Adderall is a prescription drug intended for the treatment of ADD/ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly misused as a study aid and to keep people alert and active for prolonged periods.
When prescribed by a physician and used appropriately, Adderall and similar medications can be very effective at reducing ADD/ADHD symptoms. However, the use of these drugs has also been linked to numerous health risks. Adderall contains amphetamine, which comes with the potential for addiction. It may also be harmful to the central nervous system when used long-term.
How Adderall Works
Adderall activates several brain chemicals such as dopamine and epinephrine and results in abnormally high concentrations. The sudden surge of these rewarding chemicals can increase alertness, motivation, and energy.
Unfortunately, this constant surge of good feelings often drives a person to seek more. Tolerance can develop, and the individual then needs to use ever-increasing amounts of the drug to experience the sought-after effects. Dependence and addiction may be soon to follow.
Natural Adderall Alternatives
ADHD can be challenging to manage. Those who have this condition may experience impulsivity, inattentiveness, and a general inability to focus. They may also have problems with learning and social interaction with others. Fortunately, those who do not want to encounter risks associated with prescription drugs can use safe, over-the-counter (OTC) natural Adderall alternatives that may help relieve symptoms.
One of the best Adderall substitutes is known as alpha GPC (choline alfoscerate), a choline supplement. Alpha GPC is an essential neurochemical that works in the brain by increasing available acetylcholine. This protein is vital for learning and attention abilities, and a study from 2011 revealed that children with ADHD had 50% less than others.
For this reason, Alpha GPC could be a safe and effective natural Adderall alternative for improving focus and attention.
Bacopa monnieri has historically been used as a medicinal herb and has been clinically shown to be a suitable natural substitute for Adderall. Like its prescription cousins, Bacopa positively interacts with serotonin and dopamine in the body, vital neurochemicals that can improve alertness and energy levels.
Bacopa monnieri works by improving neuron communication through the growth and support of nerve endings in the brain. For this reason, Bacopa supplements can enhance cognition and memory formation. Studies have shown that Bacopa can regulate mood and increase attention span in users.
Research has revealed that caffeine can improve focus and concentration. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases the production of dopamine in the brain. It also constricts blood vessels in hyperactive brain regions, similar to Adderall. This effect promotes stable communication throughout the brain.
Due to caffeine’s stimulating properties, it should not be consumed within six hours of bedtime to prevent sleep loss or interruption.
Ginkgo biloba is among the most commonly used herbal remedies for brain health. It has also shown promise as a treatment for children with ADHD. Ginkgo works by preserving the balance of essential neurotransmitters in the brain. Most important, this herb will maintain acetylcholine, adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin levels. This effect increases attention span and helps suppress impulsive tendencies.
A randomized study linked the supplementation of Ginkgo to a significant reduction in ADHD-related symptoms. The findings of the study reveal that Ginkgo biloba may be useful as a natural replacement for Adderall.
Huperzine A is another herbal supplement used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve cognitive function in children and adults. Similar to Alpha GPC, Huperzine A assists the brain by indirectly raising levels of acetylcholine.
This natural Adderall alternative is safe to use for the treatment of ADHD. It has a synergistic effect and may be even more effective for improving cognition when used with Alpha GPC.
L-Theanine is a non-essential amino acid but is associated with many health benefits. This natural Adderall substitute can alleviate stress and anxiety by increasing GABA and glycine levels in the brain. GABA and glycine are inhibitory neurochemicals that work to suppress activity in the brain, resulting in feelings of relaxation and calmness. By helping the brain maintain balance, L-Theanine can effectively reduce ADHD-related symptoms, such as hyperactivity.
Research has suggested the use of L-Theanine as one of the best over the counter substitutes for Adderall. In those diagnosed with ADHD, experts have found a significant reduction in mild cognitive impairment during L-Theanine supplementation.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid utilized in the production of dopamine and adrenaline. This supplement is known for its ability to enhance cognitive functioning during periods of acute stress. L-Tyrosine may be less effective, however, for improving cognitive function in non-stress situations. Research has shown that Tyrosine may also relieve anxiety and improve memory. This mood-stabilizing effect makes L-Tyrosine a potential natural remedy for ADHD.
Phosphatidylserine can improve brain health by providing support to cell membranes. This supplement is an essential phospholipid in the body, helping in the formations and recollection of memories. There is substantial evidence that demonstrates the positive effects of phosphatidylserine on cognitive functioning. In fact, it helps to prevent and reduce symptoms related to mood disorders and relieve anxiety and depression.
Also, in a study involving ADHD-affected children supplemented with phosphatidylserine, improvements in impulsivity and auditory memory were noted. Other research has linked phosphatidylserine supplementation to improvements in mental processing and accuracy.
Rhodiola rosea is an Arctic herb that has stimulatory properties comparable to Adderall. Fortunately, however, this herb does not come with the risk of many side effects associated with amphetamine-based ADD/ADHD medications. Rhodiola rosea is commonly used in traditional medicine as a remedy for fatigue and cognitive impairment.
Research has also found a connection between Rhodiola rosea and improvements in memory and mood. This occurs because this herb assists with the regulation of the neurochemicals dopamine and serotonin. Increases in cognitive function, mental processing, and energy are also among its reported health benefits.
5-HTP is an amino acid the body uses to produce the “feel-good” neurotransmitter serotonin. Much like prescription ADD/ADHD medications, 5-HTP positively affects levels of serotonin in the brain. This action results in an anti-depressant effect and overall improvement in mood. When levels of serotonin rise, the person experiences feelings of well-being. Therefore, increasing 5-HTP can also promote focus, concentration, and creativity.
Of note, some have suggested taking L-Tryptophan as a treatment for ADD/ADHD instead of 5-HTP. L-Tryptophan is another amino acid that the body uses to produce 5-HTP. However, because L-Tryptophan can be converted into niacin or redirected for protein development, 5-HTP is probably the better option for treating ADHD symptoms.
Treatment for Adderall Addiction
If you or someone you love are struggling with an addiction to Adderall, other drugs, or alcohol, we urge you to seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers offer comprehensive programs that include medical detox, behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.
We seek to provide the individuals we treat with all the tools, resources, and support they need to recover and experience long-term sobriety and wellness! Contact us today and find out how we can help!