View Full Version : Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD


pooka
03-31-14, 01:57 PM
Article in Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-wick-edd/adhd_b_4949845.html

Thought it was interesting as I know there are non-ADHD kids out there who are under the impression that Adderall will solve all their academic problems, so it's nice to see a popular publication refuting those ideas.

addthree
03-31-14, 02:21 PM
ADD medication will make people more alert. It will not increase you brain power nor will it make studying easier if you are not ADD.

sarahsweets
04-01-14, 04:55 AM
I am not sure if I agree with this. I am not one to think that stimulants increase anyone's brain power even if they have adhd. But stimulant abuse and black market sales on college campuses leads me to believe that in some cases they must help people without adhd.

GeordieDave
04-01-14, 05:37 AM
I am not sure if I agree with this. I am not one to think that stimulants increase anyone's brain power even if they have adhd. But stimulant abuse and black market sales on college campuses leads me to believe that in some cases they must help people without adhd.

I agree with this. If it they had no effect at all then there wouldn't be a black market for them. Explains it all really.

Fraser_0762
04-01-14, 10:44 AM
Stimulants will boost anybodies focus. None of them give anybody "brain power". The pills don't contain academic information that gets fed directly to the brain, but it does make focusing on boring tasks easier whether you have ADHD or not.

Stevuke79
04-01-14, 11:27 AM
I am not sure if I agree with this. I am not one to think that stimulants increase anyone's brain power even if they have adhd. But stimulant abuse and black market sales on college campuses leads me to believe that in some cases they must help people without adhd.

I agree with Sarah 100%, but the article is also correct. Let me get my tweed jacket and chalk,.. tap tap tap.. "is this on? good, let's begin!"

When it comes to most ADHD stimulant medications, two dopaminergic pathways are influenced.

1. Increased Dopamine Production. With adderall this is minimal and basically a side effect. Tolerance is developed very very quickly and unless you consistently increase your dose, you wont experience this after a short time. This is the effect that helps EVERYONE, ADHD or not.


2. Dopamine Reuptake Inhibition. This is the main effect of adderall. It is very tolerance resistant and you can take adderall for years and get this effect. If your dopamine is otherwise well regulated this wont do much for you. Only those of us who's dopamine availability is otherwise inconsistent, including those with ADHD, will see a benefit once our dopamine production adjusts

ana futura
04-01-14, 01:40 PM
Amphetamines don't make non-ADHD people "smarter" or improve their memory. According to research that part is true. HOWEVER, they make people FEEL like they are smarter and more confident. And feeling like you are smarter is a huge bonus- that will translate into a performance increase. Probably not in a lab environment, but in the real world, definitely. Research has shown that more self confident you are, the better your financial outlook. Amphetamines could help one person edge out another in a job interview or performance review.

Also ADHD meds will increase productivity and output for everyone. Academia rewards output above all else- that's why I suck at it so terribly.

Increased productivity always translates into real life gains. I think part of the problem here is that academia wants to insist it rewards intelligence above droll busy work, but the reality is that excelling at busy work is necessary to succeed in academia and most work environments.

I'm so sick of nonsense like this. It doesn't help people with ADHD at all, and it downplays a very real problem exploding at college campuses and workplaces across the country.
Lying to people about the effects of drugs never works.

ana futura
04-01-14, 01:48 PM
[B]Tolerance is developed very very quickly and unless you consistently increase your dose, you wont experience this after a short time.


This is simply not true. Amphetamines in any amount will ALWAYS increase dopamine production in anyone.

If you are talking about experiencing euphoria- yes, in order to experience euphoria you will eventually have to increase your dose. But that's also assuming you take it every day, and the majority of academic abusers do not.

Twiggy
04-01-14, 02:00 PM
I wish I could take Stimulant meds. They do help, but my heart freaks out on the smallest possible dosage.
I feel like I'm wasting my life. :(

ana futura
04-01-14, 02:13 PM
It's also a bit ironic that the two areas I find amphetamines most helpful with are the areas that non-ADHD'ers find benefit from as well.

