Students in their late teens and early 20s are fast becoming the demographic most likely to use the concentration-boosting drug Adderall, according to a new study in the US. What many of them almost certainly don’t know is that one of the drug’s possible side effects is hair loss.
Adderall is often prescribed in cases of ADHD and narcolepsy, but researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health found that many users are young adults who acquired the drug from a relative or friend.
Students stay up all night
In an article headlined “Adderall Misuse Rising Among Young Adults” on the Johns Hopkins website, the study’s co-author Ramin Mojtabai states that “In college especially, these drugs are used as study-aid medication to help students stay up all night and cram. Our sense is that a sizeable portion of those who use them believe these medications make them smarter and more capable of studying.”
In total, the results showed that 60 per cent of Adderall users were between 18 and 25.
Adderall use was recently the subject of some controversy in the Electronic Sporting League for video gamers, where the eSports governing body said it would carry out anti-doping tests following reports that Adderall and similar drugs were being used by players. Some gamers felt it gave them extra energy and an edge.
As with many medications, a possible side-effect of Adderall is the hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium, which causes an increased shedding all over the scalp and leads to generally thinner-looking hair. While more common in women, it can also affect men, and when it continues for at least 12 months it is considered to be Chronic Telogen Effluvium, also known as Diffuse Thinning. An unfortunate effect of Telogen Effluvium is that it can also trigger or speed up Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss in any individual who has a genetic predisposition for the conditions.
Life as a hard-working student can often spell difficult times for hair – with or without the use of Adderall. In fact, the lifestyle choices of many students often add up to a scalp’s worst nightmare, with everything from smoking to alcohol to illegal drugs to late nights and not enough sleep all playing a part in overall hair health. Poor diet – frequently part and parcel of modern student life – can have a detrimental effect as well.
While no one is suggesting that too much partying is going to make you go bald, it is certainly not a stretch to state that burning the candle at both ends can trigger both Telogen Effluvium and Diffuse Hair Loss. Additionally, pressure to succeed in exams can all too easily lead to stress – and stress is thought to be a key trigger in the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata which leads to sudden patchy hair loss. This condition does sometimes clear itself up after several months, but equally it can linger and spread, sometimes affecting the whole scalp.
Hair loss diagnosis
Increasingly, more and more teenagers are becoming concerned about having a receding hairline with unprecedented levels going as far as to enquire about the drastic step of trying to get a hair transplant before they’ve even reached their 20th birthday. Even women, who have traditionally tended to display signs of genetic hair loss later in life than men, are starting to experience thinning hair from their 20’s on a far more frequent basis than ever before.
Treatment for the various hair loss conditions begins with a consultation so that a diagnosis can be made and a bespoke treatment course prescribed. If you’re a student and concerned about hair loss, it’s better to get an expert to give you some advice sooner rather than later – and you can put aside the notion that everyone else at the clinic will be men their 50s.
At Belgravia many of our clients are in their 20’s and want to take proactive or even preventative measures to deal with their hair loss. Although we do not offer student discounts, the initial consultation is free of charge and we offer a range of pricing options so there is usually something suitable for everyone.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.