Often times when people hear the term drug abuse they think of common street drugs…
Adderall is the brand name for a pharmaceutical psychostimulant and is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The drug is a product of mixed amphetamine salts and achieves its effectiveness from increasing the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.
When used in the treatment of ADHD, Adderall helps to increase alertness, concentration and overall cognitive performance. The drug will also decrease user fatigue, making it an optimal choice for the treatment of narcolepsy. As a central nervous stimulant, Adderall affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Abuses of Adderall
The high that is achieved in taking large doses of Adderall contributes to its likelihood of abuse. Abusers also tend to like the greater attention and energy they feel when taking the drug, as well as the weight loss component. The drug can be highly addictive when it is used beyond the prescribed level.
Abuse of Adderall can be life-threatening as the drug creates potent psychiatric and physiological changes. When taken in high doses, the stimulant can produce an irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures and the potential for cardiovascular failure or seizures.
Effects of Adderall
When taken according to a doctor’s prescription, Adderall should be effective in treating the ailment for which it was prescribed. Some people, however, can have allergic reactions or simply experience negative side effects as a result of the drug. Some effects in normal usage can include anxiety, headaches, constipation or diarrhea, loss of appetite, sleep problems and loss of interest.
It is very difficult for a person abusing Adderall to hide the effects of the drug. Effects can include restlessness, tremors, aggression, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, seizures or abnormal EEGs, hallucinations, panic states, personality changes, symptoms of depression, delusions, sweating, vomiting and more.
Adderall’s effects on the brain are very similar to cocaine; therefore, withdrawal symptoms very closely mimic those of cocaine addiction and withdrawal. Stopping the drug without stepping down use (tapering off) can lead to very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings.
Any and all of the following symptoms can occur during Adderall withdrawal:
- Increased appetite
- Bipolar-like symptoms
- Suicidal thoughts
Treatment of Adderall Addiction
Individuals who develop a long-term mental and physical addiction to Adderall find it very difficult to stop taking the drug or to function normally without it. Detoxification is required to cleanse the body of this drug and must be done under the care of a board-certified physician and a board-certified psychiatrist.
Many quality treatment centers suggest comfortable detox using withdrawal medications for Adderall abuse. A quality center will do a full physical on a person to determine the right medications for comfortable detox. This method helps to correct the chemical imbalances in the individual and should be combined with psychological evaluations and other medical care. Such an approach helps to identify the reason for the addiction, while treating the whole person.