Video Gamers Using Adderall for an “Edge”
In recent years, the world of Esports has been growing exponentially. Fans now pack stadiums for Esports and participants compete for hundreds of thousands in prize money. This increase in popularity has also led to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, and gamers using Adderall is becoming the norm.
High Energy Pays the Bills
Gamers are now able to make a living off of the income they receive from gaming. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins went from a fast-food worker to a millionaire Fortnite gamer. In 2018 alone, he reported that he made nearly $10 million by streaming himself playing Fortnite on Twitch and posting videos on YouTube (1). This income excludes sponsorships and tournament wins.
As gaming becomes increasingly competitive, with the added financial incentives, some gamers turn to ways to give them a perceived edge. Performance-enhancing drugs are known to be used in many sports such as baseball, weightlifting, track, the NFL, and more. With these physically demanding sports, it’s clearer to see why people use these drugs. They make players stronger and faster and can get them to the next level. In Esports, focus and reaction time are vital to a player’s success.
In an interview after a $250,000 prize tournament in Poland (2), Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen stated, “We were all on Adderall”. Once his video was seen by the Electronic Sports League, they announced that they would have drug screenings in future tournaments. The Overwatch League released a statement saying “prescription drugs may only be used to treat the condition for which they are prescribed and may not be used to enhance performance in a game, match, or tournament”.
Another well-known gamer, Adam “KiLLa” Sloss said, “Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it”. He admittedly retired due to his rampant drug use. “The Adderall abuse was too much to keep up with,” Sloss said. (3)
What is Adderall?
Adderall is intended to be used to help people who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. For those who have ADHD, the drug is used to calm them down and help them focus on the world in front of them. However, for those without ADHD, it can help people stay up all night cramming for an exam or writing a paper. This drug is abused frequently among college students.
For gamers, they are attracted to the drug due to the belief that Adderall will allow them to play for longer, with better mental focus, and therefore better ability. In actuality, doctors say that any perceived performance boost is likely due to the placebo effect. The placebo effect is the result of a drug that can be attributed to the patient’s belief in the treatment. Essentially, because gamers believe that they are more focused, they become more focused.
Adderall’s clearest benefit for those with ADHD is that it boosts rote memorization. This drug is commonly used so that young students can learn easier, with fewer distractions. As Adderall users get used to the drug, they build up a tolerance. In order to achieve the same effect, they have to increase their dosage. This can be dangerous, as there are potential side effects to Adderall.
Side effects of Adderall include loss of appetite, weight loss, upset stomach, vomiting, nausea, headache, diarrhea, fever, and insomnia (4). Additionally, more serious side effects sometimes occur. These effects include mood/behavior changes such as depression, aggression, and suicidal thoughts. Uncontrolled movements, change in sexual desire, and signs of blood flow problems are possible.
Getting and staying sober is very challenging, but with the right support network and tools, it's completely attainable.
Gamers Using Adderall Should Reach Out For Help
It is important to heed the advice from gamers such as Adam “KiLLa” Sloss. Not only is it illegal to take, but doctors have said there is no real biological difference to taking the drug. It is a slippery slope to take this drug, and it can lead to numerous health problems. If you, or anybody you know, is currently abusing the drug, it is important to seek help. It is often difficult to quit on your own, and rehab centers such as SpringBoard Recovery are available to help break this unhealthy habit.
Upon entering rehab, patients begin a detox process. This process helps rid a patient’s body of the addictive substance. Once an individual has chosen to seek the help of SpringBoard Recovery, there are a variety of resources we provide. These resources include individual therapy, such as holistic therapy, group counseling, relapse prevention education, meditation and mindfulness, and more. SpringBoard Recovery is focused on educating our patients on the consequences and effects of drug abuse and addiction.
Contact us today and we can work with you to create a healthier, happier life
- CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/27/us/esports-what-is-video-game-professional-league-madden-trnd/index.html
- CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/ninja-blevins-from-a-fast-food-job-to-millionaire-fortnite-gamer.html
- THORNE: https://www.thorne.com/take-5-daily/article/six-tips-to-improve-reaction-time-and-mental-focus
- Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-adderall-is-used-in-esports-2015-7
- The Overwatch League: https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/
- The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/esports/2020/02/13/esports-adderall-drugs/
- National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml
- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63163/adderall-oral/details
- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-detox-programs#1