Is My College Student Addicted to Adderall?

Known as the “study drug,” Adderall addiction in college students is a growing problem. Although many students believe — falsely — that Adderall isn’t a “real” drug, this prescription-only amphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug. Adderall causes physical and psychological dependence, has a high potential for abuse and is considered dangerous by the DEA. Despite these facts, college students believe the drug is safe — even when taken recreationally. Here is what you need to know to keep your college student safe from Adderall addiction.

Who Uses Adderall?

Adderall is not a new drug. First developed for individuals who suffer from ADHD and narcolepsy, the drug is effective when treating people who demonstrate real symptoms. Yet its reputation as a “study drug” continues to spread, even though the drug is unlikely to improve concentration skills in people who don’t show real signs of ADHD. Students who take Adderall recreationally use it because it keeps them awake through all-night drinking binges.

Although Adderall drug abuse for college students occurs among every demographic, white males with poor grades who study in the northeast are most likely to take the stimulant, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Journal of American College Health reports that 74 percent of students who take Adderall get it from a friend — even though getting a prescription is remarkably easy.

The Dangers of Adderall Abuse

Adderall abuse is extremely dangerous, despite the perception that it is a safe drug. SAMHSA reports that emergency department visits for ADHD medications quadrupled for young adults between 2005 and 2010, with roughly half of these patients taking the medication and also binge drinking. Combining ADHD meds and alcohol leads to a wide range of serious health problems, including addiction.

The Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Addiction

If you are worried your college student is abusing Adderall, you might notice symptoms such as:

  • Psychological problems like depression, unexplained mood swings and irritability.
  • Headaches, dry mouth, poor appetite and insomnia.
  • Weight loss and malnutrition.
  • Jittery behavior, muscle twitching, convulsions and tremors.
  • Heart palpitations and low blood pressure.
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as exhaustion, depression, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and increased appetite.

You might also notice behavioral changes, including:

  • Unexplained periods of intense activity or mania followed by exhaustion.
  • Pulling all-nighters.
  • Spending time with new friends or more time alone.
  • Denying or hiding using drugs.
  • Forgetting about or ignoring responsibilities or favorite activities.

Adderall Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex, life-threatening disease that gets worse when left untreated. Even the most serious cases are treatable, however, and the earlier you ask for help, the better off you are. A holistic program can make withdrawal symptoms more manageable. It can also uncover and treat the underlying reasons why your loved one decided to use drugs in the first place.

12 Keys Rehab Provides Adderall Addiction Treatment

12 Keys Rehab can help if your college student demonstrates signs of Adderall addiction. For more information about Adderall addiction and treatment, and to learn more about our rehab facility, contact us today.

The Addiction Blog