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ADD News News from around the world about ADD/ADHD, other disorders, and some rather bizzarre & strange stories.

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  #31  
Old 04-02-14, 12:14 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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Originally Posted by Stevuke79 View Post
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".

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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.

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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.
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  #32  
Old 04-02-14, 12:25 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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.
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  #33  
Old 04-02-14, 12:37 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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Originally Posted by Stevuke79 View Post
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.
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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.
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Old 04-02-14, 12:44 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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Originally Posted by usmccop View Post
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
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  #35  
Old 04-02-14, 12:49 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

Ok, I give up, we disagree. I need a white flag smiley..
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  #36  
Old 04-02-14, 12:51 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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Originally Posted by Stevuke79 View Post
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... )

And yes, I completely disagree with what I find to be the article's implied conclusions.
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  #37  
Old 04-02-14, 12:56 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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?
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Old 04-02-14, 01:34 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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Originally Posted by Stevuke79 View Post
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.
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  #39  
Old 04-02-14, 02:48 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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

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.
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  #40  
Old 04-02-14, 04:10 PM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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.

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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.
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  #41  
Old 08-29-15, 11:24 PM
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Post Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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)
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Old 08-30-15, 07:46 AM
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Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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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.
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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.
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  #43  
Old 08-30-15, 09:31 AM
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Post Re: Stimulant medication doesn't work for those w/o ADHD

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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.
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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.
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