Let’s start with this fact: Adderall is a schedule II stimulant. Meaning, it is classified by the DEA, or US Drug Enforcement Agency as a drug with a high potential for abuse right along with cocaine. If that alone doesn’t scare you away from its usage for yourself or your children, maybe this will: Common side effects include: restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, dryness of the mouth, and changes in weight, along with the less common ones such as euphoria, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, and other gastrointestinal disturbances. Wait, there is more.
- Adderall has significant withdrawal symptoms
- Reduces appetite
- Increases blood pressure
- Leads to heart palpitations
- Often causes poor sleep quality
Is this something you’d like to experience? Or does it make you want to consider other, more natural and less dangerous approaches to treating your disorder? Yes, we are not denying the fact that Adderall cures the conditions of those suffering with ADHD. But not without a cost, and we are here to tell you that there are other, just as successful approaches to treating this mental disorder.
What is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder, is health disorder that includes a combination of mental ailments that cloud cognitive thinking such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, and poor work habits, whereas child ADHD can lead to bad school performance, low self-esteem, and other serious behavior and developmental problems. It most definitely calls for intervention and treatment of sorts, but the question remains. What are the best and healthiest choices to treat this condition?
Nootropics, “also known as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers” are a classification of drugs, supplements, and other non-medically prescribed substances that improve cognitive function. Most popularly marketed for:
- Staying focused.
- Clearing and dealing with stress.
- Getting things done efficiently.
- Boosting moods.
- Fueling the brain.
They are “brain enhancing” drugs used by healthy individuals in the absence of a traditional referral from a psychiatrist, or physician. They are known to help with executive functions such as memory, creativity, focus and motivation, and they are gaining a significant following as more and more people turn to more natural remedies to cure their health.
Reviews on the topic showed evidence that at low doses, psychostimulants such as nootropics are void of most of the negative behavioral and neurochemical reactions that normally define this type of drug classification, and instead act largely as a beneficial cognitive enhancer. However, most nootropics lack large scale testing and FDA approval, a crucial element in the health and wellness industry, and something to consider and think about.
All nootropics are geared towards increasing brain function, and can offer a great alternative to Adderall with fewer side effects, but it is important to know nootropics are not nutrients They are often synthetic chemicals produced in laboratories, and they are hazards to beware of. Nootropics are mild in comparison to their Adderall and Ritalin “cousins”. They do not usually stimulate but instead take your base level of cognitive function and bring it up a notch. Often, it is enough to make an impact, but often times it is not, and could have adverse side effects of their own. Types of popular nootropics on the market used as alternatives to Adderall are:
- Alpha GPC Alpha GPC is nootropic vitamin supplement that has been known for its cognitive benefits and has been shown to improve memory, thinking skills, and learning in those diagnosed with ADHD or needing alternative methods for cognitive stimulation. For one reason or another, Alpha-GPC increases a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine, and has a low indication of side effects when used appropriately, however, not enough studies have been done on the safety of its usage by children and pregnant women.
- Huperzine A Huperzine A is a naturally occurring compound found in the firmoss plant, Huperzia serrata. The scientific reason why this alkaloid plant product works as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor in the brain allowing for improved concentration and memory, is quite complex, but there is evidence indicating that is does work as a natural alternative to Adderall. As with any natural plant, there is always a possibility of an allergic reaction, especially to something the body is not used to ingesting.
- Gingko Biloba Ginkgo Biloba has been labeled as one of the best all-natural nootropic ADHD alternatives to Adderall. It works by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain. This supplement maintains acetylcholine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, and has been proven to improve attention span and reduce impulsivity in both children and adults suffering with impaired cognitive functions. The herbal supplement is also well known for boosting memory, improving sleep, slowing cognitive decline due to age, and enhancing blood flow in the brain. Its effectiveness has made it extremely popular amongst people choosing a more natural approach to cognitive restoration and balance.
Gingko Biloba is an anticoagulant and can cause internal bleeding. Patients with blood circulation disorders are at risk of experiencing undesirable effects after taking ginkgo. Even mixing aspirin with gingko could have dangerous effects for certain individuals.
Healthy Routines and Structure are Key
It is well worth a mention that one great alternative to Adderall has nothing at all to do with nootropics or medication but on understanding how one’s brain works, and focusing on creating an environment in which it can best focus. Adults and children who suffer from ADHD thrive best with routines in a structured environment as most struggle with the ability to regulate themselves, their time, their schedules, and basically their self-control in general. People suffering with ADHD need a more controlled environment. Starting up the day with consistent morning routines can help immensely.
A set schedule, to do lists, and setting alarms are all efficient non-drug related was to help the ADHD type of brain function optimally. For children, it often helps to talk about what the day entails, discuss the day’s events, and what to expect. For adults, this works quite similar. Create the environment in which the can and will brain function, and surround yourself with people who allow and understand this way of thinking. Once the realization is met that the ADHD brain is indeed “different”, and needs a different set of “norms” to perform at its best, there may not even be a need for any type of Adderall alternatives and nootropics.
The key to dealing with an ADHD brain is in nurturing the skills and structure needed to organize life into manageable sections. They say people who suffer from ADHD have a tough time seeing outside the box, or even seeing a box at all. But is that a terrible thing? No. Some of the most brilliant minds, innovations, and ideas have come from ADHD backgrounds. Once one has come to terms with their condition, and understands the way they think, potential is limitless.