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Adderall Addiction and Abuse

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medicine prescribed mainly to children and people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is a combination of two other stimulant drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and an extended release form of the drug is called Adderall XR. Adderall is a prescription drug but it can be bought on the streets under the name(s)  black beauties, speed, pep pills, and addies. Adderall addiction is becoming increasingly common amongst students mainly because of its stimulating properties. Adderall can increase short-term focus, so ambition might drive students to take Adderall to increase their focus. Adderall is also taken to get high, and the common way of getting high through Adderall is crushing the pills and snorting them to produce an immediate effect.

What are the effects?

Adderall addiction can cause severe brain damage and could be life threatening in the long term. The major problem with Adderall abuse is that the abuser might not identify the effects of addiction until it’s late because the “addies” create an illusion of well-being. Some of the common effects of the drug are as follows:

Effects of Adderall

In addition to the physical effects of Adderall, people with dependency on speed can face some severe psychological effects such as:

  • Panic attacks
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Vertigo

The aforementioned side-effects are the short-term effects of adderall that can start appearing quickly, in addition to these there are some long-term effects of amphetamine which are described as follows:

Long-Term Effects

What are the warning signs?

Generally, the first steps towards developing an addiction are taking it once, twice and then countless times. Since Adderall is a prescription drug it is extremely easy to get it from friends and family members and for them as well. Adderall addiction could be difficult to identify in the beginning but there are some warning signs and symptoms that can be identified as Adderall addiction:

  • Faking to have ADHD to get prescription.
  • Asking friends and family members with ADHD for pills.
  • Missing pills from the prescribed bottle for the patient.

In addition to the above behavioral signs, there could be physical warning signs indicating Adderall addiction, such as:

  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pains
  • Dizziness
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Rash  

Snorting Adderall has even worse side-effects than swallowing the pill.  Snorting damages the sinus cavity and can lead to breathing problems and an overdose through snorting can even cause death.

What are the withdrawal symptoms?

Adderall is a stimulant and is often used to get high as opposed to meeting its intended clinical need.. Once a patient stops using Adderall, the brain will indicate a strong desire for more dopamine which will increase the cravings for Adderall. Therefore, some of the commonly associated withdrawal symptoms of Adderall are psychological symptoms such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Depression
  • Inability to sleep


Just like treatment of other forms of drug abuse, the first step in course of treatment of Adderall addiction is detoxification and physical stabilization of the patient. It is recommended to use an inbound or outbound professional service or a rehabilitation center for complete recovery. Adderall causes an increase in dopamine activity which causes subtle changes in the nervous system and regularly reinforce drug addiction.

An addiction like Adderall addiction which is reinforced by the brain over time is difficult to reverse on its own, therefore it is important to use professional services for treatment of Adderall addiction. Moreover, both physical and professional support are necessary for a full recovery, therefore, a rehabilitation program is highly recommended for those suffering from adderall addiction.