Adderall Addiction and Withdrawal: What is Adderall
Before discussing Adderall addiction and withdrawal, first we need to define what is Adderall. Adderall is a medication that is known as an amphetamine, specifically, Adderall is an amphetamine and dextroamphetamine combination that belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants. This combination medication is typically used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works by changing the amounts of specific natural substances in the brain. For those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, this type of medication can help with focus and behavioral problems which are common for the disorder. They may also help the person to organize tasks and improve listening skills. Adderall is also used for those who suffer from narcolepsy as it has a stimulant affect to keep them awake.
Adderall is also a medication that is commonly abused as many believe that it will help them focus and not need sleep or need much less sleep. This is a common use among college and high school students. However, any affects for those without ADHD or narcolepsy are purely placebo effects as Adderall does not create focus in a person, it makes up for deficits in those with the disorders. Though Adderall addiction is not common, it is possible. This is mostly true of those that have a substance abuse disorder or those who do not use the drug properly by taking too much, too often, or longer than prescribed.
Side Effects of Adderall
Even using the medication appropriately, there may be side effects. These can include loss of appetite, weight loss, upset stomach, dry mouth, dizziness, nervousness, and even trouble sleeping among others. A few users also have agitation, aggression, mood swings, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. This is if used correctly. Those abusing Adderall may experience these side effects and much more.
Adderall can physically change the brain’s neurocircuitry that for some, can lead to altered behaviors and mental disorders, even suicidal tendencies, even if taken correctly. However, this is more common with those abusing the drug. Some who are addicted have tried to inject Adderall directly into the bloodstream to achieve a better ‘high’, but this is also highly likely to be fatal. At one time athletes were using Adderall to enhance performance, but it was outlawed as several died because of increased blood pressure, heat stroke, and cardiac arrest.
Though Adderall is a powerful stimulant, it can be hard to recognize signs of abuse. Those that abuse Adderall are often students and young professionals who are busy all the time anyway, so the enhanced and alertness may not be recognized at first. However, a few signs over time may point to Adderall abuse and signal for help. Being overly talkative and unusually excitable can be signs of Adderall abuse as the stimulant keeps the user moving. The excitability should go beyond what is normal for that person or be over things that are not normally exciting. The same holds true for being talkative.
Some people are naturally talkative, but this would be excessive and often bouncing between ideas or being overly focused on a single topic. On the other hand, a person may become withdrawn, be exhausted, and have secretive behaviors. This is often to hide the addiction and can be related to withdrawal in some cases. You may see financial problems as well as more pills are bought illegally. Physically, the person may have a loss of appetite, weight loss, and sleep for long periods of time. Some of this can be related to normal use. But if due to normal use the side effects should wear off in time, with Adderall addiction they will maintain or get worse.
Red Flags to Abuse
As addiction worsens you may note a decline in personal hygiene, relationship problems, overworking, running out of pills from a prescription early, disorientation, mania, and even impulsive behaviors. These are all red flags to abuse, especially when several occur at the same time.
Those abusing Adderall may choose to snort it for immediate effects. They do this by crushing the pills into a fine powder and sniffing it, but creates side effects that can be dangerous. Snorting pills will cause the destruction of the nasal and sinus cavities which get worse with continued use in this manner. Since it also provides a stronger ‘high’ the other effects of Adderall are also enhanced, like irregular heartbeat, heightening the chances of overdose.
Stopping Adderall and Adderall Withdrawal
The withdrawal from Adderall is what makes it harder for users to stop. If someone quits cold turkey, they will have an experience that is basically the opposite of the drug’s effects. These may include extreme fatigue, unusually slow heartbeat, and loss of concentration.
The best form of treatment for Adderall addiction is as an in-patient in rehab. It may be necessary to wean off the medication for medical purposes so an in-patient facility will reduce the ability to take or get extra pills. One rehab that can be helpful is The River. The River is located in Thailand and is the leading 5-star addiction recovery facility in Southeast Asia. The 12 week program is so well designed that once released, if a person relapses within the first year, a complementary month long stay is offered.
The River treats patients through the use of evidence-based treatment practices with a core focus on life skills. The River is the perfect option for those who desire permanent change in their lives, including abstinence from drug and substance abuse. The program utilized has been perfected through 80 years of use and directly addresses the problems of the addict. The River program also leads into the exploration of creative potential with the development of substitute behaviors for addiction. The River believes this is the foundation of health and stability in life. Ultimately, The River combines typical mind therapies with holistic wellness and creative recovery methods (mind, body, spirit) to empower the addict to reach into recovery.
If you or a loved one are struggling with Adderall addiction or any addiction, give The River a chance to help you change your life for the better. You are worth so much more than being an addict and The River can help you find your worth.