Adderall Abuse, Addiction and Understanding the Treatment Options

Adderall addiction and abuse has never been as prevalent as it is today, but going to detox and rehab can aid in recovery. There is a reason why The New York Times referred to this generation as, Generation Adderall. The name could not be more appropriate.

Adderall is a medication that is prescribed to treat ADHD and ADD. It works really well when it is needed and taken appropriately. But too many people are abusing this drug, which is causing many to become addicted to it. This is most often seen on college and university campuses, where this medication has gotten dubbed, The Study Drug.

People who believe they might be addicted to Adderall often have a lot of questions, such as:
  • Is there a difference between Adderall abuse and addiction?
  • What are the short and long-term effects of this drug?
  • What are the signs of Adderall addiction?
  • Does stopping this medication lead to withdrawal?
  • Are there rehab programs that offer Adderall addiction treatment?

Recovering from an Adderall addiction can be difficult, but it is not impossible with the right support. We would like to take a moment to discuss the dangers of this drug and how to find the best treatment facility.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a medication that includes a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These are both central nervous system stimulants that impact chemicals and nerves in the brain that contribute to hyperactive behaviors. They also affect impulse control, which is what makes them so effective to treat ADHD/ADD. In some cases, this drug may also be used to treat narcolepsy.

Abusers may refer to Adderall using a number of street names, such as:

Adderall goes by a number of different street names, and these include:
  • Speed
  • Dexies
  • Black Beauties
  • Double Trouble
  • Pep Pills
  • Beans 
  • Smart Pills
  • Study Buddies

Understanding Adderall’s Side Effects

Adderall is widely prescribed, and it is considered one of the best drugs to treat ADHD/ADD. But it is not without risks. For those who abuse it, those risks are multiplied. They increase their risk of having a heart attack, a stroke, or psychosis.

The side effects of Adderall can be serious, and they include the following: 
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Having circulation problems
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Becoming paranoid 
  • Having auditory or visual hallucinations
Adderall Addiction Information

Adderall Abuse and Addiction

Adderall abuse refers to the use of the drug without a prescription, or outside of your doctor’s orders. For example, maybe you had a prescription for Adderall, but it doesn’t feel as though it’s been working as well for you as it once did. To compensate, you make the decision to increase your dosage. That is considered Adderall abuse.

Adderall addiction occurs once Adderall abuse has occurred, and it’s important not to get the two terms confused. Some of the more common Adderall addiction signs might include:

  • Feeling as though you have to use Adderall just to feel like yourself
  • Panicking if you happen to run out of Adderall
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal once you stop taking Adderall
  • Problems with school, work or within your close relationships
  • Severe mood changes based on your Adderall use

The Short and Long-Term Effects of Adderall

For those who take Adderall when they don’t need it, the effects can be quite severe. Some of the short-term effects of Adderall can include:

  • Having trouble sleeping at night
  • Problems with appetite
  • Loss of libido
  • An increased heart rate
  • Bouts of dizziness
As Adderall is continued, some of the more long-term effects might begin to manifest, and these can include:
  • Bouts of blurry vision
  • The onset of a fever
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Onset of seizures
  • Anxiety or feeling nervous

It is important to note that many of these side effects can occur very quickly, and it is not uncommon for them to start to occur after just one use of the drug when it is not needed.

Adderall: The Study Drug

Adderall has grown in popularity with college students all over the country. These are individuals who are overloaded with classwork, and they also have other obligations and responsibilities. Many college students also work full-time jobs, which can cut into their study time.

Enter Adderall. It does not take long for students to get word that this drug can help them stay awake to study. It can allow them to stay up all night long and then go to class in the morning. Many students like the feelings they get from this stimulant drug, and they like the idea of being able to function without sleep. As a result, it becomes something they turn to any time they need that extra boost.

Statistics show that:

  • In a recent survey, 25% of Michigan University students admitted to using Adderall or a similar drug.
  • Close to half of young adults state that it is very easy to get this drug from classmates.
  • In one study of 300 students between the ages of 18 and 28, 1 out of 3 abused a stimulant drug.

