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Is Adderall Addictive?

Aug 17, 2021

Adderall is one of the most popular ADHD medications prescribed for teens and adults in the U.S. As a stimulant, it’s possible to misuse it. Before taking it or allowing your child to take it, it’s important to know the risks associated with this kind of controlled substance. Today, we’ll share an overview of Adderall and what makes it potentially addictive.

Is Adderall addictive? It’s one of the most prescribed drugs in America, and it can be addictive for the children, teens, and adults who take it. How addictive is Adderall? Even if starting with a low dose, misuse of the drug can make it more addictive. Family history of drug use and any mental health disorder in the Adderall user can increase the chances of becoming dependent on it. The recommended withdrawal process is a medically supervised detoxification. It can be followed by a treatment program focused on behavioral therapies as well as mental health treatment, if necessary.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant that’s commonly prescribed for people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children, teens, and adults use it to manage the symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and inattention. It’s proven to lessen the brain stimulation by increasing the activity levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. A single dose can stay active in the bloodstream for up to six hours, twice as long for an extended-release version.

Its widespread use (an estimated one-third of the ADHD market) has given it a household name in America. It’s actually one of the most frequently prescribed drugs in the country. If using it as intended, it’s considered safe.

Adderall’s ability to increase clarity and focus has made it appealing to high school and college students who see it as an aid for studying for finals, writing papers, and pulling all-nighters. Overdosing on Adderall is possible. It happens rarely, but the risk is still present. Misuse of Adderall can lead to numerous symptoms. They include vomiting, headaches, and rapid breathing. More severe symptoms can be high fever, hallucinations, and a heart attack. Mixing Adderall with alcohol can increase the risk of dangerous side effects.

How Addictive is Adderall?

Adderall can be addictive. Like any controlled substance, Adderall misuse can be the beginning of physical dependence on it.

Let’s look at a list of potential outcomes from its use. They include faster reaction time, cognitive control, euphoria, increased wakefulness, and fatigue resistance. Some Adderall users may begin to take extra doses to increase these benefits. Others may begin to use the drug to enhance other areas of their lives, including athletic performances. Someone prescribed Adderall may begin taking additional doses as an appetite suppressant.

These kinds of off-label usages can lead to signs of a substance use disorder. Someone may hide their Adderall use altogether. They may experience confusion and a loss of appetite or begin displaying violent behavior.

The impact of dependence on Adderall can show up in many ways. It might be an Adderall user missing work or school, lying about the need for the drug, or being unable to function when not taking doses of it.

What to do when you or a loved one is addicted to Adderall?

The threat of overdose from Adderall makes it important to get someone addicted to it the help they need quickly. Detoxification is the first step to rid their body of the drug safely. This can be done with a medically supervised detox process. This choice can help a patient manage irritability, tremors, mood swings, body aches, or other symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms can last from a few days to a few months.

Treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) involving Adderall does not include replacing the medication with another. The focus is on identifying the reasons for the misuse, rediscovering your goals and core values, and learning to replace the behavior with recovery-based actions.

One form of treatment for an Adderall-related SUD is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps a patient examine how their ways of thinking and skewed perceptions have contributed to their off-label use of the drug. This kind of therapy can be offered as part of a larger program that includes both individual therapy sessions and group therapy.

Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 844-501-4673.

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