For most people who struggle with the disease of addiction, one of the most enticing aspects about abusing one or more substances is that doing so produces a high that can be relaxing, euphoric, and/or numbing. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, and Xanax are typically sought after for these reasons, and once a person is hooked on that high, being able to stop becomes extremely challenging. However, for those who abuse Adderall, it is not about obtaining an out-of-body high, rather it’s more of an effort to increase energy, stimulate concentration, and enhance productivity.
When someone abuses Adderall, he or she experiences the previously mentioned effects, which might not seem to be negative, especially in comparison to the effects caused by other addictive substances. However, abusing a prescription drug like Adderall can completely alter one’s everyday life for the worst, as it can lead to memory loss, insomnia, exhaustion, and the development of poor cognitive skills, as well as other unsatisfactory effects. The continued abuse of Adderall can also trigger the onset of physical and psychological issues that can range in severity from something minor and manageable to something intense and fatal.
Despite Adderall being a prescription drug that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and regularly prescribed by healthcare professionals, it is still a habit-forming drug that can quickly take over one’s life in a negative way if abused. It is not uncommon for someone who is addicted to Adderall to think that he or she is in control of his or her use, especially because Adderall isn’t always regarded for being as dangerous as it is. However, when an addiction to this stimulant substance is occurring, getting help is the most important thing that one can do in order to put a stop to active addiction immediately.
Our Adderall addiction rehab can help you if you are addicted to this prescription medication. You do not need to suffer in silence. Call to get help now.
Adderall is the brand name for the combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Both of these medications work in concert to help provoke the release of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, neurotransmitters in the brain that produce feelings of euphoria and alertness and help to regulate mood. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are chemical mirror images of one another, however, dextroamphetamine is more potent.
The intended purpose of Adderall is to increase focus and attention. For decades, Adderall and similar stimulant medications have proven to be effective for children and adults with attention and focus problems associated with attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is also commonly prescribed to people who suffer from narcolepsy, which is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness.
As mentioned before, Adderall works by boosting the brain’s serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels. When used as prescribed, Adderall can help to positively change the lives of those who are living with ADD, ADHD, or narcolepsy. However, abusing Adderall in any way, shape, or form can cause the brain’s reward pathways get rewired. This rewiring makes the need for more Adderall more frequent and more deeply felt. Like other medications, including Concerta, Focalin, Vyvanse, and Ritalin, Adderall has a high potential for addiction not only because of the energetic and focused effects it produces but also because it changes the way in which the brain functions when it is abused.
In 1996, Adderall was introduced to the market as a medication to help treat ADD and ADHD, which it is still being used for today. By 2001, Adderall became so popular and frequently used that Adderall XR was developed, which is the extended release version of the pill. Prescriptions for Adderall spiked in the early 2000s, increasing fivefold from 2002 to 2012 alone. Some argue that this increase is due to a stronger understanding and acceptance of ADD and ADHD as disabilities that require prescription medication to treat. Others, however, insist that Adderall has become so popular because more and more prescriptions for this medication are being written, similar to what is occurring with the opioid crisis. The belief is that this increase in prescriptions for Adderall being written has led to an increase in abuse of the drug nationwide. Both sides have truth to them, as many of the Adderall addictions seen today are a result of loose prescription writing and management on behalf of prescribing professionals. However, Adderall has continued to grow in popularity as more and more people desire the effects they produce. As a result, some people will go from doctor to doctor to obtain a prescription for this medication, which is also known as doctor-shopping. This means that the demand for Adderall is also coming from the side of the user, too.
There are several ways that Adderall is infiltrating the United States drug market, which is reflected in how many people in the country are abusing it. In 2012 alone, 116,000 people were admitted to professional treatment programs for Adderall addiction. Approximately 6.4% of college-aged students in the United States abuse Adderall. And, in 2016, about 63% of people between the ages of 18-28 got ADHD medications like Adderall from their friends. Meanwhile, studies show that even though Adderall prescriptions have leveled off, cases of hospital emergency room visits, as a result of Adderall abuse, have continued to rise.
Without a doubt, Adderall is most common in young adults, primarily because it is often sought out as a “study drug” that can help students focus and stay awake longer to study. Those who abuse this drug, including this group of individuals and others, can swallow capsules, crush up pills and snort them, or dissolve pills or capsules in water and inject them with a syringe. Injection and snorting provide a quicker, more intense high but are very dangerous, as abusing Adderall in one of these ways amplifies the side effects and heightens one’s risk of overdose, which can be fatal.
SIGNS OF ADDERALL ADDICTION
Anytime that someone is addicted to a substance like Adderall, it might be easy to conceal for a short period of time, but eventually, the problem becomes too large to hide.
