Adderall Addiction

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Addict reaching for drugs

Adderall addiction is serious and has long-term side effects. Understanding the dangers of taking this drug can help you or a loved one realize the necessity of seeking drug recovery treatment.

Statistic on Adderall Abuse

AddictionsTreatment.org reports that approximately 1.1 million people 12 years or older abuse stimulants such as Adderall. College students have a high rate of abusing Adderall, and those who do usually use other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, tranquilizers and pain relievers.

Adderall as a Drug of Choice

Many people who abuse Adderall don't initially set out to become addicted. These individuals have Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD) and receive the drug for treatment. Since Adderall is a highly addictive drug, many people begin taking it not realizing they will have a difficult time stopping because they become physically and psychologically addicted.

Another group of people who become addicted to Adderall do so because they actively sought out the drug as a replacement for cocaine or as their primary drug of choice. Since Adderall is a stimulant, it heightens a user's concentration, motivation and ability to accomplish tasks quickly. The problem occurs when the user comes off the high and begins to notice a decrease in his or her productivity. When this happens, the user takes more of the drug to keep the stimulation going and this is when Adderall addiction begins.

What Makes Adderall Addictive

Adderall is addictive for two reasons:

  • It helps people be more productive; this gives them the false perception that they are not able to do as much or as well as they do when not on it.
  • It has significant withdrawal symptoms when decreasing or stopping dosage; this drives a user to take more of the drug to avoid those effects.

These psychological and physical dependencies can cause Adderall addiction. This is especially true for individuals who have a history of addiction because they are much more sensitive to psychological cravings, drug seeking behaviors and physical dependence on almost any drug that stimulates the body and mind.

Why Adderall Addiction Is Harmful

Many people don't think that Adderall addiction is harmful because it's a drug that is widely prescribed to children and adults. While a medicinal dose to treat ADHD and ADD can be helpful, a prolonged heightened dose can have serious short and long-term side effects.

Individuals who take Adderall will experience a high that lasts for a few hours. When coming off the high, they may feel groggy, unmotivated and fatigued. Without taking the drug again, the person may begin to feel depressed and either have trouble sleeping or sleep for a long time.

Long-term effects of Adderall include the following:

  • Violent or aggressive behavior
  • Paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis
  • Increased body temperature
  • Irregular or faster heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Tremors or worsening of Tourette's Syndrome
  • Death

Freeing Yourself from Addiction to Adderall

If you've tried to quit Adderall, you know how difficult it can be. You know that the effects from it are short-lived, but the withdrawal symptoms are unbearable. It may seem like stopping Adderall is hopeless and that you'll be imprisoned by it for the rest of your life.

The good news is that you do have hope, and you can free yourself from Adderall addiction. The first step is to admit that you have an addiction. Once you're able to see that you have a problem, you need to reach out for help. You may need medical monitoring with Adderall withdrawal, so the best place to support you through your recovery is a drug treatment center.

At a drug treatment center, you'll receive around-the-clock care to ensure that your body releases the dependence it has on Adderall slowly and safely. While you go through the physical recovery process, you'll work through your psychological dependence. Many recovery centers provide individual and group therapy to help you understand why you became addicted to the drug and what you can do to ensure that you don't end up entangled in an Adderall addiction again.

Adderall Addiction