Sure, meds help me organize my thoughts better, calm me down, and help me recall information easier, but those things weren't really getting in my way in school. The areas I needed the most help with are self confidence and tolerance for busy work.

Stevuke79
04-01-14, 02:29 PM
This is simply not true. Amphetamines in any amount will ALWAYS increase dopamine production in anyone.

You're right, my language was imprecise. It's not that once you build tolerance amphetamine no longer stimulates dopamine production. It's that once you build tolerance, you no longer experience the effect of increased dopamine production because your baseline level of production has been reduced to accommodate equilibrium with the amphetamine. Hence, tolerance. My point is unaffected but you're right, the wording was careless.

Also ADHD meds will increase productivity and output for everyone. Academia rewards output above all else- that's why I suck at it so terribly.

That's sort of true, but whether you have ADHD will determine how it effects you. Everyone benefits from increased dopamine production, but that is short lived and wont benefit you once you build tolerance. Reuptake inhibition only helps those with ADHD and this is the tolerance resistant pathway that generated the long term benefits. If your dopamine availability is otherwise well regulated, your body will simply adjust and you will experience no benefit; your dopamine will be where it would have been anyway. If you have ADHD, even once your baseline level of dopamine production is reduced and you have tolerance, the reuptake inhibitor is still keeping your dopamine availability consistent.

Stevuke79
04-01-14, 02:30 PM
I wish I could take Stimulant meds. They do help, but my heart freaks out on the smallest possible dosage.
I feel like I'm wasting my life. :(

I have a friend who can't take medication either. She's trying alternatives, but it's so unfair when people can't take the medication.

ana futura
04-01-14, 02:53 PM
That's sort of true, but whether you have ADHD will determine how it effects you. Everyone benefits from increased dopamine production, but that is short lived and wont benefit you once you build tolerance. Reuptake inhibition only helps those with ADHD and this is the tolerance resistant pathway that generated the long term benefits. If your dopamine availability is otherwise well regulated, your body will simply adjust and you will experience no benefit; your dopamine will be where it would have been anyway. If you have ADHD, even once your baseline level of dopamine production is reduced and you have tolerance, the reuptake inhibitor is still keeping your dopamine availability consistent.

Do you have any research to back these statements?

The body never "adjusts" when amphetamines are taken as most abusers take them. So even if you would see this happen in a lab environment, you're rarely going to see it happen in real life.

Also, this is all irrelevant to the article.

The article is stating that ADHD meds don't provide benefit to non ADHD'ers because the drugs do not make them smarter, only more confident. It is not stating that increased self confidence goes away over time- only that increased self confidence (and increased output) is not a benefit.

My point is that increased self confidence and output alone are huge performance boosts - and based on what I've observed in my interactions with amphetamine abusers on college campuses, these "perks" never goes away.

Stevuke79
04-01-14, 04:08 PM
Do you have any research to back these statements?

That adderall acts as an uptake inhibitor is pretty basic; you can look here (http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01576#pharmacology):
Dextroamphetamine stimulates the release of norepinephrine from central adrenergic receptors. At higher dosages, it causes release of dopamine from the mesocorticolimbic system and the nigrostriatal dopamine systems by reversal of the monoamine transporters. Dextroamphetamine may also act as a direct agonist on central 5-HT receptors and may inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO). In the periphery, amphetamines are believed to cause the release of noradrenaline by acting on the adrenergic nerve terminals and alpha- and beta-receptors. Modulation of serotonergic pathways may contribute to the calming affect


The body never "adjusts" when amphetamines are taken as most abusers take them. So even if you would see this happen in a lab environment, you're rarely going to see it happen in real life...Also, this is all irrelevant to the article...

My point is that increased self confidence and output alone are huge performance boosts - and based on what I've observed in my interactions with amphetamine abusers on college campuses, these "perks" never goes away.

