Unlike many other prescription drugs, Adderall will not cause an addiction in individuals who truly need it as long as they stick to the prescribed dosages.
However, since there is easy access to Adderall in the medicine cabinets of family or friends, illegally over the Internet or on the street, people who have no medical need for the drug are now taking it in great numbers and in much larger doses than intended.
Why is a prescription medication used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) being craved by the masses you may ask? It is due to the fact the drug has the opposite effect on adults than on children with ADHD.
You see for those struggling with ADHD, Adderall calms down the brain allowing them to concentrate better. Whereas for the rest of the population Adderall acts as a stimulant, reducing the need for sleeping or eating while still improving focus and concentration. These effects are very tempting for some segments of the population.
Why Does Adderall Addiction Start?
Adderall is an amphetamine that causes hyper-stimulation throughout the brain and nervous system. People who abuse it report that it makes them feel strong, self-assured and full of energy. With this extra energy and confidence, they are able to accomplish everything on an overextended to-do list and then some. In addition to extra energy, Adderall also represses an individual’s appetite and therefore causes weight loss.
These results of taking Adderall come in especially handy on college campuses where students oftentimes have overly ambitious schedules and are prone to depression and weight gain as they adjust to life away from home for the first time. In fact, Adderall has been given the name “college crack” at universities around the country because its use has become commonplace on many campuses.
Adderall addiction starts as an emotional dependence with thoughts such as:
- “I need the drug to get good grades and succeed in life.”
- “Without Adderall, I’ll be fat and no one will like me.”
- “I’m way more fun at parties when I’ve taken an Adderall.
These types of thoughts drive the initial phases of Adderall abuse. When the drug moves out of the system, the individual crashes and and is completely physically worn out. The exhaustion propels the need for more Adderall.
If someone has been occasionally taking Adderall, they can generally stop using it without negative physical consequences. On the other hand, individuals who have been taking Adderall in dosages and frequencies outside of what is prescribed by physicians will experience physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms if they stop using or are unable to get their hands on the drug.
The experience of any of the following symptoms when Adderall use is halted is a sign that abuse of the drug has now turned into an addiction:
- Irritable mood
- Inability to sleep
- Inability to perform normal daily activities
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Lack of appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
If someone with an Adderall addiction runs out, they may seek out other prescription drugs to ease the withdrawal symptoms. Medications used for anxiety, depression and sleep such as Valium, Xanax and Ambien are all drugs targeted for this purpose.
Who Is at Risk?
The people most at risk to develop an Adderall addiction are seemingly polar opposite personality types:
- Ambitious, competitive individuals who tend to push the limits of what they can accomplish
- Individuals who suffer from depression and/or are overweight
The outcomes of a recent survey of 119 university campuses showed that shockingly up to a quarter of students at some schools disclosed having used Adderall as a way to study longer and with more focus. Further research showed that college students in their late teens and early twenties were more likely to take Adderall without a prescription than those in the same age range who were not attending school. Although anyone may develop a problem with Adderall, competition among college students to maintain high grades seems to be one of the biggest factors in the impulse to start experimenting with the drug.
The Most Effective Way to Stop
The best way to find lasting sobriety in the aftermath of an Adderall addiction is at a professional rehabilitation program. If you or someone you care about has a problem with Adderall then contact us immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the addiction will become.
We have experienced counselors standing by 24 hours a day to help you take the first step of the journey to recovery. We can assist you in finding the most effective evidence-based Adderall addiction treatment for your individual needs.
Pick up the phone and let us help you today.