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Updated September 1, 2017
 
 

Top 5 Natural Alternatives to Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, Concerta, and other ADHD Drugs

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Image courtesy of Flickr: hipsxxhearts. See drop down at end of article for link.

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ore and more research is showing that people are struggling with their desire to balance productivity, attention, and concentration with their overall health. In fact, a recent study established by the US National Institute of Health shows that more than 30% of college students are reporting that they have or continue to illegally use ADHD stimulants to try and gain an advantage during high academic stress periods. This is the case even though research across universities in the US have shown that individuals who use Adderall and don't have ADHD don't see performance gains on tests that measure creativity to working memory. They only believe that the drug is helping them (a dangerous feeling caused as a side-effect of amphetamines). Of course, the use of ADHD drugs as crutches extends well outside school, into sports and careers. As for people who take Adderall and also have ADHD, a sizeable and increasing percentage of users don't like taking psychiatric drugs with dangerous side effects, and are looking for natural alternatives that can be pursued. Luckily, there are a number of effective natural alternatives.

You can do exceptionally well and be very successful, without the need to use dangerous psychostimulants...

Natural Remedies for ADHD Drugs

Remember that natural alternatives will not give the same feeling as the drug Adderall. Psychostimulants are powerful chemicals. If you have been taking Adderall continuously for an extended period of time (or have been abusing Adderall), the initial period of leaving the drug may be difficult. Regardless, even for severe cases, if you utilize the time to make lifestyle changes and progressively work on yourself, you can do exceptionally well and be more successful, without the need for dangerous psychostimulant medications.

Healthy Herbal Alternatives to Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, Concerta, and other ADHD Drugs

Please see our rankings for the best natural alternatives.

Average Life Schedule

The average adult in society has a very fixed and rigid schedule. There are only 24 hours in a day. Subtracting all the mandatory maintenance activities from your life, we know that we don't have a lot of free time (see below). Humane life between the ages of 18 and, arguably, age 60, is designed to be centered around school, work, or children. There is little time for the stuff we actually enjoy. The notion of 5 days of pure work and 2 days of somewhat play is daunting. Adderall and other stimulants help fix this by showing us that work can also be fun. Soon, with the power of drugs, we our enjoying the drug high while doing work. This is very dangerous. This is why you must have a passion.

+24 hours in a day
-8 hours for sleep
-1 hour for getting ready in the morning (also for getting ready for bed at night)
-1 hour for commute to and from work. (or school)
-8 hours working (or school/studying)
-1 hours for exercise
-2 hours for preparing and eating food throughout the day.
—————————
= 2 hours per day that could be yours (assuming you have no kids, no commitments to family).

List of ADHD Drugs

There are a number of popular and well-known stimulant medications for ADHD. Stimulants, such as Adderall, are schedule II drugs, meaning that there is a considerable (high) risk of dependence and abuse of the drugs. The longer a person uses the drug, the more likely that person will start needing the pleasure state that these stimulants provide. The stimulant cycle continue to build user tolerance and can be very difficult to stop. Popular stimulant medications include: Adderall, Desoxyn, Focalin, Dexedrine, Ritalin, Adderall XR, Focalin XR, Concerta, and Vyvanse.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are difficult to make, but you must make a concentrated effort to improve from day to day in order to be successful. Look through the available herbal supplementation that we have reviewed for you on this website. Our top ranked supplements provide short-term and long-term benefits that will help with your focus and concentration. At the same time, they dramatically improve the chances that you will stick by your resolve to stop abusing ADHD psychostimulant drugs. Whether or not you choose to take supplementation, try your best to:

  • Increase the amount of aerobic exercise
  • Find a Passion
  • Eat fewer simple carbohydrates, and more complex carbohydrates
  • Learn stress management skills

Why do more Aerobic Exercise?

Aerobic activity has been shown in clinical studies to increase focus in people with and without ADHD. Researchers believe that this is because cardio exercise can help in naturally triggering the release of chemicals in the brain that affect focus, concentration, learning, and memory. Furthermore, reports suggest that aerobic exercise may also improve immediate and long-term functioning in regions of the brain relating to attention.

We recommend that you do one-hour sessions of cardio three times a week for six months. We recommend this because that was the prescribed amount in the study that reached the above discussed positive results. Cardio exercises include speed-walking, jogging, running, and bicycling. Even a short-burst, high-intensity aerobic exertion (such as sprinting) can result in 20 percent faster learning in another study!

We recommend that you do 1 hour sessions of cardio 3 times per week for 6 months.

Why Find a Passion?

In the above table, there is a section called: Average Life Schedule. Read it. Understand it. Then return here and read on. Your ultimate goal is to receive the mental effects of Adderall, but in a natural and healthy manner. People who struggle with drug addictions are escapists. When they quit their drug of choice, the biggest problem users have is that they struggle to chase the high. Your goal should be to find a replacement for that stimulant that provides you with a feel-good high. You must find something that you are passionate about, or really enjoy doing. This will be different from person to person. For some people, it will be building and promoting a blog that helps others (that's right, that is our passion), for some it will be writing, for others it will be painting, for other yet it will be community service, and so on. You can be passionate about your job, kids, video-games, movies, short-films, anything! Everyone has something that they can be passionate about. You just need to find yours and invest yourself in that passion.

