Why Do You Get ‘Hooked’ On Adderall?
Adderall – amphetamine and dextroamphetamine – can be a useful medication for those suffering from ADHD. However, because of the way it works in the brain Adderall is becoming one of the most frequently abused drugs. It binds to norepinephrine and dopamine receptors in the brain and increases the release of these “feel-good” chemicals. Soon, taking Adderall to feel euphoria and pleasure becomes as important as eating food and drinking water.
Q: Who abuses Adderall?
A: The drug is mainly abused by:
- Students and young professionals due to its ability to enhance alertness and productivity.
- Athletes who are looking to enhance performance during practice and in competitions.
- People suffering from eating disorders who use Adderall to suppress their appetite.
Although not everyone who abuses Adderall is addicted or will become addicted…using such a potent stimulant drug is a slippery slope. But, what is most important is that Adderall addiction can be treated. We can help!
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Addiction to Adderall: What’s it like?
Adderall addiction is characterized by continued and chronic use despite awareness of problems that occur as a result of Adderall. An addicted individual chooses to use Adderall despite having medical problems, repeated legal problems, issues at work or school, and broken relationships due to drug abuse.
Further, an addicted person often experiences intense cravings, which are often accompanied by a compulsion for Adderall use. Adderall addicts spend a lot of time and effort searching for ways to obtain more of the drug, and being under its influence often without regards to the possibility of adverse effects.
And finally, an Adderall addict is likely to have lost control over amounts and frequency of use. They consistently take more Adderall than planned, more often than planned, and find it hard to quit and stay quit for a longer period of time.
Risk Of Addiction
There are many factors that may contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing addiction to any drug. Some of the most common risk factors leading to an increased possibility for Adderall addiction, include:
1. Abuse of Adderall. Taking Adderall in ways other than prescribed or without a prescription puts individuals on a slippery slope toward addiction. In in 2016, a study published by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry indicated that college-age young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 make up the single largest group of Adderall abusers/misusers in the United States.
2. Mixing Adderall and Other Drugs. Adderall can bring on many dangers to a person’s health as it is, but many users mix it with other psychoactive drugs and alcohol. Taking Adderall along with other substances does not only increase a person’s chances of addiction, but it can also lead to unpredictable, and oftentimes life-threatening effect. Some common combinations include mixing Adderall with:
3. Stress. According to research, stress does not only act as a catalyst for drug-using behavior, but is also a driver of continued drug use. For many individuals, Adderall can become a way to deal with stress in life, at school, or at work; thus increasing the risk of continued drug use.
4. Family or Personal Drug Use History. This is where the complicated interplay of genetics and environment come into play. Genetics make up 50% of the risk for Adderall dependence. In addition, those who live or have grown up in a dysfunctional family system where drug use is normalized, who were emotionally or physically abused, and who had no adult role model are even more likely to become addicted to drugs, including Adderall.
5. Mental Health Disorders. Mental health conditions, especially mood disorders such as chronic anxiety and depression, as well as eating disorders can greatly add to a person’s risk of developing addiction to Adderall. In such cases, individuals require treatment that cares for both issues (the addiction and mental health illness) simultaneously.
How Is Addiction Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose Adderall addiction by examining a person for psychological symptoms characteristic for addiction and by assessing a person’s personal medical history. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) criteria for substance use disorders include experiencing at least two (2) of the following issues within a 12-month period:
- Taking larger doses of Adderall over a period of time longer than you intended.
- Wanting to cut down or quit Adderall, but not succeeding.
- Spending a good deal of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of Adderall.
- Feeling intense urges for Adderall use.
- Flailing to meet obligations and responsibilities because of Adderall use.
- Using the drug continuously, despite awareness of the problems it is causing in your life.
- Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities due to Adderall use.
- Taking Adderall in situations that may be unsafe.
- Using Adderall even though you know it’s causing you physical or psychological harm.
- Developing tolerance to Adderall – the drug has less and less effect on you and you need more of it to get the same effect.
- Experiencing physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Adderall.
- Continuing to use in order to avoid Adderall withdrawal symptoms.
