What is Adderall and how it works?
Adderall is an addictive stimulant with effects similar to meth. It belongs to a class of drugs called amphetamines. This is the type of psychostimulants that excite the central nervous system.
Adderall is prescription medication, mostly prescribed to patients with narcolepsy and ADHD. While it decreases fatigue in narcoleptic patients, it has the opposite effect on those with ADHD AddictionResource. But many people abuse Adderall because it produces feelings of confidence, euphoria, increased concentration, and a suppressed appetite.
Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system. Norepinephrine affects how the brain responds to events. This particularly refers to how the brain pays attention and the speed at which it reacts to outside stimuli. Dopamine, the body’s feel-good neurotransmitter, creates a rewarding effect.
Adderall comes as a tablet to be ingested orally with doses ranging from 2.5 to 30 milligrams. Tablets come in different colors such as pink, orange and blue.
Is Adderall physically and psychologically addictive?
The answer is: Yes! Let’s make a difference in terminology between dependence and addiction.
Dependence is repeated use of a substance with or without physical dependence (physical dependence indicates an altered physiological state).
Addiction is repeating and increasing use of a substance whose denial causes the symptoms of suffering and the insatiable need to take the substance that leads to mental and physical deterioration.
So, we can conclude that An Adderall dependence is a natural, expected physiological response to the drug. While an Adderall addiction refers to a person’s physical and/or psychological reliance on Adderall along with a specific set of behaviors.
DSM-5 specifies whether or not there are symptoms of physiological dependence (there is no distinction between physical and psychological dependence because psychological or behavioral dependence reflects undoubtedly physiological changes in behavioral centers in the brain).
How Adderall addiction can develop and who is at risk?
Many people mistakenly consider Adderall to be safe to use because prescribed by doctors. Considering this, they use it as a stimulant to boost their confidence and alertness and suppress appetite.
With prolonged intake of any addictive substance, the brain becomes accustomed to it over time. It is also the way Adderall addiction can develop. Repeated doses of Adderall can change the chemistry of the brain. A tolerance to the drug can form, and over time, individuals using the substance for nonmedicinal purposes need to take higher and/or more frequent doses to experience the desired effects. This is how the vicious cycle of substance abuse takes hold.
Adderall is abused for many purposes, including:
- Better work performance – Working professionals abuse Adderall in high-stress jobs for improved alertness attention and energy.
- Studying – High school and college students abuse Adderall to improve focus and concentration and to cope with long study sessions.
- Athletic performance – Athletes take Adderall to improve physical endurance, mask fatigue and pain, increase concentration and aggression.
- Weight loss – Individuals with eating disorders abuse Adderall to reduce their appetite and body weight.
- Recreation (to get high) – Adderall is commonly abused to reduce social anxiety, boost mood, gain confidence and improve social skills in general.
The dangers of Adderall addiction and abuse
If someone has a prescription for Adderall, they can still develop an addiction to the medicine. There are certain signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction:
- Unusual excitability
- Over talkativeness
- Secretive behavior
- Loss of appetite
- Social withdrawal
- Excessive sleeping
- Unexplained financial troubles
Abuse of Adderall is dangerous and can lead to tolerance over time, addiction, and serious health problems, including a potentially lethal overdose.
Adderall overdose mild symptoms include:
- Rapid respiration
- Nausea or vomiting
Adderall overdose severe symptoms include:
- Elevated body temperature
- Loss of conscience
Adderall is more dangerous than you think. Despite the serious psychological and physical consequences of Adderall addiction the use and abuse of the drug have been increasing in the last few decades.
- The Bloomberg School of Public health 2016 research revealed that 60% of Adderall users are aged 18-25-years old.
- Full-time college students are twice as likely to abuse Adderall than their peers who aren’t in college
- 7.5 percent of 12th graders admit to the non-medical use of Adderall in 2015.
- Almost 16 million prescriptions for stimulants like Adderall were written in 2012. That is approximately triple the amount written in 2008.
- In 2012, over 116,000 people were admitted to rehab for an addiction to amphetamines like Adderall.
Adderall addiction treatment
Abstinence (Withdrawal) is substance-specific syndrome that occurs when the substance intake is stopped or reduced. The symptoms of Adderall withdrawal can be a big challenge, and detox should be performed under the supervision of medical professionals. The good rehabilitation center will make sure that drug withdrawal is as safe and as comfortable as possible. Overcoming the initial crisis period is not enough. Long-term follow-up and relapse prevention strategies are necessary for Adderall addiction treatment.