In our fast-paced world where there never seems to be enough hours in the day, it seems that almost everyone is looking for ways to develop focus or get ahead. Some people, whether they have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or not, have turned to prescription medications to help them gain a competitive edge. Drugs like Ritalin, Concerta, Vyvanse, and Adderall are being used more and more by both children and adults and the abuse rates continue to rise.

For those with severe forms of ADHD, prescription drugs can be a lifesaver and allow them to regain the focus and concentration they lacked while not on medication. However, the illegal abuse of prescription stimulants is skyrocketing and it is something that our society as a whole needs to address.

Have you considered taking Adderall to treat your ADHD or just to gain more focus and concentration in your everyday work or personal life? If so, you should first be aware of the following facts:

You Must Speak with Your Doctor to Get a Prescription for Adderall in SF

Adderall and similar drugs are not over-the-counter. They are Schedule II drugs that have a high potential for abuse and can only be taken when prescribed by a doctor.

Prescription for Adderall

 Adderall is generally only prescribed in San Francisco to those who have ADHD and those who do not have the disorder may have an altered reaction to the drug. Your doctor or mental health professional can determine if you have ADHD by checking for symptoms listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). There are 18 total symptoms and adults who display six or more symptoms and children under 16 who display five or more symptoms are generally diagnosed as having the disorder. In some cases, the doctor will prescribe a stimulant such as Adderall to see if it helps the patient manage their symptoms.

San Francisco ADHD Patients Are More Likely to Abuse Adderall

Some people take Adderall and other stimulants because they enjoy the euphoric feeling that comes with using the drug. This feeling is what leads many to abuse and become dependent on the drug. A recent study also found that those who experience these euphoric feelings when taking stimulants are less genetically predisposed to actually having ADHD. Those who use Adderall as a recreational drug are also more predisposed to abuse other drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.

The Use of Adderall in the Adult Population is Increasing

In the year 2007, there were approximately 5.6 million prescriptions issued on a monthly basis to adults aged 20 to 39. In 2012, that number had tripled, approaching the 16 million mark. Adult prescriptions are increasing at a much faster level than those for children. Some believe it is due to the increased awareness that these drugs increase concentration and can even provide cognitive enhancements to users. This is causing adults to turn to the drugs as a way to cope with stress and work demands.

Stimulants Do Not Always Offer Positive BenefitsAdderall Side Effects

Adderall and similar stimulants may help children sit still longer and improve their focus if they have ADHD. However, there is no proof that they actually improve their academic performance. In fact, stimulants can actually impair some creative abilities. In addition, stimulant drugs can be extremely addictive due to the rush of neurotransmitters such as dopamine that affect some users, giving them a sense of euphoria that can be easy to become dependent on.

Stimulants can also elevate blood pressure and speed up the heart. This can lead to issues such as constricted blood vessels and can also lead up to a heart attack or stroke. If you drink while taking Adderall, the effects can be even more dangerous. Drinking while taking Adderall increases the risks of heart problems and can cause heart attacks in otherwise healthy individuals.

Adderall can also increase anxiety due to the way it enhances the effects of dopamine. This can cause dry mouth, paranoia, shortness of breath, and nervousness—especially in those who are already prone to worry or anxiety.

Those who take stimulants may also have trouble sleeping. This leads to exhaustion the next day and causes many to take more stimulants to simply stay awake. Tolerance levels also build quickly with stimulants and users must take more and more to achieve the same effects. This makes stimulants very habit-forming and it can be easy to develop a dependence on them that is difficult to break. Read our articel : Understanding Adderall

Advertising for ADHD Drugs is Misleading

The FDA has cited every major ADHD drug—including Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, Focalin, and even non-stimulants such as Strattera and Intuniv—for misleading advertising and false claims. Some of the drugs have been cited multiple times. These false advertising campaigns by major pharmaceutical companies may be what has led to the increased use—and abuse—of stimulant drugs in the past fifteen years.

