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Answered 2013-02-28 00:44:35

Yes. All Adderall is, is a stimulant. However, coffee or Red Bull will do the exact same AND they are legal and cheaper. People with ADD need this stimulant effect all the time and more consistently, which is why Adderall, among other drugs, is prescribed.

It has the same effect whether or not you have ADHD. Yes, you will be able to study and focus longer. However, consuming a high dosage can have hyperactivity effects.


Unlike coffee and "energy drinks," amphetamines are designed to directly effect brain chemistry. "Energy drinks," if you read the ingredients, are essentially caffeine - at doses comparable to coffee - and sugar - at doses comparable to simple syrup, also known as super-saturated sugar water - with some other less well-known additions). I am not a doctor, but I have experienced ADD meds as both a middle-aged recently-diagnosed adult ADD patient and as a parent of a mid-teen patient.

The effect of amphetamines on ADD patients is NOT the same as overdosing on caffeine and sugar for non-ADD people. ADD patients take the meds and, if they are on the right meds, the meds calm the brain activity, allowing more patience, focus and learning, with less need for movement, less inappropriate talking and more ability to tune out distractions. Non-ADD people who OD on caffeine, or who take amphetamines at all but the lowest doses, get wired up and move in the opposite direction. Amphetamines ain't called Speed for nothing. Amphetamines "ramp up" non-ADD people, making them more jumpy, less focused, less able to listen and understand and less able to patiently work through difficult tasks. I suppose a very low dose could act like a cup or two of coffee, or a couple or 4 cans of cola, and provide some sense of energy, or at least an ability to not sleep. But my family's and my friends' experiences with high doses of caffeine and/or sugar is definitely not an increase in focus.

My observations of college students was that late night high doses of caffeine prolonged their study hours, but did not improve the quality of the studying. Their focus dropped, though it was really only noticeable when they drank the coffee or the cola, or took "Np-Doze" (caffeine in a pill) at times when they were not sleepy and worn out - then, the effect of the consumption was clear, and it was not advisable for productive studying. Late night caffeine kept them awake, allowing some studying when they otherwise would sleep; coffee at any time was not good for their focus, with very limited exceptions, including early mornings, when they were not-yet-awake, and the alternative was to sleep or at least tune out and shut down. But that is the opposite of the effect of amphetamines on ADD patients. ADD patients ramp up until medicated.

Recent studies I have read about concluded that adult ADD patients sleep better with late doses of meds. That is NOT the effect of Red Bull, coffee, or Adderal on people whose brain chemistry was in balance before the consumption of the caffeine or the speed. (I am on Adderal and another med, and my average hours of sleep per night has gone from 4.5 or so to 7+, just in the 3 months of meds. And except when highly motivated, the sleep comes involuntarily, when previously, I had been able to simply keep going until late-late night, like 3 AM, when I get up at 6 AM. Now, I fall asleep in my chair, at my computer, or at the table, between 10 and 1130, except when exceptionally motivated.)

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