Adderall Addiction Signs And Symptoms
As a stimulant, Adderall increases the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine, two brain chemicals. Dopamine is involved in rewarding behaviors. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone that raises blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and blood sugar when it is active.
Taking Adderall gives a person increased energy and a sense of euphoria.
Individuals who abuse Adderall may also experience:
- a reduction in blood flow
- increased body temperature
Over time, Adderall abuse can cause an increased tolerance to the drug, meaning that it has less of an effect than before. This leads some people to take higher or more frequent doses, which increases the risk that they will become addicted. High tolerance to Adderall may also indicate addiction.
Other signs that someone is addicted to Adderall include:
- excessive involvement in social activities
- taking on more projects than they can handle
- difficulty in relationships
- financial troubles from buying Adderall
- taking Adderall without a prescription
- multiple prescriptions from different doctors
- needing Adderall to perform at work or school
How Addictive Is Adderall
Adderall is a DEA Schedule II controlled substances. Its Schedule II status indicates its potential for abuse and dependence. While it does have medicinal use, abuse of the drug may lead to an addiction, clinically termed a stimulant use disorder.
An addiction to a stimulant such as Adderall is seen in a persons compulsive and uncontrollable use despite the harm it causes. If youre worried you or someone you love is becoming addicted to Adderall, take a look at the signs of a stimulant use disorder below.
Adderall Dependence Vs Addiction
An Adderall dependence is a natural, expected physiological response to the drug. The individual has a physical dependence due to the interaction of the chemicals in the body but not a psychological dependence where they are abusing the medication to reach a high. They may require assistance from their doctor to get off the medication due to the way the chemicals affect the brain however they are not mentally obsessing or craving Adderall.
An Adderall addiction refers to a persons physical and/or psychological reliance on Adderall along with a specific set of behaviors. These individuals are usually unable to cope when they stop taking Adderall and will go to any length to obtain more of the medication. Use of the drug becomes the main priority of the individual. They often run out of their prescription early due to taking more than prescribed, leaving them in withdrawal from the substance, which results in going to any length to obtain more of the substance. Obsessive thoughts about Adderall and cravings are also an indicator of addictive behavior.
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Why Is Adderall So Addictive
When Adderall is misused to take advantage of its stimulant properties, it can easily become addictive. Whether taken to improve academic or athletic performance, or to boost mood and inhibit appetite, the drug is dangerous when it is not intended for you and your body. All of these reasons for abuse make sense, as the mechanism of the medication floods the body with dopamine. When Adderall enters the human body, there is more dopamine and norepinephrine in the users central nervous system, elevating mood and motivation. While dopamine naturally occurs in the human body, medications like Adderall bring levels of dopamine to unnaturally high levels. As the body adjusts to such high levels of the feel-good neurotransmitters in the body, the user can become dependent on the newly developed tolerance and even become addicted to the drug.
Young adults meeting the pressure of society are not the only ones who abuse Adderall, as older adults are just as common to misuse the drug. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it was noted that most people who have received treatment for an Adderall addiction started taking it when they were approximately 23 years old. It is not only students misusing the drug to study, but athletes also abuse the drug to improve their performance. In fact, in 2012, Adderall abuse contributed to a record-breaking year of drug-related suspensions in the National Football League.
Dangers And Side Effects Of Adderall
Many people who abuse Adderall wrongly assume the drug is safe because it comes from a doctor. Adderall is prescribed to people, including children, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . This leads some people to think the drug is safe because children take it.
In reality, Adderall is a strong stimulant that can lead to serious and potentially deadly side effects. Overdose is one of the worst side effects of Adderall abuse, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and liver failure. Taking Adderall with other substances, such as alcohol, heighten the risk of a fatal overdose.
In 2005, the Canadian government banned sales of Adderall XR due to 20 deaths associated with the drug.
Adderall can also cause physical changes in the brains neurocircuitry. This can lead to altered behaviors and the development of mental disorders like depression. Some Adderall addicts become suicidal after taking the drug for a prolonged period of time.
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Snorting Adderall is common among users looking for immediate effects. They crush up their pills into a fine powder, sniffing Adderall into their sinus cavity. This often leads to a more intense high, but snorting Adderall comes with its own side effects.
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Physical Signs Of Adderall Addiction
As the NIDA states, Stimulants can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature and decrease sleep and appetite. Over time, these changes in your bodys functions will begin to create intense, problematic side effects. For example, many individuals who become addicted to Adderall experience severe weight loss as a result of their constantly suppressed appetite and sleeplessness. This can lead to malnutrition as well as other problematic physical conditions.
Adderall addiction can cause constant dizziness and skin disorder.
