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How to Get an Adderall Prescription

Three Parts:Be Honest With YourselfTalk to a DoctorProper Use

Adderall is a prescription medication that is used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children and adults. The drug is a central nervous system stimulant that is believed to improve attentiveness, organization, and performance in people who have chronic trouble staying focused. If you think that you or somebody you know may suffer from ADHD, read this article to learn what steps you can take toward finding relief.

Part 1
Be Honest With Yourself

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    Know the symptoms associated with ADHD. Before making an appointment with your doctor, ask yourself whether you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis:
    • Inability to notice small details.[1]
    • Being easily distracted from the task at hand by unrelated stimuli (noises, smells, people, etc).[2]
    • Inability to focus on tasks long enough to complete them.[3]
    • Frequently moving from one incomplete task to the next.[4]
    • Chronic procrastination.[5]
    • Disorganization and forgetfulness.[6]
    • Difficulty in social situations; specifically, an inability to stay on one topic at a time or stay focused while others speak.[7]
    • Excessive fidgeting, especially when seated.[8]
    • Impatience.[9]
    • Constantly interrupting others.[10]
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    Decide whether your symptoms are really severe enough for prescription medication. We all have trouble paying attention from time to time, especially when we are forced to focus on dull or uninteresting tasks for an extended period of time. Students, for example, are prone to seek out Adderall and other stimulants to help them complete their assignments even though they don't necessarily have ADHD. Keep in mind that that it is totally natural to have your mind wander off, and that there are other ways to improve your performance at work or school without medication.
    • In some cases, regular exercise may help you focus enough that you do not need medication.
    • The difference between somebody who wants medication and somebody who needs medication is that the latter's symptoms are so severe that they actually interrupt his or her ability to function properly in society. Keeping this difference in mind, use your best judgment to determine the severity of your symptoms.

Part 2
Talk to a Doctor

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    Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are mental health professionals who have the ability to prescribe medication. Keep in mind that psychologists cannot prescribe medication.[11]
    • If you need recommendations for a good psychiatrist, ask your current healthcare provider to give you some references.
    • You may want to meet with a few different psychiatrists before settling on one that you feel comfortable with.
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    Discuss your concerns with your doctor. During your first session, your doctor will ask you why you scheduled the appointment. Tell him or her about your symptoms, how often they occur, and how long you have noticed them. He or she will then ask several follow up questions to help make a diagnosis.
    • A few key points that your doctor is looking for are that you have always experienced these symptoms (because it is widely believed that people are born with ADHD),[12] and that your symptoms are extreme enough to be detrimental to your well-being.
    • Be honest and thorough. It is important to be completely open with your doctor so that you can receive the best treatment possible.
    • Be upfront about wanting medication. Doctors know that not all patients are interested in medication, so it is important to let him or her know that you are open to medication as opposed to other treatment options.
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    • Don't name the medication that you want. This will make it seem like you are trying to diagnose yourself, which is the doctor's job. Instead, tell him or her that your symptoms are so extreme that you feel medication is the only treatment option. Again, only say this if it's true.

Part 3
Proper Use

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    Start off on the lowest possible dose. The dosage is something that you and your doctor will discuss together, and he or she may present you with different options for starting off. Because Adderall is habit-forming, it's best to start off on the lowest possible dosage to gauge your sensitivity to the drug.
    • The lower the dose you take, the less harmful the potential side-effects of the drug will be.
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    Keep it to yourself. Adderall and Ritalin are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs, especially among students.[13] Remember that you were prescribed this medicine for a reason, and that giving it or selling it to others is unethical and may put their health at serious risk.
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    Don't take more than the recommended dose. Always take medicine as directed by your doctor. If you think that the dosage isn't strong enough, discuss this with your doctor rather than taking more than directed.


  • As with most mental illnesses, there is no medical test for ADD or ADHD. Psychiatrists make diagnoses and write prescriptions based on the symptoms their patients describe.
  • Adults can have ADHD, but oftentimes experience restlessness rather than hyperactivity.[14] They may also find it difficult to hold personal relationships or jobs.[15]


  • Adderall contains amphetamine, which can be habit-forming. It should only be taken by the person to whom it was prescribed.
  • Stimulant drugs should generally not be taken by children, adolescents, or adults with known cardiovascular abnormalities like arrhythmia or cardiomyopathy as they can potentially worsen these illnesses.[16]
  • There are many potential short-term and long-term side-effects associated with Adderall. Short-term side-effects include nervousness, decreased appetite, weight loss, headache, difficulty sleeping, and nausea.[17] Long-term side-effects include irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, fatigue, and seizures.[18]

Article Info

Categories: Attention and Developmental Disorders | Taking Pills and Medicine