If you ask a college student on a typical American campus to name a commonly-abused drug on that campus, you might be surprised to hear that the answer is Adderall. This drug is frequently prescribed to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but college and even many high school students have discovered that it can increase their concentration to enhance test performance and to increase their energy levels when they go about socializing. Roughly seven per cent of all U.S. college students have reported using Adderall for these purposes.
Adderall is a combination of two related types of amphetamine stimulants. When used properly and under a physician’s care, it generates a sense of well-being and mild euphoria that translates into improved concentration and focus. Prescription Adderall is taken orally in either a quick-acting or time-release form, but Adderall abusers will frequently crush and snort the drug to achieve a faster effect. Even when it is used properly, Adderall can cause adverse side effects, including headaches, nausea and stomach upsets, anxiety, fatigue and restlessness. Adderall can be habit-forming and addictive, and abusers typically experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly stop using the drug. Adderall abuse and addiction can lead to muscular weakness, sensations of paranoia, circulatory problems, blurred vision, and hallucinations.
Adderall Abuse is Growing
Anecdotally, Adderall is considered to be a “safe” drug because it has approved uses and physicians readily prescribe it for patients who exhibit even milder ADHD symptoms. High school and college students who are under pressure to get good grades are prone to temptations to use Adderall, particularly when their friends play up the supposed benefits of the drug. Adderall is not generally considered to be a gateway drug that leads to abuse of other substances, but some studies have suggested that individuals who abuse Adderall are more likely to abuse antipsychotic medications, such as Xanax. Adderall users are also more likely to participate in potentially dangerous binge drinking activities. Because of the addictive potential of Adderall, over a longer period of Adderall abuse the drug is more likely to impair a student’s academic performance than it is to help increase his or her grades.
Treating Adderall Addiction
Adderall abuse is characterized by any use of the drug apart from a physician’s recommendation and care. An individual is abusing Adderall when he procures it from a friend or without a prescription, when he takes larger doses of Adderall than prescribed by a physician, or when he uses Adderall for specific situations such as cramming for an exam or preparing for a long night out. If Adderall abuse is caught early, the detox and recovery from Adderall abuse will be relatively short, and in many cases will last only a week or two. Adderall abuse that has continued for a period of many months or longer will require more time and effort to overcome.
Like all medications that affect a person’s mood, Adderall should not be trifled with.
If you are concerned that your use of Adderall has become abusive, please call the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, at 512-360-3600 for more information and assistance on how you can stop that abuse. We can help you break the cycle of abuse before it takes control over your life.