Adderall Addiction Treatment and Recovery
Adderall is a well-known stimulant medication that is used to treat people who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When taken as directed, it can help people concentrate better, control their impulses, and keep them alert. It can also be prescribed for people who have narcolepsy so they can stay awake during the day. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep or have difficulty staying awake.
As helpful as Adderall can be for conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy, it’s also one of the most commonly abused stimulants on the market. In June 2010, the Huffington Post called Adderall “the most abused prescription drug in America.” Learn more about how Adderall addiction develops and how you can get treatment for it.
WHAT IS ADDERALL?
Adderall is a combination stimulant comprised of two active ingredients:
• Amphetamine. Amphetamine is a stimulant that forces the brain to speed up certain functions, and it can make you feel more focused and awake. Though its use is legal when it’s prescribed and medically supervised, it has a high potential for abuse.
• Dextroamphetamine. This is similar in structure to amphetamine and blocks the reuptake of dopamine, which produces feelings of happiness and pleasure. This contributes to concentration and focusing abilities.
Adderall treats ADHD in children as young as 3 years old, and it can be used in adults as well. It can also treat narcolepsy in people who are at least 12 years old. Doctors will start you at the lowest possible effective dose. You can build a tolerance to Adderall, so it may not work the same over time. You will gradually receive higher doses, depending on how you respond to Adderall.
There are two formulations of Adderall:
• Immediate-release is usually taken every four to six hours, two to three times daily.
• Extended-release (Adderall XR): is taken in the morning and lasts the whole day.
Side effects of regular Adderall use include:
• Loss of appetite
• Dry mouth
• Weight loss
• Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
• Stomach issues
These side effects aren’t severe and they will most likely go away over time. Men may also experience erectile dysfunction (ED) when taking Adderall. To avoid this, you can ask your doctor for a lower dose that can handle ADHD effectively while not causing ED. You should also avoid taking Adderall before intercourse.
Sleep and Adderall Use Adderall is also known to cause sleep issues in teenagers with ADHD. This is because of the concentration issues that affect them can also make it difficult for them to fall and stay asleep.
It’s up to you and your doctor to make sure your child or teenager gets enough sleep. Ensure that your child takes Adderall at an appropriate time. A proper dosage allows your child to concentrate during school hours and focus enough to study at night but still allows them to relax enough to fall asleep.
CAN YOU BE ADDICTED TO ADDERALL?
Adderall abuse can rapidly lead to dependency and even addiction. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reported that between 2006 and 2011, a rising number of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 abused Adderall. In addition, the recreational use of Adderall rose 67 percent. Most of these people illegally obtained Adderall from friends or family.
Experimentation with Adderall may start as a one-time choice, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that misuse of prescription medication has risen steadily between 1999 and 2016.
Is Adderall Safe?
Adderall is safe when it’s prescribed and taken at the right dosage. However, if it’s consistently taken by people who don’t need it at the wrong dosage, it has a high potential for abuse. People who abuse Adderall usually obtain it from family or friends who have a prescription. Between 2006 and 2011, visits to the emergency room involving Adderall abuse rose 156 percent.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ADDERALL ABUSE
The following are common signs that you are abusing the medication:
• Becoming anxious once Adderall’s effects begin to wear off
• Crushing Adderall so you can snort it and feel its effects more quickly
• Chewing Adderall pills
• Spending significant time and money in an effort to obtain more Adderall
• Combining Adderall with other substances of abuse, including alcohol
• Taking Adderall in higher or more frequent doses than your doctor has instructed
• Taking Adderall that has been prescribed to someone else
• Taking Adderall for pleasure (to get high).
Not everyone who abuses Adderall conforms to the typical “doctor shopper” stereotype or visits dangerous drug dealers in order to get their hands on it.
Adderall XR: What is it, Effects, and Addiction
Adderall XR, along with other amphetamine containing medications, comprises some of the most highly prescribed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications. For example, 2014 alone saw nearly one million prescriptions for Adderall’s extended-release version and other amphetamine medications. (1) However, this common prescription has a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Here we take a look at the dangers of Adderall XR addiction.
What is Adderall XR?
Adderall XR is a prescription medication used for attention-deficient related disorders, including bipolar disorder. It is the extended-release version of Adderall, which contains a mix of amphetamine salts. It is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has the strictest regulations controlling its prescription and use. This is due to prescription amphetamines having stimulant effects similar to that of illegal drugs of abuse (like cocaine or methamphetamine). Adderall XR typically works over the course of 12 hours due to its extended-release mechanism.
Many users, however, crush the medication to eliminate the extended-release mechanism. (2) This also allows the user to snort Adderall
What are the effects of Adderall XR?
The effects of the drug mimic those of other stimulant drugs, also known as “uppers”. It is also abused commonly by college students and young adults due to the belief it will provide an academic edge. (3)
The following effects are associated with Adderall XR (4):
Loss of appetite
Is Adderall XR addictive?
Central nervous system stimulants have a high potential for both physical and physiological addiction. Adderall XR abuse causes the individual to develop a tolerance to the drug. This means that they will need to take more of the drug to achieve the same effect. Abuse of the prescription drug also causes physical dependence on the drug. This means that a withdrawal syndrome will occur if the user suddenly stops taking the medication.
Adderall XR withdrawal symptoms mirror that of other stimulant drugs, and include the following:
Lethargy and extreme fatigue (sometimes referred to as “crashing”)
Return of appetite
Increased heart rate, chills, sweating, and other nervous system issues
Drug craving (5)
Rapid weight loss
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at +1(213)373-6580 or visit us online.
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