I understand your point and I agree; I'm pretty sure we agree regarding the article. I think you're addressing an issue related to the article that I agree is very important; I guess it stood out to you and it's good to address it. I think it's a really important point but it's not contrary to the article or anything I said.

The article addresses the fallacy that ADHD is treated with a drug that would ameliorate symptoms for everyone. This fallacy by the way lends itself to stigmas about ADHD and whether it is a real disorder, so we all probably agree it's a harmful fallacy. The article simply says the fallacy isn't true. Your point, which is also very important is that abusers take adderall differently than would be prescribed and therefore actually do get long term benefits even though they don't have ADHD.

But again, the point of the article is that taking adderall as perscribed only helps you if you have ADHD or some similar disorder. When taken as prescribed the only long term benefit is the regulation of dopamine (consistent availability as addressed in my citation) for those who's dopamine is otherwise dis-regulated. If it is not otherwise dis-regulated, benefits, when taken as prescribed, are non existent.

ana futura
04-01-14, 04:22 PM
That adderall acts as an uptake inhibitor is pretty basic...

C'mon Steve, no duh Adderall acts as a reuptake inhibitor. I mean research that supports your assertion that over time, dopamine reuptake and/ or release ceases to be noticeable (tolerance) in a non ADHD subject.

And assuming that research does exist, it's still not going to be applicable to real life situations.

Stevuke79
04-01-14, 04:28 PM
Ok, i was surprised when i thought that was the question, but i seriously was having trouble understanding.

As far as your question, I don't have a study on hand. I can search, but it should be trivial.
Two pathways:
1. Production: increases availability
2. Uptake: increases availability. Makes availability consistent.

Increased availability results in tolerance. So if you don't benefit from consistent availability, because for you it's already consistent, then you have no benefit.

If you're still skeptical, I can look around.

ana futura
04-01-14, 04:41 PM
Ok, i was surprised when i thought that was the question, but i seriously was having trouble understanding.

As far as your question, I don't have a study on hand. I can search, but it should be trivial.
Two pathways:
1. Production: increases availability
2. Uptake: increases availability. Makes availability consistent.

Increased availability results in tolerance. So if you don't benefit from consistent availability, because for you it's already consistent, then you have no benefit.

If you're still skeptical, I can look around.


I'm very skeptical. Dopamine production and reuptake occur in both ADHD and non-ADHD subjects. In a lab setting using high doses on rats, I can imagine that at some point a tolerance would be reached where the effect is negated, but that would probably be taken care of by abstaining from stimulants for a brief period. Again in real life, I just don't see this happening.

Also, the "return to baseline" that you describe occurs in both ADHD and non-ADHD subjects. The effects are never fully negated, but they are reduced over time- but that happens for everyone. And there is a study somewhere that I linked to ages ago that affirms that, but I have no idea where it is now.

The article also mentions that people who don't have ADHD only have a 15% chance of getting addicted to stimulants.

I was shocked by how low that number is. I expected it to be much higher. I would assume that if tolerance ever does become an issue for an academic abuser, it's only for the 15% who become addicted.

Stevuke79
04-01-14, 09:52 PM
I'm very skeptical. Dopamine production and reuptake occur in both ADHD and non-ADHD subjects. In a lab setting using high doses on rats, I can imagine that at some point a tolerance would be reached where the effect is negated, but that would probably be taken care of by abstaining from stimulants for a brief period. Again in real life, I just don't see this happening.

I'm sure you're right about that. Many people take adderall for years and don't build tolerance. If you don't take it every day you may build very little tolerance, and very slowly. But it's a well established fact, and studies are referenced in my above citation corroborate, if you take adderall daily and consistently, tolerance builds.

Also, the "return to baseline" that you describe occurs in both ADHD and non-ADHD subjects. The effects are never fully negated, but they are reduced over time- but that happens for everyone. And there is a study somewhere that I linked to ages ago that affirms that, but I have no idea where it is now.

Very true. Tolerance is never a full negation of effects and is experienced by everyone; tolerance is a question of extent. But not every dopaminergic pathway is equally tolerance resistant.

