Why is Adderall Addicting?

A man sits alone with his head in his hands.

Why is Adderall Addicting?

Adderall is a drug that is commonly prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy but in the wrong hands or when taken improperly can lead to physical dependence. It is common in young adults, especially those in college who take the powerful stimulant to increase their alertness, stay awake to study and feel the powerful effects of this drug. It can lead to long-term consequences and often requires professional treatment for recovery.

It is a stimulant that acts upon the central nervous system causing chemical changes in the brain. The combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine have a strong potential for abuse and can quickly lead to physical dependence. When the drug is taken for a prolonged period of time or regular doses of the drug are taken, it can result in a strong physical and psychological “need” for the drug.

Even taking it with a prescription can lead to physical dependence! Many people mistakenly think that taking a prescription medication as prescribed by a doctor has no serious side effects, dangers or risks of physical dependence forming. Unfortunately, even prescriptions such as Adderall that are taken directly how a doctor prescribes them can cause physical drug dependence. It can form as a result of being prescribed the medication for the treatment of a legitimate condition such as ADHD or narcolepsy or it may result from recreational use of the drug. Various biological factors may also contribute to the risk of becoming addicted to it.

Signs & Symptoms of Adderall Addiction

In cases of Adderall abuse, the user may start taking a small dose of the drug but the longer it is used, the dose is increased and the user feels the need to take larger amounts in order to feel similar effects. Tolerance can develop as a result of taking it with or without a prescription but it is the first evident sign that physical dependence is setting in. As the addiction progresses, noticeable changes in the physical appearance of the user may also appear. The following four physical signs of addiction are likely to become prominent as use continues:

1. Weight loss or changes in physical appearance
2. Withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not used
3. Uncontrollable shaking or tremors especially when a dose is missed
4. Restlessness or inability to sit still

Adderall Withdrawal

When Adderall use continues to a point in which physical dependence has become a major factor, withdrawal is the next likely outcome. The withdrawal can be dangerous, difficult to deal with and potentially deadly if left untreated. 10 common symptoms of withdrawal include:
1. Shaking
2. Seizures
3. Restlessness
4. Headaches
5. Hallucinations
6. Vomiting
7. Nausea
8. Dry mouth
9. Lethargy
10. Weakness in arms and legs

These symptoms usually appear within about 12 hours of taking the last dose of it and can persist for a few days or more. People who are addicted to it will have trouble functioning without the drug, may sleep for extended periods of time when they don’t have the proper dose of the drug and can find it difficult to control their behaviors without the medication. The withdrawal can have serious side effects which is why those taking this medication, recreationally or as prescribed, should consult with a treatment professional before attempting to lower the dose of quit using the drug all together.

Adderall Effects

The effects of Adderall are similar to those experienced by a user taking any type of stimulant. The user will feel alert and awake, may feel bold and powerful and may experience increased energy. Those who take it for a legitimate medical purpose such as to control symptoms of ADHD, may feel more relaxed and focused when they take the drug. Unfortunately, when it is taken without a legitimate need or prescribed purpose, the drug has an opposite effect and can cause irritability, agitation, erratic behavior and may lead the person to “act-out.”

The effects of Adderall will last for a few hours during which the user will experience a heightened sense of alertness and feelings of increased power and control. As the stimulant wears off, the user will “crash and burn” feeling down, out, depressed and tired. These effects are common with most stimulants including amphetamine, methamphetamine and similar drugs.

Who Gets Addicted?

It affects users who take the drug recreationally and it can also affect those who take the drug for legitimate purposes such as to control symptoms of ADHD. Every case is different and the risks of becoming addicted can increase with certain environmental factors as well as physiological factors such as genetics, socioeconomic status, income, poverty level, race and underlying health or mental disorders.

People who already suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol may have an increased risk of becoming addicted to it. Those who have a family history of addiction are also at risk. Mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety can also increase the risk of a user becoming addicted to it as a result of taking the medication either as prescribed or for the purpose of getting high.

Dangers of Adderall

Many dangerous side effects and situations can occur as a result of Adderall addiction. The most serious side effect is the risk of overdose or death. Taking it with other drugs or alcohol or if you have underlying health conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure or related conditions can have deadly consequences. It can also cause financial trouble, relationship problems, job loss, and a general reduction in quality of life.

Continued use of it can have long-term consequences on the overall health and well-being of the user. It can lead to risky behaviors, suicide, serious depression and various health problems. If you know someone who is addicted to it, please consider helping them seek prompt medical treatment and care to prevent further damage from occurring.