Adderall addiction is becoming more common than ever. According to Johns Hopkins University, Adderall abuse and emergency room visits because of this drug have risen dramatically, particularly among young adults aged 18 to 25.1 Everyone needs to know about the dangers and warning signs of Adderall addiction and how to seek effective treatment. Read on to learn this information and much more.
Adderall2 is a prescription amphetamine or stimulant drug. Normally, Adderall is used to increase focus or activity levels, as well as a potential fix for the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although Adderall can be effective when used properly, it is a very addictive stimulant due to its effects, similar to meth. Furthermore, Adderall is very accessible compared to other stimulant drugs.
Not everyone who uses Adderall develops an addiction or misuses it. However, those who take Adderall regularly are at a potentially higher risk of developing Adderall addiction and tolerance. Given enough time, this can become problematic and even physically dangerous.
What is Adderall Addiction?
Adderall addiction may occur when the body becomes used to the drug. Put simply, Adderall increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain and central nervous system (CNS). Norepinephrine is a key chemical messenger affecting how the brain responds to stimuli. Dopamine is the “feel good” hormone, which creates a rewarding sensation when your brain gets a dose of it.
Dopamine and norepinephrine both occur naturally, but drugs like Adderall produce higher levels of both. Over time, individuals may become addicted to the feelings created by these chemicals. If a person becomes addicted to Adderall, they eventually depend on it to stimulate productivity and feelings of alertness.
If it is left unchecked and untreated, Adderall addiction can eventually cause individuals to feel tired, groggy, unfocused, and much more if they don’t get a dose of the drug. Furthermore, individuals addicted to Adderall eventually become tolerant of it. Therefore, they require higher and higher doses of Adderall to achieve the same stimulant effects.
Adderall Addiction Symptoms
The symptoms of Adderall addiction3 can vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience the same symptom severity. The most common symptoms of Adderall addiction include:
- Dry mouth
- Nervousness, panic attacks, or symptoms of anxiety
- Nausea, vomiting, and other stomach problems
- A higher level of sociability or talkativeness than normal
- Fast or racing thoughts
- A sense of well-being or invincibility, which can increase risk-taking behavior and lead to self-harm or harm to others
- Feeling a sense of fear at the idea of not having Adderall
- Manipulating Adderall’s absorption format to get a more intense high, such as by crushing or snorting Adderall pills
- Spending too much time thinking about Adderall or acquiring it
You may notice these symptoms in yourself or in others if they are addicted to this prescription medication. Regardless of the symptoms, Adderall addiction is always bad and should be treated at the earliest opportunity.
Can Adderall Addiction Get Worse Over Time?
Yes. For many individuals addicted to Adderall, the addiction becomes worse over time, not more controllable. Because Adderall can be so physically addicting to the brain, it gradually changes users’ behavior so they seek out more of it. They may also seek out Adderall in higher doses.
In time, Adderall addiction can become life-threatening to the user and others. For example, a person may start taking Adderall to study in college. Eventually, however, they take Adderall all the time, eventually falling asleep at the wheel of their vehicle when they don’t get a high enough dose. This causes a car accident and serious injuries or fatalities.
Signs of Adderall Addiction
It can be difficult to notice the signs of Adderall addiction in yourself or others, especially if a loved one addicted to Adderall was already a hyperactive person. Furthermore, Adderall addiction can be particularly insidious. Because it is a prescribed medication, a person may have a legitimate prescription for the drug. So it can be difficult for someone concerned to point out that they are abusing it.
However, some symptoms may indicate Adderall misuse or abuse, including:
- Shirking core responsibilities to misuse Adderall or acquire more of it, such as family responsibilities, schoolwork, work appointments, and more
- Misusing Adderall, even if it causes noticeable psychological and physical problems, like sickness, anxiety, etc.
- Always take more and more Adderall to experience a similar high effect
- Taking Adderall in ways that are not prescribed by one’s doctor, like crushing or snorting the pills
- Getting defensive or angry when Adderall usage is questioned
- Demonstrating any of the symptoms of drug withdrawal, like your debility, frustration, and lashing out
Any of these symptoms in isolation may be enough to grow concerned. If a loved one is showcasing the signs of Adderall addiction, consider contacting a treatment facility right away and talking to the loved one to convince them to get help.
How to Treat Adderall Addiction
Adderall addiction may be treated in the same way as other drug addictions and abusive behavioral patterns. At facilities like Clear Life Recovery, addicted individuals may be provided with individualized and holistic recovery plans that consider their unique circumstances, life histories, and physical needs.
For example, a treatment specialist may offer a drug detox program to a person who is heavily physically addicted to Adderall. The drug detox program will help guide the individual through the withdrawal process and help them maintain inner strength so they don’t relapse. When their mind is free of the drug’s immediate influence, the addicted individual can move on to other treatment programs and solutions.
Other treatment options include:
- Talk therapy, which can help an addicted individual understand the behavioral patterns that led to their issues
- Inpatient Adderall rehab, in which a patient lives at the treatment facility and under the supervision of knowledgeable specialists. This prevents them from relapsing while they go through the difficult time of withdrawal
- Outpatient therapy, in which case the patient lives at home but regularly meets with a rehab treatment specialist at a recovery clinic
In addition, if the individual in question was prescribed Adderall to treat some other condition, such as ADHD, they may be prescribed a different medication. If other medications are unavailable for one reason or another, they may be taught other ways to manage the symptoms of their original condition. As an example, people with ADHD may be taught ways to manage their thoughts and behaviors without prescription medications like Adderall to ensure long-term wellness.
Contact Clear Life Recovery Today
Adderall addiction can affect anyone, but you aren’t alone if you suffer from its effects or have seen one of your loved ones come under its sway. At Clear Life Recovery, you can benefit from the expertise of knowledgeable specialists who will provide emotional and medical support to get your life back on track.
Our Adderall Addiction program is specifically designed to help you overcome the symptoms of Adderall addiction and build healthy lifestyle habits to prevent relapsing in the future. Contact us today to learn more.