Adderall is a stimulant medication that is used to treat conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It works by improving mental alertness, concentration, and attention. However, while it’s an effective treatment for certain disorders, it’s a medication that is often abused for its effects. It’s a popular drug among high school and college students who use it as a “study drug” to allow them to concentrate and study for longer periods of time. It’s also abused by people who want to lose weight or to be able to drink more alcohol and remain alert.
Understanding Adderall Abuse and Addiction
The stimulant Adderall is commonly abused for the reasons mentioned above. It provides users with increased energy and feelings of confidence and concentration. Using the medication for reasons other than prescribed indicates abuse, and abuse can quickly lead to addiction.
Over time, using Adderall can lead to a physical dependence. Often times, with Adderall and other addictive drugs, users will develop a tolerance to the medication. What that means is that the user’s body becomes accustomed to having the medication and need to take more of the drug to produce the same effects they had previously. Abusing Adderall by taking more than prescribed is a slippery slope that can lead to addiction, which can result in serious physical and emotional problems.
Who Is at Risk of Adderall Addiction?
Adderall is a popular stimulant for people who are looking to enhance their physical or mental performance or who are looking to obtain a recreational high feeling. It’s an appetite suppressant and it increases focus and concentration while providing users with more energy. Those who are most likely to abuse Adderall and become addicted include:
- Students who use Adderall to help improve attention and focus while studying.
- Professionals who are in stressful jobs who want to improve their attention, energy, and concentration.
- Athletes who take Adderall to enhance their performance, alleviate fatigue and pain, and increase their attention and aggression.
- People who have social anxieties who use the drug to boost mood, confidence, and social skills.
- People with eating disorders who want to lose weight quickly.
How Do You Prevent Adderall Addiction?
If you are prescribed Adderall for ADHD or narcolepsy, there are some things you can do to help prevent yourself from abusing the drug and becoming addicted to it. Consider the following:
- Follow the doctor’s prescription precisely. It’s important that you take Adderall exactly as it’s prescribed. Taking more or taking it more frequently that it’s prescribed is abuse and it can lead to addiction. Never take Adderall that was prescribed for someone else.
- Take tolerance breaks occasionally. When you take Adderall over a period of time, you will develop a tolerance to it. Instead of asking your doctor for a higher dose to compensate, discuss the option of taking a break from the medication. Not taking Adderall for a few days or a week will cause your tolerance to go back down so that when you start again, you’ll have more potent effects. This is something that you should do only after you have talked to your doctor about it.
- Know the signs of dependence and addiction. Physical dependence on Adderall is far different than addiction. When you become physically dependent on a drug, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are addicted to it. However, physical dependence can be a precursor to addiction. Understanding the signs of addiction is important. If you experience the following, it’s important to tell your doctor as you may need treatment for an Adderall addiction:
- Needing Adderall just to get out of bed in the morning
- Feeling like you need to take Adderall to complete simple tasks or to cope with your daily life.
- Powerful and uncontrollable cravings for Adderall.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you lower your dosage or stop taking Adderall.
Getting Help for Adderall Addiction
The withdrawal symptoms of Adderall can be pretty unpleasant. That’s why it’s recommended that detox from the drug be done at an addiction treatment center under the care of medical professionals. Doing so will make the detox process much more comfortable and safer. Upon completing detox, it’s important to continue addiction treatment with outpatient or inpatient rehab. Detox alone often isn’t enough to prevent relapse from happening.
If you or a loved one is addicted to Adderall, My Time Recovery can help you safely detox and begin your journey towards recovery. Contact us today with your questions.