Adderall Addiction

Adderall is a prescription drug for obesity, narcolepsy and ADHD that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. It also decreases your appetite and need for sleep. It is a classic stimulant that provides a “high” when using the drug.

Understanding Adderall Addiction

Adderall contains a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, two powerful drugs used most often to treat ADHD.

The extended-release forms of the drug are known as Mydayis or Adderall XR. These are taken once daily instead of every 6 to 8 hours, as is the case with regular Adderall. None of these drugs should be taken in the afternoon or evening as they impair sleep. They are schedule II drugs because of their high risk of addiction and dependence.

Users experience increased physical activity, improved attention and enhanced pleasure while the drug is active but may be excessively tired or depressed afterward. Negative symptoms worsen over time and some may continuously stay high to avoid them.

Adderall acts on the brain’s dopamine reward system, which puts users at risk for dependency. Dependence gives users the ongoing feeling that they need the drug when they actually don’t. Dependence can lead to addiction. Physiological dependence or addiction can cause physical withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug.

Adderall Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Adverse short-term effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares
  • Hunger
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression

Long-term abuse can lead to:

  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hostility
  • Increased risk for heart disease and strokes

Adderall Addiction Treatment

Treatment is available for Adderall addiction. Treatment starts by gradually decreasing your Adderall intake to detoxify your body. Next steps include rehabilitation and ongoing relapse prevention.

There are no drugs that can prevent a relapse from stimulants like Adderall. However, cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency therapy have been used to successfully recover from an Adderall addiction.

Author:Kent Hoffman
Kent Hoffman

Kent Hoffman, D.O. has been practicing medicine for nearly 30 years. He is board-certified to practice addiction medicine and family medicine. Dr. Hoffman gets to know his patients on a first-name basis to provide compassionate and professional health care.

Last modified: 01/14/2019