Why Eat Fewer Simple and More Complex Carbohydrates?

Scientific research has led many health experts to believe that diet may play an important role in relieving ADHD symptoms. Doctors have pointed out that "whatever is good for the brain is likely to be good for ADHD." Following this logic, you should make sure to supplement your diet with a brain supplement, brain foods, high protein diet, fewer simple carbs, more complex carbs, and more omega-3 fatty acids. When we recommend eating fewer simple carbohydrates, this includes eating less candy, honey, sugar, products made with white flour, white rice, potatoes without the skin, corn syrup, and similar simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates include vegetables and certain fruits (including tangerines, oranges, grapefruit, apples, kiwi, and pears). Research as also pointed that eating complex carbs at night may aid sleep. Keep your brain healthy!

Why Learn Stress Management Skills?

Everyone feels stress. Stress can be good, but it can also be dangerous. Stress allows us to focus on things that require our attention. That's good because it can make us work harder or allow us to react with increased attention. However, stress becomes dangerous and bad when it overwhelms our ability to act. Consistently pushing yourself and thinking about performing at you highest level puts undue stress on your body as well. When stress levels remain high for extended periods of time, problems such as heart disease or depression may occur. Having ADHD and a lot of un-managed stress could be dangerous as it could raise your risk of some health problems or worsen symptoms from others. You can learn ways to manage and reduce stress. Here are ways to relieve stress.

Tens of thousands of college students visit the ER every year due to taking ADHD drugs without consulting a Doctor's advice ...

Dangers of Illegal Stimulant Abuse

This section is for non-ADHD Adderall users. You are severely down playing the health and legal risks associated with taking Adderall unsupervised. Potential side effects are both short-term and long-term. They include cardiovascular complications that can lead to stroke and death. A search on Concerta's website will show you the hundreds of possible side effects. Between 2005 and 2010, emergency room visits related to ADHD stimulant medications used without following a doctor's guidance tripled (300% increase). Now, tens of thousands of college students visit the ER every year in the US. You must understand that the active ingredient in pharmaceutical stimulants is virtually identical to Street Speed. The DEA classifies these drugs in the same category as cocaine. This means physical and psychological drug dependence is high. Additionally the drug can induce bipolar illness in people who have a family history of the condition. Adderall is a very serious drug, don't treat the topic lightly.

In addition to the health risks, legal risks concerning buying, selling, and possessing ADHD drugs illegally are grave. The DEA has increased funding and is cracking down going into 2015. You will face the same hard time and fines as if you were buying, selling, or possessing Cocaine now. Again, you will be facing felony charges with significant fines and even jail time with first conviction. Furthermore, disciplinary sanctions from your university or business are highly probable. All of this can result in hundreds of thousands to millions in fines and lost future income.

Safe and Effective Adderall Alternatives

Improving focus, concentration, and productivity in the competitive landscapes of academia, sports, and business is possible without jeopardizing your future. Please use the resources available on this site to your advantage. We provide many natural alternatives that won't cause you harmful side effects, but instead actually make you healthier while helping you reach your goals.

Read More Details About This Article

We want to thank Flickr: hipsxxhearts for allowing usage of the Adderall image found in this article through CC license (no changes were made to the image). We hope this article helps you reach your intended goals. Please be aware that there are people that may legitimately need a lifelong dose of stimulants in order to just feel normal, and it is not our intention to turn those people away from something that might help them.

This article is mainly here to help those who have already decided and are actively trying to quit taking ADHD drugs or those without ADHD who are trying not to illegally abuse ADHD drugs. If you have ADHD and do not think about quitting Adderall on a regular basis, then this article is not for you.

We urge students, athletes, and everyone else that illegally abuses Adderall to stop immediately and read more of the resources available on this website and across the web. Adderall abuse is very serious, and can really lead to a wide range of side effects, both short-term and long-term, and some irreversible.

Adderall is a strong stimulant - but that is all that it is. Adderall works to increase the brain's access to dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control your brain's pleasure center. Clinical study after study across universities and labs in the United States have shown that Adderall is not a cognitive enhancer in non-ADHD subjects. In fact, in several studies, Adderall was shown to decrease performance in high-performing students.

Adderall may lead to manipulation of neurotransmitters in certain individuals. As such, we wholeheartedly urge you not to take the drug without a prescription. You do not know all the possible contraindications that may occur, as your doctor knows you medical history. Manipulation of neurotransmitter systems can lead to diverse vexatious pathologies including serotonin syndrome, depression, anxiety, and stimulant psychosis.

National Institute of Health Clinical Studies Links:
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489818/
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515906/
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3749314/
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664392/
5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690554/
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2547091/
7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813924/
8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277944/

This article is still being expanded. We urge you to ask questions you have in the comment section below. We will continue to update this article as new research arises.
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The Brainification Team

 
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A leading group of content writers and editors that have an understanding of health and science, with a particular interest in brain health and neuroscience.