Adderall: What's It Doing to Your Brain?


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There’s an Adderall shortage across the U.S., and it’s causing huge problems for people with ADHD. But on the flip side, we hear people saying that we shouldn’t be giving this drug out anyway. So we wanted to know: What is Adderall, exactly? What is it doing in people’s brains? And is there any truth to this idea that Adderall is like meth — could it be dangerous? We talk to psychiatrist Prof. Rachel Fargason, neuroscientist Prof. Habibeh Khoshbouei, and actor Kai Liu.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, in the US you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website.

Find our transcript here:

This episode was produced by Rose Rimler, with help from Meryl Horn, Michelle Dang, and Disha Bhagat. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Wendy Zukerman is our Executive Producer. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Bumi Hidaka. Music written by Bumi Hidaka, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord, SoWylie, and Peter Leonard. And a big thanks to the researchers we spoke to including Dr. Kenny Handelman, Prof. Gail Tripp, Prof. Lily Hechtman, Dr. Nora Volkow, Dr. Joshua Gordon, Prof. Stephen Faraone, Dr. Zheng Chang, and Prof. Carl Hart. A big thanks to Annette Heist, Anya Schultz, and Thom Dunn. And this is our last episode of the season! So an extra special thanks to everyone who helped us out this season, including Jack Weinstein, and Hunter, Chris Suter and Elise, and Presha Bhagat. We’ll see you next year!

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