Adderall addiction is a type of prescription drug addiction and characterized by a physical and/or psychological dependence upon the drug.
Stimulant in nature, patients who struggle with addiction often develop the issue when they abuse the drug in order to stay up later and accomplish work or school projects, create art or party longer. Those who are addicted often stay up for days at a time then crash for days at a time when the drug wears off. Unfortunately, the drug can be debilitating, making it almost impossible for patients to function in a regular schedule and causing psychological issues that last a long time.
When used according to doctor’s orders, it can be effective in treating issues like narcolepsy and ADHD. However, side effects can include restlessness, nervousness, uncontrollable shaking, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, and more. According to PubMed Health, these side effects can grow worse with abuse and can mean problems like tics, chest pain, hallucinations, mania, aggression or hostility, fever, difficulty breathing and/or increased heart rate – all of which can cause serious health and social issues.
If Adderall abuse or addiction is an issue for you or someone you care about, call us today.
We can help you to locate a rehab program that will help you fight the issue of addiction and find a sense of balance in your life.
What Is Adderall Addiction?
Adderall is a stimulant drug that is most commonly prescribed to treat ADHD in children. For children living with the hyperactivity disorder, the medication can have a calming effect. However, in children without the disorder and in adults, it has a stimulating effect, providing the user with a rush that can last for hours and that is characterized by high energy and increased metabolism. Users of the drug may stay awake for days on end, usually with the goal of finishing a project or accomplishing a goal and then “crash” or sleep for a few days when the medication finally wears off.
When this happens in regular cycles, an dependence becomes a serious issue. As time goes on, the user will need to take more and more of the medication in order to experience the same amount of stimulation. Additionally, an addict will have observable mood swings which will become more prevalent and erratic. This will lead to possible outbursts of anger and hostility both while the patient is under the influence of the drug and when he or she is in a period of recuperation after a binge.
Who Develops Dependence?
Because so many teens have a prescription for this drug, Dependence is most likely to develop among teenagers who have a prescription for the medication in relation to an ADHD diagnosis made in childhood. As their body chemistry changes, even if they are diagnosed with ADHD, the pills may cease to have a calming effect and instead provide the stimulating effect described above. Teens who enjoy this feeling are unlikely to report the change to parents or doctors. Additionally, teens may share their medication with their friends as well, passing the addiction issue onto them.
Another group likely to develop an addiction are parents who manage their teen’s prescription. A number of patients seeking treatment for stimulant addiction report that their addiction started when they manipulated their child’s prescription, asking the doctor for higher doses, augmenting medications or emergency prescription to replace “lost” pills in order to skim extra doses off the top.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, full-time college students make up one of the largest demographics of abusers. The latest research says that they are twice as likely as other young adults in the same age group to abuse the drug regularly. Additionally, they are more likely than older adults who abuse the drug to combine it with other illicit substances, thus increasing the risks of abuse and addiction as well as potential overdose and other health problems like heart attack and stroke. They are also more likely to attempt to counter the stimulant effects in order to get the sleep they need for class and work by taking sedatives or tranquilizers, both of which come with their own risks of addiction, overdose and health problems.
How Is Addiction Identified?
When the patient is unable to successfully get off this rollercoaster of abuse or feels as if he or she cannot accomplish anything without taking the drug, Adderall addiction is an issue.
Adderall addiction is identifiable by a cycle of active use characterized by high energy and high activity followed by a period of “down time” in which the medication wears off and the patient sleeps and often feels extremely depressed. Even if it is possible to hide the signs of addiction for a while, most will begin to exhibit significant personality changes associated with malnutrition, lack of sleep and erratic mood swings, and any benefits that might have been gained through increased energy and focus are soon lost to the negative health and social consequences.
Do Abusers Use Other Drugs?
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that those who abuse often abuse other illicit substances in large numbers.
According to data culled in 2006 and 2007, the most popular drugs of abuse for those who regularly abuse include:
- Marijuana (79.9 percent ingest marijuana regularly in addition to Adderall)
- Pain relievers (44.9 percent of users also took pain relievers non-medically; 8.6 percent preferred OxyContin specifically and 2.2 percent report abuse of sedatives)
- Hallucinogens (32.2 percent of users also abuse hallucinogens; 7.1 percent report that their hallucinogen of choice is LSD)
- Cocaine (28.9 percent of abusers also use cocaine; about 3.8 percent report abuse of methamphetamines)
- Tranquilizers (24.5 percent of those who use also abuse tranquilizers)
- Ecstasy (14.8 percent of users also report past-year ecstasy use)
- Inhalants (9.4 percent of those who abuse say that also use inhalants)
What Are the Risks?