The article also mentions that people who don't have ADHD only have a 15% chance of getting addicted to stimulants.

I was shocked by how low that number is. I expected it to be much higher. I would assume that if tolerance ever does become an issue for an academic abuser, it's only for the 15% who become addicted.

That makes a lot of sense. Your probably right.

Fortune
04-01-14, 10:40 PM
I am not sure if I agree with this. I am not one to think that stimulants increase anyone's brain power even if they have adhd. But stimulant abuse and black market sales on college campuses leads me to believe that in some cases they must help people without adhd.

That's not evidence that it really helps. That's evidence that people believe it really helps, which is consistent with the study cited in the article.

BellaVita
04-01-14, 10:56 PM
Yeah...

"helps" vs. "helps them feel helped"

Big difference.

USMCcop
04-01-14, 11:55 PM
I can't ever get a straight answer on this.

If an ADDer and a non ADDer take around the same stimulant dose (say a typical therapeutic range) would the effects of the medicine be about the same on both brains? As an example, I get calm. Would a non ADD person get speedy for instance? I have read conflicting information from doctors regarding the purported paradoxical affect.

Fortune
04-02-14, 03:58 AM
Yeah, whether the paradoxical effect is real or not is not fully understood - I've seen stuff that says it's not real and some that say it is. I don't know how far the research goes with this, however.

Lunacie
04-02-14, 08:43 AM
This research says (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489818/) that stimulant meds are not "smart pills", whether you have ADHD or not.

They don't improve brain function even if you do have ADHD.

What they do is allow you to bring your scattered thoughts to a primary focus,

which helps you learn and retain what you've learned.

Thus, the rumored effects of “smart drugs” may be a false promise, as research suggests that stimulants are more effective at correcting deficits than “enhancing performance.”
.

Fortune
04-02-14, 08:54 AM
I think that correcting cognitive deficits counts as improving brain function. What they don't do is give you anything beyond what you already have. Like ADHD is about not being able to do what you know, stimulants improve your brain function so you can do what you know - but it doesn't make your brain work more efficiently. Per that study.

ana futura
04-02-14, 10:35 AM
But they do increase self confidence and ability to stay on task, which are benefits for everyone, regardless of whether or not they have ADHD.

In a lab situation that won't translate into higher grades or wages, but in the real world it will.

ana futura
04-02-14, 10:38 AM
Believing in yourself may be good for the soul, but it can also be good for the bank account, according to a new University of Florida (http://www.ufl.edu) study that finds self-confidence can translate into earning hundreds of thousands of dollars more over a lifetime. People with high opinions of themselves as teenagers and young adults drew bigger salaries in middle age than their less confident counterparts, and the gap was widest for those from privileged backgrounds, said Timothy Judge (http://www.cba.ufl.edu/contact/facultyinfo.asp?WEBID=2133), a UF management (http://www.cba.ufl.edu/mang/) professor who did the study with graduate student Charlice Hurst

“There are certainly significant advantages for children growing up with parents who are well-educated and work in professional occupations, but these advantages are especially profound when children are self-confident,” said Judge, whose study will be published later this year in the Journal of Applied Psychology. “Positive self-concept seems to act like an accelerant – the fuel to the fire – that leads the advantaged in our society to do better.”

The findings seem to bear this out. For people who lacked self-confidence, whether they grew up poor made little difference in how much they earned as adults, roughly $7,000 per year. However, for the confident, growing up in more affluent circumstances made a huge difference – roughly $28,000.http://news.ufl.edu/2007/05/17/self-esteem/

Stevuke79
04-02-14, 10:47 AM
I think we might be getting a little off the subject... which is fine.. I just think that we probably all agree with the core point here, and I'd like to either point that out or have someone tell me I'm wrong about thinking we agree.

Do we all pretty much agree with the following:
1. There is a fallacy out there that ADHD medications would help anyone to the same extent, whether they were just lazy or actually have a disorder.

