What is Adderall?
Adderall is an amphetamine stimulant that is prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. It is used to help patients increase their attentiveness and control their hyperactive behaviors. Inattentive ADHD types tend to exhibit difficulty maintaining focus, listening to others, staying on task, completing projects and following through on responsibilities. Hyperactive ADHD types have problems sitting still, interrupting others, and controlling their impulses. People with ADHD are usually one type or the other, though in some cases patients exhibit traits of both types. Adderall has been effective in addressing the symptoms of both types of ADHD.
Largely due to the fact that Adderall is prescribed to a large number of school-age children, access to the drug is widespread, making it more accessible for recreational use and other misuses. A culture has developed in high schools and universities across the nation to use Adderall as a study aid, enabling students to be more focused on their work and able to stay up for long stretches into the night without feeling the need to eat or rest. In higher doses, Adderall also has the potential to produce euphoric effects.
There are several possible side effects experienced by people who take Adderall, and the chances of them occurring increase when the drug is misused. Possible side effects include:
- Loss of voice
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Changes in libido
These side effects can worsen or persist with continued abuse of Adderall. Some more severe side effects include numbness, slurred speech, skin rashes, paranoia, sudden outbursts and seizures. Continued overuse can even lead to an overdose.
Using Adderall without a prescription or taking doses higher than prescribed can have adverse effects over a long period of time. People who take the drug repeatedly can develop a tolerance to Adderall. When you develop a tolerance to a drug, you need to take more and more of it to get the desired effects. Continuing to take higher and higher doses leads to an even greater tolerance. During this process, your body becomes used to functioning with the drug in your system. You may get to the point where you become dependent upon Adderall, which means that your body will not be able to function normally without it.
People who have become addicted to Adderall may experience various withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug. Since Adderall does not have severe physical withdrawal symptoms, the most noticeable symptoms are usually psychological. Withdrawal symptoms include lethargy, malaise, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.
Treatment options for Adderall addiction include detoxification and inpatient treatment at rehabilitation centers, individual counseling and group therapy sessions. The exact course of treatment depends on the duration of the addiction, the patient’s mental health and drug history, and whether or not the patient is currently abusing any drugs other than Adderall. With proper treatment, patients can overcome their dependence and get back to living healthy, drug-free lives.
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.