With the increase of the demands of a workplace in corporate America comes the increased need to work harder, better, and faster, and unfortunately with those needs comes the increase of the abuse of stimulants to compensate for the highly competitive atmosphere of a high energy workplace.
Adderall is a psychotropic prescription drug that increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the central nervous system. Norepinephrine is a chemical that is released by the brain and affects how we respond to stimuli in an environment. Dopamine is a chemical that activates the pleasure centers of the brain, and is generally referred to as the chemical which makes us “feel good”.
Dopamine is the chemical that creates the feeling of euphoria that is chased by people who abuse drugs such as Adderall. In 2012 it was reported that about 16 million prescriptions for Adderall were written, which is about three times the number written in 2008. ADHD is the diagnosis that is treated with an Adderall prescription, which is characterized by symptoms that include being unable to focus, hyperactivity, insomnia, being easily distracted, losing things, and fidgeting, among many other symptoms.
Dopamine is the chemical that creates the feeling of euphoria
Symptoms such as these are obviously very difficult to deal with when trying to complete complicated tasks like working in a high stress environment, as well as when trying to complete basic tasks, and there is no denying that drugs like Adderall are an asset to people that really struggle with ADHD, but the problem does not lie with the prescribed use of a medication to combat a legitimate condition. The problem lies with people who abuse the drug in order to work at a level that allows them to maintain a certain high standard, even when it is not recommended by a psychiatrist, or even prescribed by a medical provider.
But where is the solution? In a society that is advancing as fast as we are, it is impossible to somehow lower the bar of competitive standards, and doing so would only be detrimental to the progress of the human race. With the exponential growth of the speed of technology and the rise of the human population, it is apparent that we can only expect the world to become a more competitive place, with higher stakes and more stress involved for people that want to distinguish themselves. The highest echelons of the competition are only becoming more selective as the population grows, so where is the solution to this growing threat of using addictive drugs to gain the upper hand? The solution requires healthcare providers to be more aware of how they prescribe drugs like Adderall. As healthcare technology progresses, and we learn more about the brain, our ability to isolate specific psychiatric disorders will become more refined, and we must lean on that to single out the people that truly require a prescription like Adderall.
It is our civic duty as citizens of the world to frown upon using drugs to increase work ethic, regardless of its effect on the progress of the workplace. There needs to be increased awareness around the stress associated with trying to distinguish oneself, and as a society we need to be more accepting of an organic workflow. The Adderall crisis will only get worse unless it is addressed on a fundamental level, which requires society working in conjunction with healthcare providers.