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Adderall Addiction Signs

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Adderall Addiction Signs and Symptoms of Abuse, Side Effects, Withdrawal & Treatment

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription drug containing two components (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine). It belongs to a class of medications called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It is mainly used for ADHD treatment (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy (sleep disorder). [1] Adderall is highly addictive when taken at levels higher than a doctor’s prescribed. Adderall addiction can harm the body, imbalance the mind, and destroy relationships. Misuse of psychoactive drugs like Adderall can lead to addiction. Adderall addiction signs can lead to a variety of problems and diseases.

What’s the best way to recognize addiction to Adderall symptoms? It is important to know that not being able to stop taking a drug, such as Adderall, even though you know it’s harmful, is the hallmark of addiction. A drug doesn’t have to be illegal to cause this effect.

According to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) [2], Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance because it can lead to dependence or abuse. Adderall is addictive mainly because of its stimulant qualities. The medication works by increasing dopamine, a ‘’feel-good” hormone, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. People can get used to these “highs” over time and feel dependent on the drug. One of the significant Adderall side effects is addiction.

Furthermore, taking prescription drugs like Adderall and combining them with alcohol poses a great risk. Not only is mixing Adderall and alcohol bad, but it’s also deadly. Whether an Adderall overdose happens accidentally or on purpose, it can lead to death. Adderall carries an increased risk for heart problems, such as a rapid heart rate and high blood pressure. [3] But, add alcohol into the equation, and the risk factor for these side effects skyrockets.

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Adderall Addiction Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

What does Adderall do? When an individual takes Adderall, particularly if they’re not prescribed the drug or take a higher dose than what they’re prescribed, it gives them a sense of well-being and makes them very energetic. After taking Adderall, individuals will often feel as if they’re confident and empowered, and they will become very chatty. If someone is talking rapidly or more than usual, this can indicate they are on Adderall.

People on Adderall may experience physical symptoms, including headaches, dry mouth, hoarse voices, nausea, digestive problems, and diarrhea or constipation. It’s also known to reduce or eliminate the user’s appetite, which is why people use it. Moreover, a big red flag for regularly using Adderall is rapid weight loss.

Because Adderall is a stimulant, it also intrudes on sleep schedules, so the person consuming it may stay awake for days and then “crashing” and sleep for extended periods. When someone is on Adderall and comes off the drug, they often seem lethargic and depressed. They may not be interested in doing anything and tend to be disassociated from the people and events around them.

While many of the signs mentioned above are simply signs of using the drug, there are also common Adderall addiction signs of someone being addicted to Adderall instead of just using it recreationally. Adderall addiction signs can include physiological and psychological dependence on the drug.

When individuals become addicted to being high on Adderall, they will begin to feel as if they require it to feel alert and productive. Conversely, when someone addicted to this drug doesn’t take it, it can make them feel foggy or tired.

Adderall Addiction Signs
The recreational use of Adderall can also strongly impact a user’s mental health, promoting aggressive behavior, bipolarity, and other psychotic disorders. 

Adderall Addiction Signs and Symptoms – Physical

As Adderall addiction develops, some users smoke or snort the crushed pills for a faster effect. Usually, individuals who start to use higher-than-needed doses of these drugs are unaware of the negative effect of drug use on their lives. Adderall’s euphoric effects cause someone to overestimate their performance and neglect the negative response of others.

The following are some of the Adderall addiction signs that may be experienced right after Adderall abuse:

  • Exhaustion
  • Weight loss
  • Fast-talking
  • A decline in personal hygiene
  • Lack of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Malnutrition
  • Restlessness
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Peeling skin
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Sleeping difficulties

Adderall Addiction Signs and Symptoms – Behavioral

The Adderall addiction signs and symptoms discussed above can get the attention of an affected individual. Still, there will usually be behavioral signs and symptoms of Adderall abuse and addiction. The fact that Adderall is a prescription drug means that someone can “doctor shop” to get a high volume of it. People abusing drugs often go to different drugstores to fill prescriptions and avoid detection. Friends and family members of the individual may find prescription bottles from other doctors and pharmacies; this is one significant tipoff of abuse.

