Adderall is a well-known stimulant medication that is used to treat people who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When taken as directed, it can help people concentrate better, control their impulses, and keep them alert. It can also be prescribed for people who have narcolepsy so they can stay awake during the day. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep or have difficulty staying awake.
As helpful as Adderall can be for conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy, it’s also one of the most commonly abused stimulants on the market. In June 2010, the Huffington Post called Adderall “the most abused prescription drug in America.” Learn more about how Adderall addiction develops and how you can get treatment for it.
Adderall treats ADHD in children as young as 3 years old, and it can be used in adults as well. It can also treat narcolepsy in people who are at least 12 years old. Doctors will start you at the lowest possible effective dose. You can build a tolerance to Adderall, so it may not work the same over time. You will gradually receive higher doses, depending on how you respond to Adderall.
These side effects aren’t severe and they will most likely go away over time. Men may also experience erectile dysfunction (ED) when taking Adderall. To avoid this, you can ask your doctor for a lower dose that can handle ADHD effectively while not causing ED. You should also avoid taking Adderall before intercourse.
Adderall is also known to cause sleep issues in teenagers with ADHD. This is because of the concentration issues that affect them can also make it difficult for them to fall and stay asleep.
It’s up to you and your doctor to make sure your child or teenager gets enough sleep. Ensure that your child takes Adderall at an appropriate time. A proper dosage allows your child to concentrate during school hours and focus enough to study at night but still allows them to relax enough to fall asleep.
Adderall abuse can rapidly lead to dependency and even addiction. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reported that between 2006 and 2011, a rising number of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 abused Adderall. In addition, recreational use of Adderall rose 67 percent. Most of these people illegally obtained Adderall from friends or family.
Experimentation with Adderall may start as a one-time choice, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that misuse of prescription medication has risen steadily between 1999 and 2016.
Adderall is safe when it’s prescribed and taken at the right dosage. However, if it’s consistently taken by people who don’t need it at the wrong dosage, it has a high potential for abuse. People who abuse Adderall usually obtain it from family or friends who have a prescription. Between 2006 and 2011, visits to the emergency room involving Adderall abuse rose 156 percent.
Not everyone who abuses Adderall conforms to the typical “doctor shopper” stereotype or visits dangerous drug dealers in order to get their hands on it.
Healthline says that teens and young adults trying to do well in competitive environments are at high risk of Adderall abuse.
Adderall abuse usually begins with the innocent intention to keep up with a stressful job, to stay up late to study for a test, or to do well in sports. Other risk factors for abusing Adderall are the desire to lose weight or the presence of an eating disorder. This is because one of Adderall’s side effects is the loss of appetite.
Once a person has begun using Adderall for the desired effects, it becomes hard to imagine being able to maintain without the drug. Therefore individuals continuously take the drug in order to keep up with work, school, or a particular image.
Also, if a person decides to stop taking Adderall, they will experience withdrawal symptoms including depression. This often makes it that much hard to stop taking Adderall without any professional help.
You shouldn’t take Adderall if you have a history of past drug or alcohol abuse. Avoid this medication if you have glaucoma, heart defects, high blood pressure, or an overactive thyroid.
Taking more Adderall than you’re prescribed can result in an overdose. Usual doses of Adderall for ADHD and narcolepsy are the following.
Most doses fall between 5 mg and 60 mg per day. Taking more than this can result in excess Adderall in your system. The risk of overdose is heightened when people combine other substances, such as alcohol, with Adderall. Adderall dosages vary when taken them for ADHD and narcolepsy.
Everyone responds to stimulants differently. A dose that might not cause problems for one person could cause an overdose in another. Never take more Adderall than you have been prescribed, and talk to your doctor if you feel your dose is no longer working.
You don’t have to wait until you developed an Adderall addiction to obtain treatment. Regular amphetamine use can foster dependency, which means you may feel you need this medication in larger and larger doses in order to function every day. The sooner you start recovery from Adderall abuse, the better.
Treatment for Adderall addiction has not been standardized, but it borrows methods that have proven successful for other substance use disorders. Here is what you can expect in your journey toward recovery when you enter rehab at Footprints:
At Footprints, we offer basic and intensive outpatient treatment for Adderall addiction, as well as partial hospitalization treatment. Each of these forms of treatment allows you to live at home while attending sessions a few times a week.
You don’t have to struggle with Adderall addiction by yourself. The medical professionals at Footprints can help free you from your dependency on Adderall and live your best life, sober and healthy. Our staff is full of licensed clinicians who know the ins and outs of addiction, and we have three locations in Colorado, Illinois, and New Jersey. Contact us today to see how we can get you on the right path to recovery.