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With so many students in high school and college abusing
it, Adderall is quickly becoming a growing concern. An addictive prescription
stimulant, this drug's effects are similar to those caused by cocaine. As a
direct result, even those who take it following orders from a doctor are also
highly likely to become addicted.
Since 2000, the number of prescription users has surged.
In fact, Adderall sales increased by over 3000% between 2002 and 2006. Although
these drugs came into the market through legitimate prescriptions, the
amplified distribution had the compounded effect of increasing the opportunity
Similarly, the fact that this medication is a potent
stimulant means that it can be difficult to recognize its abuse. People take it
to enhance their productivity and alertness, and most of them are highly
motivated individuals who don't display the telltale signs of addiction. As a
result, the vast majority succumb to its effects while others only get
treatment after an overdose.
Read on to learn more about Adderall addiction:
As a prescription medication, Adderall is comprised of
dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It is mostly used in the treatment of
narcolepsy and ADHD. Among ADHD patients, the stimulant increases alertness,
focus, and attention, thereby providing successful therapy. On the other hand, narcoleptic patients may
benefit by taking it to decrease fatigue.
The drug also acts as a potent CNS (central nervous
system) stimulant, making it one of the most commonly prescribed amphetamines.
However, the federal government has classified it as a Schedule II controlled
substance on account of its strong potential for addiction.
The following street nicknames are also used to refer to
At its most basic, Adderall comes in the form of a tablet
designed for oral ingestion, with typical doses ranging between 5 and 30mg. It
is also available in capsule form. However, those who abuse it may ingest the
crush the tablets up and snort the resulting powder. Others mix the powder with water and take it
By so doing, the drug rushes into the system and binds to
the dopamine and norepinephrine receptors in the brain and the adrenal glands
epinephrine receptors. This action increases the volume of feel good dopamine
chemicals in the brain, improve focus, and create a sense of euphoria.
Today, the drug is popular among students in college and
high school because they identify with its mythical ability to enhance academic
performance. Abusers often count on Adderall because they believe in its
euphoric and stimulant properties.
Adderall was designed to increase the levels of dopamine
(feel good chemical) in the brain, thereby creating a pleasant effect. Even
though this chemical occurs naturally, if you take substances like Adderall,
your brain might produce higher levels of it, causing you to want more of
With time, continued use of the medication may cause the
abuser to develop tolerance and be unable to function without it. The addict's
brain, at this point, might become so dependent on Adderall that they might end
up having to look for it whenever they need to stimulate productivity and
alertness. Without it, they are likely to feel mentally foggy and tired.
Since doctors prescribe Adderall, many people are deluded
into thinking that it is safe for anyone to use. However, continued abuse often
leads to serious addiction and long term side effects.
That said, many people who abuse Adderall do so because
of its ability to:
These effects make the drug the ultimate choice for
people looking to boost their mental or physical performance. However, taking
Adderall without a doctor's prescription or without following the doctor's
direction can prove to be damaging, and is considered to be a form of drug
abuse. It occurs in the following ways:
Abusing Adderall might result in a wide variety of both
short and long term effects with the potential to negatively impact your life.
Most of these effects are long-lasting and might lead to fatal outcomes.
Consider the following effects of Adderall abuse:
The side effects of both prescribed and non-prescribed
Adderall use range from the commonly mild to the severe. Consider the following
side effects that don't necessarily indicate abuse:
While looking for its immediate effects, many users might
choose to snort Adderall through the sinus cavity. Although this leads to an
intense high, snorting also carries serious side effects including:
Most people who take Adderall do not intend to become
addicted to it. In many cases, the problem starts with the user looking for a
way to increase their productivity on stressful days or while studying for
major tests. Some users might even fake ADHD symptoms to get a
With time, however, the user is likely to become addicted
to the drug and start prioritizing it over everything else in their lives. In
fact, the US National Library of Medicine asserts that abusing or misusing
Adderall might lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction among those who:
If you find yourself visiting many doctors so that you
can get multiple Adderall prescriptions, or if you ever have two or more active
prescriptions for the medication, it is highly likely that you have a problem
with the drug.
Regular Adderall use and abuse might cause severe
problems including potentially lethal overdose. After you go off label and
start abusing this drug, the risk of overdose is likely to increase.
Consider the following signs of Adderall overdose:
Since overdose on stimulants like Adderall tends to lead
to grave health consequences, it is imperative that you call your local
emergency services or 911 immediately if you suspect you have overdosed or
In many cases, Adderall's withdrawal symptoms are quite
unlike its effects. While the drug might increase your energy levels, euphoria,
and concentration, the crush you experience after you've gone off the drug is
likely to result in these effects reversing.
Once you become addicted to it, you may end up spending
more resources and time, and greater energy looking for and taking Adderall
while ignoring your school, personal, family, and work obligations.
Some of the common withdrawal symptoms resulting from
Adderall use, abuse, and addiction include but are not limited to:
Taking Adderall might physically change the
neuro-circuitry in your brain. This often leads to an alteration of behavior
accompanied by a series of such mental disorders as depression. Addiction also
carries the risk of acquiring suicidal thoughts.
Although some users inject this medication to enjoy a
better high, such inject may lead to a fatal overdose. Additionally, several
athletes who used Adderall to enhance their performance succumbed to the drug
because the increased blood pressure led to cardiac arrest and heat stroke.
It is for these reasons and more that amphetamines such
as Adderall are now banned by the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
Doctors increased the prescriptions for Adderall nearly
five times between 2002 and 2012. By so doing, they effectively made it easier
for curious or interested parties to get their hands on the drug from family
members and friends.
Compared to other drugs, Adderall is not quite as
stigmatized. As such, it might be difficult to recognize when your loved ones
have a problem with this drug. Further, although not all users and abusers are
addicted, this medication is also a slippery slope that you might eventually
need it when you are looking to increase your productivity or to stay
The key to understanding Adderall use, abuse, dependence,
and addiction lies often depends on your ability to spot certain behaviors. For
instance, most addicts might prioritize getting and using the medication over
everything else because they might not be able to function unless they get
their short. Since addicts have a hard time controlling the amount of the drug
they take, it is highly likely that they might also ignore important familial
and social obligation.
According to the American Psychiatric Association's DSM
(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the following are some
of the main characteristics of addiction to Adderall:
However, most of the signs and symptoms of Adderall abuse
and addiction may affect your behavior and body. These signs include but are
not limited to:
As mentioned above, the symptoms you get when you
withdrawal from Adderall might make it difficult for you to quit on your own.
Therefore, if you are addicted and decide to quit cold turkey, the chances are
high that you might experience critical effects that are quite the opposite of
the effects from the drug. These symptoms include unusually slow heart beat,
loss of concentration, and fatigue.
NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse) has extensive
information about the main types of recovery services available for dealing
with the abuse of drugs like Adderall, among other stimulants.
The two main approaches include psychotherapy and MAT
(medication-assisted treatment). Whereas detox might be provided by any site
within the rehab center, the ultimate treatment might involve a combination of
effective options, both from the outpatient and inpatient industries.
Since Adderall is a stimulant, addiction is highly likely
to require the highly intense behavioral therapy referred to as the Matrix
Model. NIDA also reports that this treatment approach is particularly effective
for stimulant addiction. It works mostly because of the formation of a close relationship
between the therapist and the patient while working on getting the patient to
improve their sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
This model comes with:
Last but not least, you might want to check in with
aftercare services, such as sober living facilities, support groups, and 12-step
programs for resources on how to continue with life after recovery at the end
of your initial treatment regimen.
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