Adderall Side Effects and Abuse Warning Signs – Those who misuse Adderall often display unusual behavior such as over-excitability and excessive talkativeness. They also face health risks that range from arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) to overdose.
Signs of Adderall Abuse
Adderall is a powerful stimulant, and it can be difficult to identify signs that someone is abusing the drug. People commonly abuse Adderall to enhance alertness and productivity or lose weight. Adderall abusers are often students, young professionals, and other motivated people who work in high-stress jobs with long hours, such as truck drivers and nurses.
Even though an individual does not appear to be a drug abuser, they are still a potential addict. What’s more, Adderall can provide a temporary boost to performance for some, so abuse can initially resemble a positive change. Nonetheless, Adderall is a stimulant that taxes the body and central nervous system of those who abuse it, leading to complications.
Telltale signs of Adderall abuse may include:
- Excessive talkativeness
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Unusual excitability
- Social withdrawal
- Financial troubles
- Sleep problems
- Secretive behavior
- Memory loss
- Incomplete thoughts
- Relationship problems
- Poor hygiene
- Frequently taking pills
- Financial problems
- Running out of pills
- Mania and impulsivity
Dangers and Side Effects of Adderall
Many people who use Adderall erroneously assume that the drug is safe because it is prescribed by a physician. Adderall is indicated to treat people, including children, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a result, some people may believe the drug is safe to take because it is used on children.
Truthfully, however, Adderall is a potent stimulant that can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening side effects. Indeed, an Adderall overdose can precipitate a stroke, heart attack, or liver failure. Combining Adderall with other substances, such as alcohol or other stimulants increases the risk of overdose.
Adderall use can also induce physical alterations in the neurocircuitry of the brain. These alterations can then lead to an adverse change in behavior and the development of mental health conditions such as depression. Some Adderall addicts have suicidal thoughts after taking the drug for an extended period.
Some users have even injected Adderall to experience more intense effects by administering the drug straight into the bloodstream. Injecting Adderall may provide a more euphoric high, but it is also a very effective means to induce an overdose.
Athletes who have used Adderall have died because of increased blood pressure that led to heat stroke and cardiac arrest. For this reason, since 1968, amphetamines, including Adderall, have been banned by the International Olympic Committee primarily due to the hazards of these drugs. And in 2005, the Canadian government banned the sale of Adderall XR (the extended-release version) due to 20 deaths related to the use of this drug.
Side effects of Adderall abuse may include the following:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Sexual dysfunction
- Anxiety or depression
- Dry mouth
- Lack or loss of strength
- Frequent urination
- Dizziness and headache
- Lower back or side pain
- Seizures and convulsions
Identifying an Adderall Addiction
Adderall prescriptions increased by nearly fivefold between 2002-2012, making it the drug more accessible to potential abusers through friends or family members. Compared to other drugs, the use of Adderall is less stigmatized, and as such, many don’t recognize when a loved one has a serious problem. People dependent on Adderall may feign symptoms of ADHD to receive their own prescription.
Not everyone who misuses Adderall will develop an addiction. While it is a slippery slope, taking an Adderall occasionally to stay awake or increase productivity is not the same as requiring the drug to function. The key to identifying an Adderall addiction is being able to recognize certain problematic behaviors.
For example, those who are addicted to Adderall prioritize drug attainment and use over everything else in their lives because they can’t function without it. Also, those who are addicted are often unable to control how much Adderall they use and may start neglecting important obligations.
Getting Treatment for Adderall Addiction
The withdrawal symptoms of Adderall can make it extremely difficult for users to quit without medical support. If someone dependent on Adderall attempts to quit “cold turkey,” they will experience highly unpleasant effects that are essentially the inverse of the drug’s desirable effects. These withdrawal symptoms can include fatigue, loss of alertness and concentration, dysphoria, and an unusually slow heartbeat.
There are many forms of treatment available for people addicted to Adderall. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers an integrated approach to drug abuse that includes services essential to the recovery process, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), counseling, group support, health and wellness programs, and aftercare planning.
If you suspect that you or someone you love is addicted to Adderall, please contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction and begin to experience the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve!