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Adderall Addiction

With all prescription drugs, there runs a risk of potential addictive qualities when ignoring the recommended dose. Adderall is a medication that should only be obtained when prescribed by a doctor, but it often makes its way into the hands of those who were not prescribed the drug. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It also has been approved to treat a sleep disorder known as narcolepsy.

The major benefit of Adderall is that, unlike many other prescribed medications, it’s less likely to show addictive traits in those who truly need it. While no one is exempt from addiction, adhering to the prescribed dosage for symptoms can lead to real benefits for those with ADHD or narcolepsy. 

However, John Hopkins University reports that Adderall misuse is at its highest among 18- to 25-year-olds, who are primarily getting the medication from friends or family members without a doctor’s recommendation or prescription.

Last year, more than 80 percent of Americans (PDF) had contact with a healthcare specialist. This placed doctors in a precarious position to identify who needed which medications in turn led to overprescribing in the United States. The problem with overprescribing medications is that, when used as prescribed or only as needed, it means that there will be extra medication left over, which can lead to illegal distribution. Without the direction of a doctor to carefully measure a dosage and monitor the effects, Adderall overprescription can lead to people abusing the medication. These are the types of situations that could contribute to the growth of Adderall addiction.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription pill stimulant that is used in the treatment of ADHD. The active ingredients in Adderall are amphetamine & dextroamphetamine. These are powerful central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Adderall produces euphoria, increased concentration, high energy, and feelings of self-confidence. It also has an intense and long-lasting high, but its intended use is to help increase concentration in individuals who have problems focusing. These unintended side effects are often what lead to Adderall abuse. 

Adderall can become habit-forming depending on a user’s intentions. Those with prior drug abuse history may be more at risk of abusing Adderall. Those who are prescribed and take it strictly for its intended purpose at work and school can avoid building a tolerance too quickly, but those who are seeking a high will build a tolerance faster due to the increased dosage required to achieve that high.

The appropriate method of consumption is oral usage, but a popular method among users is snorting. This can lead to dangerous consequences as oral consumption breaks the medication down slowly, evenly distributing the dose for optimum performance. On the other hand, snorting the medication leads to a more rapid onset of the high. There is a higher likelihood of overdose by consuming it in this manner, which could lead to coma, brain damage, and even death.

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What Are the Effects of Adderall

The effects of Adderall can vary from one person to another based on the illness it treats. Someone who takes Adderall for ADHD will experience different effects than someone who does not have ADHD.

Some of the most common effects for individuals can be:

  • Improved attention span: Adderall is responsible for kick-starting chemicals in the brain that helps those struggling with ADHD stay focused.
  • Sleeping problems: Due to its stimulant properties, sleep problems are present in those taking Adderall.
  • Dry mouth: A common, but unpleasant side effect of Adderall is dry mouth. It is caused by reduced production of saliva in your mouth due to dehydration.
  • Shortness of breath: This is a more severe side effect of Adderall – contact your medical professional immediately if you are dealing with shortness of breath.
  • Slowed growth: Children who take Adderall ma struggling with delayed growth as a side effect, as their bodies are still developing.

Signs of Adderall Abuse

Since this medication is typically prescribed for adults and young adults, there is a higher chance that abuse could occur. You should be aware of the warning signs if a loved one you know is taking Adderall even for medicinal purposes.

Here are signs that someone has moved past using this medication for its prescribed purpose:

  • Taking a higher dose than prescribed
  • Consuming the substance any way other than orally, such as by snorting
  • Consumption for any other reason than medical need, such as staying awake for long periods of time
  • Consuming more frequently than it has been prescribed
  • Doctor shopping
  • Obtaining the medication through other means than a pharmacy

If you suspect that someone may be abusing Adderall, there are signs and symptoms of long-term abuse that you should look out for:

  • Someone complaining about weakness or numbness in their arms or legs
  • Dizziness
  • Slowed speech
  • Hives
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Mania

Early detection in these cases is vital to saving someone’s life. If you or anyone that you know is exhibiting any signs of the behaviors listed above, it is important that you reach out for help. Drug abuse can cause irreversible damage, but if caught early can dramatically change the outcome of someone’s life.

Adderall Rehab Procedure

There are several steps throughout the Adderall Rehab process, but the first step is intake. At this point, the user will meet with medical professionals that will help determine the best course of action for your treatment. They will take careful consideration of how long the person has been using, their dosage, and a variety of factors relating to your lifestyle. 

The next step will be detox to rid your system of the Adderall. As a part of intake, medical staff will decide the best option(s) for a comfortable detox. While this is an uncomfortable part of the process, these dedicated professionals will ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. During detox, you will be medically monitored around the clock to help with the side effects of Adderall withdrawal.

Once you or your loved one has successfully completed detox, addiction therapy will begin. This is usually done in a residential setting where you will receive regular therapy while living in the security of the facility. Adderall rehabilitation utilizes several approaches to treatment such as individual and group therapy, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, specialized classes focusing on Adderall’s effects, and special activities to begin taking the steps to get your life back.

Once the addiction therapy process concludes, it is on to extended care for the individual. This is where all the tools learned during the intensive therapy will be on full display. Clinical professionals will diagram a proper post-therapy plan to best suit the needs and lifestyle of the former user. This may include further counseling, follow-up appointments, or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Adderall Statistics

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you or someone you care about is struggling with Adderall addiction and ready to take the first steps towards recovery and a better, sober tomorrow, Ocean Breeze Recovery can help. We offer outpatient treatment to those that have either completed a residential program or those that can’t afford to put their lives on hold for treatment. We offer medical detox and residential treatment at our sister facility, Arete Recovery.

Call us today to speak with one of our addiction specialists about which of our treatment programs is best for you or your loved one. You can also contact us online for more information.


Hub Staff Report (February 2016) Adderall Abuse on the Rise Among Young Adults; Retrieved from

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018) National Center for Health Statistics/ Ambulatory Care Use and Physician office visits from

RxList. (N/D) Adderall; Retrieved from

Journal of American College Health. (2008 November-December) Illicit use of prescription ADHD medications on a college campus: a multimethodological approach. DeSantis A., Webb E., Noar S. Retrieved from

PsyCom. Adderall on Campus. Harrar, S. Retrieved from

NIDA. Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs. Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs for 8th Graders, 10th Graders, and 12th Graders; 2016 – 2019 (in percent)*. Retrieved from

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