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3 Signs You’re Addicted to Adderall

3 Signs Youre Addicted to Adderall Resurgence Behavioral Health

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant medication that is typically prescribed to treat ADHD or narcolepsy. Adderall in particular is composed of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine and is designed to increase alertness, attention, and energy. Though slightly different chemically, prescriptions that induce the same effects are commonly known as Ritalin and Concerta. When abused, this substance falls into the amphetamine-controlled substance class of drugs due to the way it speeds up the central nervous system. 

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3 Signs You’re Addicted To Adderall

The chemicals in Adderall affect both your brain and your body’s central nervous system. Although the physiological effects may not be easily detected by others during the first occasions of use, over time symptoms of Adderall use will start to appear that can indicate that your mental and physical health is suffering as a result of Adderall addiction

1. Aggressive Behavior

The chemical known as amphetamine that is found in Adderall has a direct effect on your brain’s ability to maintain levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Think of these as the “happy chemicals” that your body produces both normally and in response to stimuli. Even when you are not necessarily engaging in happy activity, your brain is producing a certain level of these chemicals to help you stay optimistic, have energy and motivation, and manage your response to negative stimuli. 

The effect of Adderall decreases serotonin and increases dopamine and norepinephrine. Prolonged serotonin decrease has been directly linked to feelings of anger, sadness, and hopelessness. The increase of dopamine and norepinephrine causes anxiety, stress, difficulty sleeping, and a higher heart rate. The combination of these factors creates irritability and aggression, even when the situation does not call for this type of response. 

When the use of Adderall reaches the point of affecting your brain’s ability to produce healthy levels of mood endorphins, it’s a sign of Adderall addiction. Amphetamine effects are dose-dependent, so only overuse will produce aggressive behavior.  

2. Abusing Adderall Prescription

Adderall is prescribed to people who have a chemical dysregulation in their bodies that causes them to be lethargic, distracted or have trouble staying awake. For these individuals, taking Adderall compensates for what their body is lacking and allows them to function productively the way that people with stable chemical compositions can without extra help. They typically do not experience side effects such as increased heart rate, euphoria, aggression, or paranoia, especially if they take their prescribed dose. It is possible for these people to abuse their prescription by taking larger amounts and this can lead to harmful effects on their health or overdose. 

When chemically stable people abuse Adderall, it is in an attempt to reach a ‘high’, increase productivity, suppress appetite, or experience an altered mindset. This is done by ingesting more than the prescribed dose of the pills themselves, or by snorting Adderall powder, smoking, or injecting it. If you are using a prescription that has not been administered to you by a doctor, or are finding alternate methods of ingesting the substance, it is a sign of Adderall addiction. 

3. Experiencing Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Adderall stimulates the central nervous system and increases energy, attention, and alertness. Prolonged use builds up a tolerance that requires the user to ingest larger and larger amounts to feel the same effects. While stimulant addiction does not create a chemical dependency in the brain the way opioid use does, it does affect the way the brain produces hormones and creates an altered mental state. This can lead to Adderall withdrawal. 

People who have become addicted to Adderall are overstimulating their bodies and end up dependent on these effects to perform day-to-day activities. As a result, when you stop taking Adderall after a period of use, it leads to temporary withdrawal symptoms including fatigue, depression, and sleep problems. After stopping, the body will take some time to regulate the central nervous system to function without the stimulating effect of Adderall but withdrawal symptoms will eventually fade away. This can be achieved faster with the help of a substance abuse treatment program. 

Risks of Adderall Addiction

Overuse of Adderall affects your central nervous system and can lead to heart, nerve, stomach, and mental problems. The most common indicator that someone is abusing Adderall is the behavioral effects. This begins with aggression and irritation but can quickly graduate to psychosis, anger, and paranoia. These symptoms of Adderall abuse make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships or hold down a job. People who have never engaged in physical violence may be pushed to that point while under the influence of Adderall. 