If you find 2 or more of these behaviors to be true for you or someone close to you, it’s best to seek professional help. You can start by discussing your substance use with your primary doctor, or ask for a referral to a specialist in drug addiction, a licensed drug counselor, or a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Testimonials Of An Adderall Addict
Most people are introduced into Adderall when someone introduces it to them using harmless terms like ‘study aids’ or ‘mind stimulants’. In many cases, Adderall abuse starts from popping an occasional pill for mental work that gradually increases until addiction takes grip.
Here are the notable excerpts of a writer in a popular fashion magazine detailing her experiences with Adderall:
“I never had ADHD. I first took Adderall when I was 18. I was going through a breakup, conflict with friends and was overwhelmed with everything around me. I am hardly awake during classes, couldn’t write, and cannot make it through the day without several naps.
My first Adderall pill filled me with vivid mixture of feat and excitement. The rush of emotions caused by a single pill is all I need to write a book, and within a month, I got hooked. In my mind, ‘it’s just Adderall and not heroin’.
But who cares about being hooked on Adderall? I was doing pretty well in school and in life. I woke up early for breakfast and sat for dinner with my parents, all possible after popping one pill before each task. Adderall helped me make it through college, and I kept the habit even after graduating. Without Adderall, I feared on gaining weight or wouldn’t function normally without it. My addiction to Adderall was based on my feeling that popping made things easier.
One night, my mother confronted me about drug abuse simply by asking if I was on something. I didn’t know how to respond because the question implied hard drug use, and still had no idea I was on something. The confrontation became self-inquiry, and it made me think seriously about stopping Adderall for the first time.
Rehabilitation did not become easy as I had several relapses.I entered therapy because I cannot cope with the withdrawal symptoms;it’s like having mononucleosis, stomach flu and strep throat all at once. I felt so pathetic at my situation that I flushed remaining Adderall down the toilet.
I realized that doing things easily is not my goal in life, but to learn and take time.”
This story exhibits some typical observations common among people abusing Adderall:
- Adderall is used to help improve performance in school.
- Abuse of Adderall commonly starts in college.
- Most people who abuse Adderall do not have ADHD.
- There is an initial enthralment and amazement of the results caused by Adderall.
- Believing that Adderall is harmless and not addictive.
- Being secretive of Adderall use, despite the belief of its harmlessness.
- Experiencing a sudden change in personality after using Adderall.
- Losing control over Adderall use.
- Feeling a need to use Adderall just to feel normal.
- Not being aware of your own Adderall addictive behaviors for some time.
Admitting that you have a problem with Adderall is usually the first step to getting help. If you are addicted to Adderall, it is best to seek professional help by scheduling an appointment with your general physician, psychologist, or an addiction treatment professional.
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Adderall addiction is a medical condition.
It can be treated successfully!
Self-treatment for Adderall addiction usually doesn’t work, and is not recommended because undiagnosed pre-existing health problems may result in more complications. Furthermore, people who abuse Adderall tend to also abuse other drugs and illicit substances, which require professional and intensive intervention.
During Adderall addiction treatment, a team of doctor, psychologists, and certified addiction professionals can offer you a combination of pharmacological and psychological treatments. Medicines are prescribed as needed to address mood disorders. Psychological counseling and talk therapy teaches effective strategies on how to understand the mental emotional context underlying Adderall use.
Drug relapse can occur after treatment, and it’s fairly common among Adderall users. Persistent withdrawal symptoms, wide availability of drugs, peer pressure, and boredom tend to be reasons for relapsing back to Adderall abuse rather than working through the cravings. Relapse prevention aims to lower the risk of going back to addictive behaviors.
Still, relapse is a possibility for anyone recovering from a substance use disorder. Addiction treatment programs understand that relapse is a part of recovery which is why they readily accept relapsing individuals for additional treatment. So, if you relapsed back to Adderall use, you can always return to an addiction treatment facility. The earlier the intervention, the more likely the chances for success.
Got More Questions?
We hope to have helped you find the answers to your questions regarding Adderall addiction. For any additional questions, please CALL the helpline number listed on our page or leave a comment in the section below.
We do our best to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries. In fact, we strive to help all who need a hand to make Adderall addiction a thing of their past once and for all.