Stimulants Such as Adderall Can Have Frightening Side Effects

Along with increased blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety, Adderall can also cause mental health issues that are especially troubling in children. The medication guide that accompanies Adderall warns users to notify a healthcare professional if they experience any mental problems including believing things that are not real or seeing or hearing things that do not exist. There is even evidence of stimulants drugs triggering depression in children and causing terrifying hallucinations in teens. Though rare, there have also been reports of stimulant abuse leading to suicide.

Diagnosis of ADHD Continues to Rise

The number of children between the ages of 4 and 17 who have received an ADHD diagnosis has risen over 41% in the last ten years. Almost two-thirds of those who have received a diagnosis have been prescribed a stimulant such as Ritalin or Adderall. Boys are twice as likely to receive a diagnoses than girls and are also more likely to be prescribed a stimulant medication. Today, almost 20% of high school boys have received an ADHD diagnosis. While some believe this is due to recognition of the condition, others argue that it is due to pharmaceutical advertising and a misunderstanding of the natural temperament of boys of this age.

Many of Those Who Use Adderall Do Not Consider It a DrugIs Adderall Right for You

Most people who take Adderall without a prescription do not consider it to be a dangerous drug. Instead, they thought of it as a study tool and considered it safe because it improved their concentration and because they knew that doctors prescribed it to children.

College students are among the most likely to use and abuse stimulants—especially those that are not prescribed to them. According to a recent study, more than 20% of Ivy League college students used an unprescribed stimulant at least once while in college to help them study. Estimates of those college students who use illegal stimulants range from 6.9% to over 35% and most of those students who were interviewed did not feel like they were cheating or doing anything illegal. In fact, college students were likely to brag about their usage on social media, especially on apps like Twitter and Snapchat.

Many Doctors Tend to Ignore FDA Warnings About Stimulants

There have been numerous FDA warnings regarding Adderall, Ritalin, and similar stimulants. Though the administration warns that these drugs can be highly addictive and have dangerous side effects, doctors continue to prescribe them. Even a 2004 FDA advisory warning about the possibility of cardiac arrest hasn’t changed the amount of stimulants doctors prescribe. FDA warnings that Adderall, Ritalin, and other prescription stimulants are addictive and can have potentially dangerous side effects also haven’t deterred doctors from prescribing them.

Major League Baseball Players Are Among the Most Frequent Users of ADHD Drugs

Though there is a ban on stimulant use in the Major League Baseball Association, players continue to use performance-enhancing drugs. When the ban was announced, players began requesting therapeutic exemptions so they could continue to take the banned substances. The rates of MLB players who take stimulants is more than double of the normal population. Though some argue that professional athletes are more likely to suffer from ADHD than others, many don’t agree and believe that players are only using the stimulants to enhance their playing abilities and gain a competitive edge.

The Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Stimulants Are Unclear

Though many believe that stimulants will give them an edge in school, sports, or careers, experts caution that the cognitive effects of the drugs have not been widely studied and their effects are still unclear. There have been conflicting reports generated from the studies that have been performed and experts argue that most studies are conducted to find impairment in study subjects, not improvement. There is also a lack of evidence on the long-term effects of stimulant usage, especially in healthy individuals who do not display signs of ADHD. This should serve as a warning to those use the drugs for recreational use and make them think twice about using stimulants such as Adderall for everyday performance improvement.

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Add, Adhd prescription medication. Adderall, Amphetamine and other stimulants
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Read More:

Top 5 Adult ADHD and ADD Treatment Centers in San Francisco.




Top 5 Adult ADHD Treatment Centers in San Francisco

Adult ADHD Treatment

Adult ADHD can have truly devastating effects on individuals and families. Because many still believe that only children can have this disorder, it is often misunderstood and is chronically misdiagnosed. ADHD can mimic many other disorders including bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or just a lack of organizational skills. Many adults never seek treatment for their ADHD because they do not realize they have a treatable disorder and that, by receiving therapy or prescription medication, they could lessen their symptoms. Fortunately, adult ADHD has become more recognized by individuals and healthcare practitioners in recent years. It is now estimated that eight million adults in the United States have this disorder and there may be many more who have not yet sought treatment. For those who have seen a healthcare professional for their ADHD, they have experienced the many treatment options available. These can include:


Cognitive behavioral therapy  Therapy to address self-esteem issues and to alter the way that those with adult ADHD deal with their thoughts and subsequent behavior can often be very effective for those with the disorder. It’s important that those who seek treatment find a clinic with physicians familiar with treating the disorder in this way. They can then develop a therapeutic coaching or therapy program that addresses the unique needs of adults dealing with ADHD. This can include stress management as well as group or family therapy to help those close to the afflicted individual support and understand them.


