Table of Contents
Written by Amethyst Recovery
Amethyst Recovery is a foremost authority on addiction and a trusted online source of substance abuse information. Their expert team of addiction professionals provide well researched content for people in the grip of addiction. All posts are fact checked and sourced.
What Causes Adderall to Be Addictive?
Sometimes there is a sense that because a drug is available by prescription somehow it’s not dangerous or it doesn’t have risks. In reality, some of the most dangerous substances are prescription medications, including the stimulant Adderall. Many people ultimately have to seek Adderall inpatient residential treatment when an addiction develops.
Adderall is a brand-name combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s a powerful central nervous system stimulant, used to treat ADHD and less commonly, narcolepsy. The goal of Adderall when it’s prescribed is to help people focus and concentrate. However, it’s often recreationally abused. Due to the widespread prescribing of Adderall, it’s also easily available.
Adderall is addictive because of its effects on the brain and the entire central nervous system. When someone uses the drug, especially at high doses, they are likely to feel euphoria. Adderall can cause a person to feel an inflated sense of self-confidence, energy, sociability and basically as if they can conquer the world. All of this occurs because it triggers a release of high levels of dopamine in the brain and body.
Dopamine and the Development of Addiction
Dopamine is a naturally-occurring brain neurotransmitter often described as a feel-good brain chemical. When the brain is exposed to a pleasurable stimulus, dopamine is released. This is what happens with Adderall, but the release of dopamine occurs at an unnaturally high level.
The brain’s wired to seek out stimuli producing pleasure. In this case, it’s the drug Adderall. Once an addiction develops, the use of Adderall is no longer in control of the person. Adderall usage becomes compulsive and driven by the brain’s reward and response system.
This is why addiction is characterized as a brain disease and a chronic disorder. The exposure to Adderall changes the functionality and the chemical makeup of the brain. These ongoing changes have to be dealt with during Adderall rehab in most cases.
While Adderall addiction is more likely to occur when someone abuses it, it can occur in people who use it with a prescription as well. However, risk factors for becoming addicted include:
- Using higher doses of Adderall than prescribed
- Using Adderall for longer periods than prescribed
- Using it without a prescription
- Snorting or injecting it for increased effects
- Combining it with other substances
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Diagnosing An Adderall Addiction
Adderall, which is similar in many ways to cocaine, is frequently abused by high school and college students as well as young adults. It gives them not only a sense of confidence and euphoria, but it can also help them study or work for long periods. It’s a popular performance enhancer.
Because of how common its use is, particularly in younger crowds, people may not realize they are addicted to Adderall for quite some time.
Symptoms of addiction that could indicate a person may need professional Adderall treatment include:
- Drug-seeking behaviors such as doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions or spending large amounts of time and money trying to get more
- Maintaining a stash of Adderall
- Becoming secretive or withdrawing from friends or family
- Declining school or work performance
- Lack of attention to self-care or even hygiene
A medical professional, mental health or addiction professional, can diagnose an Adderall addiction and help someone determine what type of rehab program might be a good fit for them.
What Is Residential Adderall Treatment?
For someone who is struggling with an addiction, a residential Adderall program might be the correct first step in treatment. A residential rehab program is one that usually begins with a medical detox.
Following detox, patients stay in the facility during their treatment. Their days are very scheduled and organized.
The Importance of a Medical Detox
With amphetamine drugs like Adderall, seeking professional treatment during withdrawal and detox is essential. Adderall withdrawal symptoms can include changes in heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, seizure, and paranoia.
A residential rehab with an onsite detox facility is the safest option. These symptoms can be monitored and managed, and the patient can then move directly into treatment once they’ve detoxed from Adderall.
Short- and Long-Term Residential Treatment
Within the broader category of Adderall inpatient treatment, there are short- and long-term programs.
A short-term inpatient Adderall treatment program is usually one that lasts around 30 days or less. Sometimes a short-term program might be classified as one lasting fewer than 60 days. Following a short-term residential program, most patients then continue for ongoing treatment in an outpatient setting.
For people with severe Adderall addiction or severe mental illness, a longer term rehab might be the right treatment approach. In some cases, long-term inpatient rehab can last for anywhere from six to 12 months.
The goal of a long-term Adderall program is to help patients re-learn how to function in society once again.
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The Benefits of Residential Treatment for Adderall Addiction
Making the decision to go to an inpatient Adderall rehab program can be difficult. Patients have to leave their home and their families, as well as their jobs, or other responsibilities. That’s not easy, but the payoff can be something that changes the life of the patient.
Staying in treatment for long enough and also receiving adequate, comprehensive treatment are important indicators of long-term outcomes for addiction treatment.
Some of the benefits of inpatient rehab for Adderall addiction include:
- Dual diagnosis care can be provided for someone with co-occurring mental health disorders. Drug addiction is often accompanied by undiagnosed or untreated psychiatric conditions. During inpatient, residential rehab, these conditions can be diagnosed and effectively treated, which improves overall outcomes and quality of life for the patient.
- Holistic treatment can be provided. When someone is addicted to Adderall, treatment is about more than helping them to stop using that drug. The person’s physical and spiritual needs should be considered as well.
- When you attend inpatient treatment for an Adderall addiction, it gives you the opportunity to leave the environment of your addiction behind. This includes stress and other triggers that could increase the likelihood of a relapse.
- There is an inherent sense of support that takes place in residential rehab, from both the staff as well as other patients.
Inpatient residential treatment for Adderall addiction can change the trajectory of your life. If you’d like to learn more about what to expect from an inpatient rehab program, please contact Amethyst Recovery Center.
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