Prolonged decrease of the brain chemical serotonin, which Adderall causes, can lead to depression and in severe cases suicidal thoughts. Prescription stimulants increase norepinephrine levels which can temporarily give you feelings of euphoria but long-term elevation has been linked to panic attacks and elevated blood pressure. Adderall also increases the hormone dopamine in the brain which leads to mania, anxiety, stress, and difficulty sleeping. Enduring long periods of lack of sleep causes anxiety, depression, memory loss, and decreased brain function and can trigger underlying psychiatric disorders. People with Adderall addiction commonly experience a combination of these side effects, all of which can compound on one another and have lasting negative effects. 

It is possible to overdose on Adderall and other prescription stimulant drugs. Prolonged elevated heart rate and blood pressure increase your risk of heart attacks and seizures. Long-term use of Adderall can lead to the weakening of the cardiovascular system which is a lifelong problem that will need to be watched closely and treated to prevent heart attacks or sudden cardiac death. Primary side effects of Adderall addiction are linked to mood, behavioral, and psychological issues which can be treated with a substance abuse program and long-term recovery. Short-term abuse side effects will go away when the use of Adderall is halted and with the introduction of a healthy lifestyle. 

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When To Seek treatment

Due to its availability as a prescription drug to treat ADHD and the less strict administration regulations compared to prescription opioids, Adderall is considered to have a high potential for abuse. People who misuse Adderall may quickly become addicted and find it hard to quit due to the way it affects the brain chemically. This is why it is crucial to seek treatment right away if you suspect you or someone you love to be struggling with Adderall addiction. Individuals who have a prescription should work closely with their healthcare providers to ensure they are taking the right dose to mitigate their symptoms and prevent the possibility of abuse. 

Some people who are addicted to Adderall may need medical intervention in the form of detox to help them begin their recovery and then go through some form of a therapy program to improve their chances of maintaining sobriety. Medical professionals and rehab specialists do not advise that anyone attempts to stop their addiction on their own. Many resources are available to help you find options for addiction treatments near you to begin your recovery journey. There are even remote mental health treatment options available to get you started as soon as possible. Speak to your doctor or reach out to a local substance abuse outreach program for information. Do not be afraid to reach out to trusted individuals as well, a family member, teacher, mentor, or even your employer will care greatly about your health and safety and support you begin your path to recovery. 

Overcome Adderall Addiction at Resurgence Behavioral Health

Resurgence Behavioral Health is uniquely equipped to help you overcome your substance abuse problem by helping you to enroll in an addiction treatment program. Our programs can be customized to help you put an end to your Adderall addiction and stay clean. You will be working with our team of addiction treatment specialists who are dedicated to your successful recovery. 

Some of the programs offered at Resurgence to aid your path to sobriety are:

Detox: Medications will be provided by our professionally trained staff to keep you comfortable and safe as you go through the detox process

Inpatient: You can reside at our treatment center during the course of our recovery where you can rely on medical, emotional, therapeutic, and community support on your path to a clean and sober lifestyle. 

Outpatient: We offer partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and virtual programs so you can maintain your other responsibilities to work or school while you work on your sobriety. 

Sober Living: To help you continue recovering in a safe environment, we can refer you to a sober living home after completing a program at our residential treatment facility. 

Aftercare: We understand the importance of having a support system after your initial steps in recovery to help you solidify the skills you learned in treatment and be successful in your sobriety which is why we formed our aftercare network to be available to all patients. 

Addiction is not an isolated problem, and many troubled individuals turn to substance abuse to self-medicate mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Resurgence uses dual diagnosis treatment plans to find the root of the problem and begin healing there, versus only addressing the problem of addiction which can lead to relapse back into the unhealthy coping mechanism. 

No matter where you are in your journey, we have the tools to help based on the most recent research into effective treatment programs and lifestyle transitions to facilitate your sobriety. We understand there is more than one path to recovery based on your needs, preferences, and budget and we are here to support you every step of the way. 

Our team at Resurgence Behavioral Health truly cares about your road to recovery and is here to answer any questions you may have. Contact our qualified team today to inquire about your options, find a treatment center near you, and see what insurance plans we accept. We will help you find the treatment plan that you need to succeed. 

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