Medications  Stimulants such as Vyvance, Concerta, and Adderall may sometimes be effective in treating those with adult ADHD. However, it’s important to recognize that adults react to stimulant medications differently than children do. In many cases, stimulants do not effectively treat those with adult ADHD and other medications, such as the non-stimulant Strattera, may be tried instead. In almost every case of adult ADHD, medications should be paired with some type of individual or group therapy to provide comprehensive, effective treatment. That’s why it’s important for those with this condition to seek treatment at a clinic that specializes in adult ADHD. If you live in the San Francisco area and are looking for one of these clinics, here are your five best options:


Bay Area Adult ADHD

Bay Area Adult ADHD


Bay Area Adult ADHD has seven therapists on staff that specialize in treating adult ADHD. The clinicians are trained to test for adult ADHD and provide a thorough assessment that helps to differentiate this disorder from other similar conditions. They can then treat both the primary diagnosis as well as secondary issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, relationship problems, and more. This clinic offers a free anonymous online screening that can be performed online and takes less than five minutes to complete. They also offer convenient online scheduling makingit easy to request an appointment.


Elite Focus Clinic

Elite focus Clinic

Drs. Lawrence Choy and Zaakir Yoonas, the founders of Elite Focus Clinic, performed their psychiatry residency at Stanford University and became interested in the prevalence of adult ADHD. This prompted them to seek further education in the disorder and they opened Elite Focus Clinic in 2015 specifically to treat the disorder. With their highly trained staff, they strive to make patients feel like family and provide the support they need to treat their disorder. In addition to assessment and testing, the clinic provides treatment in the form of therapy or medication, coaching, and nutrition counseling. They offer convenient online scheduling for those who are interested in an evaluation.


EzCare Medical Clinic 


EzCare Medical Clinic has a staff of highly trained psychologists and counselors in addition to a large team of general practitioners and clinic nurses. They specialize in adult ADHD as well as secondary conditions such as stress management, alcohol abuse, anxiety, smoking cessation, weight management, and OCD treatment. They offer convenient walk-in hours for those who do not want to schedule an appointment as well as appointment hours. In addition to clinical testing for ADHD, they also offer personalized plans to help those suffering from the disorder. These plans can include counseling, behavioral therapy, lifestyle modifications, medications, or a combination of these.


Well Clinic


Well Clinic

Well Clinic has two locations in San Francisco as well as a third location in Berkeley. They have a full staff of therapists, psychiatrists, and executive coaches to help those dealing with adult ADHD and other mental disorders. With an integrative approach to treating adult ADHD, the staff at Well Clinic provides a full suite of therapy services in a relaxing and safe space. By creating an individual program including cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, and mindfulness, the professional staff at Well Clinic can treat those with ADHD in a holistic way.


San Francisco Neuropsychology 


San Francisco Neuropsychology has a full staff of physicians who provide assessments, diagnostic services, and treatment to those suffering from a number of emotional and mental disorders including adult ADHD. Their treatment approach focuses on brain functioning and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each individual to 

San Francisco Neuropsychology

determine the best treatment plan. In addition to medication when appropriate, they also use cognitive behavioral therapy, coping strategies, and family therapy to help patients deal with their disorder, minimize symptoms, and improve interpersonal relationships. Choosing the best clinic for your needs is an important part of your adult ADHD treatment. Though all of the above clinic provide professionals who are 

well-educated and experienced in treating adult ADHD, your personal history and preferences will determine at which clinic you will feel the most comfortable. Keep in mind where they are located as you may need to visit their clinic numerous times during your treatment. Also consider whether you want a clinic that focuses on a holistic approach or if you want a clinic that is also skilled in treating secondary symptoms as well as the primary one. Finally, determine the level of customer service the clinic offers during your consultation and choose the one that you feel can best treat your unique situation.

