Table of Contents
Written by Amethyst Recovery
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Introduction to Adderall
The generic name for Adderall is amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, and it’s classified as a stimulant.
While there are approved medical uses for Adderall, as with so many other prescription drugs, it has a high abuse potential as well. Adderall’s effects, when it’s used recreationally, are similar to cocaine.
The effects are in part due to the increased dopamine levels Adderall creates in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasurable feelings. This can create a reward response in the brain, which can lead to Adderall addiction.
Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance in the U.S., indicating its significant potential to become addictive. This central nervous system stimulant is also the most frequently prescribed amphetamine.
“In 2010 alone, the total number of Adderall prescriptions topped 18 million,” according to Everyday Health.
Substance Treatment Options
- Adderall Rehab Options: If someone recognizes they are abusing Adderall or could be addicted to it, there are treatment options available. Someone with an Adderall addiction might opt for inpatient or outpatient rehab, or perhaps a combination of both.
- Adderall Detox: Along with being psychologically addictive, Adderall can lead to a physical dependence as well. Some people may require a supervised detox from the drug, particularly if they’re heavy or long-term users.
- Adderall Residential: Residential treatment for addiction requires patients check into a facility where they stay for a period of time. Residential treatment offers a safe, supportive environment and also removes stresses and triggers that could increase the likelihood of a relapse.
- Adderall Inpatient: Inpatient Adderall rehab is a residential form of treatment. There are short and long-term inpatient rehab programs. Most inpatient addiction treatment programs begin with an onsite medical detox and go from there.
- Adderall PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program): An Adderall PHP can be a form of addiction treatment that someone begins with, or that they move into once they’ve completed inpatient rehab. A PHP is also called day treatment and is the highest level of care outside of a medical detox and inpatient rehab.
- Adderall Outpatient: Outpatient rehab for Adderall doesn’t require the participant to live in a treatment facility. Adderall outpatient rehab offers flexibility, but it might not be the right option for every person struggling with addiction.
- Adderall Treatment Options: Treatment programs for Adderall addiction usually include a combination of individual and group therapy and counseling. Adderall treatment options may also include dual diagnosis care for co-occurring mental health disorders and holistic treatment.
- Types of Adderall Facilities: Adderall facilities include private rehab, government-funded rehab, and non-profit treatment facilities.
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When someone uses Adderall, it is speeding up their central nervous system. If someone is diagnosed with ADHD and they take the drug, it tends to help improve their ability to focus and concentrate. It can have the same effect on someone without ADHD, but using it recreationally can be dangerous and can lead to severe side effects.
If someone abuses Adderall outside of how it’s prescribed, without a prescription or without having ADHD they may feel intense focus and concentration. They are also likely to feel euphoria, a false sense of well-being, very confident, and talkative.
Adderall is commonly used by college students and young people as a way to help them study and stay awake for longer.
Adderall causes increases in energy, and it can improve academic performance or performance in other areas.
Adderall side effects include:
- Agitation or restlessness
- Dry mouth
- Changes in vision
- Rapid heartbeat or changes in blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
Adderall can also cause severe effects. For example, seizures can occur. Adderall, particularly when used in large doses, can cause problems with mental health and new or worsening symptoms of depression or anxiety. Adderall can also cause hallucinations or paranoia.
The more someone uses Adderall, and the longer they take it, the more likely severe or deadly effects are to occur. For example, heart attack and stroke can occur. If a person combines Adderall and alcohol, the likelihood of heart problems is even greater.
Signs of Adderall Addiction
When someone is abusing Adderall, they can quickly move into an area that might be diagnosed as an addiction.
Some possible signs of Adderall addiction can include:
- Continuing to use Adderall even when there are negative health effects—as an example, dangerous weight loss or ongoing insomnia
- Feeling like it’s difficult to function or perform properly without the use of Adderall
- The use of Adderall becomes a top priority, as does the need to obtain more
- There is a significant focus on maintaining a “stash” of Adderall
- Other responsibilities and interests take a backseat
- Putting oneself in danger while high on Adderall, or to get more
Addiction is a diagnosable condition. If someone believes they have a problem with Adderall or their loved one does, a medical professional or addiction professional can look at certain symptoms and make a diagnosis.
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Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
Adderall can be habit-forming not only regarding psychological addiction but also physically. When someone uses Adderall for a period of time, their body and the central nervous system can become dependent on it. As the person tries to stop using Adderall, withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur.
There are two different scenarios to be aware of in this situation. Adderall can cause a crash that someone experiences as the effects of the drug wear off. These aren’t necessarily the same as withdrawal symptoms that occur as the result of physical dependence.
Adderall withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Anxiety or feelings of unease
- Sleep disturbances which can range from insomnia to fatigue and sleeping too much
- Extreme hunger
- Panic attacks
- Lack of energy
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
With stimulants like Adderall, there aren’t specific medications approved to treat withdrawal symptoms. During a medical detox, specific symptoms can be treated as-needed, but Adderall withdrawal isn’t like opioid withdrawal in that there are medicines specifically for treatment.
If you feel that you’re struggling with substance abuse or addiction, or you want to help a loved one, contact Amethyst Recovery Center.
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