Using amphetamines For ADHD treatment has existed since the 1950's. Amphetamines (stimulants) work by increasing the level of Dopamine in the brain.
Dopamine is a neurochemical (brain chemical) that is linked to pleasure, action, and focused attention (alertness).
For sufferers of ADHD, stimulants tend to help them focus and concentrate, and be less prone to potential distraction.
The downside, however, is that stimulants tend to produce a euphoric effect, or a "high", at certain doses. Unfortunately, this makes stimulants prone to abuse and addiction.
Typically, a starting dose is small and gradually increased by the doctor over time based on the dose's effectiveness and side effects.
Another reason for an increase in dosage is because, over time, the body tends to develop a tolerance to stimulants, which occurs when more and more of a substance is required to gain the same effect.
Inform your doctor if you have a history of substance abuse or addiction before taking amphetamines. Those with a substance abuse history are at greater risk of relapse when taking stimulants.
Crushing and snorting stimulant-based ADHD medication results in the full effect of the medication being released at once which can be very dangerous. This can result in rapid heart rate, the shakes, and other side effects.
If you experience any serious side effects while taking this medication seek emergency medical attention. Once your symptoms have been stabilized and you are discharged from the hospital, contact your prescribing doctor to inform them of your situation.
To be safe and to help avoid an overdose, do not exceed your dosage amounts, and do not take a double dose in order to make up for a missed dose. If you miss a dose, simply wait until it is time for your next dose.
The Bottom Line
Using stimulants for ADHD will not be effective for everyone. There are many reasons: medications affect everyone differently, some cannot tolerate stimulant side effects, stimulants are addictive, risks of overdose and withdrawal, and other reasons.
Regarding psychiatric medications, there is often a bit of trial and error involved to see which medication works for an individual. However, don't let the risks deter you: some folks find stimulants highly effective at controlling their ADHD symptoms and experience minimal or no side effects. If stimulants do not work or you experience adverse side effects, inform your doctor who can try a different medication.