People who are prescribed this drug are supposed to be monitored on a regular basis. If you use the drug for reasons other than what is was prescribed for, you risk having complications that can be life-threatening.

Overdose

It’s possible to overdose on Adderall. If you or a loved one take more than what you should, it’s important to know the symptoms of overdose and get help immediately. They include the following:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Dark urine
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Coma or seizures

If someone exhibits these symptoms after taking Adderall, you should call 911 immediately.

Taking Adderall with Other Drugs

Adderall is dangerous in its own right if abused, but it’s even more so when combined with other drugs. For instance, you should avoid drinking alcohol when you’re taking this medication. Alcohol is a depressant which slows down the central nervous system.

When you mix it with other depressants you run the risk of masking the symptoms. This increases the risk of overdose.

When Adderall is combined with other stimulants, the increase in blood pressure and heart rate could be more than your body can handle. It can lead to heart attack, stroke, seizures and other medical emergencies. Moreover, combining two drugs increases the risk of a fatal overdose.

Adderall and Mental Illness

When a person has a mental illness and a drug addiction, it’s referred to as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Often, the mental illness came first and led to the addiction through self-medicating. In the case of Adderall abuse, it is often the other way around.

Even when you take Adderall as prescribed, you’re at an increased risk for depression and other mental side effects. When you abuse this drug, especially long-term, you are more likely to develop a mental disorder.

Adderall alters the chemistry in your brain, which can impact how it works. Depression is one of the common illnesses that can develop from abusing this drug. You may also discover paranoia or psychosis from taking it. Suicide has resulted from abuse while it often causes anxiety and insomnia in people who take it.

Even though the mental illness may be the result of drug addiction, it must be treated or the person is likely to continue using. Rehab clinics will provide therapy for the addiction and the mental health condition. They may also prescribe medications for the illness. For example, a person may be given an antidepressant for depression or anxiety. They may take a sedative to help them sleep. However, many of these medications also have addictive properties. So the person must be monitored to prevent future issues.

When a mental illness is caused by drug addiction, you may assume that it will be “cured” once the addiction has been dealt with. However, the changes in the brain may be permanent. Even if they are only temporary, it can take months or even longer for the brain to return to its former state. During this time, the person may battle with the symptoms of mental illness.

While treating a mental health condition brought on by drug abuse isn’t easy, it can be done. You can go on to enjoy a productive, successful life while managing both conditions. Just make sure to find a rehab clinic that specializes in dual diagnosis.

When Drug Abuse Becomes Addiction

It’s possible to abuse Adderall and not become addicted. However, addiction can happen and you may not realize it until you can’t stop using when you want to. Your body will develop a tolerance to the drug when you use it which will lessen its effects. You’ll need to take more to get the same results.

As you continue this cycle, your brain will become dependent on the effects of Adderall to function normally. If you try to stop using, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal which is an indication of addiction.

Other signs of abuse or addiction include the following:
  • You think about the drug all the time even when you aren’t using
  • You think about how you can get the drug
  • You avoid people and events where you can’t use
  • You develop new friendships with people who understand your drug use
  • You continue to use even when you get into financial or legal trouble

If this sounds like you, it’s time to seek out help. But don’t try to stop using Adderall on your own.

It’s hard as a parent to watch your college-age child make these decisions. You can see where they’re harming their health even if they think it’s not a big deal. Your son or daughter may think they’re in control of the situation because they can stop whenever they want. They may even limit their use of Adderall to times when they have a big test coming up.

Your child may become defensive when you talk about drug abuse. However, it’s still important that you discuss the dangers of Adderall abuse with your child. Use facts and present information about the dangers of drug use. Talk to them about managing their time so they don’t need drugs to stay awake or to focus. Even a drug that seems harmless can be dangerous when misused.

When an addiction to Adderall has formed, stopping the drug abruptly can lead to significant symptoms of withdrawal that are quite painful to manage on your own. Still, people will often try to stop taking it on their own once they realize they’re addicted. More often than not, these individuals go right back to using Adderall again.

