Adderall is a commonly prescribed medication that is used to help control symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Taking the medication enables a person to better focus and control behavior. The increased ability to focus is one of the major attractions to those who take the substance for recreational use can eventually become addicted to the substance.
What is the intended use?
The prescription is intended to be a part of a comprehensive treatment program that targets attention deficit disorder. Under medical supervision, the prescription is taken to improve focus, attention, and concentration. Additionally, it may be recommended to improve behavior problems.
What does it do?
The medication is made of two substances: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Combined, the stimulants work together to balance out the brain chemistry. They can restore the balance of all of the substances found in the brain, and correct any imbalances over time.
How is it abused?
The drug has recently become increasingly popular in the recreational scene. People take the substance for similar reasons other than gravitating toward amphetamines. Often referred to as “bennies,” “speed,” “wake-ups,” and “uppers,” the drug can be extremely addictive. Manufactured derivatives of the substance are illegally distributed and sold to unsuspecting individuals who abuse the drug by snorting or injecting it.
The drug causes the trace amine receptor to be activated and the monoamine and excitatory neurotransmitters are increased. The euphoric experience depends on the manner in which the drug is taken. If the person snorts the substance, he or she will experience a different type of high from the person who injects it or takes it orally. Symptoms usually appear immediately if the drug is injected, which is one of the most popular methods for taking the drug. The high usually appears within three or five minutes if it is snorted.
How it affects the body:
- Increased muscle strength
- Improved cognitive control
- Reduced fatigue
College students are becoming increasingly receptive to taking the drug recreationally. The full-time college student is twice as likely to abuse the drug when compared to non-college students. Recent research indicates that recreational use is at 6 percent for college students and half that for non-college students. Six percent of students between 18 and 22 have used the drug recreationally. Those who abused Adderall were also much more likely to engage in binge drinking. Eighty-nine percent of those who reported taking Adderall also reported binge drinking. Among college students attending full time, students taking Adderall were three times more likely to have also reported using other drugs. Students who used the prescription medication were three times more likely to use marijuana. Adderall abusers were eight times more likely to have taken tranquilizers.
What causes the addiction?
Adderall is classified as a stimulant. The drug causes dopamine to be created in the brain. This surge of dopamine causes a dependency. The drug use becomes an established pattern, and the person begins to feel they need the substance in order to function. The drug can cause problems like elevated stress and anxiety levels. If the drug isn’t taken, a series of withdrawal symptoms may ensue. People may experience fatigue, depression or sleeping problems as part of the withdrawal process.
Adderall tolerance in substance abuse
The person taking Adderall can quickly become addicted to the substance after only taking it for a short time. The body begins to anticipate the dosage and expects the chemical reaction in the brain to occur. Whenever the substance is no longer taken, the body finds it difficult to functional normally. The person may gradually increase their dosage over time because the body has developed a tolerance for the substance. Most people who use Adderall become increasingly tolerant of the substance, and like most methamphetamine abusers, more of the substance has to be taken in order to achieve the same benefits.
Recognizing the symptoms of Adderall addiction:
- Sleep disturbances
- Tremors and shaking
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Impaired speech
- Fast heart rate
- Blurred vision
Who is at risk for becoming addicted?
College students taking a full course load may be at risk of becoming addicted to Adderall, especially if they engage in other recreational activities involving binge drinking or drug use. People who struggle with depression or anxiety are also at risk of becoming addicted to the medication. Anyone with a history of addiction can also become addicted to Adderall. Anyone who takes the prescription medication with the goal of getting high is at risk for developing a full-blown addiction.
Most people battling Adderall addiction require formal treatment in order to overcome the addiction and transition into a sober lifestyle. Scheduling a consultation with our local office to learn more about our individualized treatment programs is the first step to recovery. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our care coordinators.
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