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EzCare Medical clinic Logo
EzCare Medical clinic Logo




One medication frequently prescribed for those diagnosed with either Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is Adderall. This brand-name prescription medication has been found to dramatically decrease some of the symptoms of ADHD and ADD such as forgetting things, talking too much or at the wrong time, inability to focus and frequent interrupting. Many individuals who may ask “what is Adderall used for?” may not even realize that people in their social circles may have a prescription for this helpful medication.


Adderall – What Exactly is It?

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, Adderall is a prescription medication that is made of amphetamine salts – 4 types to be exact. The mixture of amphetamine aspartate, amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharate, and dextroamphetamine sulfate can be prescribed and purchased either in the brand name or generic form. Both forms carry one type that is called immediate release and another type that is called extended release.

Basically, the first metabolizes faster, lasting 4 hours or less, meaning the person who takes the prescription usually takes one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The second type is manufactured to metabolize slowly throughout the day, lasting from 7 – 12 hours, so that a single dose in the morning will be effective all day.


How Does Adderall Work?

Scientists have found that there are two neurochemicals in the brain that are very important.  Known as norepinephrine and dopamine, these help people with both focus and attention in the part of the brain that is supposed to work on organizing, planning and carrying out tasks. Each of these chemicals has a more specific task as well.

At the correct levels, norepinephrine helps to clarify or improve the information or task your brain is trying to pay attention to. Dopamine, on the other hand, should be working to block signals from things that tend to be distracting. Adderall uses tend to get both levels of these chemicals to the right levels, so the brain can focus correctly.


Adderall Side EffectsWhat Percentage of ADD and ADHD Sufferers Benefit by Taking Adderall?

Though it is difficult to say exactly what percentage of individuals suffering from ADHD or ADD benefit from taking Adderall as opposed to other types of prescription medication, a 2013 study compiled by Express Scripts found that Adderall holds about 38% of the market on this type of medication. Those who do not respond to Adderall are often prescribed a methylphenidate type instead such as Ritalin to see if the results are better.


Are There Worrisome Side Effects to Adderall?

Almost every type of medication has side effects. Understanding these risks before beginning to take any medication, as well as knowing what possible negative interactions may occur with existing medications is key to retaining good health. Some Adderall side effects include:

  • A faster than normal heart rate
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache and/or dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of nervousness

Not everyone will experience all of these side effects, but they should be mentioned to the prescribing physician at regular med check appointments.


How Often Do You Need to See a Doctor for an Adderall Prescription?

The frequency of doctor visits for those taking Adderall very from state to state. Required med check visits may be required on a monthly, bi-monthly or more frequent basis. The average length of time between doctor visits for those who are taking Adderall is 3 months. Each visit gives the prescribing physician a chance to evaluate the effectiveness and proper use of the medication before prescribing any more.


Another Interesting Adderall Use

Though Adderall is mainly used to treat ADHD and ADD, doctors also prescribe it at times for people who have a disorder that causes them to fall asleep no matter what is going on around them. In fact, amphetamines have been prescribed for people with narcolepsy dating back to the 1930’s. As with ADHD, these medications help to increase the level of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain which can help to combat this extremely sleepy disorder.


How to Find Out if Adderall Will Help You

There are many indicators that someone may be struggling with ADHD or ADD, however, diagnosing children and adults is usually done differently. With children, a teacher or parent typically notices symptoms and recommends an evaluation by a medical professional. Many adults, however, notice their own ADHD symptoms, as well as how they negatively impact their abilities, after having one of their own children go through the process of diagnosis.

For both children or adults, making an appointment with a qualified physician or mental health professional, like those at the EZCare Clinic in San Francisco, is the right first step to understanding and addressing the issue. This initial visit will most likely include a thorough physical to assess overall health, then move on to a few tests such and questionnaires that will help them understand the extent that your life is affected negatively.


Get Answers Today

Contacting our ADHD doctors today is the first step toward getting the answers you need, whether you are concerned about a child or yourself. Don’t let fear hold you back from scheduling an appointment or walking right in. We are here to help you understand your symptoms as well as create a multi-faceted solution just for you.


Is Adderall Right for You

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