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Adderall

Drug Treatment Guide

adderallWhat is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant medication prescribed to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It has also been prescribed to help with sleep disorders and severe depression.

Stimulants like Adderall increase dopamine levels, therefore essentially speeding up certain bodily processes and allowing those with attention deficit to better concentrate.

How is Adderall Abused?

Adderall abuse can occur in different ways, including:
  • Taking a larger dose of the medication than originally prescribed
  • Administering the drug in a different way than intended (smoking, snorting, injecting)
  • Taking the drug for non-medical reasons
  • Taking the drug more often than prescribed
  • “Borrowing” or stealing someone else’s Adderall
  • Buying the drug illegally and using it to get high

Most prescription drug abuse falls into three categories: opiate painkillers, benzodiazepine sedatives, and stimulants. Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are the most widely abused stimulant medications. Those who suffer from a dependence on Adderall may require addiction treatment to address the underlying causes if their substance abuse.

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What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drugs are abused whenever they are taken in a different way than intended by a medical doctor.  Methods of drug misuse and over-use depend greatly on the substance in question. Common ways people abuse medications include: taking larger doses than prescribed, mixing several medications together, using medications intended for someone else, and using a different method of drug administration than intended.


What are the Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Abuse?

Long-term abuse of Adderall can lead to some dangerous health effects, including:
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling weak in the arms or legs
  • Experiencing chest pain
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Breaking out in rashes or hives
  • Experiencing paranoia or mania
  • Skin may begin to blister or peel
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Changes in eyesight
  • Seizures

If someone you care about is abusing prescription drugs or experiencing any of these dangers symptoms of abuse, contact a certified addiction treatment facility for help today.

Adderall and CNS StimulantsAdderall Abuse

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants like Adderall are the third most-widely abused prescription drug class. These medications are often prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD), and may also be prescribed for other medical conditions. While these stimulants do not produce a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome when use is discontinued, they are associated with a wide spectrum of emotional and motivational withdrawal symptoms.


What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Adderall?

In order to understand the dangers of stimulant abuse, it’s important to make a distinction between physical and psychological drug dependence. While opiates and sedatives are known to produce physical dependence and associated withdrawal symptoms, stimulants are instead associated with a psychological reaction.

Common withdrawal symptoms from Adderall and other drugs include:
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Lack of motivation
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia

Because drug cravings and compulsive use patterns are common, it is possible for people to become addicted to Adderall and other stimulants without developing physical withdrawal symptoms.


Effective Treatment for Adderall Abuse and Addiction

Adderall dependence can be successfully treated through a combination of rehabilitation and aftercare support programs. While medical intervention is not widely used to treat stimulant abuse, a detoxing period can still be used to enforce abstinence and help stabilize patients prior to rehab.

Common treatment models applied during rehab include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Motivational incentives
  • 12-step support groups
  • Relapse prevention among others

The importance of aftercare should not be underestimated, with ongoing counseling and 12-step programs a useful way to promote long-term recovery.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with Adderall abuse or any other stimulant medications, it’s important to reach out to a professional treatment center to get the help you need today.

Sources

  1. Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Summary. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/director
  2. Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/stimulant-adhd-medications-methylphenidate-amphetamines 
  3. Lakhan, S. E., & Kirchgessner, A. (2012, September). Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489818/

Last updated on June 21st, 2017 at 07:14 pm

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