Adderall is one of the most commonly abused substances. Although Adderall abuse may not result in dozens of overdose deaths, it’s undoubtedly dangerous. Long-term drug abuse of any kind may lead to risky behaviors, adverse health effects, and addiction. Adderall may be one of the most popular prescription drugs in the country, but that doesn’t make it harmless or any less addictive.
Whether a person is abusing their prescription or is buying the drug on the streets, taking a prescription medication in ways other than suggested is considered drug abuse. However, you can stop Adderall abuse in its tracks if you know what signs and symptoms to look for.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. It is an amphetamine and the effects it produces are very similar to methamphetamine. However, its side effects and symptoms are usually less severe than those of meth users. The drug is designed to focus thoughts, help patients ignore distractions, and give mental stimulation to increase productivity.
The medication contains two active drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. When used properly in treating ADHD, studies show that 75-80% of children see their symptoms improve. The medicine comes in two forms, an instant release oral tablet, and an extended-release oral capsule. Most people who abuse the drug will either swallow multiple tablets at once or crush and short the drug.
Can You Get Addicted to Adderall?
Adderall is just as addictive as speed, meth, and other stimulants. When abused over a long period of time, or in high quantities, it’s easy to become addicted to Adderall. The medication releases large amounts of dopamine into the brain which provokes stimulant and euphoric effects. Over time, the body develops resistance to the drug’s effects which causes users to take larger quantities in an attempt to experience the desired effects.
As the user takes more, his or her dependence will grow stronger. After as little as a few days of abuse, the body will become chemically dependent on the drug leaving the user addicted to Adderall. This is the crux of many substance use disorders that makes getting sober so difficult.
“Uninsured, I chose to pay hundreds for a refill instead of buying groceries. I’d consume far more than my allocated dose, then spend sleepless nights tossing and turning, my mind racing and heart-pounding, only to wake up and take another pill with a coffee to compensate.” – Kate Miller
If you are living life like Kate Miller of the New York Times, who shared her experience with Adderall addiction to put the dangers in perspective, you are addicted to Adderall.
Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Abuse
Not everyone who takes Adderall gets addicted to it. In fact, when taken as prescribed to treat a medical condition, the medication is considered safe. However, there are clear physical and psychological signs of Adderall abuse.
- Overtly talkative or social
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Unusual aggression, mood swings, and changes in mental health
Adderall abusers won’t always show immediate physical signs and symptoms, but any drug abuse comes with its own odd or sneaky behavior. Is someone you love suddenly sneaking out of the room every few hours or is your spouse not following the same schedule they’ve been following for the past ten years? Subtle but noticeable changes in personality, mood, or drive are indicators that something has gone wrong.
Signs of Adderall Addiction
If Adderall abuse goes overlooked, things can easily spiral out of control. If someone continues to abuse the drug, it’s likely they will become physically and mentally dependent on it. Some signs that a person is addicted to Adderall include:
- Unable to work without the drug
- Running out of drugs before refill
- Newfound financial or criminal problems
- Needing larger doses for the same effect
- Neglecting normal personal or social activities
- Spending large amounts of time thinking about your next dose and where you’ll get it
- Wanting to cut down or quit without success
- Running out of your prescription early or seeking multiple prescriptions from various doctors
If you relate to any or all of these symptoms, you might be addicted to Adderall and can benefit from addiction treatment.
Long-Term Health Effects
It’s rare for someone to abuse Adderall without any negative side effects. The longer you abuse the drug, the more likely you’ll experience severe symptoms associated with abuse including convulsions, arrhythmia, chest pain, and debilitating anxiety. Every time you abuse Adderall you increase your chances of dependence, addiction, and devastating health issues. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms its best to seek inpatient treatment options for drug abuse and addiction immediately.
- Peeling skin or increased acne on the face
- Migraines and headaches
- Stimulants sometimes cause convulsions or seizures when consumed in large quantities.
- Lack of sleep is known to lead to hallucinations.
- Weight loss, lack of appetite, and vitamin deficiencies
- Irregular heartbeat, arrhythmia, or heart attack
- Destruction of sinuses if the drug is snorted, leading to nosebleeds and other nasal problems
The best solution to prevent these side effects of Adderall abuse is to stop using completely.
Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms
Most people who suffer from Adderall addiction are physically dependent on the drug. Consequently, when they stop taking it, the brain becomes deprived of the overflow of dopamine that it is used to. Then, withdrawal symptoms set in. These symptoms may begin as soon as 24 hours after the last dose.
The severity of Adderall Withdrawal varies from one person to the next. People who have underlying health conditions, mental illness, and a long history of Adderall abuse are more susceptible to severe withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms also depend on one’s age, weight, gender, and the amount of the drug they normally take. For example, people who have abused Adderall for 10 years typically experience worse withdrawals than someone who has only abused it for a few months.
Anyone who experiences Adderall withdrawal has gone past recommended use and into abuse. Once the drug leaves the system an addicted body will respond with withdrawal symptoms –
- Trouble concentrating
Adderall detox and withdrawal isn’t easy to do on your own as cravings and withdrawals may become too intense to handle. Instead, seeking help from a stimulant detox and rehab center near you will ensure your safety and comfort during detox.
Find Help for Adderall Abuse
Since Adderall is a prescription it is sometimes hard to identify abuse of the drug. Furthermore, many people with addictions deny having a real problem. Make no mistake, stimulants like Adderall are speed. They have negative effects if abused, even if prescribed for a legitimate health condition.
There are numerous treatment centers across the country that treat Adderall addiction with care, compassion, and clinically proven methods. Inpatient treatment is best for severe addictions and outpatient treatment is recommended for mild ones. An addiction professional will help you every step of the way, from detox and treatment to helping you rebuild your life forward after Adderall abuse.
Adderall is a commonly abused drug. However, it isn’t any less dangerous than other stimulants like cocaine or meth. If you are experiencing physical or psychological symptoms of Adderall abuse, it’s best to get help before the addiction goes too far. Substance abuse doesn’t have to be the end of the road as thousands of people just like you have also recovered. Contact us today to find Adderall treatment centers near you and get the help you need today.