What is Adderall?
Adderall is the brand name of a prescription medication primarily used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. It is thought to help people with ADHD control their activities and increase their attention spans. Adderall is a combination of two powerful stimulant drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
Adderall belongs to a class of drugs called central nervous system stimulants. The drug works by increasing levels of the brain chemical dopamine, which stimulates the brain. This stimulation can have a calming and focusing effect on people with ADHD.
The use of Adderall has surged in recent years, sales of the medication have jumped in recent years. Some 16 million prescriptions for Adderall were written in 2012, which is three times the number written in 2008.
This increased availability of Adderall has led to widespread abuse of the medication. Because Adderall increases dopamine levels, it can trigger a feeling of euphoria among people who don’t have a medical reason to take it. It has become a drug of choice among people trying to get high.
Because stimulants like Adderall increase alertness and attention, a growing number of people who do not have an ADHD diagnosis are using the drug to enhance their ability to think and focus. Adderall abuse is a growing trend among high school and college students who are trying to study for exams or boost their grades, and athletes trying to enhance their athletic performance.
Contrary to widespread belief, Adderall does not help people without ADHD to think or focus. Young people who do not have ADHD but are taking Adderall to get better grades in school or gain an academic advantage are at risk for potentially deadly side effects.
The same thing is true regarding another popular misconception—weight loss. Adderall can suppress appetites, however using the drug as a diet pill can produce severe side effects including psychosis, addiction, stroke, cardiac arrest, and death.
Common Side Effects of Adderall include:
- Stomach ache
- Decreased appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Loss of interest in sex
Serious Side Effects of Adderall may include:
- Changes in vision
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Severe weakness or numbness
- Uncontrolled movements or voice sounds
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Aggressive behavior
- Uncontrollable behavior
- Severe skin rash
- Swelling of face, lips, or tongue
- Difficulty swallowing or talking
- Irregular heartbeat
Adderall may be habit-forming. This is more likely if you take Adderall in larger doses, more often, or for longer than recommended by your doctor.
People who suddenly stop taking Adderall may have withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal can include depression, insomnia or other sleep disorders, irritability, and extreme fatigue. You are at higher risk for Adderall addiction if you have abused drugs or alcohol in the past.
Symptoms of an Adderall overdose may include:
- Extreme restlessness
- Panic attack
- Rapid breathing
- Extreme fatigue
- Racing heart
- Loss of consciousness
If you or someone you love exhibits any of the symptoms of an overdose, call 911.
Let Us Help You Find Treatment Options
Don’t let Adderall abuse ruin your life. Our staff is standing by to answer any questions you might have about abuse, addiction, or treatment.
It’s important to recognize, abuse and addiction don’t happen in a vacuum. The path to recovery and wholeness involves getting to the root the problem. To get at underlying hurt and bring lasting healing takes a holistic—spirit, mind and body—approach to addiction diagnosis, management and treatment.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced doctors and staff strongly believe that faith-based treatment, encompassing spiritual, physical and mental health, will help clients and their families bring spiritual power and clearer psychological understanding to their healing and recovery.