Vyvanse abuse, addiction, and treatment
There are new drugs out on the market every day. Unfortunately, even drugs that are legally used to treat medical conditions can pose a threat of addiction. Amphetamines like Adderall, Ritalin, speed, and meth are well-known for their addictive qualities, and you’ve probably heard about them.
Vyvanse, on the other hand, is fairly new to the market after being approved by the FDA in 2007. Although it has a reputation for being less likely to be abused than other amphetamines, it still has a potential for abuse and the effects can be devastating. Let’s take a closer look at Vyvanse, signs and symptoms of use, and the effects of Vyvanse addiction.
What is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is a specific brand of lisdexamfetamine, a stimulant drug used to treat ADHD and Binge Eating Disorder by restoring the chemical balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. It can also help to increase the ability to pay attention, stay focused, and stop fidgeting while decreasing the number of binge eating days. Vyvanse is prescribed by doctors in a pill form and can only be taken orally, which allows the body to convert the medicine into the amino acid lysine and dextroamphetamine.
Vyvanse was designed to be a less addictive alternative to other ADHD medications like Adderall and Ritalin because the drug is inactive until enzymes in the body break it down and it cannot be snorted or injected. However, it can still be addictive as the rush of Vyvanse can cause a chemical and psychological dependence on the drug. Users receive an intense burst of energy and euphoria. This occurs because the drug increases dopamine levels at a rapid and high rate, disrupting communication between brain cells. Some prescriptions users can become addicted are slowly upping their dosages, while others use Vyvanse recreationally. It has become increasingly popular as a “performance enhancing drug,” making it more common among college students. Users who become addicted want to chase the euphoric high they receive.
Related: Are amphetamines addictive?
Signs and side effects of Vyvanse useDetecting Vyvanse addiction can be tricky because the drug normally sharpens concentration and motivation in the first weeks of use. The side effects of Vyvanse use include:
- Stomach pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Dry mouth.
- Weight loss.
- Interrupted sleep patterns.
- High blood pressure.
Drug interactions can also affect how medications work or increase the intensity of side effects or reactions. This could be the case if you’ve taken anti-depressant medication within the last 14 days, or if you’ve had any previous allergic reactions to stimulants in the past.
Someone may be struggling with Vyvanse addiction if they cannot stop taking the drug for a few days, or if they do, they experience withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, hallucinations, delusions, violent or aggressive behavior, insomnia, and sleep disturbances. If you or someone you know lies to others about the use of Vyvanse, buys Vyvanse on the street or from the black market, uses Vyvanse to “enhance” academic performance or stay awake, or takes someone else’s prescription, these are all indicators of Vyvanse addiction. You may also notice an increase in aggression, anger, hostility, and a surge in communication and relationship problems. Additionally, someone using Vyvanse regularly causes long periods of wakefulness, increased excited behavior, mood swings or depression, and lethargy. Over time, someone addicted to Vyvanse may notice decreased levels of concentration and motivation. It can also cause intense rage, profuse sweating, and skin-picking.
Treatment for Vyvanse misuse
Addiction to stimulants is real, and Vyvanse is no different. Prescription drug misuse is a major problem all over the U.S. Fortunately, treatment is available, and people can recover from Vyvanse addiction. Treatment includes addressing physical dependence and behavioral patterns that contribute to the misuse.
The first step to treating Vyvanse addiction is detox where medical staff can carefully monitor withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. Pain and discomfort are treated, and toxins are removed from the body in a safe manner. After detox, inpatient treatment allows time for group and individual therapy sessions. This includes support groups, fitness therapy, life skills classes, and medication management. Treatment for Vyvanse addiction will also prepare you for long-term recovery. This means relapse prevention and aftercare programs that can help you live a healthy, long life without drugs. Sober housing, meetings, and other transitional opportunities, along with emotional tools and coping skills will help you continue your sobriety.
The most important message we can share with you is that living in recovery from addiction is possible for anyone.
Vyvanse does not need to control your life. Freedom is within reach. Addiction treatment can help you or anyone in your life who might be struggling. Take your first step towards recovery today.