What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant medication most often used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, though it can also be prescribed for other conditions like narcolepsy. It is made up of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and while some people who use the drug as prescribed find that it helps them to focus and to be productive, Adderall is also a popular drug of abuse, especially on college campuses as a “study drug.” To learn more about how to recognize Adderall addiction in yourself or in someone you love, take a look through the five signs below. 

1. Exhibiting These Signs Of Intoxication

Like other stimulant drugs, Adderall can increase someone’s energy level, alertness, and attention-span. Someone may be able stay awake for unusually long periods, or become more talkative, active, driven, or focused than usual. You might also notice lowered inhibitions— someone could seem overly excitable or impulsive, or to be in an elevated or euphoric mood. 

However, others who are on Adderall may instead present with jitteriness or restlessness, seeming unpleasantly “wired” and unable to calm down or sit still. They could become overly focused on a singular task to the exclusion of all else, or might appear disoriented by their rapidly racing thoughts. They may exhibit nervousness or anxiety, or, in the extreme, paranoia. They may also become unusually impatient, hostile, aggressive, or even violent. 

These symptoms can sometimes escalate into mania, a psychological condition where an unusual sense of well-being can be joined by grandiosity or a sense of being invincible, and dangerous risk-taking may occur. In the extreme, a condition called amphetamine psychosis that involves delusions and hallucinations may also result from Adderall abuse.

2. Exhibiting These Physical Symptoms 

Adderall is a very powerful drug, and it can come with a lot of unpleasant, worrisome side effects. Since Adderall speeds up your system, it tends to speed up your metabolism as well and to suppress your appetite, making it a popular drug of abuse among those with eating disorders and meaning that an unusual amount of weight loss is one sign that someone may be abusing Adderall regularly. 

Adderall can also cause other gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal pain or cramps. Other physical symptoms caused by Adderall abuse can include muscle pain, headaches, dry mouth, skin problems, hair loss, dizziness, weakness, irregular breathing, or sexual dysfunction. And while Adderall use can cause an initial energy rush, over time it can result in exhaustion and fatigue as continual insomnia results in continual sleep deprivation. 

Finally, Adderall abuse can lead to scary neurological symptoms like verbal or muscular tics, twitching, numbness in the extremities, convulsions, and seizures. And even casual Adderall use without the monitoring of a doctor, who will usually check for any underlying cardiac vulnerabilities, can lead to dangerous cardiovascular symptoms like high blood pressure, chest pain, rapid or irregular heart rate, or, in the extreme, heart failure or a heart attack. 

3. Exhibiting These Signs of Psychological Dependence

As is the case with any addiction, someone who is abusing Adderall will find their life gradually being taken over by the drug. If they have been using Adderall to focus on school or work, this may not initially translate into a loss of productivity, but eventually their performance may suffer as they feel unable to work unless they are on the drug and feel foggy or fatigued unless they are taking it. They thus may resort to taking more and more of the drug in order to feel the same “high” they did in their addiction’s early days, a phenomenon called “tolerance.” 

Even if someone points out how problematic their Adderall use has become, an addict will likely deny that there is an issue and continue to use the drug. They may withdraw socially to hide their Adderall abuse, or start bowing out of important obligations so that they can spend more time alone getting high, even to the extent of neglecting their personal hygiene. You might see them frequently taking pills, or, along with the wired, insomniac highs, you may notice someone sleeping too much or seeming exhausted as they come down from a lengthy Adderall binge. 

4. Going To Extreme Lengths To Continue Abusing Adderall

If someone’s addiction to Adderall began after they were prescribed the stimulant medication by a doctor, they may find themselves running out of their prescription early and then buying more Adderall from friends or on the street. They may also lie or make excuses to their doctor in the hopes of getting an earlier refill. 

On the other hand, if they started using the substance recreationally, their next step may be to fake symptoms of attention deficit disorder for their doctor’s benefit so that they can obtain their own prescription for Adderall, asking for the highest dose they can get away with.

Though this is less common in places where schedule two drugs like Adderall are tightly regulated and managed through an electronic database across pharmacies, they may also try “doctor shopping,” or going from doctor to doctor in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for Adderall. 

If none of these methods work, they may resort to stealing the pills from friends or loved ones or stealing money to buy more Adderall with. Or, if Adderall remains unavailable, they may resort to using even more dangerous illegal stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamines to stay “up” and avoid a crash.

Finally, someone who is addicted to Adderall may try snorting or even injecting the drug for a faster or a more intense high rather than taking the pills by mouth, a method of administration that can be even more dangerous than other forms of Adderall abuse. 

5. Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms When Trying To Curb Use

Someone who is abusing Adderall on a regular basis will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop. They may be exhausted, irritable, anxious, detached, apathetic, or depressed, sometimes even to the point of suicidality. 

They might also experience a need to oversleep, insomnia, or nightmares. Or, they might suffer from physical symptoms like slow heartbeat, aches and pains, and headaches, as well as cognitive symptoms like confusion or difficulty concentrating. 

They can also experience intense cravings for Adderall, which is why many people who struggle with Adderall addiction need professional help in order to stay clean for good. To learn more about Adderall withdrawal, click here now. Or, if you are looking for help for yourself or for someone else who has been dealing with addiction to Adderall or another dangerous substance, don’t hesitate to contact our team at (833) 489-5577 .

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