For any given stimulant, there are two distinct effects: the euphoria which is strongest in the first hour after the effects kick in, and then the wakefulness, focus, and concentration feeling that will last a few hours to many hours depending on the dosage and delivery method (i.e., extended release vs. instant release).
The euphoria is not what helps, but can feel like it since having such feelings is so rare for ADHDers. This is why these medications have an abuse potential. It’s easy to start chasing the euphoric feeling rather than accepting the focused feeling that it leads into. And since tolerance to the euphoria feeling happens pretty quickly, many fall into the trap of taking more and more to try to get it back, thus running out of their supply long before the next script can be written.
Some doctors will tell you that if you feel euphoria at all in the beginning, that your dose was too high. However, I think everyone feels it in the beginning no matter the dose. What is true though, is that it should go away fairly quickly.
In the beginning, I almost fell into the trap. I thought of the euphoria as being the therapeutic effect. And kept complaining about my dose not being high enough.
I found, once I accepted the follow up focus is the more therapeutic effect, that the euphoric feeling still comes once in a while when it’s a genuine reaction to something in real life (as opposed to just the drug causing it). Which is to say, the medication makes it easier to respond appropriately to life’s real pleasures with a euphoric feeling.