Adderall is one of the most commonly prescribed Amphetamines. With effects similar to meth, it usually is meant to treat people with ADHD and in some cases narcolepsy. The drug improves attention spans, hyperactivity, and impulse control, and gives users increased focus, along with a rush of energy. Other desired effects include a sense of well-being and increased confidence.
Adderall has a very strong addictive potential due to its accessibility, seemingly positive effects, and the brains changing tolerance level when taken too often.
What to Know About Adderall
Adderall is a stimulant, a type of drug that speeds up messages traveling between the brain and the body. When taken, the drug works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the Central Nervous System.
Even when taken responsibly and how it’s prescribed, Adderall can form a dependence on it in the brain. However, dependence is different than Adderall addiction.
The differences between dependence and addiction:
- A dependency on Adderall is caused by the natural physiological response to the drug. Addiction is typically a psychological/physical dependence because they are chasing the high.
- An individual dependent on Adderall often needs a physician’s assistance when getting off of the medication and dealing with the chemicals affecting the brain. On the other hand, an addicted person does not wish to discontinue use, and instead is obsessing over how to obtain more because they can’t cope with not using.
Dangers of Adderall Addiction
Due to high usage and accessibility, it’s easy for individuals to begin abusing Adderall. Since the drug provides seemingly positive effects, it may make sense why people choose to use it too often.
Like most drugs, too much use produces more negative effects than good, and when taken too often or at too high of dosages, the brain’s chemicals can move into dependency on the drug, as explained above. If continued, that dependency can move into an addiction.
Signs of an Adderall addiction can include:
- Suffering withdrawal symptoms such as depression, fatigue, nausea when not using
- Needing to take more amounts to feel the effects of the drug
- Not having the ability to cut down on use
- Being unable to finish school/work without Adderall
- Continuing use of the drug even after knowing or experiencing its harmful effects
- Choosing Adderall over other activities you once enjoyed
- Feeling inattentive without the drug
Students and professionals, specifically high school and college students, use Adderall frequently. Its ability to help them stay focused, stay awake longer, and be attentive in a stressful situation is one of its main selling points. Naturally, the student or professional begins to rely heavily on Adderall to be successful, and instead of weaning off of the drug, they require more and more.
Athletes are also common Adderall abusers. Since side effects of the drug include fighting fatigue and giving focus, you can imagine how this would be attractive to an athlete in both practice and professional games. Sadly, individuals with eating disorders also abuse Adderall, due to its ability to suppress appetites.
Although not an all-inclusive list, the types of people above are more susceptible to Adderall addiction and should be made aware of its dangers.
Adderall Overdose Warnings
Misusing Adderall has risky side effects. These can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Erratic heartbeat
- Increased anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Severe weight loss
When an addict starts experiencing the above symptoms, instead of the initial positive ones, they usually try to increase their intake instead of stopping use. This can lead to an Adderall overdose and even death. Signs of an Adderall overdose include:
- Chest pain
- Irregular breathing, specifically fast
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Prescription rates: According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), there were approximately 16 million prescriptions for amphetamines, including Adderall, written in the United States in 2012.
- Misuse among college students: A 2018 study published in the journal “Addictive Behaviors” reported that about 17% of U.S. college students misused prescription stimulants, such as Adderall, at least once in their lifetime.
- Non-medical use: The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported in 2016 that about 5.5 million people aged 12 and older in the United States used prescription stimulants, like Adderall, for non-medical purposes in the past year.
- Age demographics: According to the same 2016 NSDUH report, young adults aged 18-25 had the highest rate of prescription stimulant misuse, with 9.4% reporting non-medical use in the past year.
- Reasons for misuse: The 2016 NSDUH report also found that the most common reason for misusing prescription stimulants like Adderall was to improve concentration (56.3%), followed by staying awake (21.9%) and getting high (14.9%).
- Treatment admissions: The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) reported that in 2015, about 9,250 treatment admissions in the United States were related to amphetamine use disorders, which includes Adderall.
These statistics highlight the prevalence of Adderall use, misuse, and related treatment admissions. However, it is essential to note that the numbers may have changed since the data was collected. For the most recent and accurate information, consult up-to-date sources, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or peer-reviewed journal articles.
Get Help Now
Emerge Healing Center is a professional treatment facility that offers comprehensive support and care for individuals struggling with Adderall addiction. Recognizing the unique needs of each person, the center provides a tailored approach to help clients overcome addiction and regain control of their lives.
At Emerge Healing Center, the journey to recovery begins with a thorough assessment and evaluation by a team of experienced professionals. They develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the specific challenges and needs of each client, ensuring the most effective path to recovery.
Outpatient treatment options allow clients to maintain their daily routines while attending therapy and counseling sessions. The center also offers evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, and support groups to help clients address the root causes of addiction, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and build a strong support network.
Emerge Healing Center is committed to providing holistic care that encompasses physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The dedicated team of professionals works tirelessly to help clients achieve lasting recovery and a healthier, more fulfilling life free from Adderall addiction.