Because Adderall is a stimulant, it can cause significant issues with the cardiac system. Arrhythmia, cardiac events, stroke and seizures are not uncommon either due to using too much in the short term or caused by cumulative abuse over time. The possibility of overdose, too, is always a risk, especially when the medication is combined with other drugs of addiction like cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol and other drugs.
Socially, when others tire of the erratic mood swings that come with addiction, patients may find themselves isolated and alone when they most need support. Financially and socially, there are risks with addiction, as well. Prescriptions are expensive and many patients struggling with addiction find it difficult to maintain a steady focus and drive at work. This can mean lost jobs and lost opportunities, in terms of promotions and career growth.
What Does an Overdose Look Like?
If you believe that you have taken too much Adderall, contact the local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If someone you are with has taken a large amount, with or without other drugs of addiction, and has lost consciousness or stopped breathing, call 911 immediately.
If you are unsure what an overdose may look like, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the symptoms include the following:
- Confusion or restlessness
- Dark red urine
- Unfocused or focused aggression, hostility or severe depression
- Intense panic or anxiety
- High fever
- Fatigue or weakness
- Muscle aches or pains
- Increased heart rate and breathing
- Dizziness and fainting
- Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Blurred vision, visual hallucinations or aural hallucinations
Find Treatment Today
If you would like to find an Adderall addiction treatment program that will work for you, contact us today.
Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to discuss your needs for treatment, the types of services that would most effectively serve you, and how you would like to proceed with the enrollment process. Don’t wait to get the help you need to fight Adderall addiction. Call now.
How is it Treated? +
Addiction is treated much like any stimulant addiction – through drug detoxification, addiction treatment and aftercare services at a rehab center. Inpatient or residential addiction treatment is usually recommended in order to give the patient the necessary time to build a solid foundation in recovery before returning back home.
The more time the patient can invest in treatment, the more likely it is that he or she will be able to fend off relapse and create a strong support system that sustains relapse prevention before serious temptations or triggers strike.
What are the Benefits? +
Choosing an treatment program when dependence is an issue can help the patient who cannot quit alone to make the necessary changes required to start a new life. More than just a physical issue, addiction is also a psychological and emotional issue, and it is essential that patients learn new mechanisms for coping with their view of themselves, others and their interactions out in the world if they are to sustain sobriety. Treatment can provide all of these things when comprehensive care designed to meet the personal needs of each patient is the foundation of the program.
Patients who follow through with a thorough and effective treatment plan can expect the following benefits:
- Detox assistance. Adderall is physically addictive and medical care can make the detox process more comfortable and effective than attempting to stop taking the drug alone.
- Therapeutic care. The development of addiction to any illicit substance is a psychological issue and the provision of therapy addresses the underlying concerns that may be informing Adderall addiction.
- Therapeutic support. The care of psychotherapeutic professional can provide a cohesive foundation of support that aids patients in getting the most out of every aspect of treatment.
- Peer support. Friends and acquaintances made during rehab can help the patient to feel less alone, build positive relationships, and learn how to communicate and interact effectively with others.
- Relapse prevention. Stopping the abuse of Adderall is a big part of treatment, but learning how to make long-lasting changes that support the prevention of relapse is the only way to find sustained sobriety. This, too, is a benefit of treatment.
- Educational classes. Learning the physiological and factual evidence that supports how it alters the brain and destroys the function of many organ systems can be instrumental in helping patients to fight their addiction to the medication.
- Aftercare services. Sustained support and regular reminders of the principles of treatment and sobriety long after Adderall rehab is over is an essential part of building a long-term recovery.
Pay for Addiction Treatment
If you have health insurance, a portion of the cost of rehab should be covered by your policy. If you don’t have insurance or if your policy won’t cover a significant amount of the costs, financing is always available. A variety of loans can be designed to suit your budget and your family’s future financial needs.
The process of securing a loan to pay for treatment is perhaps one of the simplest parts of paying for treatment.
Though it can take weeks of phone calls, letters and faxes to secure claims made to your health insurance company, the remaining amount necessary to pay for the unpaid portion of treatment can be secured in just a few days. Unsecured loans, secured loans, low-interest payments and no-interest payments on repayment periods of your choice are all determined by your circumstances and financial need.