Individuals who misuse Adderall will likely begin to display “drug-seeking” behaviors. These can include:

  • “Doctor shopping,” or going to several different pharmacies to try to fill Adderall prescriptions
  • Spending a significant amount of time and money to get the drug
  • Avoiding life’s responsibilities
  • Noticeably lowering their level of self-care or grooming
  • Becoming socially withdrawn or secretive
  • Manipulating, crushing, or snorting Adderall to increase or hasten its effects

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Adderall Addiction Signs and Symptoms – Psychological

The longer a person abuses the drug, the higher the chance of experiencing Adderall’s side effects, some of which are permanent and irreversible.

Neurotoxicity is a symptom of Adderall abuse. It is psychosis and schizophrenia-like symptoms of paranoid delusions and hallucinations (a persistent mental illness requiring a lifetime of treatment).

The following list includes the most significant psychological side effects from extended misuse:

  • Aggression
  • Memory loss
  • Incomplete thoughts
  • Disorientation
  • Mania
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Suicidal thoughts

Adderall Addiction Warning Signs

Adderall activates the brain’s “reward” system by increasing the chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. That can make a person euphoric, with a feeling of pleasure and happiness. If someone misuses Adderall, taking it for a long time may lead to tolerance or dependency. That means they will need to use more and more of the drug to get the same “high” effect. Or if the person stops or cuts back abruptly, they may get withdrawal symptoms such as trouble sleeping, extreme tiredness, or depression.

A person can cross from misusing Adderall to being addicted to it without even realizing it. Addiction means that a person can’t control the urge to take it. Another name for addiction is severe substance use disorder. If you or your loved one is taking Adderall, medically or recreationally, it is important to monitor the person’s behaviors carefully. Adderall addiction can be both physical and mental, and its symptoms are subtle.

One of the most indicative signs of Adderall addiction is hyperactivity. If your loved one develops manic behaviors and has a continued need to keep busy, Adderall may be the culprit. Adderall use runs a user in a million different ways and often causes a person to forget about common activities such as sleeping and eating. Adderall addiction can leave the user to be hostile or aggravated as a result.

Sadly, so many individuals fail to see the possibility of Adderall abuse and the harmful effects using this drug can have. If you have identified any warning signs of someone on Adderall, you must consult an addiction specialist and strategize the best course of action.

Adderall warning signs can also be checked on the label when you purchase the medication. Be sure to speak with your doctor regarding the risks and if you are taking other medications.

Adderall Addiction Signs
Most Adderall addiction signs are heavily psychological and require professional drug treatment beyond detox

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Adderall Side Effects

Adderall is prescribed for individuals to treat mental disorders such as ADHD and sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Still, many individuals take it without a prescription due to the desired effects. As with every other drug, this medication can also cause several harmful side effects for non-prescription and prescription users. It’s crucial to know what these side effects are for your safety. Of course, it’s best to take it only with a prescription and in the prescribed dosage.

Short-Term Adderall Side Effects

If you have any concerns or questions about the following harmful Adderall side effects, contact your healthcare provider:

  • Circulatory issues (including finger numbness and discoloration)
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach ache
  • Back pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Constipation
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Mood swings
  • Jitteriness
  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth

Long-Term Effects of Adderall

There are Adderall addiction signs that may be visible to people, such as the sense of excitability and talkativeness the individual shows. There are also long-term effects of Adderall abuse that may happen. These can usually become even more harmful, including numbness or weakness in extremities, vision problems, chest pain, peeling or blistering skin, and mental problems such as paranoia, mania, or seizures.

Eventually, with regular use of Adderall, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t take the medications. Ongoing use of Adderall can lead to chemical imbalances in the brain. Signs someone is experiencing withdrawal from Adderall may include irritability, lack of energy, anger, headaches, constipation, and insomnia.

As with many other substances, lifestyle indicators could indicate someone is on Adderall. As people’s dependency on this drug increases, it might become their priority. What might have started as a way to excel in school or work can lead the individual to renounce interest in these areas and display dropping performance. The abuse of Adderall can also lead to relationship crises, poor health overall, and financial and legal problems.

Recognizing an Adderall Addiction

How to tell if someone is abusing Adderall? It can be said that no one intends to become addicted to Adderall. Usually, the problem starts as a way of increasing productivity on a stressful day at work or studying for an important exam. Some people even fake the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to get their prescription for the drug [4]. “Adderall high symptoms” can make you experience euphoria, increased concentration, high energy, and feelings of self-confidence. 

