What Happens When You Smoke Adderall?

Smoking Adderall is uncommon. However, smoking or freebasing Adderall can deliver the drug into the bloodstream rapidly through the lungs to provoke a euphoric high, while also increasing the risk of short- and long-term harm.

In order to smoke Adderall or a similar prescription drug, it likely needs to be modified through a process known as freebasing. Applying heat to the medication in powder or pill form will cause the drug to burn rather than vaporize.

Adderall and Adderall XR are first-line prescription medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy in both children and adults.

As a stimulant drug, Adderall contains dextroamphetamine and amphetamine salts to improve wakefulness, energy, concentration, and focus.

Unfortunately, as a controlled substance, Adderall is frequently misused by high school or college students looking to cram for tests, suppress their appetite, or get high.

Smoking Adderall

Adderall is often abused, but smoking Adderall is rare.

Once the amphetamine base has been freed through a process called freebasing, the drug can be smoked in a pipe, cigarette, or in tinfoil much like crystal meth or crack cocaine. At this point, the drug will rapidly be absorbed through the tissues of the lungs.

Once in the body, Adderall will tend to make you feel pleasure, more social, less inhibited, and more focused, energized, and invincible.

Dangers Of Smoking Adderall

Compared to snorting or injecting drugs, smoking can often seem like the safest and least-invasive option for getting high. However, there are serious short-term and long-term risks to consider.

Adverse Reactions & Side Effects

The side effects of Adderall will likely be intensified by smoking, and adverse events are also more likely to occur with greater severity.

The most common of these potentially serious side-effects may include:

  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • dry mouth
  • stomach pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
  • nervousness
  • trouble sleeping

Lung Damage

Adderall abuse, in any form, is hard on the cardiovascular system and can negatively impact heart and lung function over time.

And smoking Adderall can be even worse, as the vapors and fillers inhaled into the lungs will likely damage them, reducing lung function and promoting lung disease, dysfunction, and cancer over time.

Dependence & Addiction

Any prolonged use of Adderall or similar medications can produce some level of physical dependence, though this is usually only a minor issue in cases of routine medical use.

At higher doses, physical and psychological dependence towards Adderall and its effects can develop quickly and severely, even as the body adapts to increasingly tolerate the drug’s effects.

This can lead to severe patterns of Adderall addiction as individuals are forced to take higher doses or use the drug more often to experience the same effect, satisfy their cravings, and avoid painful withdrawal symptoms.


Adderall, especially while using other drugs, can greatly increase the risk of drug overdose events, which can be life-threatening.

Speedball (stimulant/opioid overdoses) can cause respiratory depression and stop a person from breathing.

Stimulant overdoses, on the other hand, are known for causing psychosis, heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and organ damage.

Other Methods Of Adderall Abuse

When a person with ADHD uses the medication at therapeutic doses, Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitter activity, boosting it to a more normal level to improve impulse control, focus, and hyperactivity.

However, when a person without ADHD uses the medication or if someone takes more than they have been prescribed, the drug can push them past normal levels, increasing central nervous system stimulation to the point of generating a methamphetamine-like drug high. 

And the more rapidly the drug is administered, the more euphoric this experience will likey be.

Methods which are used to accelerate Adderall’s effects include:

Polydrug Abuse

Adderall abuse often also involves alcohol, cannabis, or a variety of other prescription or illicit drugs which can be combined with Adderall to increase the euphoria of abusing the drug or to attempt to manage certain side effects of one or both substances.

While these drugs can provide a more euphoric experience, mixing substances comes with an increased risk of negative short- and long-term effects and health problems, including drug overdoses.

Smoking Adderall can also act as a gateway to the use of other, more dangerous drugs of abuse like cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioid narcotics.

Adderall Addiction Treatment

Proven treatment options for stimulant substance use disorders include:

  • management of withdrawal symptoms through a medical detox program
  • participation in inpatient and/or outpatient treatment programs
  • various behavioral therapies including motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and contingency management
  • participation in peer support programs
  • long-term aftercare support

To learn about our substance abuse and addiction treatment services, please contact us today.

  1. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/011522s040lbl.pdf
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/pep21-06-01-003.pdf

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 14, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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