At first, someone who is addicted to Adderall might begin showing a few symptoms that others might be able to pass off easily. These can include slowly isolating oneself from others, being more excitable than normal, losing weight, working or studying more than usual, or being impulsive. However, as the addiction continues to develop, more symptoms can start occurring alongside of those, such as a decline in personal hygiene, excessive talking, having incomplete thoughts, problems with memory, and aggression. Other signs of Adderall addiction can include the following:
- Dramatic changes in appetite
- Insomnia followed by exhaustion
- Long periods of sleeping
- Frequently taking pills
- Running out of prescriptions quickly
The majority of most of one’s symptoms will likely be tied to changes in his or her overall demeanor, where he or she might go from being even-keeled to constantly talking, being over excited on a regular basis, non-stop moving, and acting manic in general. Additionally, someone might start to engage in secretive behavior, struggle with honesty, and go behind the backs of others in order to obtain more pills and keep using. Eventually, a person can become so consumed in Adderall addiction that responsibilities at home, work, and/or school can be ignored, leading to demotion, job loss, academic failure, expulsion, and conflict at home. These specific effects can lead to financial problems, chronic unemployment, loss of close relationships, and even homelessness.
The more that a person continues to abuse Adderall, the more likely his or her symptoms will surface and become undeniable. If you or someone you love is struggling with Adderall addiction, picking up the phone and calling our Adderall addiction rehab can save your life.
SIDE EFFECTS OF ADDERALL ABUSE
Adderall is a stimulant substance. And while Adderall is a professionally approved and distributed medication, it still possesses the potential to negatively impact one’s physical and mental health just as any other stimulant substance (such as cocaine or meth) would when abused.
Physical Side Effects
Being a stimulant, Adderall consumption impacts the overall functionality and wellbeing of the cardiovascular system, including the heart. When taken as prescribed, Adderall poses very minimal risk one’s heart health, however, when abused, the chances of suffering a serious problem that involves the heart, blood flow, or the veins are much more likely. Specifically, Adderall addiction can cause the following effects:
- Heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat that can trigger stroke and heart failure)
- Heart disease (including angina, cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, and endocarditis)
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Heart palpitations
Generally speaking, the persistent abuse of Adderall can weaken the entire cardiovascular system and its many functions, making any one of the above-listed risks a possibility. In addition to the damage that the cardiovascular system can experience when someone abuses Adderall frequently and/or in large amounts includes other significant physical effects, such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Hair loss
As always, the risk of overdose is present anytime someone abuses Adderall, even if it is the very first time he or she uses it. When someone overdoses on Adderall, it means that his or her body is incapable of processing the amount of Adderall that he or she has consumed. As a result, any number of the following symptoms can develop:
- Anxiety and panic
- Blurred or foggy vision
- Fast heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle weakness
- Dark red or brown urine
In the event that an Adderall overdose is occurring or is suspected to be occurring, it is absolutely vital to call 911 and get professional medical help before it is too late.
Psychological Side Effects
Adderall is a medication that directly interacts with one’s brain when abused. The more this substance is consumed, the more that the brain will become impacted in ways the can promote negative and potentially dangerous mental health problems. Adderall can also affect the body in ways that make psychological issues more likely to develop as a result of abuse. The abuse of this specific prescription medication can lead to the following psychological side effects:
- Problems concentrating
- Lack of motivation
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts and/or ideations
- Panic attacks
Like most drugs, “rebound symptoms” can occur both when a substance is abused too much or when an individual stops taking it. In relation to Adderall, when someone continues to abuse it over a long period of time, he or she can start to suffer from poor concentration and focus, as well as lack of energy – all things that he or she is abusing Adderall to improve upon. However, despite these effects occurring and despite an individual possibly wanting to stop using, the brain has altered itself significantly enough that it still craves the continued use of Adderall. In order to break this deadly cycle, individuals addicted to Adderall can benefit from enrolling in Adderall addiction rehab, where they can detox from this substance and begin establishing long-term recovery.
When it comes to the withdrawal from Adderall, there are a number of different factors that determine how serious these symptoms are going to be. These include:
- How long did the user take the medication? Did the Adderall use continue for years, or has the user been taking the medication for just a few months? Long-term users likely have a greater dependence and tolerance to the drug, and the longer the person continues to use, the more difficult Adderall withdrawal can be.
- Is the person a recreational user or have they been using regularly throughout the day/night? People who are not addicted to Adderall can ingest one therapeutic dose of Adderall, but some continue to ingest the drug throughout the day to stay under the influence. It is going to be more difficult to withdraw from the medication for those who take it with greater frequency and abuse the drug.
