Adderall is a highly addictive, central nervous system stimulant medication that is used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy. It contains two substances: amphetamine salts and dextroamphetamine. Adderall works by increasing certain types of brain activity; it increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system. Dopamine occurs naturally in the body. It is the body’s natural feel-good chemical that creates a rewarding effect. Drugs like Adderall produce unnaturally high levels of dopamine.
Adderall increases energy, increases the user’s ability to stay focused, pay attention, and can help to control behavior problems. Adderall may also help improve listening skills and help a person to organize their tasks. Adderall is also sometimes used to help those with sleeping disorders to stay awake.
Are Amphetamines in Adderall?
Adderall pretty much the same as amphetamine, but it’s pharmaceutical grade and generally safe to use when taken exactly as prescribed. It is a Schedule II Controlled Substance by the DEA. This means it does have medicinal use, but also has a high potential for abuse which may lead to physical and/or psychological dependence.
The National Library of Medicine says:
Amphetamines are drugs. They can be legal or illegal. They are legal when they are prescribed by a doctor and used to treat health problems such as obesity, narcolepsy, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using amphetamines can lead to addiction. Amphetamines are illegal when they are used without a prescription to get high or improve performance. In this case, they are known as a street, or recreational drugs, and using them can lead to addiction. (NIH)
Amphetamines are highly addictive and abused drugs. Some people do have a prescription and will take their medications as prescribed, but there are a lot of people that abuse them. Taking amphetamine (Adderall) by mouth will cause a mild high or euphoria. A lot of people will crush and snort them to create a much quicker, and stronger high, and some will also inject it.
Adderall Abuse is Dangerous
In some cases, an individual may be prescribed Adderall for a condition such as ADHD or narcolepsy. They may start off taking the medication as prescribed and then start abusing it and develop an addiction. How do you know if you have a problem? There are various physical and mental signs and symptoms of amphetamine abuse.
- Mood swings
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations
- Inability to keep up with school, work, or home responsibilities
- Missing pills from a prescription (taking more than prescribed)
- Spending excess time using or seeking the drug
- Loss of interest in previous activities
- Changes in friends or difficulties with relationships
Not everyone that is prescribed Adderall will abuse the medication or develop an addiction, however, anyone that starts taking the medication at unprescribed doses is at high risk for becoming addicted. Over time those that continue taking the medication will develop a tolerance and may be unable to function normally without it.
Adderall Addiction is Real
A person that has become addicted to Adderall will be dependent on the medication to be alert and productive. Without the medication, they will feel tired and may experience mental fogginess. They will essentially experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the medication. Here are some common withdrawal symptoms:
- Increased appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
The withdrawal symptoms from Adderall have reversed effects of what taking the drug does to you. Those that have a higher tolerance or have been taking larger doses of the medication will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment for Adderall Addiction
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