DEA has listed Adderall as a List II substance, indicating that it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Many people who consume Adderall are usually in denial about their addiction to the drug in the long term. So, many people are eager to learn more about the natural alternatives to Adderall.
The FDA has approved it as a prescription drug for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder).
This drug acts as a stimulant by increasing the activity of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. By increasing neurotransmitter activity, Adderall improves alertness, concentration, and energy.
Adderall is really effective as a prescription drug. But it can cause various physical and mental side effects, including anxiety, headaches, hallucinations, nausea, and weakness.
Adderall’s natural alternatives are usually safe and not addictive. The effects of this drug is small and unlikely to cause serious side effects or addiction.
The Side Effects of Taking Adderall
Stimulants can increase concentration and energy levels, reduce sleep requirements, and suppress appetite. Adderall increases the activity of many neurotransmitters (such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and especially dopamine).
Over time, changes in dopamine activity can affect our brain’s reward centers and change our ability to experience happiness without the constant chemical help of amphetamines. The more Adderall you use, the deeper these changes will be.
Tolerance to the drug may develop, and each dose may require more Adderall to feel the same expected effect. You need to know a lot of side effects related to this. The side effects vary based on your age.
Children Aged 6-12
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of Appetite
Teenagers Aged 13-17
- Mood Swings
- Weight Loss
- Loss of Appetite
Adults Over 18
- Dry mouth
There are also some serious/ rare side effects of Adderall, which happen if you overdose on the drug.
Physical Side Effects
Apart from withdrawal or shock, Adderal causes many other side effects. Ingesting high doses will lead to chronic poisoning. This leads to euphoria and excitement. This can lead to addiction. In extreme cases, Adderall can sometimes result in psychosis and cardiac arrest. These effects are more likely to occur at high doses.
Raynaud’s phenomenon is also related to the stimulant use. This can cause blood vessels to narrow due to cold or stress. This mainly affects your fingers and toes. Due to insufficient blood flow, the affected area will turn white or blue. Tingling or throbbing. In severe cases, this can cause tissue death or ulceration.
Psychological Side Effects
People taking Adderall may experience various worsening symptoms of mania or psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions. Other psychological symptoms may include panic attacks, intense anxiety, mania, and paranoia. Studies have shown that Adderall can cause more severe insomnia, crying tendency, irritability, anxiety, nightmares, and sadness/unhappiness.
Misuse of Adderall can cause serious side effects. People who have been exposed to high doses of amphetamine for a long time may experience auditory and tactile hallucinations, which may be mistaken for schizophrenia. The most serious form of psychosis occurs during a few days of “binging” the entire day for several days
So, Why are People Moving Towards Natural Alternatives to Adderall?
There are many reasons why people are considering natural alternatives to Adderall. Here are some things to consider.
Is Adderall an Addictive Substance?
Adderall is a controlled substance, which means it is easily addictive and easily abused. The US Drug Enforcement Administration classifies it as a List II substance along with oxycodone and cocaine.
Adderall’s addiction is largely due to its stimulant properties. The drug works by increasing dopamine. -a hormone which makes you feel good and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system and brain.
Because it improves concentration, this drug has become popular among young students to help them focus on their homework. It has also been misused along with alcohol for entertainment purposes. As a result, many young adults are in denial about their addiction.
There are certain indications that you may be addicted to Adderall. Those may include taking more than the recommended dose, mixing it with other drugs (such as alcohol or marijuana), or injecting the drug directly into a vein.
Let’s Look at Some Natural Alternatives to Adderall
There are various natural supplements that can easily be an efficient substitute for Adderall and not have any of the side effects that this drug has.
If you want to know how to focus without Adderall, here are some of these natural alternatives and how they work to mimic the benefits of the drug:
Citicoline is the same drug substance as the natural precursor of phospholipid phosphatidylcholine. Phospholipids help the brain function normally and help heal brain damage.
In Japan, citicoline has become a drug that helps people recover from strokes. Dietary supplements can help treat brain and nervous system diseases such as glaucoma and certain types of dementia.
It can also help reduce the symptoms of ADHD. In some countries, citicoline requires a prescription. It is sold as a supplement in the United States.
The side effects of this medication are not known yet as none have been reported so far. Hence, it is non-toxic and is generally well tolerated. However, more research is needed to use it as a substitute for ADHD.
Supplements of minerals
Some people with ADHD may be deficient in certain minerals. Usually, you can get a lot of minerals and other nutrients through a balanced diet.
People who are picky about food or suffer from diseases that affect the normal function of the body may not get enough nutrients as their bodies may be incapable of absorbing it. This can lead to mineral deficiencies.
Studies have shown that certain supplements can help reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some people because certain minerals are needed to produce chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. These supplements include iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Magnesium and Vitamin B-6 supplements
Vitamin B6 helps produce a chemical substance called serotonin in the brain. This neurochemical is important for your mood and calmness. Vitamin B6 can interact with the mineral magnesium to help balance brain chemicals.
Researchers found that all people had symptoms relieved after 8 weeks of supplementation. Hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and mental concentration improved. The study found that symptoms of ADHD recovered within a few weeks after stopping supplementation.
We recommend that you take these natural supplements until the vitamin levels in your body are high enough. You can also add fruits and vegetables rich in magnesium and vitamin B6 to your diet.
Natural stimulants can change the levels of brain chemicals such as dopamine but this effect is negligible and is unlikely to cause serious side effects or addiction.
An example is caffeine.
As you may know, caffeine is present in many sources. You can find it in minimal quantities in beverages like coffee and slighter higher amounts in energy drinks like Monster Energy.
People can become physically dependent on caffeine. However, it does not cause the release of dopamine high enough to disrupt the brain’s reward circuit and cause serious addiction.
Remember that you can only consume a certain “safe” level of caffeine in a single day.
Methionine is an amino acid and the body needs it to make chemicals in the brain. The active form of methionine is called S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe). This form of methionine is used as a supplement to treat symptoms of ADHD and depression.
According to the 4-week research trial conducted in 1990, Seventy-five percent of ADHD patients (or six-eighths of adults) taking SAMe supplements have improved symptoms.
However, this supplement can worsen mania and anxiety episodes in adults with bipolar disorder. The correct dose of methionine for ADHD is used as a natural substitute for Adderall.
Finally, Should you Switch to Natural Adderall Alternatives?
Disclaimer: Natural supplements can sometimes cause side effects when they interact with other drugs. However, do consult your doctor before trying any supplements or changing the dosage of prescription drugs.
Just like synthetic medications, natural stimulants can improve concentration and calmness, stimulate learning, stabilize emotions, and help control impulses. As a result, Adderall’s natural alternatives are generally considered safe and not addictive.
So, which natural alternative do you plan to use? Let us know in the comments below!