Some common symptoms of withdrawal from Adderall might include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Sweats and chills
  • An erratic heart rate
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Becoming paranoid
  • Weakness in the body

Adderall is a very dangerous drug when it is used improperly, but stopping it on your own is not the answer. It’s much safer to stop your use of Adderall under the care of qualified professionals.

Detoxing for Your Adderall Addiction

To stop using this drug, you need to find a detox facility. Detoxification is a process where your body is cleansed from the drug you’ve been abusing. It allows your system to return to normal function without the need for the drug. It can take some time to get through this process, but it’s essential for rehab treatment.

Adderall Addiction Information

One method of drug detox involves medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms. However, Adderall detox doesn’t have any recommended medication. Antidepressants may be used to help reduce the feelings of depression.

In many cases, the doctor may recommend decreasing the amount of Adderall rather than stopping it all at once. The dosage is gradually reduced until the body doesn’t need it to function.

This method of treatment is gaining popularity in addiction care. It helps improve the health of the person while enabling them to function without the drug. A focus on nutrition and exercise strengthens the immune system. In turn fighting off withdrawal symptoms.

Poor nutrition makes symptoms worse. Your body is lacking essential minerals and vitamins. When you eat healthy foods, your system is better equipped to work the way it’s supposed to.

Exercise also plays a key role. It helps give you energy and makes you feel good. The same way stimulants do but without the negative side effects. In a way, it can trick your brain into thinking it’s still getting the drug. It receives the chemicals it needs for that euphoric feeling.

When you go through a program of holistic detox, you feel better and are able to work on the rest of your recovery program.

Getting Treatment for Your Addiction

Once you finish with detox, you’re ready to begin the next step of your journey to be free from addiction. Right now, you may be feeling really good. Your mind is clear and your body is able to function without the need for a drug. You may even be managing your cravings. However, you’re not prepared to go back to your normal life until you go through rehab.

Treatment at an inpatient drug rehab is necessary for many reasons. For one, it’s important to be monitored. Your dose may need to be tapered down safely. Also, many people tend to give up when they attempt to quit using it on their own. The withdrawal symptoms can become powerful and lead to a relapse.

The issue with relapsing is that people tend to go back to the same amount of the drug they were using. This can lead to an overdose, which can be fatal. Inpatient rehab protects you from any risk of overdosing. You can be sure you’re able to recover properly.

Another option for your addiction treatment is outpatient rehab. In fact, it’s quite popular with prescription drug abuse when the medication begins with abuse before becoming an addiction. Because you may be abusing Adderall for some time and still not be addicted, you may find outpatient programs to be the right fit for your situation. Just don’t think you can get by without treatment because you still need to learn how to manage your problem.

With outpatient care, you attend therapy on a schedule that works around your daily obligations. You can go to school, go to work or take care of the family while still getting the treatment you need. Many rehab facilities offer multiple therapy times for those who need to attend during the day, on weekends or during the evenings.

For outpatient rehab to work, you need to be dedicated to a new lifestyle. You can’t hang out with your friends who are still using. You need people in your life who will encourage you and be a support as you go through therapy. Otherwise, you’re more likely to relapse than with an inpatient program.

What Will You Do in Treatment?

It can be frightening to think about going to a rehab facility if you’re not sure what to expect. You may have heard stories or watched movies and have a lot of myths and incorrect information about what drug rehab is like. It’s important to know what to expect so you can get the most out of your experience.

The most important component of your treatment plan is therapy. With individual counseling, you’ll work with a therapist to understand your addiction.

You’ll talk about the underlying factors and any issues you may have had that led to the addiction. If you were abusing Adderall to help you with school or a work project, it may be that you don’t know how to handle stress.

You’ll work with a therapist to understand the triggers that lead to drug abuse and learn how to find better ways to cope. This is an important part of your recovery plan so you can avoid relapsing once treatment is finished.

Group therapy is just as valuable. You’ll attend meetings with other addicts who are also in recovery. You will discover that you aren’t alone, which can give you the confidence to overcome addiction. Members will talk about what they’re learning and what caused them to become addicted to a substance.

It can feel a bit scary to talk about something so personal in front of people you don’t know. However, these people will become your encouragers and friends through this process.

