The 6 Best Adderall Alternatives in 2019 (and Beyond)
At first glance, Adderall may seem to be a good medication for conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and has been a recommended remedy for it for a while.
In the past, it was thought to be a pediatric condition. However, recent data suggests that 30% to 70% of children with ADHD continue to exhibit the same symptoms in adulthood.
American adults who are prescribed medication to treat the disorder increased by 90% from 2002 to 2005.
Adderall is the most widely-prescribed medicine for people with ADHD, but because of people’s tendency to abuse and psychological and physical dependency, it has been classified as a “Schedule II stimulant” by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
This means they are only legally available through prescription, with a limit of 30 days’ worth of doses.
In this article:
- “ADHD” and Substance Abuse
- Adderall: Is it completely Healthy?
- Are Nootropics the Answer?
- The Top 6 Nootropic Alternatives to Adderall
- Adderall Substitute FAQ
- Update 2019: 5 more suggestions to try
- Natural Alternatives (Safer but Weaker)
“ADHD” and Substance Abuse
Unfortunately, despite the restrictions, the illegal use of ADHD stimulants such as Adderall has become popular during the late 90s for American college campuses.
Research found out that some students sample these stimulants recreationally – highest among fraternities, students from the northeastern region of the United States, and students from competitive colleges.
These students were soon found out to be more likely to consume alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and participate in other risky behaviors.
They also discovered that while there are only very few participants have a prescription for ADHD medication, more than 35% used ADHD medication illegally.
These students eventually frame stimulant use as physically harmless and morally acceptable as it becomes a stigma-free part of the culture.
The same research advocates for increasing knowledge about ADHD stimulants, and enlightening the public that:
- Not because ADHD prescription medications are produced, regulated and prescribed by medical establishments, they are always safe ADHD stimulants have no harmful physical side effects
- Using or distributing these substances are not dangerous, as distribution of these stimulants may carry legal repercussions in some states
- ADHD is more than a “periodic inability to concentrate”
- ADHD medications are akin to coffee or a can of Diet Coke
Adderall: Is it completely Healthy?
First and foremost, what exactly is Adderall?
Adderall is used primarily to treat ADHD and is a combination of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine. It is a central nervous system stimulant, meaning it speeds up and heightens certain bodily processes. It also has benefits to people with sleeping disorders, and in some cases treat severe depression.
It increases the availability of certain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, boosting alertness, attention and energy levels.
Adderall is taken orally and is prescribed by a physician that normally gives a low dose to avoid unwanted side effects, including:
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach and digestive issues
- Reduced appetite, diarrhea and constipation
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Excess fatigue and difficulty sleeping
When untreated, these side-effects can become severe and have dangerous effects ranging anywhere from chest pain to aggressive behavior.
Given these risks, a lot of people still ask if there are any effective over-the-counter alternatives to Adderall that are both legal and safe. The good news is that there are –and perhaps the only thing stopping customers like you from getting a good amount of these products are restrictions and prescriptions – but products do exist that are safer and more natural compared to Adderall.
Most of them are stacks or a mixture of ingredients aimed in increasing performance. These “brain foods” boost the effects of external factors such as exercise habits, sun exposure, social group and genetics to the brain’s chemical behavior.
These “brain foods” are useful especially when a user does not have the time to perform all of the tasks mentioned. These products help address deficiencies and imbalance in the neurological system, and increase an overall ability to concentrate, energy regulation, and mood balance.
Adderall is a powerful stimulant, but there are more natural, healthier alternatives available in the market.
Are Nootropics the Answer?
These “brain foods” are also commonly called Nootropics. They are a class of cognitive-enhancing supplements that are used to improve concentration and boost memory power – which means they can also be used to increase attention span, focus and studying power.
Nootropics are also labeled as “smart drugs” as they are associated with activities involving intelligence, motivation and mental energy.
However, unlike smart drugs that have side effects (often negative) with long-term use, Nootropics generally tend to be safe, neuroprotective (meaning they protect the brain) and pose a very low risk of side-effects.
This means nootropics can also directly affect the levels of brain chemicals associated with slowing down the aging process, and can even stimulate the growth of new synapses and vastly improve mental clarity – making it a good tool for students and professionals alike.
Nootropics share a common characteristic with Adderall where they enhance communication between neurons or the message centers of the brain. They balance neurotransmitter levels by promoting brain cell health, as they also improve energy metabolism in neurons, and stimulate their growth.
Most nootropics are synthetic, meaning they come in form of manufactured products such as capsules and tablets – but most (if not all) of them are natural-borne and are made from natural substances found in nature.