Adderall Addiction Is More Common Than You Think
Although Adderall proves very helpful in the treatment of conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy, this stimulant also has addictive qualities. Millions of Americans are prescribed the amphetamine and dextroamphetamine medication each year. Others buy it on the streets, where it is commonly sold for its euphoric high. Regardless of how you acquire your Adderall, mismanaged use can lead to physical dependence or even addiction.
In a 2020 study, about 5.1 million Americans reported misusing Adderall and similar prescription stimulants in the past year. Young adults and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to misusing this medication. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 1.8% of 8th graders, 1.6% of 10th graders, and 1.8% of 12th graders abused Adderall in the past 12 months. Among people 12 years of age or older, 758,000 have suffered from a prescription stimulant addiction in the past year.
Adderall is one of the most popular study drugs — said to increase energy and concentration toward completion of important tasks. Along with Ritalin, it is widely abused by students, long-haul drivers, and people seeking to increase their work output.
People who misuse study drugs typically say they wanted specific results from doing so. Reasons for Adderall abuse include:
- To have more energy and focus
- Wanting to meet a tight deadline or study through the night
- Desiring effects not related to studying, such as euphoria and energy
- Wanting to work faster or increase productivity
Other names for study drugs are cognitive enhancers, neuro enhancers, and smart drugs.
Negative Effects of Adderall Misuse
When misused, Adderall can cause negative side effects. Some of these effects are life-endangering.
Negative Health Effects
Negative health effects of Adderall misuse include:
- Habit-forming, leading to potential dependence and addiction
- Heart attack
- Sudden death
- Dangerous interactions with MAO inhibitors
- New or worsening psychosis
- Circulatory problems, including numbness and blood restriction in fingers or toes
- Depression or anxiety
- Sleep problems and fatigue
- Severe weight loss
- Breathing problems
Health Conditions Made Worse by Adderall
Adderall is potentially dangerous for people with specific health conditions, such as:
- Severe anxiety or agitation
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease or coronary artery disease
- Vascular disease or hardening of the arteries
- History of drug or alcohol addiction
- Motor tics or Tourette’s syndrome
- Epilepsy or seizures
- Abnormal EEG scans
- Liver or kidney disease
- Poor circulation in hands or feet
Many people who misuse Adderall are not aware of these negative effects or the dangerous potential for people with certain health conditions. This can make misuse of this medication even riskier.
Lifestyle Effects of Adderall Addiction
As with most abused drugs, Adderall misuse also causes problems within your daily life, particularly after addiction begins. Some of these negative lifestyle effects include:
- Relationship, family, and social problems
- Job loss or other career problems
- Criminal or legal problems
- Financial loss
- Housing problems, homelessness, or vagrancy
- Criminal victimization or domestic violence
- Disease transmission and health problems
Are You at Risk for Addiction to Adderall or Other Substances?
Anyone who misuses Adderall or other substances can suffer from drug addiction. Addiction is a disease that does not discriminate in any way. However, some characteristics and lifestyle factors increase your potential for suffering from a substance use disorder. These factors include:
- Age and developmental stage
- Genetics and family history of substance abuse
- Environmental exposure
If you sense that you or someone you love are vulnerable to addiction, it is never too early to seek help. Therapies, outpatient care, and early intervention programs can help you learn about the pathway to addiction and how to stop abusing drugs or alcohol before they take hold of your life. You can learn coping skills to more effectively manage daily life without turning to Adderall or other substances.
How Adderall Addiction Affects Your Brain
As with addiction to other drugs or alcohol, an Adderall substance use disorder changes your brain chemistry and structure. In fact, overusing this powerful stimulant before the age of 25 can cause permanent damage to the brain. Some brain effects from addiction include changes in how you think, behave, and communicate. Thankfully, ending your addiction and undergoing therapy can enable the brain to recover from these changes for a return to a fulfilling and productive life.
Addiction is never a planned problem. Instead, it is one that takes over quietly and quickly through ongoing substance abuse. Most people with Adderall addiction tell themselves they will only take the drug once or a few times. But its early effects prove magnetic to many, making additional abuse easy. With continued drug use, the body becomes used to its effects and needs a higher or more frequent dose to feel the original effects. This tolerance and related drug dependence show that the brain has adapted to receiving the drug and now needs Adderall for normal everyday functioning.
After dependence, addiction is inevitable if the drug use continues. Addiction is not just physical and psychological dependence on the stimulant, but a major lifestyle shift. It is the cycle of drug using and drug seeking that becomes the primary everyday focus. Once addiction sets in, nothing is as important as obtaining more Adderall and using it.
