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Adderall Overuse and Dependency
Adderall may have had a benevolent beginning as a legitimate treatment for individuals with ADHD or narcolepsy, but has in recent years become a highly abused drug among teens and young adults. The stimulant was designed to offset the symptoms of ADHD, and is effective in treating that patient population. But for someone who does not have ADHD, Adderall becomes merely a stimulant with properties in common with methamphetamine and effects similar to cocaine. For this reason, a large percentage of people using the drug do so using illicit means of obtaining it.
One particular demographic that latched on to the stimulant effects of Adderall is the college age young adult. Many in this age group abuse the drug for its ability to stave off sleep, increase energy, and improve concentration, leading Adderall to be dubbed the “study drug.” Unfortunately, those who abuse the drug can be left with some very unpleasant effects when abuse leads to increased tolerance and drug dosage.
What is Adderall
Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance with highly addictive properties. It is formulated of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and comes in doses ranging from 5-30mg strengths. The staggering increase in Adderall prescriptions is testament to its popularity among students in particular. According to the article Generation Adderall, published in the New York Times on October 12, 2016, prescriptions for the drug have ratcheted up exponentially since it was introduced in 1996. In 2000 there were 5 million prescriptions written for Adderall, increasing to 9 million in 2005 and to 16 million—in the age range of 20-39 only—by 2012. A startling 42% of individuals aged 12 and older surveyed in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health in 2015 were using the prescription stimulant without a prescription.
When individuals who have no medical need for it misuse Adderall it produces a state of euphoria by increasing dopamine production in the brain. The reward center of the brain records this as a pleasant experience and sets up the cycle for re-experiencing the high, becoming highly addictive.
Symptoms of Adderall Addiction
When someone is abusing stimulants there are clear signs and symptoms that begin to emerge. These might include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite resulting in weight loss
- Upper abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Sexual problems
- Rapid heart rate
- Hoarse voice
As Adderall abuse increases, often through snorting high doses of the drug, more serious side effects begin to appear, such as:
- Panic attacks
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Severe tremors
- Loss of consciousness
How to Overcome Adderall Addiction
How long does detox and treatment for Adderall dependency typically require? Treatment for a severe Adderall addiction will likely involve an inpatient treatment program for a minimum of one month. The first important step is the detox and withdrawal phase of treatment. With Adderall it is recommended that the individual be placed on a tapering schedule to help ease the withdrawal symptoms. The medical detox providers can help manage the symptoms of depression and fatigue that begin when the drug is discontinued.
After the body has been detoxified the individual will begin a treatment program. Mild to moderate addictions can be treated through an intensive outpatient program in most cases. Whether an inpatient or outpatient program, treatment for Adderall addiction involves evidence-based therapies such as contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy, both teaching the individual how to change their behavioral response to the triggers that led to the drug abuse. Group therapy and family therapy for teen addicts are also staple treatment elements for treating Adderall addiction.
Adderall Addiction Treatment Programs
The Treatment Specialist will connect you to an inpatient and residential treatment program for help for prescription drug abuse and addiction, including Adderall addiction. Call to speak to a Treatment Specialist who can also provide a free insurance check so you will know exactly what your out-of-pocket expense will be. For more information about how to overcome Adderall addiction, please contact today at (866) 644-7911.