Other signs that you might be addicted to Adderall can include:
- Constant dizziness
- Consistent headaches
- Breathing problems
If you have begun to experience many of these physical symptoms and signs, it is likely that you are already addicted to the prescription drug. However, if you have noticed these issues before and refused to stop abusing Adderall, it is even more likely that your drug abuse has become compulsive.
How Common Is Adderall Addiction And Abuse In America
Adderall is the most commonly prescribed stimulant in the U.S. Although teens and young adults have the highest risk of becoming addicted, anyone taking Adderall may develop an addiction over time. In 2016, 2.6 million people started using stimulant drugs to get high for the first time and 4.3 million people said they used stimulant drugs to get high within the last month. Overdose deaths due to stimulant abuse also increased by 30 percent in 2017, with a total of 7,663 stimulant overdose deaths, up from 5,992 in 2016.
Although it is clearly physically addicting, Adderall can also be just as psychologically addicting. Many adolescents and young adults who abused Adderall throughout high school and college are continuing to abuse it in the workplace as young professionals because they view it as a major contributing factor to their success. Without it, they feel unable to compete with their peers in the workplace.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, its not uncommon for teens, young adults, and even parents to view Adderall as a safe medication simply because it is prescribed by a doctor. This is a very dangerous view of the drug, especially because many people who become addicted to Adderall first got it from a friend, not a doctor.
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Adderall Abuse And Heart Problems
As a stimulant, Adderall abuse can place great strain on the heart and cardiovascular system.
Even in the short-term, Adderall abuse can cause cardiac and heart problems, such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, narrowing of the blood vessels, palpitations, cardiovascular system failure, and fatal heart failure. Long-term abuse may lead to other heart problems, including a pounding heartbeat and cardiac arrhythmias.
Further, Adderall abuse may cause sudden death in teenagers who abuse this drug. This risk may be increased in teens who have heart defects or serious heart problems.
In addition to the risk of sudden death, adults who abuse Adderall may have a heart attack or stroke, dangers that may be higher in adults who have heart defects or serious heart problems.
Adderall Abuse And Addiction
Abuse of Adderall, a stimulant medication used to treat ADHD, can quickly lead to addiction. Fortunately, sobriety is possible with the right treatments and therapies.
Adderall abuse and addiction can harm a persons body, imbalance their mind, and destroy important relationships. Without the proper help, the damaging effects of addiction will be left to continue.
The best drug rehab programs for Adderall addiction blend evidence-based treatments and support groups, so that a person has the highest chance for obtaining a healthier, drug-free life.
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Why Is Adderall Addictive
Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that is commonly used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder . According to a 2018 study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, over 6% of adults in the United States have used prescription stimulants like Adderall. With such a large number of people using it and the potential for abuse, we wanted to know what makes Adderall so addictive.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms And Detox
If a person develops an Adderall addiction, he or she may develop a tolerance and start to feel symptoms of withdrawal when the effects of the drug wear off. This may also be referred to as the comedown from Adderall. Common symptoms of Adderall withdrawal are:
- Extreme fatigue
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- Suicidal thoughts and/or behavior
Although Adderall withdrawal isnt always extremely intense, the duration and intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will vary based on the persons dependency level. For example, people who crush and snort Adderall pills, or dissolve the powder and inject it will likely have a more intense withdrawal experience. Regardless of the intensity or duration of Adderall withdrawal, a medical detox program can provide the necessary medical care a person needs to be comfortable and safe throughout the detox experience. Individual counseling during medical detox can also help people manage the psychological symptoms of withdrawal, such as depression and anxiety.
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Physical And Psychological Symptoms Of Adderall Abuse
Physical side effects of Adderall can emerge shortly after use. Adderall triggers the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Prescribed users get a therapeutic benefit from it while recreational users who abuse this stimulant can get a high. The following are some of the effects that may be experienced right after Adderall abuse:
- The illusion of wellness
- Thinking about things more than usual
- A feeling of impatience, worry, nervousness, and anxiety
These symptoms would be perceptible to someone in the immediate environment of the person who is abusing Adderall. However, the people who are most likely to be concerned about the Adderall abuse may not be around when its going on. For this reason, it can be helpful to know the short-term effects of Adderall, which can linger long enough to be perceived by family, friends, work colleagues, and classmates. Some of the more commonly reported side effects of Adderall abuse are:
- Sleep difficulties
Intervention And Next Steps
Interventions are a good way for friends and family to persuade an addicted person to get help.
The most important aspect of an intervention is for loved ones to explain that they care about and want to help the addicted person.
Staging an intervention for someone who has an Adderall problem may seem like a drastic approach for some. Yet, it could save their life as some people addicted to Adderall dont realize they have a problem.
Adderall users are also likely to start abusing other drugs like cocaine and meth. If it turns out your loved one has a polydrug addiction, its imperative to get them into treatment as soon as possible.
