it is prescribed. Because stimulant medications, like Adderall, are highly regulated, it is likely that you will only be able to fill your prescription every 30 days, and your doctor will have to authorize the refill.

These regulations are in place to keep individuals from taking too much of their prescription since a person should not run out of their medication before the next refill.

Some doctors will require a urine sample, to make sure that you are taking your medication as prescribed. The urine tests will reveal if the drug is present in your system, as well as the metabolites of the drug, which ensures you’ve been taking it daily.

It is important to communicate with your doctor if you are concerned about the addictive potential of Adderall. Your doctor will give you an idea of what to look for, and if there is still concern, they may prescribe you an alternative medication, if possible.

Effects Of Adderall

Adderall helps individuals by increasing focus, alertness, being able to focus and, in some cases, a more calm demeanor. The following is a list of some of the side effects a person taking Adderall may experience.

These symptoms may intensify in a person who is abusing Adderall:

  • insomnia
  • dizziness
  • restlessness
  • dry mouth
  • nervousness
  • hoarseness
  • vision issues
  • headaches

Adderall Overdose

When a person is abusing Adderall, it certainly will raise the risk for unwanted side effects.

Abusing Adderall can lead to an overdose, and these are some symptoms that require immediate medical attention:

  • numbness
  • pounding heart
  • fever
  • tics
  • confusion
  • weakness
  • blurry vision
  • seizures
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • shaking
  • aggression
  • fainting
  • confusion
  • delusions
  • hallucinations

A person who is abusing Adderall to the degree that they have suffered an overdose should speak to a medical professional to determine if they need a substance abuse treatment program.

Treatment For Adderall Abuse

Some warning signs that a person is abusing Adderall include insomnia, weight loss, jittery, extreme energy followed by a hard crash, or running out of their prescription before the refill date.

The best way to avoid the negative effects of Adderall abuse is to find a treatment program that offers supervised detox, followed by an inpatient or residential treatment program.

These types of intensive treatment programs allow for daily support and supervision, coupled with an individualized treatment plan.

If you are concerned about Adderall addiction or abuse, our treatment specialists are currently available to talk to you about treatment options for Adderall abuse, please contact us today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 5, 2020


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