How to recognize if someone is addicted to Adderall symptoms:

  • Not being able to finish work without Adderall
  • Needing larger doses to feel the drug’s effects
  • Neglecting other activities in favor of using Adderall
  • Want to cut down on use but not have the ability to do so
  • Adderall dependency, or being unable to feel alert without the drug
  • Taking the drug despite knowledge of the harm it’s causing
  • Spending a lot of time and money getting, using, and recovering from the drug
  • Suffering withdrawal symptoms when not using Adderall

Some people fear becoming addicted to medications prescribed for medical conditions, such as painkillers prescribed after surgery. But you can reduce your risk by carefully following your doctor’s instructions on how to take your medication.

Prescription drug abuse can happen at any age but commonly begins in teens or young adults.

Risk factors for Adderall dependence signs include:

  • Past or present addictions to other substances, including alcohol and tobacco
  • Family history of substance abuse problems
  • Certain pre-existing psychiatric conditions
  • Exposure to peer pressure or a social environment where there’s drug use
  • Easier access to prescription drugs, such as having prescription medications in the home medicine cabinet
  • Lack of knowledge about prescription drugs and their potential harm

The symptoms of Adderall addiction in older adults are a growing problem, especially when they combine drugs with alcohol. Having multiple health problems and taking multiple drugs can put seniors at risk of misusing drugs or becoming addicted.

Because commonly abused prescription drugs activate the brain’s reward center, it’s possible to develop physical dependence and addiction.

  • Physical dependence. The body’s response to long-term use is physical dependence (also called tolerance). People physically dependent on a drug may need higher doses to get the same effects and may experience withdrawal symptoms when cutting back or abruptly stopping the drug. Physical dependence may also become evident if a drug the body adjusts to is stopped abruptly, even without a dosage change.
  • Addiction. People addicted to a drug can have physical dependence. Still, they also compulsively seek a drug and continue to use it even when that drug causes significant problems in their lives.

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Adderall Withdrawal and Addiction Treatment

The Adderall withdrawal symptoms can make it hard for users to stop independently. If a person is addicted to this drug quits “cold turkey,” they will experience symptoms that are the opposite of the drug’s effects. These symptoms can include loss of concentration, fatigue, and an unusually slow heartbeat.

In addition to Adderall side effects, there are also debilitating symptoms that result from the discontinuation of its use and a resulting withdrawal period:

  • Low energy
  • Inability to focus
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Body aches
  • Mood swings
  • Overwhelming anxiety/panic attacks
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Intense cravings
  • Depression
  • Adderall withdrawal flu like symptoms

Adderall dependence symptoms and addiction treatments are similar to those available for other prescription drugs at the rehab facility. Inpatient treatment can create an atmosphere free from the normal temptations that led a person to their prescription drug use disorder in the past.

A qualified treatment center can monitor a person addicted to Adderall through detox, ensuring withdrawal symptoms are safely managed. Adderall detox often includes a taper-down strategy. This helps gradually expel the drug from the body to reduce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as depression and fatigue. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and 12-step meetings can also help. 

Best Adderall Rehab

The inpatient treatment approach works best as it aims to change the person’s behaviors. It also helps them establish social support systems and better methods of coping with stress. A person will likely show different Adderall addiction signs and symptoms, which may be physical, behavioral, or psychological.

Adderall Addiction Signs
It’s important to get help from addiction treatment professionals if you’ve been abusing Adderall.

Unfortunately for those with Adderall addiction signs, detox is an unavoidable first step of treatment toward recovery. Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and risky without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. 

We Level Up NJ provides proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to medically assist your recovery through our Adderall Treatment Program. So, reclaim your life. Call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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Sources:

[1] ADDERALL XR – https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=aff45863-ffe1-4d4f-8acf-c7081512a6c0National Library of Medicine | Health & Human Services
[2] ADDERALL® (CII) https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/011522s040lbl.pdf Food & Drug Administration
[3] Egan KL, Reboussin BA, Blocker JN, Wolfson M, Sutfin EL. Simultaneous use of non-medical ADHD prescription stimulants and alcohol among undergraduate students. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Jul 1;131(1-2):71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.12.004. Epub 2012 Dec 28. PMID: 23274057; PMCID: PMC3644523. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644523/
[4] WHY DO ADULTS MISUSE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS? – https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3210/ShortReport-3210.pdf – Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
[5] We Level UpAdderall Addiction Treatment