How does Adderall affect adjustment disorder? Find out if the ADHD medication is beneficial to individuals living with an adjustment disorder following a major life change.

Adderall is a prescription medication that contains a mixture of amphetamine salts. Adderall treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall increases the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in brain cells. Adderall has a high potential for abuse

Adjustment disorder is common and usually goes away on its own. Goals of treatment are easing symptoms until they go away. However, adjustment disorder can lead to substance abuse and suicidal thoughts and behavior in some cases.

Article at a Glance:

  • Adjustment disorder is common and usually goes away on its own
  • Adjustment disorder can lead to developing a substance use disorder
  • Adderall is habit forming, so adjustment disorder may lead to addiction 
  • Do not stop taking Adderall if you have an adjustment disorder. Speak to your psychiatrist or physician.
  • Stopping treatment suddenly might make adjustment disorder worse

Can Adderall Cause Adjustment Disorder?

No, Adderall cannot cause adjustment disorder because it does not cause major life events like moving, divorce or job promotions. However, the side effects of Adderall might make symptoms of adjustment disorder worse.

Alternatively, Adderall may lessen the stressful event if someone has ADHD and takes Adderall as prescribed to manage their symptoms. Proper management of the disease may decrease the chances of someone developing an adjustment disorder.

Can Adderall Affect Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder?

Clinical trials usually exclude people with psychiatric disorders like adjustment disorder or a substance use disorder when testing Adderall. Excluding these people means there is not much data on how Adderall impacts people with adjustment disorder.

The side effects of Adderall can make adjustment disorder worse and difficult to treat. Side effects of Adderall include:

  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Restlessness

These side effects can overlap with symptoms of adjustment disorder, even at prescribed doses. So Adderall might increase the duration of adjustment disorder and make it more intense.

Can Adderall Affect Adjustment Disorder Recovery?

Yes, Adderall can affect adjustment disorder recovery. If someone has a prescription for Adderall and they are diagnosed with adjustment disorder, their recovery should be monitored very closely. Since adjustment disorder increases the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder, and Adderall is abusable, the drug can quickly become abused.

If you or a loved one live with a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health disordercontact The Recovery Village to speak with a representative about how professional addiction treatment can work for you. Using personalized treatment plans, the medical professionals at The Recovery Village provide each patient with care catered to their specific needs. Call and begin your healthier future today.

Related Topic: Treatment for ADHD and PTSD combined

Thomas Christiansen
Editor – Thomas Christiansen
With over a decade of content experience, Tom produces and edits research articles, news and blog posts produced for Advanced Recovery Systems. Read more
Conor Sheehy
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS, CACP
Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read more
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Adderall and ADHD

U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Prescription stimulants in individuals w[…]and adverse effects.” September 2012. Accessed May 29, 2019.

DailyMed. “ADDERALL- Dextroamphetamine Saccharat[…]e Sulfate Tablet.” Package Insert, 2016. Accessed May 20, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.