2. There is also fallacy that taking stimulant medication as prescribed is just as likely to lead to addiction as taking medication as an abuser.

3. The above two fallacies are in fact fallacies. (I'm shaky here but I'm pretty sure we can agree to this for the most part, right? If not, then I suppose that's where I'm wrong. If I'm right, the article is just citing a study supporting #3.)

Is there actually a disagreement about this?

ana futura
04-02-14, 11:39 AM
It's not off topic at all. Reread the article again, this is completely relevant.

The main idea behind the article is that stimulants do not "help" those without ADHD. And I completely disagree with that idea.

The research the article cites is sound- stimulants will not improve performance on laboratory measures of intelligence.

But I would argue that very few people who take stimulants to improve their academic or performance do so to become "smarter".

They take stimulants so that they can work longer hours, and tolerate drudgery better- and feel better about themselves while doing it.

That is how stimulants "help"- and that help will translate into better grades.

Stevuke79
04-02-14, 11:54 AM
Maybe I came off wrong; saying we're off topic wasn't an accusation. I think what you're saying is relevant.

I'm just saying we agree with the general point of the article which you say you disagree with but I think you might be misunderstanding what it's saying. I think this is where we may be seeing things differently:
The main idea behind the article is that stimulants do not "help" those without ADHD. And I completely disagree with that idea.

So the article doesn't say it doesn't help them. It says it doesn't help them in the same way. The article actually cites the increased confidence and alertness as a true benefit to non-ADHD'ers and a key reason they take the meds. It simply distinguishes that from the actual enhanced performance seen by those who truly have ADHD.

We can also disagree, that's fine too. It's just that what you're saying is perfectly consistent with what the article and what I have said.

ana futura
04-02-14, 12:08 PM
double post

ana futura
04-02-14, 12:14 PM
The article actually cites the increased confidence and alertness as a true benefit to non-ADHD'ers and a key reason they take the meds.
It does not say these things are benefits. It implies they take meds because that false self confidence has made them delusional, not because it is a "benefit".

As Hinshaw concludes, the findings from this study suggest that stimulant medication promotes a false sense of confidence in those who don't have ADD/HD. You feel more alert, and you think you aced the SAT. But unless you have the disorder, Adderall won't help, and might even hurt your performance. But you'll believe that it did.

"It will not help your performance on lab based measures of intelligence" does not equal "will not help your performance in real life".

The author of the article arrives at the wrong conclusion given the provided information. That "belief" is actually extremely helpful!

The implication of the article is that people are taking adderall etc. because they are delusional- they think their performance is improved, so they keep taking it, because they are under the impression it's actually doing something for them. The further implication is that nothing of true value comes from stimulant use.

BUT IT IS ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING FOR THEM!!!

That increased self confidence and alertness will translate into real life gains!

And the average person who takes it (who does not have ADHD) takes it for self confidence and alertness, and the ability to study for longer hours.

More hours studying= more information retained.

My issue with this article is more with what it is implying, not stating overtly, and the information it is has left out.

It never acknowledges that self confidence and alertness are huge benefits to an NT, and the reasons most abuse stimulants in the first place.

And finally, there is the not insignificant issue of drug abuse. If you have ADD/HD, and take medication, it is extremely unlikely that you will become addicted to it. My daughter, for example, has no desire to take any more Adderall than she is prescribed. She doesn't really like the way it makes her feel, and her friends tell her that she is "less fun." But she knows she needs it. However, if you don't have ADD/HD, but take Adderall because you believe it helps you, you have up to a 15 percent chance of becoming addicted to the medication. 15% chance is NOTHING!!

the article doesn't mention what it is for folks with ADHD, but I assume it's similar.

Stevuke79
04-02-14, 12:25 PM
Maybe he doesn't use the word "benefit" ,but he cites the effect, same as you.

