Adderall Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & When To Get Help

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that is a combination of both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Understanding Adderall Addiction

Learn about Adderall addiction

This prescription medication is commonly used to treat narcolepsy and the symptoms that accompany attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While this medication can be helpful in reducing distressing symptoms for those who grapple with either of these conditions, it can also cause a recreational high to develop in those who do not possess a medical need for it.

The stimulant chemical make-up of Adderall offers recreational users of the drug an increased sense of wakefulness and alertness, while also boosting their ability to focus and accomplish tasks in a fast manner. Furthermore, Adderall can offer some users with mild feelings of euphoria, in addition to enhancing their self-confidence. Adderall is also known to decrease appetite, making it highly appealing to those who want to lose weight.

When people work in very stressful environment where a great deal is required of them, using Adderall can seem like an optimal solution. It can help these individuals feel awake, alert, and prepared to complete everything they need to. However, this same appeal can also cause individuals to fall down a dangerous path towards Adderall addiction. As soon as this type of addiction has developed, it can be extremely hard to defeat without professional help. Fortunately there is hope for those who are suffering, as we offer professional treatment for Adderall addiction.


Adderall addiction statistics

Even though statistics surrounding the prevalence of Adderall are slim, there have been some estimates that show the increasing severity of the abuse of this medication. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), roughly 6.4% of college students between the ages of 18 and 22 use Adderall for non-medical reasons. Also, another population of individuals who are steadily abusing Adderall are women between the ages of 20 and 44. Within the past decade, the number of women within this age range who use Adderall for recreational purposes has increased by an astounding 264%.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for Adderall addiction

The causes and risk factors that can elicit the onset of Adderall use disorder are described below:

Environmental: The APA states that one’s environment can play a major role in impacting his or her likelihood of starting to use and abuse stimulants such as Adderall. Being surrounded by others who abuse illicit drugs or prescription medications can increase an individual’s risk of partaking in similar behaviors. In addition, living within an unstable home environment or being exposed to community violence during childhood can also impact one’s likelihood of developing an addiction to stimulants like Adderall.

Risk Factors:

  • Being surrounded by others who abuse Adderall or other types of substances
  • Working in a highly stressful environment or feeling under immense pressure to succeed academically
  • Growing up in an unstable home environment
  • Abusing other types of substances
  • Ease of access with which one can obtain Adderall
  • Being a female between the ages of 20 and 44
  • Exposure to violence during childhood
  • Being highly impulsive or having other similar personality traits
  • Suffering from comorbid antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder
  • Suffering from childhood conduct disorder
  • Being a college student

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction

The signs and symptoms that might be shown by an individual who is abusing Adderall can vary, yet may include the following:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • No longer participating in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Change in social interactions
  • Rapid speech
  • No longer adhering to obligations at home
  • Engaging in repetitive movements
  • Alterations in one’s performance at school
  • Hypervigilance

Physical symptoms:

  • Appetite reduction
  • Weight loss
  • Increase in bodily temperature
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated or lowered blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Cravings for more Adderall
  • Impaired judgment
  • Experiencing the ability to hyperfocus or, alternatively, struggling to focus at all
  • Confusion

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Loss of emotional reactivity
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Psychological distress
  • Anger


Effects of Adderall addiction

Abusing a substance like Adderall can bring about a number of negative effects in numerous areas of one’s life. Examples of these effects can include, however are not limited to, the following:

  • Seizures
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Malnutrition
  • Familial or marital discord as a result of no longer taking care of daily responsibilities
  • Taking part in dangerous and/or illegal activities in order to obtain Adderall, resulting in possible injury and/or interaction with law enforcement
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Changes in temperament, resulting in a deterioration of close relationships
  • Cardiac arrest

Co-Occurring Disorders

Adderall addiction and co-occurring disorders

When individuals are battling Adderall use disorder or another type of stimulant use disorder, it is not uncommon for them to also struggle with a co-occurring mental health condition at the same time. Some of these conditions can include the following:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Gambling disorder
  • Bipolar disorder

Withdrawal and Overdose

Adderall withdrawal and overdose

Effects of Adderall withdrawal: If an individual has been consuming Adderall regularly and then suddenly stops his or her use, it is likely that withdrawal will occur. The symptoms and effects of Adderall withdrawal can include the following:

  • Vivid, often unpleasant dreams
  • Fatigue
  • Dysphoric mood
  • Increased appetite
  • Social impairment
  • Occupational impairment
  • Other functional impairments
  • Psychomotor agitation

Effects of Adderall overdose: When an individual consumes more Adderall than his or her body can metabolize, he or she will likely experience an overdose. If this happens, it is critical that medical treatment is obtained in order to prevent a deadly outcome. Symptoms that an Adderall overdose has occurred can include:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Seizure
  • Extreme confusion
  • Panicked feelings
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irregular breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Hypertension
What our clients are saying

Thanks to the kind and caring staff at Huntington Creek, I was able to get lasting recovery from my Adderall addiction.

– Former Patient
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