Opioids and other illicit drugs dominate the headlines but there are several prescription drugs that American abuse every day – and Adderall is one of the worst offenders. Adderall may not result in dozens of overdose deaths but it’s undoubtedly dangerous when abused. Let’s learn about the dangers of Adderall abuse including signs and symptoms of addiction and what you can do about it. Adderall may be one of the most popular prescription drugs in the country but that doesn’t make it harmless.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a stimulant prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. Adderall is an amphetamine and is very similar to methamphetamine through its actions and symptoms are not as powerful. The drug is designed to focus thoughts, help patients ignore distractions, and give mental stimulation to increase productivity.
Is Adderall Addictive?
Adderall is addictive as much as speed, meth, and other stimulants. It releases high amounts of dopamine into the brain which gives you users the stimulant and euphoric effects. Over time the body will develop resistance to the drug’s effects which causes users to take more to experience the same feelings. The user takes more, the dependence deepens. After as little as a few days of abuse, the body will become chemically dependent on the drug leaving the user with an addiction. Take this quote from Kate Miller of the New York Times on her Adderall addiction to put the dangers into perspective. “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.”
If you are living life like Kate Miller – you have an Adderall addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Abuse
Most who take Adderall will not become addicted but there are clear physical and psychological signs and symptoms of abuse.
- Overtly talkative or social
- Excitability / Mania
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Unusual aggression/mood swings
Signs of Adderall Addiction
Adderall doesn’t always present immediate physical signs and symptoms but there are addiction signs you can look for. The following signs point to an Adderall problem that has become an Adderall addiction.
- 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 Scripts Before Refill – You can absolutely abuse Adderall even if it’s prescribed from a medical professional. If you’re always running out, then digging your heels in until it’s time to refill you could have an Adderall addiction.
Severe Signs and Symptoms Adderall Abuse
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms its best to seek inpatient treatment options for abuse and addiction immediately.
- Peeling skin
- Convulsions / Seizures – All stimulants can cause convulsions or seizures when consumed in large quantities.
- Hallucinations – Lack of sleep can lead to hallucinations.
- Dramatic Weight loss – All stimulants are appetite suppressants. Dramatic weight loss is tough on the human body.
- Irregular heartbeat – Any stimulant can cause an erratic heartbeat. In extreme cases, irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia could lead to a heart attack.
- Destruction of sinuses – Many users snort Adderall which can destroy the sinuses and soft pallet. Nosebleeds and constant sniffing are signs Adderall has worn out its welcome up your nose.
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 from 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 can be an indicator something has gone wrong.
Anyone experiencing 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 Addiction Over Time
It’s rare for someone to abuse Adderall without any negative effects. The longer the abuse, the more likely you’ll experience severe symptoms associated with abuse including convulsions, arrhythmia, chest pain, and debilitating anxiety. Every time you take an Adderall you increase your chances of addiction and health issues.
Getting Help for Adderall Abuse
Because it doesn’t come with the stigma found in other drugs and alcohol it can be difficult for someone to admit they have a problem. Make no mistake, Adderall is speed and will have negative effects if abused, even if it’s prescribed.
There are numerous treatment centers across the country that can treat Adderall addiction with care, compassion, and clinically proven methods. You can look to full-scale inpatient treatment for severe addictions and outpatient treatment for mild ones. A professional can help you through withdrawal and moving your life forward after abuse.
Adderall may be a commonly abused drug but that doesn’t make it 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. Check the phone book or go online to find Adderall treatment centers near you and get the help you need today.