As far as the chance of addiction when prescribed, there is much ink spilled and many papers written. I posted one on this forum but can't dig it up just now. The research shows that prescribed use has very low chance of addiction. That's pretty basic at this point. Unless you're consistently increasing your dose, or taking intermittently, the chance of getting addicted to straight amphetamine is very low. White collar abusers tend to take it intermittently, which leads to less tolerance and hence longer term benefits.

As far as people getting high on adderall, first of all to do so they have to increase their dose over time which makes them beside the point. Also the problem of getting high on adderall is generally greatly overstated. If college students are getting high on adderall, they definitely aren't the economics majors. Adderall is an insanely expensive and dangerous way to get high. People take for cognitive focus, not a high. Either that or they're not very smart.. I can't even imagine how someone decides that adderall is the best way to get high; it's closer to being the absolute worst possible way. Amphetamine can't even be efficiently re-manufactured into a decent party drug.

ana futura
04-02-14, 12:37 PM
Maybe he doesn't use the word "benefit" ,but he cites the effect, same as you. Mere citation is meaningless. It's what's done with that information that matters- and the author takes that information in entirely the wrong direction. This article is an interpretation of academic research. Like many articles on academic research, it infers too much from the information provided. And then leads people to false conclusions through inference and implication. The research is sound. The interpretation is not.

As far as people getting high on adderall, first of all to do so they have to increase their dose over time which makes them beside the point. Also the problem of getting high on adderall is generally greatly overstated.

Yes, no one abuses adderall to get high.

Dizfriz
04-02-14, 12:44 PM
I can't ever get a straight answer on this.

If an ADDer and a non ADDer take around the same stimulant dose (say a typical therapeutic range) would the effects of the medicine be about the same on both brains? As an example, I get calm. Would a non ADD person get speedy for instance? I have read conflicting information from doctors regarding the purported paradoxical affect.
Let me try. The differences in how a specific person reacts to any of the ADHD medications varies so much that you cannot predict what the effect will be for any individual. We can do some pretty accurate predictions when we look at groups but not so much individuals.

Hope this helps a little.

Dizfriz

Stevuke79
04-02-14, 12:49 PM
Ok, I give up, we disagree. I need a white flag smiley..

ana futura
04-02-14, 12:51 PM
Ok, I give up, we disagree. I need a white flag smiley..

I don't think we disagree exactly, I think that we are interpreting the authors implicit intent differently (or that you are missing that intent... :rolleyes: )

And yes, I completely disagree with what I find to be the article's implied conclusions.

Stevuke79
04-02-14, 12:56 PM
Right,.. ok, I can see that, and I can disagree with that premise.

One more time, and then I promise I'll be quiet.. scouts honor. Might we agree that the article has some valid point distinguishing the prescribing of ADHD medication from the more dubious pursuit of performance enhancers?

ana futura
04-02-14, 01:34 PM
Might we agree that the article has some valid point distinguishing the prescribing of ADHD medication from the more dubious pursuit of performance enhancers?

No, I don't think so.

In order to state "So it turns out that Lily's doctor was right all those years ago. ADD/HD medication won't help you if you don't have ADD/HD" as the author does, you'd need much more information than the study provided.

You'd need a controlled longitudinal study that looked at the gpa and income of people without ADHD who took stimulants.

The author's definition of "cognitive enhancement" is too narrow. Cognitive enhancement is about far more than how one performs on tests in laboratory.

Stimulants ARE cognitive enhancers, for everyone. As Fraser said, no, Adderall XR does't have a miniature encyclopedia in it. But it does offer many other benefits.

I often wonder if NT's don't get MORE benefit from stimulant meds than I do.

I'm taking one class a semester right now, and that's with meds, because last semester I tried 2 at a time and I had a nervous breakdown. They help do me, but I have such terrible academic habits that I can't make the most of them.

But the people I know who don't have ADHD who take them seem to get more benefit. They can add on extra classes, they can study and write more efficiently and for longer hours. They can go out and network and shmooze and feel great about themselves, while I'm stuck at home because I'm terrified of networking. They can fit more into their day than they could without stimulants, and who wouldn't want that in a society like ours? I take meds to get all those same benefits. I just don't get as much of them.

