For those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Adderall can be essential to daily life, providing much-needed calmness and focus.
But the prescription stimulant drug is often abused, and not just by college students for late-night study sessions.
Adderall has been used by athletes as a performance enhancer for an energy boost or a spike in concentration. The controlled substance is illegal without a prescription, and banned by most sports organizations, including the NCAA, National Football League and Major League Baseball, unless athletes have permission for medical or therapeutic use. In MLB, 105 players were granted such exemptions for ADHD in 2011. Adderall is affecting the Bucs, with cornerback Aqib Talib suspended four games for violating league policy on performance enhancing drugs. Talib said in a statement he took one pill of Adderall without a prescription before training camp in August.
Doctors say Adderall poses potentially dangerous health risks that can outweigh the positives for those without a medical need. But that doesn't stop athletes trying to get an edge.