In 2019, medical and mental health providers wrote more than 25 million prescriptions for Adderall, making it the 24th most commonly prescribed medication in America. Adderall is widely prescribed as a first-line treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. When used as directed, it is safe and effective for symptom management. Unfortunately, it is also widely misused for its stimulating effects.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a drug used primarily as a treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Sold under its brand name (Adderall), the drug is a combination of two drugs; dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Adderall changes how the brain produces naturally occurring chemicals. It also changes how chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine affect the brain and body. When used as directed, Adderall helps individuals struggling with behavioral challenges reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. Adderall also helps improve attention span. Data provided from research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic show Adderall helps improve symptoms in individuals with ADHD by as much as 80%. When used as part of a comprehensive mental health treatment program, the effects may be improved.
Why Is Adderall Addictive?
Adderall contains amphetamine which is a stimulant drug. Although helpful when addressing specific symptoms of ADHD or narcolepsy, stimulants are also frequently abused and misused for their effects. Teens, college students, and many adults take Adderall (not prescribed to them) to improve focus, help with academic or work performance, improve mood and decrease appetite. “Off-label” uses such as the above can quickly lead to addiction and a range of potentially harmful physical and psychological side effects that are complex and difficult to overcome without addiction treatment help.
Adderall works within the brain to increase dopamine levels. Dopamine is sometimes called a “feel good” hormone because it is one of the chemicals responsible for feelings of joy, reward, and happiness. Dopamine levels also play a role in regulating energy levels. Another chemical affected by Adderall is norepinephrine. Norepinephrine works with other chemicals in the body to control blood circulation and heart rate, which improve alertness and contribute to improved energy levels.
When people abuse or misuse Adderall, they will build up a tolerance to the effects of the drug. Tolerance can also occur in individuals who use the drug as prescribed for extended periods. With tolerance also comes a dependency on how the drug makes you feel. In some cases, when or if Adderall is no longer available, some people turn to other stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine to achieve a similar “high.”
How To Find an Adderall Addiction Rehab Today
When you are addicted to (or dependent on) Adderall, suddenly stopping or reducing how much you use may trigger withdrawal symptoms. Even if you are one of the millions of people who take Adderall as prescribed, it can still lead to physical dependency. Some common examples of withdrawal symptoms people experience when quitting Adderall may include mood changes, panic attacks, fatigue, anxiety, cravings, problems sleeping, and changes in appetite.
For most people, Adderall withdrawal produces mild to moderate symptoms. However, others may experience strong, overwhelming withdrawal symptoms that quickly lead to drug-seeking behaviors and relapse. Even when symptoms are mild, overcoming addiction without support and guidance can be challenging. The safest and most successful way to get sober and put addiction in the past is to seek help at an Adderall addiction rehab.
During rehab, a team of caring and compassionate treatment professionals will support you as you slowly and safely wean off Adderall. If you have regularly used Adderall as part of a long-term treatment program or due to struggle with addiction, the withdrawal process can lead to significant medical and mental health challenges. The symptoms of severe withdrawal such as hallucinations, psychosis, seizures, and cardiac arrest point to the need to stop using Adderall in a safe, medically supported setting.
To learn more about how Adderall addiction rehab can help you or a loved one overcome Adderall dependency or addiction, contact Concise Recovery today.