Adderall Addiction and Treatment Resources
Adderall is a prescription stimulant doctors often prescribe to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), and narcolepsy. While the drug’s propensity for increasing focus and concentration make it a beneficial medication to thousands of people around the country for legitimate disorders, its psychostimulant and mood-altering properties leave Adderall users at high risk for substance abuse. Adderall is a form of amphetamine, with chemicals that affect the brain.
Adderall’s generic name is amphetamine-dextroamphetamine. Amphetamines are stimulants that work on the brain by speeding up the messages between it and the body. They stimulate the central nervous system, increasing the presence of the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine neurotransmitters.
When taken incorrectly or for recreational purposes, Adderall can create an intense euphoric effect that can last for four to 24 hours. While Adderall is not physically addictive, its effects make it highly psychologically addictive, especially in users battling depression, anxiety, or another mental disorder.
Used to treat medical conditions such as ADHD, Adderall will counteract symptoms and make the user more energized, invigorated, and able to focus. However, Adderall can also elicit negative effects, even when used correctly.
The side effects of Adderall use include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dramatic weight loss
Someone who abuses Adderall runs further physical and psychological risks, including overdose, cardiac arrest, and death. As a stimulant, Adderall increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. When taken in excess, these effects can cause stroke, heart attack, or death.
Adderall Abuse in the U.S.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry released a study that showed non-medical use of Adderall among people ages 18 to 25 rose by a surprising 67% from 2005 to 2011. Adderall-related emergency department visits in the same time increased by an even larger margin – 156%. Researchers discovered that the driving force behind these rises was its popularity among young users.
Many People Use Adderall as a Study Drug
Students in high schools and colleges widely use Adderall as a study aid. Adderall decreases the needs to eat and sleep, making the user hyper-alert and able to stay awake for long hours. While many young people abuse Adderall to last longer at parties or in combination with other substances to experience a greater high, most students use the drug to study. The study reported that 7.5% of high school seniors (roughly 300,000 students around the country) reported using some form of prescription stimulant non-medically in 2015. About one in three college students reported the same.
Most Adderall Users Don’t Have Prescriptions
Nearly 70% of respondents who used Adderall non-medically admitted they did not have a prescription. Instead, they obtained it from friends or family members. This points to an issue with addiction awareness, not overprescribing. Most young adults do not understand Adderall’s risk of addiction and do not take caution misusing the stimulant until they are already dependent on the drug’s psychological effects.
Adderall Misuse in the General Population
Within the last decade, Adderall has grown in popularity across almost every demographic in the United States. Central nervous system stimulants had an 85 percent short-term rise from 2005 to 2011, and have continued to grow in the last five years. Here are a few other important Adderall-related statistics:
- Average cost of Adderall per month with insurance: $20.98. Without insurance: $318.86.
- About 6.4% of full-time college students use Adderall on a weekly basis.
- Approximately 96% of pharmacies have experienced an Adderall shortage in the last six months.
In 2011, stimulants such as Adderall were responsible for 17,118 emergency department visits alone and 45,158 visits involving stimulants and alcohol. In the same year, amphetamine-dextroamphetamine specifically resulted in 17,272 ED visits. Understanding the risks of Adderall dependence and treatment options can help reduce these numbers in the future.
The Adderall Withdrawal Process
One of the factors perpetuating Adderall addiction is withdrawal. People who have used Adderall for a long time build a tolerance and have to take the drug in higher amounts.
The Adderall withdrawal symptoms are psychological:
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritability/mood swings
- Sleep pattern changes
- Suicidal thoughts
Withdrawal can last a few days or several weeks depending on the user’s dosage, frequency of use, and length of addiction. Professionally supervised Adderall detoxification is necessary to remove the drugs from the user’s system safely and effectively in a controlled setting.
Adderall Treatment Reduces Relapse Risk
Going to a treatment center for an Adderall addiction can greatly reduce the risk of relapse. A personalized treatment plan maximizes recovery odds. To combat the effects of withdrawal and begin your journey to addiction recovery, contact The Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches.
If You’re Suffering from Adderall Addiction, It’s Time to Regain Control! The Treatment Center in Florida Can Help You Take a Personalized Approach to Recovery.