Adderall is a prescription drug that is classified as a stimulant and is traditionally prescribed by medical professionals. This medication can have adverse side effects and even cause addiction, so regular evaluations from a doctor are recommended. Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and is used primarily for attention-related issues such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall has also been proven to be effective in helping treat sleep disorders and some forms of depression. Unfortunately, this prescription drug does not come without its downfalls. Like all stimulants, Adderall can be highly addictive, and is considered dangerous if a person exceeds their recommended dosage or if it is acquired through illegal means.
Stimulants can often lead to addiction and abuse, and Adderall is no exception. In some cases, individuals procure Adderall through a prescription, only to become addicted in the long run. In other instances, people obtain the drug illegally, purely for recreational purposes. Adderall can lose its effectiveness over time, causing those who are looking to achieve the same high to increase their dosage. Extended drug use can result in a higher tolerance, and may also push an individual to employ different methods of administration, such as snorting or injecting for an intense high.
Regardless of how an individual has become addicted, this can rarely be stopped without treatment. Individuals addicted to Adderall may be slow to realize that they have developed a problem because the drug is considered a prescription medication. Because of the drug’s labeling, many people believe that it must be safe for consumption. Adderall has become a common drug of choice among college students because of its ability to significantly advance their studies, but it is also considered an illegal, recreational drug. The SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that over six percent of college students stated they had used Adderall within the past year. This can be combined with drinking, as many individuals using Adderall had reported to have engaged in binge drinking. These practices can lead to an addiction of more than one substance and can have dangerous long term complications, both mentally and physically.
The signs and symptoms of Adderall abuse are made more obvious as the individual becomes further addicted to the stimulant and higher levels of the drug are taken in order to keep up with their rising tolerance. When on a stimulant such as Adderall, an abuser can become agitated and hyper. What once brought focus and clarity, eventually turns into nervousness and difficulty sleeping. The drug can take over areas of a person’s life that they were previously interested in. This can eventually turn the acts of obtaining and consuming the drug, into the individual’s primary concerns in life. Adderall abuse can lead to overdose, heart palpitations, dizziness, paranoia and chest pain. If an individual on Adderall begins to have severe physical symptoms, hospitalization might be needed.
Whether a person has become addicted to Adderall through a prescription or illegal means, treatment is typically the only option that can help addicts get better. Physically weaning off of stimulants can be challenging to do on one’s own and it is recommended that detox takes place in a medically supervised environment. The severity of one’s addiction will determine if both inpatient and outpatient treatment are needed. Once an individual is physically clear of Adderall, continual treatment and therapy must occur to help them learn coping mechanisms and to offer support for relapse prevention.
Adderall addiction can come with secondary illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. These disorders have either been previously diagnosed, or are discovered during treatment. If an individual has both a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue, both illnesses will need to be treated in order for a recovering addict to be fully rehabilitated. The positive side is that there are treatment centers available to help meet each of the addict’s needs, and treatment plans can be designed around the individual in need of help.
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