A stimulant commonly prescribed in the treatment of adults and children suffering from ADHD, Adderall is a combination medication that can cause widespread symptoms of dependence if taken irregularly, in a manner other than prescribed or for reasons other than prescribed. This medication, which is FDA approved for the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is commonly abused by college students and others looking for a stimulant high which may include arousal, increased energy, and heightened awareness.
Recognizing Adderall Abuse
Initially, Adderall abuse may be overlooked or mistaken as some other problem. Users often show signs of having trouble staying still, they may act hyper or fidgety, and they will commonly stay up for long period of time. This drug is widely abused on college campuses and is known by many as a “study drug” because it’s believed by students that the medication will help them to stay awake to cram for exams.
Early signs of Adderall abuse, as stated by the National Library of Medicine, may include:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Restlessness and being fidgety
- Nausea and vomiting if too much is taken
- Weight loss from the lack of appetite that comes from the stimulant
- Insomnia or inability to sleep followed by long periods of sleep when the drug is not available
- Mood swings
If you suspect that someone you love may be abusing Adderall, or if you notice someone having the following symptoms after taking Adderall, call 911 immediately as allergic reaction or serious side effects may occur:
- Rapid or pounding heartbeat
- Shortness of breath or extreme anxiety
- Inability to feel lower extremities or the arms
- Verbal tics or motor tics in which repetitive motion or sound is made without cause
- Abnormal mood including mania, extreme depression or aggressiveness
Adderall Abuse Dangers
Long term, or persistent use of Adderall in any manner other than which it is prescribed can lead to a number of serious dangers and potential consequences. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Adderall abuse can lead to serious heart problems such as high blood pressure or heart attack.
Psychiatric problems are also possible when this drug is abused. Such dangers may include:
- Depression which could lead to suicidal thoughts or tendencies.
- Mania which can cause heightened sense of happiness followed by extreme depression or fear.
- Bipolar illness which includes changes in the mood from one extreme to another.
- Aggressiveness or hostility towards others, including loved ones.
- Hallucinations that are both auditory and visual.
Adderall Addiction & Treatment
Long term Adderall abuse can lead to addiction which will require treatment. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be addicted to Adderall, consider the following:
- Do you crave Adderall when you don’t have it?
- Do you feel like life is worthless or useless without Adderall?
- Have you ever been arrested or suffered a serious consequences as a result of Adderall abuse but you continue to wish you had the drug?
- Has Adderall abuse interrupted your ability to perform at work, home or school?
- Are you interested in using Adderall despite all of the consequences you have already suffered?
- Do you get angry or upset when someone discusses a possibly problem with your Adderall use?
Answering yes to any of the above questions could mean that you are addicted to Adderall and should consider treatment.
Fortunately, many treatment options are available including:
- Residential or inpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Support groups
- Behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Medical intervention
Your first step in treatment will be to safely detox from the drug. Adderall detox can take anywhere from a few weeks up to a few months. Often times, medical intervention will be required during detox to ensure your continued safety. If you suspect that you may be addicted to Adderall, do not detox at home alone. Call 800-654-0987 for help.