I don't want to sound like I'm advertising for stimulant abuse, but the fact is these things do provide an unfair advantage for those without ADHD. And who can blame someone for taking Adderall without a script, when our society greatly rewards the attributes it gives you?

I'm familiar with the authors of the study this article cites, and their work is great. I find their work on cultural attitudes and ADHD medication far more valuable than this particular study though, which really doesn't tell us much beyond "Stimulants will not improve performance on intelligence assessment tests in a controlled environment".

Lily's doctor was, and still is, full of it.

ana futura
04-02-14, 02:48 PM
This video is very insightful.

It's about modafinol and not amphetamines, but I think much of it is still applicable-

are adhd medications the steroids of startups (http://on.aol.com/video/are-adhd-medications-the-steroids-of-startups--518153855)

I find it interesting that they both mention the increased aggression that amphetamines can cause in people without ADHD.

And that I think is the real difference between those with and without ADHD in regards to stimulant medication- there does seem to be truth to the paradoxical effect. Medication calms me down, there is no doubt about that. And when I tell this to the people I know who have taken stimulants but don't have ADHD, they are simply baffled by that.

And that I think is the real reason that stimulants are very bad idea for those without ADHD- it wrecks them emotionally. On the other hand I think the possibility of addiction is greatly overblown. We are putting the emphasis on the wrong drawback.

I also think that if you have an ADHD diagnosis, but you find that Adderall is making you more uptight, aggressive or temperamental, you should get a second opinion on your diagnosis.

TygerSan
04-02-14, 04:10 PM
What stimulants will do is optimize suboptimal performance. If you don't have ADHD, but you *do* have a working memory deficit, it is likely that a correct dose of amphetamine will be helpful to you on a task measuring working memory.

If, however, you are pretty darned good at the task to begin with, amphetamines might give you a little pep, but they're unlikely to help your performance in the task. In fact, it might even impair it.

In fact, from skimming the article linked to in the first post, this seems to be precisely the findings they've made, but the author has decided to misinterpret the meaning of the term interaction slightly, emphasizing the lack of performance enhancement in the people who were already performing optimally, while ignoring the fact that those who were slightly below average on baseline *did* show some improvement.

The results found no enhancement with any of the 13 measures used. There was a significant interaction between baseline performance and cognitive enhancement in two measures. Cognitive performance improved more in those with below average baseline readings who received medication, but acted in the opposite direction for those with a higher baseline performance. In other words, in two instances, it appears that medication hurt the performance of the smarter young adults.

Adenosine
08-29-15, 11:24 PM
I might get yelled at for this, but I don't think you can draw a complete divide, even though there seem to possibly be a few general differences. Some people with ADHD report that amphetamine makes them feel calmer, but insomnia, irritability, and appetite suppression still appear on an occasional basis, and increased focus and motivation are themselves very elementary stimulant effects. Adderall is amphetamine, and amphetamine is speed, though I sometimes wonder how many people (in the general population) understand that. Our reactions to it might not be exactly the same as what you would find in a recreational user, but it still doesn't do a perfect 180 into sedative territory just because we have a valid medical reason to take it.

According to the DSM-V, I have both ADHD and high-functioning autism. My doctor wouldn't have been able to diagnose them together a few years ago, but I've had serious attentional issues for my entire life, and when I was younger I was fairly hyperactive as well. My (legally-prescribed) Vyvanse makes me feel "calmer" in the sense that I don't have to struggle with basic organizational skills anymore, and it doesn't turn me into a crackhead or make me feel like Jesus, but it stills enhances my mood for a few hours, it still cancels out some mild social anxiety, and it still gives me a burst of energy and motivation beyond what can be explained by simple symptom relief. It also seems to make physical activity easier, though certainly not to superhuman levels.