This change in priorities is the source of many changes in your lifestyle and behaviors. Your social life, relationships, and family interactions become increasingly negative with Adderall addiction. You stop pursuing your favorite activities and are no longer productive in school or work. From there, the deeper decline into addiction damages your reputation, social standing, finances, relationships, and career. It puts you at risk for criminal victimization, legal problems, health problems, and transmissible diseases like HIV, HPV, and STIs.
The Safe Road to Adderall Addiction Recovery
While the many effects of Adderall addiction seem hopeless, the brain is a miraculous organ. It can heal after addiction. You simply need the right help to end your physical and psychological dependence. This treatment starts with detox. Beyond this detoxification, talk therapy and behavioral therapies in rehab help you retrain your brain for a return to normal functioning.
The pathway to recovery typically includes:
- Detox in a licensed medical detox facility
- Rehab treatment
- Behavioral therapies
- Individual counseling
- Addiction education
- Localized aftercare programs
- Sober living, transitional care, or halfway housing
Your road to recovery starts with making the right decision for your future and seeking detox and rehab treatment from licensed and reputable facilities experienced in addiction treatment.
What Is an Adderall Detox Center?
An Adderall detox center, like other types of detox centers for addiction, helps individuals overcome the symptoms of withdrawal for a fresh start beyond substance abuse. Regardless of how long you have suffered from addiction, withdrawal is the first necessary step toward recovery. It is the transition from active addiction to sobriety, a process involving a multitude of ill physical and psychological symptoms that typically drive you back to your drug. But in a licensed Adderall detox center, caring professionals help you safely and securely work through this process toward a better future. White Light Behavioral Health in Columbus, OH is an excellent example of a treatment provider offering Adderall detox.
An Adderall detox center provides individualized programs to suit your unique needs. Typically, detoxification starts with an addiction assessment and physical exam to determine your current health, level of addiction, and other factors. From there, the addiction specialists design a program involving tapering off Adderall under medical supervision. At the same time, they help you manage your withdrawal symptoms through ongoing psychological support, nutrition, comfortable surroundings, and helpful medications. Before your detox program ends, your counselor helps you develop an individualized aftercare plan, such as transitioning into a rehab treatment program.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptom Management
Of course, helping you stay comfortable throughout withdrawal is a major facet of detox services. Withdrawal symptoms safely treated in a licensed detox facility include:
- Sleeplessness and fatigue
- Weight changes
- Panic attacks
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- High blood pressure
- Fast heart rate
- Suicidal thoughts
In detox, you receive ongoing, 24/7 support for these symptoms. There are also medications available to ease some withdrawal effects. Being in a secured facility ensures that you stay focused on achieving sobriety. You are also kept safe from potential relapse and overdose, which are significant risks for people attempting to detox at home.
Rehab Programs for Lasting Adderall Recovery
Detox alone is never enough to treat addiction. Detox helps the body transition safely and comfortably from active drug dependence. But you also need psychological support and an array of therapies to prevent relapse. Together, detox and rehab are two major facets of a continuum of care. According to SAMHSA, a continuum of care meets individual needs as part of an ongoing process of change. This care provides the support you need to improve your health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and reach your full potential.
Rehab Treatment Programs
Types of rehab treatment programs for Adderall addiction include:
- Inpatient hospitalization
- Residential rehab
- Partial hospitalization (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient (IOP)
- Outpatient (OP)
Many people with Adderall substance use disorders also have ADHD, depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, or other mental health conditions. If you are diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, it is important to receive treatment for your addiction and mental health problem at the same time. Dual-diagnosis programs meet these needs.
Therapy for Adderall Recovery
Within your rehab treatment program, you will also receive a variety of therapies designed to help you build lasting recovery. Therapies typically beneficial for this treatment include:
- Family therapy or couples counseling
- Group therapy
- Behavioral therapies, such as CBT or DBT
- Trauma therapy, such as EMDR
- Addiction education
- 12-step program
- Dual-diagnosis treatment
In therapy, you learn about your addiction and why you started abusing Adderall in the first place. At the same time, you learn coping skills to avoid relapse in the future.
Get the Help You Need for Adderall Addiction
Prescription stimulants like Adderall are just as addictive and life-damaging as illicit street drugs. If you are facing an Adderall substance use disorder, today is the right day to seek help for recovery. There is a multitude of highly experienced Adderall detox centers in Ohio, including White Light Behavioral Health in Columbus. Contact our team of treatment specialists today to help you overcome Adderall addiction.