Adderall Abuse, Withdrawal and Recovery Information
Adderall, also known generically as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is a prescription drug that is used primarily to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as narcolepsy. The drug acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system and has an effect on the brain's chemicals and nerves that cause hyperactivity as well as a person's ability to control his or her impulses.
Proper Adderall Usage
There is no room for error when it comes to taking such a powerful narcotic. It must be taken exactly as the doctor prescribed it in terms of dosage and length of time on the medicine. Never take more or less than what the prescription says. Even then it can be dangerous as Adderall is extremely addictive.
It should not be taken at night as it can cause insomnia. When taken, never crush, break, open or chew the capsule since it is an extended-release medication and breaking it can cause too much of the drug to be released at one time into the bloodstream. It should be swallowed whole like any other medication.
Adderall has the potential to interfere with certain medical tests so it is important that anyone taking the drug let their doctor know ahead of time all prescriptions they are currently taking. Do not share the medication with anyone for any reason and always count the amount of pills in the bottle after taking a capsule and note if any are missing.
Many medications do not mix well with Adderall. Be sure to verify drug interactions to confirm no potential adverse reactions when introducing or changing any prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Adderall Side Effects
There are a long list of possible side effects, some far more serious than others. When it comes to the lesser adverse reactions, the most common are:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Lack of interest or ability to perform sexually
More serious side effects are:
- Rapid or erratic heartbeat
- Increase in blood pressure as experienced through blurred vision
- Chest pain
- Severe headache
- Hallucinations or odd behavior
- Stunted growth in children
- Twitching muscles
If any of these side effects occur, it is important to speak to a doctor immediately.
Some people may experience an allergic reaction to the prescription in which case hives, swollen lips, tongue or throat, and difficulty breathing are likely to occur. If this does happen, seek immediate medical attention.
One of the most serious, and all too common side effect is its propensity for being abused. Adderall abuse is seen not only in people with legitimate prescriptions for the drug, but also in others who either share or steal pills from others.
Because this is an amphetamine, that makes it highly addictive. After continual usage, many people on the drug become physically dependent. The body works up a tolerance which then requires the person to consume higher doses and/or switch to different, more potent drugs to produce similar stimulant effects.
Who's Likely to Abuse Adderall?
According to recent surveys, full-time college students are twice as likely to suffer from Adderall abuse compared with others their age. The reason is this drug increases attention and focus; and is why it is referred to as "Ivy League crack", "smart pills" or a "study drug." This type of behavior is also referred to as "academic doping" as even high school students, feeling the pressure from their studies, abuse the drug as well.
Almost all of the college students who abuse Adderall are also binge drinkers (half of them heavy drinkers) and more likely to abuse other drugs as well. Statistically speaking, they are also three times more likely to smoke marijuana, eight times more likely to abuse tranquilizers and five times more likely to abuse pain medications per the National Institutes of Health.
Determining if Someone Has an Adderall Addiction
Certain signs can provide a person insight into whether or not someone is addicted to the drug. They include:
- Strong cravings of needing to continue taking the medication.
- Feeling anxious when the prescription is running low.
- Frequently running out of their prescription.
- Withdrawal symptoms once the drug is no longer being taken.
- Taking risks in an attempt to get more pills.
- Problems functioning when the drug is no longer being taken.
Once it is determined that a person has an addiction, drug rehabilitation is necessary. The first step is a complete Adderall detoxification; which means to immediately stop the consumption of the drug and purge the system of the substance. Unfortunately, this drug comes with several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms which include depression, fatigue, headaches, agitation, shakiness, anxiety and difficulty sleeping through the night.
The best place for someone to seek Adderall treatment is in an inpatient rehabilitation center that is familiar with this type of addiction, as not all centers are able to successfully treat a prescription addiction. An intervention may initially be required in order to confront the person about their problem. However, once realizing that an addiction has occurred, finding the right recovery program is a must.
For many addicts, an inpatient Adderall rehab program is the best solution. It keeps them away from outside influences and isolates them from anything that may hinder the recovery process. During an inpatient stay, individuals will be unable to continue abusing the drug and will get the treatment required for a complete recovery.
When a person is being treated for any addiction it is very important that more drugs are not prescribed. This only compounds the situation by taking a person off of one addictive substance and prescribing another potentially equally habit-forming medication. The goal of any quality drug rehab program should be to get a person completely drug-free.
Successful Adderall Addiction Recovery
For any addict, successful recovery is possible if the right treatment program is applied. However, no matter how good the program is, an addict must be committed to the recovery process and have the support of friends and family both before and after recovery for there to be lasting success. While the cost of Adderall rehab may be high, it will cost more in the long run if the addiction is not taken seriously and left untreated.
Since students seem to be the biggest abuser of the drug, it is up to parents and family members to keep an eye out for possible signs of addiction - especially if the person has been prescribed the medication to treat ADHD. Knowing the signs of addiction and intervening earlier rather than later is the best way to prevent the addiction from taking over a loved one's life with possible tragic consequences.
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