Tuesday August 14th 2018

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Adderall legal status

Is Adderall legal in the U.S.?


Adderall is legal when possessed with a prescription. But legally, Adderall is not a narcotic. Rather, it is a controlled medication. Adderall is addictive (addicted to Adderall symptoms) and has the potential for abuse when not used according to a doctor’s prescription.  In other words, you can get high on Adderall and get into trouble!  More about Adderall’s medical uses and legal status below. Plus, we invite your feedback and questions about Adderall at the end.

Adderall prescription uses

Adderall is a combination of two amphetamine medications, salts of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Adderall is a stimulant, used to help people suffering from narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. It’s also used to treat ADHD – in those suffering from the disorder, Adderall actually has a calming therapeutic effect. People without ADHD often take Adderall to get high or to enhance performance. The non-medical use of Adderall is illegal, which we review below.

Is Adderall a legal narcotic?

No. Adderall is not a legal narcotic. “Narcotics” typically only refer to substances that bind to the opiate receptors of the brain, producing effects similar to morphine. Legally, the term is only used to refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic opium substitutes, as well as cocaine, an unrelated substance. The term “narcotic” is sometimes used to refer to any illicit drug, but this isn’t the official classification. The official classification for Adderall is a Schedule II stimulant drug. Still, it is ILLEGAL to possess or distribute Adderall without a prescription. Therefore, Adderall becomes an illicit drug when you possess it without a prescription.

Why is Adderall a Schedule II drug?

Schedule II is the second-highest classification of any controlled substance. Schedule I substances are addictive and have no accepted medical use, while Schedule II substances are accepted as therapeutic in some situations. Adderall is listed under Schedule II because of its high potential for abuse and dependence. This means that it is illegal to use without a prescription. Many narcotics are listed in this category as well.

Adderall abuse

Adderall is frequently abused for its euphoric and/or stimulant effects, particularly among college students. In fact, full-time students were twice as likely to abuse Adderall than their non-student peers. Adderall is often combined with other drugs, particularly those that depress the central nervous system. But Adderall users beware: Adderall is highly addictive, habit-forming, and potentially dangerous.  Adderall sudden death cases have occurred in people with cardiovascular problems, but Adderall overdose is also a possibility.

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Adderall addiction liability

Adderall is extremely addictive. Even in people who use Adderall for legitimate medical purposes, it can create a physical dependence. Overuse of Adderall can even cause heart problems or a stroke. Because of the physical dependence, quitting Adderall abruptly can cause serious withdrawal symptoms.

Should Adderall legal classification change?

Though the effects of Adderall addiction can be severe, the fact is that Adderall is a necessary and helpful medication for many people. The Schedule II classification allows those who need the drug to get a prescription, while penalizing those who sell or use it illegally. In our opinion, the current classification of Adderall is appropriate. But what do you think?

Legal Adderall questions

Do you still have questions about Adderall use? Please leave your questions about Adderall here. We do our best to answer all questions with a personal and prompt response ASAP. If your question requires, we may even create a new article to respond to your concerns. So, feel free to submit your comments, opinions, feedback and questions about Adderall here.

Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Dextroamphetamine and Ampthetamine
National Survey on Drug Use And Health: Nonmedical Use of Adderall among Full-Time College Students
Drug Enforcement Administration: Controlled Substance Schedules
Drug Enforcement Administration: Narcotics

Photo credit: hipsxxhearts

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7 Responses to “Adderall legal status
10:23 am June 13th, 2015

Some people need it though.

6:22 pm June 18th, 2015

That’s true, James. But it is also true that Addreall is one of the most prescribed drugs in the US, and it’s not like it’s aspirin and everyone really needs it. Plus, stopping Adderall is causes harsh withdrawal symptoms and people who want to quit after getting dependent and addicted are not getting proper help and support.

4:09 pm May 24th, 2017

I have been on adderall for 3 years and I take 3 20mg a day and that’s a total of 90 20mg a month. I went to see my doctor after a month for my refills and found out he doesn’t take my insurance anymore. I can’t afford to pay out of my pocket to see the doctor. Is there a way to get a proscription to hold me off until I can find another doctor who takes my insurance. I am currently on disability and can’t think straight. What do I do?

2:01 pm June 25th, 2017

I have a 4 yr old grandson on adderall and his belly hurts him a lot can this be his liver very worried and in the evenings he bounces off the walls it’s terrible

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:06 am June 29th, 2017

Hi Jeanne. I suggest that you speak with his doctor to run some tests.

2:23 am November 22nd, 2017

How much Adderall is legal to have without a prescription?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:30 pm November 22nd, 2017

Hi Dae. Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance (in the same category as cocaine and meth).
Both possession and distribution are felonies. If you are caught with just one Adderall pill, without a prescription, you have committed a felony and could go to prison.

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