My dose is only 30 mg, but I also only started it back in May, and I've never taken it more than four times in one week, so I imagine more frequent use would reduce or eliminate those more extraneous properties. Unfortunately, it could also give me some risk of developing tolerance to the therapeutic effects, and it might even open the door to withdrawal symptoms. I might have to add a day or two in the future, when I'm living as an independent adult, but for now I prefer to avoid such headaches. Thus, the conventional stimulant effects remain, and I'm not going to feel bad about them. They are what they are.

On the flip side, I don't have a huge problem with non-medical amphetamine use from a moral perspective, at least not any more than I have a problem with people buying guns or getting drunk, but I'm not sure how well it's going to work, outside of countering moderate sleep deprivation and making boring jobs feel less awful. It isn't the same across-the-board cognitive wrench as alcohol, but it also isn't a silver bullet, and it has problems of its own, even if one ignores the (rather inhumane) felony charges attached to unauthorized use.

(I didn't take it today, in case anyone is wondering—my thoughts just tend to be fairly agitated to begin with)

sarahsweets
08-30-15, 07:46 AM
Adderall is amphetamine, and amphetamine is speed, though I sometimes wonder how many people (in the general population) understand that. Our reactions to it might not be exactly the same as what you would find in a recreational user, but it still doesn't do a perfect 180 into sedative territory just because we have a valid medical reason to take it.
No offense, but I get all bunched in the panties when I hear this. Speed, is a non medical grade, full of chemicals and unknown sh*t, type of substance. People hear the word amphetamine in relationship to adderall, dex or vyvanse and they immediately associate it with Methamphetamine or in the old days, crank. This is not about justification for having a prescription to it. People who take percocet or vicodin are not taking heroin just because they all contain opiates.
My dose is only 30 mg, but I also only started it back in May, and I've never taken it more than four times in one week, so I imagine more frequent use would reduce or eliminate those more extraneous properties. Unfortunately, it could also give me some risk of developing tolerance to the therapeutic effects, and it might even open the door to withdrawal symptoms.
This is also something that people are confused by. Tolerance with prescribed, non abused medical stimulants is very rare. I know thats not a popular view but most of the people who complain about tolerance are complaining because they cant feel it work anymore, not because it doesnt actually work anymore. Even if someone stopped taking it abruptly, the "withdrawals" would be a couple of days of extreme fatigue and sleepiness. For those with adhd, not taking the med would result in a return of adhd symptoms.

Adenosine
08-30-15, 09:31 AM
No offense, but I get all bunched in the panties when I hear this. Speed, is a non medical grade, full of chemicals and unknown sh*t, type of substance. People hear the word amphetamine in relationship to adderall, dex or vyvanse and they immediately associate it with Methamphetamine or in the old days, crank. This is not about justification for having a prescription to it. People who take percocet or vicodin are not taking heroin just because they all contain opiates.Adderall contains amphetamine as its active ingredient, and 75% of it is the more powerful dextroamphetamine isomer, which actually puts it fairly high on the ladder. The term "speed" is slang for, among other things, amphetamine. It can also be slang for meth, which makes it imprecise, but both the street drug and the pharmaceutical one are theoretically utilizing some of the same chemicals.

In contrast, oxycodone (Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) are not chemically the same thing as heroin, though they reside in the same general class.

The distinctions in composition and quality control you mention are important, and so is the difference between shooting or snorting something at high doses and taking it orally at low ones, but I still prefer to keep the slang term around for some purposes.
This is also something that people are confused by. Tolerance with prescribed, non abused medical stimulants is very rare. I know thats not a popular view but most of the people who complain about tolerance are complaining because they cant feel it work anymore, not because it doesnt actually work anymore. Even if someone stopped taking it abruptly, the "withdrawals" would be a couple of days of extreme fatigue and sleepiness. For those with adhd, not taking the med would result in a return of adhd symptoms.I've heard that, but I've also heard about people having to raise their dose to keep the basic increase in focus. I'll have to look into it some more.

In my own experience, the therapeutic effects last much longer than the more obvious changes in mood and energy, which confused me the first few times I took it. I can see how something similar might happen if you built tolerance to one set of properties faster than the other.