Adderall abuse and addiction can harm a person’s 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.
Adderall, a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, is a stimulant medication prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
There are two forms of prescription Adderall, either of which may be abused:
- Adderall, an immediate-release tablet that is available in 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, and 30 mg doses.
- Adderall XR, a once daily extended-release capsule that is available in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 mg doses
Adderall is typically safe when taken as prescribed and under a doctor’s guidance, however, when misused in a nonmedical way, Adderall can be a very dangerous drug.
Adderall Abuse And Addiction
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 cocaine’s 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 person’s 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.
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Whether a person is misusing a personal prescription or someone else’s 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.
Some people believe that prescription drug abuse is safer than other forms of substance abuse. Others, especially teens and college-aged individuals, may believe that Adderall is a harmless study aid. These mindsets are far from true.
Like other forms of drug abuse, Adderall abuse is dangerous and can lead to addiction, overdose, and mental and physical health problems.
Adderall Abuse Signs And Symptoms
A person who is addicted to Adderall may go to great lengths to acquire the drug. This may include stealing it, buying it off the street, or stealing money to pay for it. Some individuals may also pretend that they have ADHD in order to obtain a prescription from a doctor.
When a person is addicted to Adderall and using it compulsively, they may become upset when they run out of the drug. An individual may also claim that they need the drug to function or that they cannot think clearly without it.
A person who is abusing Adderall may become uncharacteristically talkative or active. In social settings, they may also lose their inhibitions and appear excessively happy.
While under the influence of Adderall, a person could have dilated pupils and muscle tremors or twitches. As a stimulant, Adderall can make a person feel as if they don’t need sleep. Because of this, a person may have insomnia and be awake at odd hours of the night.
Adderall Abuse Short-Term Effects
When a person first abuses Adderall, they may experience a sense of well-being or euphoria. Despite these pleasurable effects, abuse of Adderall can be dangerous even in the short term.
Adderall’s central nervous system stimulant properties can cause a person’s blood pressure, body temperature, breathing, and heart rate to rise. At this time, a person’s blood sugar and metabolism may also climb. The stimulating effects of Adderall can also cause insomnia and wakefulness.
Additional short-term side effects of Adderall abuse include:
- altered sexual behavior
- decreased appetite
- dry mouth
While under the influence of Adderall, a person may become preoccupied with their own thoughts and feel unrealistically clever, competent, or powerful.
Adderall Abuse Long-Term Effects, Risks, And Dangers
When Adderall is taken in high doses and/or for long periods of time, major health and medical problems could occur. The most serious of these include convulsions, coma, and death. High doses of stimulant drugs such as Adderall could also lead to death by suicide.
Adderall Abuse Psychological Risks And Dangers
When a person chronically abuses amphetamine drugs like Adderall, they may develop hostility and violent and unpredictable behaviors that could endanger themselves or others. Even short-term Adderall abuse could cause these states in some people.
Psychosis that resembles schizophrenia may also develop. This state may be accompanied by paranoia and auditory and visual hallucinations. Some individuals may begin to pick at their skin because they feel as if bugs are crawling beneath it. This is another form of hallucination.
Chronic use or high doses of Adderall may also lead to:
- behavioral disorders
- mood changes
- mental illnesses
Adderall Abuse Physical Risks And Dangers
Chronic use or large doses of this drug may lead to serious physical health problems. The physical risks and dangers of Adderall abuse include:
- chronic sleep problems
- flushed, pale skin
- repetitive movements
- skin disorders
- trouble breathing
- vitamin deficiency
People who frequently abuse Adderall may go long periods of time without sleeping. Because of this, a person may become physically exhausted after an Adderall binge.
Injecting Adderall can expose a person to serious infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
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.
The Dangers Of Mixing Adderall And Alcohol
Individuals who take Adderall to create a high may take alcohol at the same time to enhance each drug’s effects. Mixing an upper and downer together in this way could be dangerous and increase the odds of overdose.
As a stimulant, Adderall’s properties can can cover up the depressant effects of alcohol. This can cause the risk of alcohol overdose to be higher. Combining Adderall and alcohol may also raise a person’s blood pressure and make them feel more jittery.
Adderall Overdose Signs
When Adderall reaches toxic levels, it can cause an overdose. Due to the drug’s stimulant effects, the heart and cardiovascular system can become especially taxed at this time.
Adderall overdose can cause heart problems, such as circulation failure, high or low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and heart attack.
Additional physical signs of Adderall overdose include:
- muscle pains
- nausea and vomiting
- overactive reflexes
- rapid breathing
- stomach cramps
An overdose may also harm a person mentally, resulting in aggression, confusion, hallucinations, and/or panic states.
Severe Adderall overdose may lead to convulsions, coma, or deadly overdose.
Adderall Withdrawal Signs And Symptoms
When a person who is dependent on Adderall stops taking the drug without slowly decreasing their dosage, they may go into withdrawal. Some individuals may experience withdrawal if they continue to take the drug but at much smaller doses.
Signs and symptoms of Adderall withdrawal can include:
- tiredness or intense fatigue
- sleep problems
The crash that follows the binge and crash cycle of Adderall abuse can also result in intense withdrawal symptoms.
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Adderall Withdrawal And Detox Treatment Programs
Though symptoms of Adderall withdrawal aren’t as severe as certain other drugs, withdrawal cravings and discomfort could become uncomfortable to the point a person returns to drug use in an attempt to stop them.
Because of this, it may be best to withdrawal from Adderall under professional medical supervision. While withdrawal symptoms may not become severe enough to warrant an inpatient medical detox program, an outpatient detox program may be recommended.
In addition to treating withdrawal symptoms, a detox program for Adderall may begin to address any malnutrition or vitamin deficiencies caused by Adderall abuse.
Finding An Adderall Rehab Program
While outpatient and inpatient Adderall addiction treatment programs are available, individuals who need an intensive level of care may find the greatest benefit in an inpatient program.
Inpatient drug rehab programs, or residential treatment as they are also known, typically provide a more intensive level of care than is offered in outpatient rehab.
These programs allow a person to live at our treatment center, so they’re surrounded by a community of like-minded people who are focused on recovery. Forming close relationships with treatment staff and sober peers can be a valuable part of the recovery process.
By spending more time with therapists, counselors, and other treatment professionals, a person could be better equipped to make positive changes that support long-term sobriety.
At Vertava Health of Texas, our comprehensive services include therapy, counseling, and a variety of holistic treatments, such as our exciting adventure and wilderness therapies. Our program also includes comprehensive dual diagnosis care for individuals who have a mental health disorder in addition to addiction.
Contact Vertava Health of Texas today to discover treatment options for Adderall abuse and addiction.
- Center for Substance Abuse Research — Amphetamines
- DailyMed — LABEL: ADDERALL — dextroamphetamine sulfate, saccharate, amphetamine aspartate and amphetamine sulfate tablet
- DailyMed — LABEL: ADDERALL XR — dextroamphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine sulfate and amphetamine aspartate capsule, extended release
- Johns Hopkins University — Adderall abuse on the rise among young adults
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Prescription Stimulants
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
- U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration — Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide 2017 Edition