The FDA approved Adderall for ADHD in 1996, without clinical trials to test its safety in children.
Adderall is a prescription drug containing a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These 2 stimulants affect the body’s hyperactivity and impulse control. The combination drug is used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD.
The question is, though, is Adderall addictive?
Keep reading to learn more about Adderall, how it is used, and whether or not it’s addictive.
How Is Adderall Used?
The active ingredients in Adderall affect the brain’s levels of certain neurotransmitters – dopamine and adrenaline. Adderall provides an immediate release formula that lasts anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. The extended-release lasts anywhere from 8 to 12 hours.
Adderall is arguably the most popular medication for ADHD. The idea is that Adderall, combined with therapy, can help tune down one’s stimulation and help them function more efficiently.
Adderall is used to help with other symptoms of ADHD, such as:
- Disruptive behavior
Those who suffer from narcolepsy have trouble staying awake or focused. Adderall helps them by keeping them awake throughout the day and stimulating the brain.
Other Adderall Uses
Many people use Adderall for reasons other than what it was intended for.
A lot of people think that because it’s so easily prescribed by doctors, that it’s “safe.” Unfortunately, that is not the case. Many people abuse Adderall and use it for reasons, such as:
- Weight loss
- Academic or professional performance
- Staying awake
- To get high
- To feel confident or euphoric
While Adderall abuse is often associated with college students, people of all ages and from all different professions abuse Adderall.
Why Do People Get Addicted to Adderall?
Adderall is a stimulant that has been compared to meth. Not everyone who takes Adderall develops an addiction. However, people that take Adderall regularly as a prescription drug develop tolerance and often become unable to function without it.
Those who take Adderall recreationally without a prescription are at an even higher risk of becoming addicted.
The way that Adderall works is by increasing those neurotransmitter levels in the central nervous system. Norepinephrine, for example, affects how the brain responds to certain events. In particular, it affects the speed at which the brain reacts to everything around it.
Dopamine, another neurotransmitter, is often referred to as our body’s “feel-good” chemical. It creates a rewarding effect. While it occurs naturally in our bodies, Adderall provides unnaturally high levels of it, which is exactly what causes users to come back for more.
Someone dependent on Adderall uses the drug to feel aware and alert. Without it, they might begin to feel mentally tired. If so, it’s a sure sign of addiction.
Signs of Addiction to Adderall
Typically, the issue with Adderall begins with the user upping their dose. They may have a test to study for or have had a stressful day and opt to use extra Adderall to get done what they need to do.
After buying Adderall illegally, many users will fake the symptoms of ADHD in order to get their own prescription. Just like any other drug, when a user becomes addicted, they’ll prioritize the drug over many other things in their life.
Here are some common signs of an Adderall addiction:
- Taking the drug without concern for the harm it causes
- Needing bigger doses to feel the effects
- Wanting to cut back but unable to
- Not being able to get things done without Adderall
- Spending lots of time and money on getting and using the drug
- Feeling foggy or unable to feel alert without Adderall
- Enduring withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
- Neglecting necessities or activities in favor of the drug
Does Adderall Change Your Personality?
The more you use Adderall, the more your brain becomes dependent on the drug. Adderall effects on personality are common as dependency can cause things like lethargy, mood changes, and irritability.
People often have a hard time enjoying activities they normally would, too.
The effects of Adderall long-term can damage romantic relationships as some users feel less interested in romance or sex. This, in turn, can lead to emotional distress and frustration.
Withdrawal is a dangerous part of any drug abuse treatment, which is why it’s always best to detox under the supervision and care of medical professionals.
When it comes to Adderall, the 2 main treatment approaches are psychotherapy and MAT (medication-assisted treatment). Some of the symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Adderall cravings
- Trouble sleeping
- Extreme hunger
- Panic attacks
- Phobia-type feelings
- Inability to improve mood
Adderall addiction is dangerous. While it affects everyone differently, it can be a detriment to both mental and physical health and wellbeing.
While many addicts will go to a different center for detox treatment than they do for recovery, we recommend doing it all in one place. The first and most critical step on the road to recovery is developing an individualized plan for each guest.
At a 24-hour recovery and detox center, you’ll receive the care of medical professionals who will guide you with love and support and help restore your sense of self along the way.
Is Adderall Addictive?
Is Adderall addictive? Yes. Adderall is addictive, whether you have a prescription or not. Those with prescriptions often find themselves increasing their doses more and more to get through stressful situations or to complete big projects.
Individuals without prescriptions do the same thing.
Whether it’s to lose weight, feel happy, or get high, those without prescriptions are even more at risk of addiction.
If you or a loved one are addicted to Adderall, it’s time to start living your life euphorically and efficiently without the need for a prescription drug. If you have any questions, concerns, or are ready to get started on your journey to recovery, contact us. We are here to help!