Despite their stamp of approval by physicians, all prescription drugs run risks with use. When you’re prescribed medication, a doctor believes that the positive effects will outweigh any adverse issues you may run into. However, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Prescription medications may cause addiction if you start ignoring the recommended dose. Prescription drugs are generally safe in moderation, but abuse often leads to the road of addiction.

Adderall is a stimulant medication given by doctors to treat symptoms associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug improves the quality of life for tens of thousands of individuals who follow the instructions each year. Still, in many cases, Adderall may find its way into the hands of those who weren’t prescribed and lead to abuse. Adderall addiction is a topic that must be taken seriously. 

John Hopkins University released figures showing that Adderall misuse is the highest among 18-to-25-year-olds that primarily obtain the medication from friends or family members without a prescription. An estimated 84.3 percent of Americans met with healthcare specialists last year, placing doctors in a precarious position to identify who needed medicine. 

Unfortunately, the staggering amount of people led to overprescription throughout the country. One issue with overprescribing is that when these medications are only used as needed, it leads to drugs left over. Without oversight from a trained medical expert, it can lead to abuse, or even worse, Adderall addiction

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant drug that contains the active ingredients of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These potent central nervous system stimulants affect chemicals in our brain and nerves that reduce hyperactivity and impulse control in those struggling with ADHD. The effects from one person to another may vary based on if you’re diagnosed with the condition.

Adderall may produce high energy, euphoria, increased concentration, or feelings of self-confidence. It may cause a long-lasting high, but it’s intended to improve concentration levels in those having issues focusing. The unintended side effects the drug produces are often what lead to Adderall addiction. 

Adderall in a blister package on a light blue surfaceDepending on the user’s intentions, Adderall can become habit-forming, which is more likely if the person has a prior drug abuse history. Someone who’s prescribed the medication and uses it for its intended purpose at school or work can avoid building a tolerance, but those looking to get high will quickly develop a tolerance to the drug because of the increased dose required. 

Adderall is designed to be taken orally, but a popular method among those who abuse the drug is to snort it. Snorting Adderall can lead to adverse effects – oral consumption breaks the dose down to distribute the drugs safely in the system, while snorting will lead to a rapid onset of the effects. Using the medicine this way can lead to an overdose, causing the person to fall into a coma, develop brain damage, or death.

What are the Effects of Adderall?

Adderall’s effects will vary from one user to another based on the illness it’s targeted to treat. If you take Adderall for ADHD, you will experience different effects than someone who does not have the same condition.Common side effects of Adderall include:

  • Sleeping problems: Sleep problems may present themselves in those using Adderall because of its stimulant properties.
  • Improved attention span: Adderall helps “kick-start” chemicals in the brain of individuals struggling with ADHD.
  • Shortness of breath: One of the more severe side effects, Adderall may cause you to experience shortness of breath. If this occurs, you must contact the prescribing physician immediately.
  • Dry mouth: One of the more common side effects, dry  mouth is caused by a reduction in saliva due to dehydration.
  • Slowed growth: Children that are prescribed the medication may struggle with delayed growth as their bodies develop. You must speak with the prescribing physician and consider if the positives outweigh the negatives.

Signs of Adderall Abuse

Adderall is most often prescribed to teens and young adults, and because of this, there’s a higher chance of abuse occurring. You must be aware of Adderall abuse warning signs if you or a loved one is prescribed the medication. Here are some of the most common signs that could indicate a potential Adderall addiction:

  • Taking higher than the recommended dose
  • Using Adderall beyond its intended purpose, such as snorting the drug
  • Consuming Adderall for any reason other than its medical need, such as staying awake for long periods
  • Using the medication more often than prescribed
  • Doctor shopping to get additional Adderall prescriptions.
  • Purchasing the medication from a friend or family member

If you believe someone is abusing Adderall, there are other signs that point toward long-term abuse, including:

  • Slowed speech
  • Dizziness
  • Complaints of weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Mania
  • Hives

As you might expect with any disease, early detection is crucial to saving someone from Adderall addiction. Drug abuse may lead to irreversible damage, but catching it early can change someone’s life trajectory. Continue reading to learn more about how Adderall addiction is treated. 

How is Adderall Addiction Treated?

There are many steps in this crucial process, but the first is intake. Once a person has agreed to get the help they need, they will meet with clinicians to determine the best course of action. Medical professionals will carefully weigh the options and look at how long the person abused Adderall, their dosage, and other factors that relate to their lifestyle. 

The following step will be to place the person into detox, which will aid the individual as they go through the challenging process of removing all traces of Adderall from their system. The medical staff will choose the best option for the most comfortable detox possible. Dedicated professionals will be around 24-hours a day to ensure the process goes smoothly. 

Once detox is complete, addiction therapy will start, and the journey toward long-term and meaningful sobriety begins. Depending on the severity of the addiction, it may mean residential treatment for up to 90 days on-site. You will receive regular therapy and have the security of living away from temptation. 

There are several approaches to treatment, including individual and group therapy, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and special classes that focus on the dangers of Adderall. You will also take part in special activities that help you gain control back of your life. 

Once addiction treatment concludes, the journey has just begun. All of the tools you’ve learned during intensive therapy will be on full display as you navigate back into the real world. Clinical therapists will help you create a relapse prevention plan and post-therapy approach that suits your lifestyle. It may include NA meetings, follow-up appointments, or counseling. There is a life after addiction with the right help.

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