Adderall is a stimulant medication that’s used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug contains amphetamines, which are a class of drugs that work as central nervous system stimulants. They particularly work on a chemical in the brain called dopamine, which is tied to reward and motivation. People may abuse Adderall for euphoric effects that are similar to cocaine, though not as potent.
However, Adderall may also be abused as a performance-enhancing drug. Students and athletes take Adderall and other ADHD medications to increase focus, improve cognition, and to increase energy levels. However, Adderall abuse can lead to substance use problems and addiction. Learn more about Adderall addiction and how it can be treated.
What Are the Signs of Adderall Addiction?
Addiction is a severe substance use disorder that’s characterized by compulsive drug use. It’s often identified when a person can’t stop using a drug even when it’s starting to cause severe problems in their life. Addiction is progressive, which means that it can get worse over time if it’s not addressed. Addiction can begin to take over different parts of your life, including your finances, health, and relationships. It can also cause physical signs like insomnia, irritability, depression, and fatigue. Common signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction include:
- Strange sleep schedule
- Needing the drug to feel normal
- Hiding the drug
- Lying about drug use
- Appetite and weight loss
- Pounding heartbeat
- Mood swings
- Blurred vision
How Is Adderall Addiction Treated?
Adderall abuse can lead to chronic addiction, but it can be treated. Addiction treatment often begins with a medical and clinical evaluation. If you have high-level medical needs, or if you’re likely to go through serious withdrawal symptoms, you may start with medical detox. Stimulants don’t usually cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, though it may be uncomfortable.
The most common symptoms are fatigue and depression, but you may feel other symptoms like nausea. If you don’t need 24-hour medically managed treatment, you may go through an inpatient program that offers 24-hour monitoring.
When you’re able to live at home, you may go through an intensive outpatient program or a standard outpatient program. Through treatment, you’ll go through a variety of therapies that are tailored to your individual needs. Therapy options can include individual and group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention.
How Dangerous is Adderall?
Adderall is a stimulant that can be potent in high doses. As a stimulant, it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, especially when you take too much. Heart-related side effects can increase your risk of experiencing a stroke or heart failure. People with pre-existing heart conditions may be especially vulnerable.
The drug can also cause some psychological side effects, including anxiety, irritability, and depression. People that abuse Adderall for long periods of time may experience severe depression when they quit. In some cases, it can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. If you’re experiencing these withdrawal symptoms, seek help as soon as possible.