Another component to recovery is helping you to get healthy. If you’ve been stressed out and taking Adderall to help you focus on a project or school, you probably aren’t taking care of yourself in other ways. Addiction treatment centers have come to realize the importance of treating the whole person and not just the addiction for the best results.

You may work with a nutritionist to see what nutrients you’re lacking in your diet. Your issue with focus may come from a lack of certain minerals or vitamins. When you’re eating the right foods and getting good nutrition, you may find that you have more energy and are better able to concentrate.

Exercise is also important. It not only helps you feel better, but it is a good way to manage stress. It helps you have more energy and it releases those “feel-good” hormones like what you experience with drugs but without the side effects.

You may think of drug addiction treatment as just spending time in therapy. However, a lot more goes on at these centers than you might imagine. You can even have fun while you’re in treatment. You may participate in yoga classes, go hiking or get involved in the community volunteering. You’ll build social connections and learn how to enjoy life again without the use of drugs.

Can You Afford Adderall Rehabilitation?

Perhaps you’re concerned about whether or not you can afford to go to addiction treatment. You may have heard how costly it was in the past, and you’re worried that you won’t be able to pay for it on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about this at all.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, there have been a lot of really great changes made in our country’s healthcare system. One of those changes is the requirement that all health insurance companies help their customers cover the costs associated with professional treatment.

This does not mean that you won’t have to pay anything to go to rehab, but it’s possible that you won’t. At the very least, your out of pocket costs will be minimal, as long as you choose a clinic that participates with your health insurance policy.

The easiest way to know what your health insurance will pay is to contact a facility and ask them.

Northpoint Washington Offers Treatment for Adderall Addiction

At Northpoint Washington, we have worked with many people who have needed help recovering from their Adderall addictions. This drug is very potent, and depending on frequency of use, people can get addicted to it very quickly.

Our approach to treatment includes both detox (if necessary) and rehab. Some of our patients have a hard time stopping this drug, and they need help with their withdrawal symptoms. We offer medical detox as a way to treat withdrawal. This might involve tapering off the drug slowly, and taking additional medications to help with symptoms.

We know the importance of having a personalized approach to addiction recovery. That is why our patients all receive their own treatment plans. This allows us to target the type of therapy they receive so that it meets their unique needs.

It is extremely common for people to suffer from co-occurring disorders when they have an addiction to Adderall. Many of them have ADHD or ADD, which is why they began abusing this drug in the first place. But there may be other mental health conditions that afflict people as well.

Because Adderall is a stimulant drug, it is sought after by those who suffer from depression. It helps to lift their spirits and it makes them feel as though they can accomplish anything. The same may be true for people with bipolar disorder when they are experiencing a depressive episode.

The best way to treat a co-occurring disorder is through dual diagnosis treatment. This is a method that includes therapy for both aspects of the problem – the addiction and the mental health diagnosis. By combining the two, the patient sees the connection, and has a much better chance of long-term recovery.

Northpoint Washington offers one of the best 28-day drug rehab programs in the region. We are an inpatient facility located in Edmonds, Washington. We offer:

  • Medication assisted treatment.
  • A supportive environment for recovery.
  • Relapse prevention and support.
  • Family therapy.
  • Individual and group therapy sessions.
  • Additional therapeutic options, such as art and music therapy.

Our patients typically go through three phases of care. The first is to detox, which usually takes around seven days.

Next is rehab, which exposes the patient to multiple types of therapy. This portion of recovery usually takes around 21 days, and it helps the individual to understand their addiction.

Finally, aftercare is recommended to help the patient stay on the right track. This is essential, and it is a step that should not be skipped.

Adderall Addiction Treatment

Get More Information About Adderall Abuse, Addiction and Recovery

Adderall is a dangerous drug, and abusing it often leads to addiction. But at Northpoint Washington, we offer treatment to help people recover.

We know that taking that first step and reaching out is difficult. It may be the most difficult and the most rewarding decision you ever make.

Do you need to know more about Adderall addiction and abuse? Are you curious about your treatment options? Please contact us.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

(888) 663-7106 Contact Us