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5 Ways You Can Identify Adderall Addiction

By August 4, 2018 June 14th, 2019 No Comments
Snorting straw and prescription pills put into lines ready to snort

In 2011, 48.4 million stimulant drugs including Adderall were dispensed to treat symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

This was a 39% increase in such prescriptions from 2007.

Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (brand name Adderall) is a drug that’s used to increase attention spans and focus in people with ADHD. It’s also used to aid weight loss and treat narcolepsy or daytime sleepiness at times.

While Adderall may help increase the focus of people suffering from ADHD, it’s also highly likely to be abused. That’s why it belongs to the class of Schedule II drugs.

In this piece, we’ll look at how Adderall works, how addictive it is, ways to tell if someone has an Adderall addiction, and the long-term effects of Adderall abuse.

How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall, a powerful central nervous system stimulant, is one of the leading prescription amphetamines. It’s a Schedule II drug due to its high addiction potential.

Doctors prescribe this stimulant to treat ADHD and narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness). While it reduces fatigue in those with narcolepsy, it’s got the opposite effect on ADHD sufferers.

Adderall is available as a tablet that’s ingested orally and the doses range from 5-30 milligrams. Some individuals looking for instant effects may crush the tablets and snort the drug. Adderall is known by street names such as speed, uppers, pep pills, Addy’s, and black beauties.

Is Adderall Addictive?

Adderall is in the class of Schedule II controlled substances, meaning that it’s closely controlled because of its high risk for dependence and potential for abuse.

However, stimulants are some of the most prescribed drugs out there. Their use and abuse have increased rapidly, especially among college students. In fact, some estimates even suggest that the students are two times as likely to abuse Adderall as their peers not in college.

How to Tell if Someone Has an Adderall Addiction

We may be able to tell if a family member is doing drugs, but it may be very difficult to detect Adderall abuse. However, with close examination, you might be able to notice the following signs of Adderall addiction.

Physical Signs of Adderall Dependence

Addiction to Adderall may manifest in several physical ways, with some being more apparent than others.

Drastic weight loss due to appetite suppression or severe fatigue due to insomnia could be a sign that something’s wrong. Chronic addiction may raise the risk of Adderall side effects.

Potential Adderall abuse side effects may include:

  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Body twitches
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dry mouth

Behavioral Changes

Adderall abuse may result in behavioral changes like increased energy, talkativeness, and physical activity. While Adderall is meant to increase a person’s concentration, abusing the drug can cause serious consequences. A person may spread themselves too thin, ending up totally exhausted.

Hostile or aggressive behavior, especially among kids, has also been linked to Adderall abuse. While research in this area is ongoing, doctors may warn patients to watch out for aggressive behavior while using Adderall.

Adderall abuse might suppress one’s appetite, making them care little for food and good nutrition. Moreover, it can cause insomnia–difficulty staying or falling asleep. These may both lead to negative physical consequences and poor health.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Long-term Adderall users do experience withdrawal symptoms regularly. Continual Adderall intake causes the brain to suffer serious chemical imbalances.

As the chemical imbalances get worse in the brain, the brain fails to properly control bodily processes. And as various bodily processes begin to break down, withdrawal symptoms occur.

Withdrawal symptoms usually take the following forms:

  • Loss of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Angry outbursts

Adderall withdrawal symptoms signal the first phase of the road to addiction.

Lifestyle Signs

As the body and brain become more reliant on the effects of Adderall, one’s priorities and motivations start to revolve around getting and taking more drugs. Lifestyle signs of Adderall addiction most often take these forms:

  • Financial problems
  • Legal problems
  • Failing health
  • A decline in grooming and appearance
  • Relationship problems
  • Skipping work

Signs of Substance Abuse and Paraphernalia

Someone who’s abusing Adderall is likely to exhibit signs of using drugs. If they’ve got an Adderall prescription, the pills will probably run out sooner than expected.

If they have several prescriptions, they might “doctor shop”–i.e. visit several doctors to get more medication than normally prescribed. Others feign symptoms of ADHD to get an Adderall prescription.

Another sign may be how one stores the medication. If they wrap the pills in plastic or keep them in small bags, chances are they weren’t prescribed to that individual. Even if someone has a got a prescription, this storage method probably indicates they’re using more than prescribed by their doctor.

Although Adderall is usually taken by mouth, some crush the tablets and snort them. Snorting a drug can produce a more powerful effect as the drug is absorbed faster.

Drug paraphernalia like razor blades, rolled paper, or hollow pens might be found among the items of someone who’s been snorting Adderall. While quite rare, Adderall may also be injected. Lighters, spoons, and of course needles may be a sign of Adderall intake through injection.

Long-Term Effects of Adderall Abuse

Adderall can also affect one’s heart health since it’s a stimulant. While abusing the drug, one can experience tachycardia (fast heartbeat), heart disease, and hypertension. And if a person already suffers from a heart problem, they can suffer a heart attack, stroke, or seizure.

Heavy or long-term Adderall use can result in multiple health conditions outside of those related to the heart, such as:

  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Lethargy

In addition, long-term abuse of Adderall can alter the way the brain functions. This is down to the fact that when one is abusing Adderall, the drug causes neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin to stop being produced naturally.

As a result, depression is one of the main effects linked to Adderall addiction. This is because using the drug damages those neurotransmitters as well as their function.

Seek Adderall Addiction Treatment Today

Don’t allow Adderall addiction to take over you or your loved one’s life anymore. Whether you’re caring for a family member or you need help yourself, Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centers can help.

Contact us today to learn more about our treatment and recovery programs.

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

We offer residential and outpatient rehab treatment programs for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

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