- What subtype of Adderall is it? There are two different types of Adderall currently available: IR (immediate release) and XR (extended release). IR works faster but for a shorter period while XR takes longer to become effective but works longer. The IR versions are thought to be less debilitating, as there are intervals that the user is not actively ingesting the drug because its effectiveness spans a large amount of time.
- Is the user tolerant to Adderall? Like other drugs in the amphetamine class, it is easy to build a tolerance to Adderall. In the first few days or weeks of use, the user feels euphoric. However, if the user continues to use, he or she will be increasing the dosage in order to recreate that feeling. Those who are tolerant to Adderall and who have become dependent on it tend to experience more painful stages of withdrawal.
An addiction to Adderall does not usually develop if the user is taking it as directed by his or her doctor. Using Adderall as prescribed can make a person physically dependent on Adderall, but becomes addicted when a psychological need develops. With a psychological need, a person is willing to seek out the drug despite any negative life consequences that might occur as a result.
Each person is unique in his or her addiction to Adderall. As a result, no one will experience the exact same period of withdrawal. However, those who are addicted to Adderall and who stop using often develop a combination of some (or all) of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Stomach aches
- Abdominal cramping
- Suicidal thoughts
When someone is withdrawing from Adderall, he or she can experience these physical and psychological symptoms that can make this period in time very difficult to manage. Because of these symptoms, it is often recommended that individuals who are ready to end their addiction to Adderall enroll in a medically-monitored detox program in order to receive professional support to see them through.
DO I NEED ADDERALL ADDICTION REHAB?
With the disease of addiction tends to come a healthy dose of denial. As a result, those who are addicted to Adderall might have trouble getting to a point where they can admit that they have a problem and reach out and ask for help. However, when someone is aware of what quantifies the disease of addiction and what does not, knowing if professional help is needed or not is much easier.
The golden rule is that if at any time you feel as though you are not in control of your Adderall use or that you are putting yourself in danger, reaching out to an Adderall addiction rehab in the best possible choice to make. Unfortunately, for many, their abuse of Adderall is not as defined as that. Therefore, it is always important to consider the following when you are attempting to determine if you need Adderall addiction rehab or not:
- Do you use Adderall outside of prescribed guidelines?
- Are you using Adderall as a form of self-medication for physical and/or psychological concerns?
- Are you putting your Adderall use before other responsibilities in your life?
- Do you continue to use Adderall despite consequences you may have suffered due to your use?
- Do you use Adderall in unsafe situations, such as when driving, with strangers, or while watching children or pets?
- Has your use of Adderall gone on longer than planned?
- Is your personal and professional life being impacted by your Adderall abuse?
- Do you feel that you cannot function without Adderall?
- Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Adderall or decrease the amount you normally take?
- Do you spend an excessive amount of time thinking about Adderall?
If any of these questions apply to you, reaching out for help at an Adderall addiction rehab is your best option. While difficult to take that first step, everything that happens after making that call can change your life for the better. In fact, simply asking for help can save your life. Continuing to abuse Adderall in spite of these signs and symptoms of addiction will only lead you to a dead end. Addiction is a disease that is deadly if not properly treated and managed. However, by enrolling in an Adderall addiction rehab, you can regain control of your life and make your active addiction a thing of the past.
HOW ADDERALL ADDICTION REHAB CAN HELP
We know that withdrawing from Adderall produces a range of uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms. Exhaustion, cravings to use Adderall, increased appetite, intense anxiety, and changes in mood are common. The worse the addiction, the worse the withdrawal. We understand how the very thought of having to go through these symptoms in order to get sober can be overwhelming, however, the good news is that getting help at our Adderall addiction rehab can make this process and the rest of your recovery easier.
At our Adderall addiction rehab, we provide our clients with a comprehensive and holistic path to sobriety. Clients benefit from medically managed detox, the latest in successful, proven, cutting-edge addiction treatments and therapies, and the consistent support from our team. Clients will learn how and why their substance abuse became a problem and practice techniques to manage cravings and avoid the triggers that often precede drug abuse.
We have helped countless people addicted to Adderall overcome their active addiction at our Adderall addiction rehab. If you are addicted to Adderall and need help, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We can get you on the road to recovery, even if you have made attempts to get sober before but have been unsuccessful. Do not let another day pass you by. You cannot afford one more second of risking your life for the abuse of Adderall. At our Adderall addiction rehab, we have full confidence that you can put a stop to your addiction and begin building a life for yourself that is happy, healthy, and drug-free.
You are not alone in your journey. Call 12 Keys’ Adderall addiction rehab today for a free and confidential consultation.