Adderall is a prescription drug that treats attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is a disorder that makes it difficult for an individual to maintain focus or control impulsive behaviors. Adderall is an effective drug that increases focus and attention. These are two of the most prominent factors that those with ADHD need addressing. Adderall can help those with ADHD by reducing hyperactive behavior when taken as prescribed. In addition, it decreases impulsivity and sharpens focus. Sometimes, Adderall is prescribed because it increases wakefulness in individuals with narcolepsy. However, Adderall is a stimulant substance that can become habit-forming when abused.
Who Abuses Adderall?
Adderall abuse occurs by people of all ages, but most specifically among college students. The reason behind Adderall abuse across this demographic is because of the jolt of energy it produces. College students find it appealing, as taking it can help them stay awake to study, write papers, etc. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies show overall Adderall misuse is higher among college students (11.1%) than their non-college peers (8.1%). This same group of individuals also abuse it while partying. Adderall abuse is a way to keep students awake and counter the depressant effects of alcohol.
In addition to college students, there are more mothers abusing Adderall than ever before. Managing a household, especially one with children, can be absolutely exhausting for a mother. Being a mother involves getting up in the middle of the night with upset or sick children, staying up with them to finish homework, bringing them to different extracurricular activities, and so on. The amount of energy that a mother has to bring to the table can be overwhelming for some. Rather than scaling back, it can seem easier and more appealing to take Adderall to help keep up the pace.
College students and mothers are not the only groups of individuals who abuse Adderall, as it is a drug that is attractive to anyone who wants to achieve an energetic high. Despite it being a prescription drug that is frequently prescribed to teenagers and young adults, Adderall remains a dangerous substance that can destroy one’s health and wellbeing.
Signs of Adderall Addiction
You may be wondering if you are addicted to Adderall if you are not taking it as prescribed. Determining if you have an addiction to this prescription drug can be extremely difficult, especially because there always exists a sense of “it can’t happen to me” in everyone. However, being aware of what constitutes an addiction is imperative. If you are in fact addicted to Adderall (or any other substance), it is critical that you get the right treatment.
Symptoms of Addiction
If you are addicted to Adderall or any other substance, there are some symptoms commonly associated with the disease of addiction. These symptoms are applicable to Adderall addiction and include:
- Using outside of recommended guidelines
- Increasing the amount you are using in order to achieve a high (this is known as tolerance)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when unable to use as much as normal or stop using altogether
- Feeling like you cannot function without the drug(s)
- Your use is impacting your performance at work or school or interfering with your home life
- Continuing to use despite the consequences it has caused you and/or others
- Attempting to get multiple prescriptions of your drug of choice by visiting different doctors (known as doctor shopping)
- Changing the format of the substance (e.g. crushing a prescription drug to snort it instead of swallow it)
- Withdrawing socially and no longer participating in previously enjoyed activities
- Being unable to control the amount of drugs/alcohol you consume
Symptoms of Adderall Addiction
When specifically addicted to Adderall, symptoms of this type of addiction include the following:
- Racing thoughts
- Loss of appetite
- Manic behavior
Someone who uses Adderall appropriately is not going to experience these symptoms. Therefore, you may be addicted to Adderall if some or all of these symptoms are present in your life. It is important to note that you do not need to engage in long-term use of Adderall to start seeing these symptoms or to become addicted to it. Every person who struggles with the disease of addiction does so in his or her own way, meaning that one person might become hooked within a few weeks of misuse while another person doesn’t become addicted for a few months. If you are suffering from Adderall addiction, it is crucial to reach out for help as soon as possible.
Getting Help for Adderall Addiction
If you know you have an addiction to Adderall, or even if you think you might, it is critical that you do not keep up this deadly cycle of abuse. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning that the longer you keep using, the more severe the consequences can be. The idea of asking for help might be overwhelming and intimidating, especially if you do not know what to do.
Consider the following if you believe you need help for Adderall addiction:
- Contact your primary care provider and ask for referrals to the appropriate people/facilities that can offer residential addiction treatment
- Tell a friend, family member, or loved one about your concerns, as they can offer support and assistance in finding the right care
- Go to 12-Step meetings (such as Narcotics Anonymous, or NA) to get immediate community support
- If you have a therapist, even a family therapist, contact him or her and discuss your feelings
Simply telling someone else, whether it be a medical professional like a doctor or someone close to you like a parent or sibling, can get the ball rolling in the right direction in terms of getting the care that you need.
If you need help, do not wait one more day. Reach out to us right now to learn more about how you can stop abusing Adderall and start living in recovery.