For years, I knew very little about Adderall addiction. In fact, I knew very little about adderall medication in general. I heard it mentioned a few times by fellow parents or in the news as Adderall – ADHD treatment for kids. I remember wondering how a drug that is classified as adderall – amphetamine (a drug that is supposed to make you hyper) could be a treatment for already hyperactive children. Other than that, I didn't really know anything about the effects of adderall or anything about adderall abuse.
I was shocked when I first learned of my daughter's drug and alcohol use and equally shocked that adderall was one of her favorite drugs. The little I knew about the effects of adderall was enough to make me instantly very concerned. I knew it was a type of stimulant and could not possibly be good when combined with cocaine, and I could only imagine the possible dire consequences of mixing adderall and alcohol.
I have since learned that Adderall abuse is very common among drug addicts. Apparently, it is often abused by college students for studying, partying, and weight loss. The effects of Adderall that lead to this abuse include:
- College students that take Adderall for studying say that they can concentrate much better for a much longer period of time and that they do better on their exams.
- Adderall is used as a party drug because it makes one have more confidence, gives a feeling of well-being and an increased sexual drive and lets those who are partying stay awake for a long period of time without sleep.
- Loss of appetite is a natural side effect of Adderall addiction, so it is frequently used by young women in order to lose weight.
What is Adderall?
It is amphetamine and dextroamphetamine . It is a prescription medication used for ADHD and narcolepsy. It is commonly prescribed to people who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, who have poor impulse control, a problem focusing, remaining still and being quiet.
Adderall is widely prescribed to both adults and children. It is categorized as a central nervous system stimulant, which means that it modifies certain natural substances of the brain.
Adderall is intended to help treat ADHD symptoms so that it is easier to learn or overcome some other difficulty that is caused by one having ADHD.
Signs that a person may be engaging in Adderall abuse:
- using someone else's Adderall without having a prescription for yourself
- going to your doctor and pretending that you have symptoms of ADHD and need Adderall
- using Adderall for any purpose other than for which it is prescribed. For example, if you're using it to party or to study or to lose weight, you are engaging in Adderall abuse.
- If you take more Adderall medication than you're supposed to, even if you have a prescription for it for the right reason, that would be considered abuse also.
Why Do People Engage in Adderall Abuse?
- the drug helps those taking it to pay attention in spite of distractions. This is an effect shared by both ADHD users and those who do not have ADHD
- those who do not have ADHD will find that Adderall gives them energy and focus
- because of the side effect of loss of appetite
The negative side effects of Adderall addiction include:
- trouble sleeping
- unpleasant taste
- impaired judgment
- inability to operate machinery or cars press enter inability to participate in sports
- dry mouth
- anxiety, even paranoia
- state of mania
- weight loss
- stomach pain
- diarrhea or constipation
- increases heart rates and can cause an irregular heartbeat or even lead to cardiac arrest
- increase in blood pressure
- increase in body temperature, sometimes to a level that is dangerously high
Adderall addiction can be especially dangerous if used by someone who has a seizure disorder or a heart condition or is bipolar.
The long terms effects of adderall addiction can include:
- addictions to other substances
I remember becoming very concerned about my daughter’s weight loss before I knew she was abusing drugs. I worried endlessly that she had anorexia nervosa. I questioned her repeatedly until she became very annoyed with me, to put it mildly. It became a constant source of friction. Now, I know her extreme thinness was the result of Adderall addiction and other drugs.
She also, during that period of time, suffered from insomnia. I had her see doctors about it, read everything I could get my hands on about it, purchased lavender sleep masks for her and anything else I could think of. Little did I know that she couldn’t sleep because of the Adderall in her bloodstream. I was fighting a losing battle, against an enemy I didn’t even know existed!
She also had anxiety, hostility, and frequently seemed to be warmer than everyone around her. Why didn’t I put all this together and come up with the real problem? Like any parent, it was a combination of a lack of knowledge, the belief that drug addiction couldn’t happen to my daughter, my steadfast refusal to even consider that my daughter would ever lie to me …and so on.
Addicts who engage in Adderall abuse take it not only by mouth, but may also inject, smoke or snort it.
Adderall and Alcohol
Adderall and alcohol can be a very dangerous combination of substances. Any time you combine substances, especially a stimulant (adderall) with a depressant (alcohol), the outcome can be very severe.
Combining adderall and alcohol is very similar to combining caffeine with alcohol. The adderall, like the caffeine, will lessen the effects of the alcohol, therefore giving the user the illusion that they can drink more. The user will continue to drink, but for the time being, will not feel the effects of the alcohol as strongly. This can easily lead to alcohol poisoning because the user is unsure when to stop drinking.
Many people are prescribed adderall and can take it and suffer very few side effects, but it is a substance that should be used very cautiously. Adderall, even when taken properly for those diagnosed with a condition like ADHD, can cause weight loss and anxiety. These side effects, though, are much more common and more extreme in users who are abusing adderall and are not prescribed it.
Alcohol, even when used alone, can have very serious side effects. If people abuse alcohol, it can lead to physical dependence, alcohol poisoning and even death. The dangers of adderall and alcohol become so much greater when the two substances are combined.
If you find yourself or a loved one involved in Adderall addiction, it is important to get professional help immediately. There are many drug abuse treatment centers that can help you overcome your Adderall addiction and may even ultimately save your life.
Drug and alcohol abuse are often signs of an underlying problem. Finding a good therapist can help you uncover these problems and find out why you feel the need to abuse drugs and alcohol. There are many programs that can assist you with this.
Adderall addiction can mimic the signs and symptoms of many other drug addictions, but each one is equally serious. If you or someone you love is struggling with prescription pill abuse, please get help.