As a central nervous system stimulant, Adderall is a prescription medication that is often prescribed to individuals who are suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. This medication elicits alertness and wakefulness, while also increasing an individual’s ability to concentrate. While the use of Adderall can serve to benefit those who possess a legitimate medical need for it, it can also appeal to those who do not actually need it. When taken recreationally, Adderall can induce feelings of euphoria, self-confidence, and enhanced motivation. Individuals who take Adderall for non-medical purposes can also experience an ability to accomplish tasks at a more rapid pace.
When people work in high-pressure environments, are placed under a lot of pressure in school, or have many responsibilities that they must adhere to each day, the appeal of Adderall can be a strong one. Additionally, the use of Adderall is known to suppress appetite, so many individuals start taking it in an unhealthy attempt to lose weight quickly. Unfortunately, however, once an individual has begun taking Adderall, he or she can rapidly develop an addiction to this substance. And once this type of addiction has developed, it can be an extremely difficult challenge to overcome without professional assistance.
The presence of an addiction to Adderall is not always as obvious as an addiction to other substances, such as alcohol or heroin. However, there are some telltale symptoms that may serve as warning signs that someone is struggling with an Adderall abuse problem. Examples of such warning signs can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Rapid speech
- Rapid or repetitive movements
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive agitation or irritability
- Unwarranted anger
- Aggressive outbursts
For many Adderall users, the pleasurable effects of the substance seem to outweigh the damage that its use can cause. However, these damages can be far-reaching, impacting nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. In addition to the previously mentioned negative symptoms, a vast array of other detriments can impact the lives of those who engage in Adderall abuse.
When someone develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the use of that substance quickly becomes his or her top priority, leaving other interests, responsibilities, and relationships to fall to the wayside. This can lead to complications regarding one’s career or academic progress, lost friendships, marital strife, familial discord, and even loss of child custody. Furthermore, when this medication is taken outside of its prescribed guidelines, it is considered an illegal act, which, should an individual get caught, could lead to legal ramifications.
Additionally, the abuse of Adderall can lead to countless detriments on an individual’s physical health. The stimulant chemical composition of Adderall can lead to increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and cardiac arrest. Malnutrition is also common among users of Adderall because of its appetite-suppressing properties, which can lead to a host of additional concerns. A person’s mental health can be placed in jeopardy as well, as Adderall abuse has been known to elicit profound anxiety and even psychosis.
Due to the fact that Adderall is a prescription medication, many people fall under the false impression that it is safe to use. This could not be further from the truth. Even when taken for legitimate medical purposes, the consumption of Adderall must be monitored on an ongoing basis by a psychiatrist or a physician. When such monitoring does not take place, health complications can arise without appropriate interventions being made.
Another complication that individuals who abuse Adderall face is the possibility of developing an addiction to another substance as well. For example, a person may use alcohol to alleviate the stimulating effects of Adderall. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol works in direct opposition to the way that Adderall affects the brain. Therefore, by consuming alcohol, individuals can essentially “come down” from the high that they experienced while using Adderall without having to wait for the effects of the drug to wear off on its own.
Yet another unfortunate risk that accompanies the abuse of Adderall is the potential for overdose. An overdose occurs whenever an individual consumes more of a substance than his or her body is able to appropriately metabolize. In some instances, the body will attempt to excrete the excess substance, but this attempt is often futile, resulting in a dangerous overdose. Should an overdose occur, it should be considered a medical emergency with immediate treatment being sought. Signs of an Adderall overdose can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular breathing
- Excessive sweating
- Chest pain
- Feelings of panic
- Extreme confusion
The devious nature of addiction prohibits individuals from simply putting an end to their use of Adderall, even when they have the best intentions of doing so. As the use of Adderall continues, an individual’s body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug in its system, requiring the person to consume more in order to experience the same pleasurable effects. This is known as tolerance. Following the development of tolerance, a person may become physically dependent on Adderall, meaning that he or she can no longer function as he or she normally would unless the drug is consumed. When tolerance or dependence have developed, and an individual attempts to stop taking Adderall, he or she will likely go into a state of withdrawal.
Withdrawal is essentially the body going into shock from no longer having Adderall in its system. As the body works to readjust to the lack of Adderall, unpleasant and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can take place. But then when an individual consumes Adderall once more, those withdrawal symptoms will cease. This is one of the many reasons why overcoming an addiction to Adderall can be so challenging.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an Adderall abuse problem, please seek out help as soon as possible. Do not let the cycle of addiction continue to control your or your loved one’s life.