Interventions are carefully planned meetings between loved ones and the addicted individual. An intervention specialist can help you find the right words to say and outline consequences if the addict doesnt accept treatment. Because people addicted to Adderall can become violent or self-destructive, its important to plan for a worst-case scenario.
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With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.
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How Is An Adderall Addiction Treated
There are no approved medications to help treat an Adderall addiction.
Instead, treatment is focused on supervising a person as they go through a detoxification process. Withdrawal from stimulants like Adderall can be extremely uncomfortable and stressful for the body. Your doctor will refer you to an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation center or detox facility.
During rehab, doctors will help you through the withdrawal process and make it easier to manage any withdrawal symptoms. Its not recommended that you quit Adderall cold turkey. Instead, your doctor will slowly lower the dosage under medical supervision. This is called tapering.
In general, the steps for treating an Adderall addiction include the following steps:
Doctors and therapists at the rehab center will help you understand how to live your life without the drug. They can help you find new, healthy coping skills to live your best life.
Can I Be Addicted To My Prescription Adderall
Beans, black beauties, dexies, pep pills, speed, and uppersthese are just some of the street terms for Adderall, the trademarked name for the combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine thats typically used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you misuse Adderall to stay awake, get high, or help you focus, you not only risk becoming addicted to prescription Adderall, but you can also experience dangerous side effects.
If youre worried that you might be addicted to Adderall, then keep reading to learn more about Adderall addiction and dependence, how to know when its a problem, and what you can do to stop the cycle of abuse before you cause more harm to yourself and others.
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If You Have Questions About Admissions Call 1
Adderall is a highly addictive prescription stimulant with effects similar to meth. Although not everyone who uses Adderall* will develop an addiction, people regularly taking Adderall at prescribed or unprescribed doses are at a high risk of becoming addicted. Over time, those habitually using Adderall develop a tolerance to the drug and are unable to function normally without it.
*Atteral, Atterol, Aderol, Aderall and Aderal are common misspellings for this stimulant prescription medicine.
Symptoms Of Adderall Withdrawal
When Adderall is abused, withdrawal symptoms occur when you attempt to quit using it. Like any substance that gets abused, there are symptoms when you try to stop abusing Adderall. Common symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include:
- Feeling anxious, upset, or irritable.
- Difficulty sleeping too much or not being able to sleep enough
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Feeling depressed or listless
Adderall is used to help those with ADHD maintain focus. When abused, Adderall is addictive and produces a range of withdrawal symptoms once you decide to go through detox. It is always safest to go through detox in a safe facility that will give you the support you need as you work through the process.
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Signs Your Loved One Is Addicted To Adderall
Adderall is quickly becoming one of the most commonly abused prescription medications in the United States. However, recognizing Adderall abuse in your loved one can be difficult. The following is a list of five signs to help identify a loved one who is abusing Adderall.
Signs & Symptoms Of Adderall Addiction
When someone gets addicted to Adderall, their brain is unable to concentrate without it. They may become sluggish, tired, and seem lazy. These are all signs that someone is physically dependent on Adderall and may be addicted. Other signs of addiction include:
- Requiring higher doses to feel the effects of the drug
- Having a desire to stop using it but being unable to do so
- Taking the drug even when it causes some type of harm
- Having an inability to focus and function without the drug
- Spending excessive amounts of money on the drug or doctor shopping
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
- Ignoring home, family, work, or social obligations
- Changes in sleep patterns, mood, and energy levels
- Weight loss, hyperactivity, and dilated pupils
While most people who abuse Adderall dont intend to get addicted to it, addiction can happen. If you or a loved one is addicted and cant stop on your own, its time to get help from a professional drug rehab near you.
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Adderall Abuse And Addiction Treatment
While Adderall abuse occurs at all ages, a recent study found that 60 percent of nonmedical use, or patterns of abuse, occurred in young adults ages 18 to 25.
Adderall may be misused to create a rush or sense of euphoria that somewhat resembles cocaines effects. When compared to cocaine, however, Adderall takes longer to kick in, though the effects do last longer than cocaine. For this reason, some people prefer to abuse Adderall over cocaine.
Taking Adderall can increase a persons alertness, attention, and energy. It may decrease fatigue or drowsiness as well. Some people also consume it to improve their memory.
Because of these things, Adderall is often used as a performance-enhancing drug by students or professionals who wish to get better grades or do better on the job. These qualities are also why people refer to Adderall as a study drug or as a smart drug.
Adderall may also be abused to self-medicate untreated ADHD, fatigue, or another health condition. Some individuals may abuse the drug with the goal of losing weight.
Whether a person is misusing a personal prescription or someone elses to achieve any of these effects, their behaviors are considered abuse. When abused, Adderall is typically taken orally, however, people may attempt to inject, smoke, or snort it.
Like other forms of drug abuse, Adderall abuse is dangerous and can lead to addiction, overdose, and mental and physical health problems.