What is Adderall?
Adderall is a brand name for a stimulant prescription drug made from amphetamine.
Adderall works by increasing neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Doctors prescribe Adderall for ADHD and narcolepsy. When taken correctly by patients who legitimately need it, Adderall has several therapeutic qualities.
Patients with narcolepsy, a disorder that causes fatigue and uncontrollable sleep patterns, experience more alertness and better sleep control when they take Adderall as prescribed. Patients with ADHD experience better focus, improved social interactions, and better performance at work and at school.
Is Adderall Addictive?
Adderall’s addictive potential depends on whether or not one uses it properly. Some medications, like prescription sleep or pain medicine, are addictive no matter the dosage and should only be used for a limited amount of time. Adderall, however, has a low-to-nonexistent addiction risk for people who take it for ADHD or narcolepsy. That said, Adderall is addictive when it is misused, and the potential for misuse runs rampant in the United States.
Those who abuse Adderall tend to do so in large doses. As stated above, Adderall does increase neurotransmitter activity in the brain, and one of those neurotransmitters is dopamine.
Patients with ADHD need this dopamine increase to function at an appropriate level. However, people without ADHD flood their brains with too much dopamine when they take Adderall. Because dopamine is one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals, a person who takes Adderall illicitly will begin to crave more, and that is how an addiction begins.
People who have an addiction to Adderall will start to feel like they cannot function without it. Some may feel that they can’t stay awake, socialize, or accomplish tasks without taking Adderall first. People who misuse Adderall will also develop a tolerance for it, meaning that they will need larger and larger doses to accomplish the effect that smaller doses used to provide.
If you are facing an Adderall addiction, call 800-492-QUIT today. We can help you find the right treatment program.
So how and why do people misuse Adderall? Because ADHD is such a common neurological challenge in the US, many people have friends with prescriptions for Adderall or similar stimulants.
Some people, especially teens, obtain Adderall from friends who have ADHD. In 2017, 5.5% of high school seniors used Adderall. Those who use Adderall illicitly tend to take it in pill form, but some will crush the pills and snort them or dissolve them in water and inject them. The latter two methods make the drug even more dangerous than it is in pill form.
Sometimes people take Adderall for recreational use. In non-therapeutic quantities, Adderall can produce a “high,” or an upbeat euphoric feeling. More often than that, however, people use Adderall to increase performance. Athletes and students in particular will take Adderall in response to increased stress and pressure. The stimulant quality allows them to stay awake longer for study and practice.
Consequences of Adderall Misuse
Like all medication, Adderall comes with potential side effects, but those side effects are worse for those who misuse the drug. These side effects can often include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite (Chronic misuse may lead to malnourishment.)
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Stomach problems
The above list is not extensive, and those who misuse Adderall may experience side effects that don’t appear on this list.
Adderall Addiction Treatment Options
People who struggle with an Adderall addiction have multiple treatment options, but the first step is detox. Detox is the process by which the drugs leave a person’s body. The amount of time this process takes depends on the drug. With Adderall, the detox process generally takes roughly one to three weeks.
If a person enters a drug rehab program, a doctor may use the “tapering off” method to gradually wean the individual off the medication. This process can prevent withdrawal symptoms and make the recovery process easier.
During or after detox, the individual’s doctor might recommend ongoing treatment to work on the psychological reasons behind the addiction. Treatment can take place in either an inpatient or outpatient facility.
Do you Have An Addiction to Adderall?
If you have an addiction to Adderall, you may not know what to do next. RehabInfo.com is here to help.