Millions of high school and college students tout Adderall as a miracle drug that makes it easy to study. They also say that it helps them get through boring activities such as practicing instruments or cleaning. What they don’t realize is that the drug is dangerous and continued use can lead to an Adderall addiction.
Stimulant Use Statistics
To understand the reality of Adderall addiction, it’s helpful to look at stimulant use statistics. In 2015, about 1.7 million people aged 12 and older misused stimulants. Of these, about 117,000 were 12 to 17, and about 757,000 were 18 to 25.
Data from the same year shows that about 426,000 people aged 12 and older had stimulant use disorder. Of these, about 38,000 were 12 to 17, and about 159,000 were 18 to 25. These statistics show that although stimulant use occurs more among college students, it’s a problem among high schooler students, too.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that combines amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. As an amphetamine, the drug is a close relative to meth and works in a similar way. Because of its addictive nature, it’s also a schedule II controlled substance.
However, Adderall is legal as a prescription that doctors use to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. As a stimulant, it heightens and speeds up certain bodily functions. It increases focus in ADHD patients and reduces fatigue in people with narcolepsy.
Adderall comes in tablet doses that range from 5 to 30 milligrams. Doctors usually start their patients on low doses to avoid side effects. They gradually increase the dose as necessary.
How Adderall Affects the Brain and Body
Similar to other drugs, Adderall increases the production of dopamine in the brain. This chemical occurs naturally in the body and makes people feel pleasure. It also affects attention and movement.
However, misusing Adderall can lead to a spike of dopamine. These high levels disrupt the normal transmission of signals between the brain and the rest of the body.
The result is a euphoric feeling that makes users want to take more. Adderall also increases body temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar and heart rate. At the same time, it can interrupt sleep patterns.
Because Adderall suppresses appetite, abusing it could cause malnutrition. High doses can lead to cardiovascular problems and stroke. Additionally, Adderall addiction is a concern with continued use.
It’s a common misconception that Adderall is safe because it’s available as a prescription. It’s safe when people take it as their doctors prescribe. However, abusing the drug can lead to long-term health issues and Adderall addiction.
Adderall abuse consists of taking the drug without a prescription or in ways that a doctor doesn’t instruct. For example, some people crush the pills and snort the powder for immediate effects. Others simply take higher doses than their doctors advise.
The goal is to experience euphoria, confidence, decreased appetite or better concentration. These effects are why Adderall is so attractive to students. They tend to abuse it for fun, to lose weight, to stay awake, to boost athletic performance and to study. However, older adults also abuse Adderall.
Prolonged Adderall abuse makes the body build a tolerance to the drug. Because of this tolerance, users have to take higher doses to achieve the same effects. Eventually, their brains don’t know how to function without the drug.
People with Adderall addiction often have trouble finishing their work. Their brains need Adderall to stimulate productivity and alertness. They also spend as much money as they need to obtain the drug. Even when they know that Adderall is harmful, they continue taking it.
Adderall Physical and Psychological Dependency
Losing control of drug use and behaviors is the main effect of Adderall addiction. The dependence could be physical, psychological or both.
Physical dependence happens when people become tolerant of the high dopamine levels in their brains. They need more and more of the drug to get the same effects. When these levels drop suddenly because usage stops, withdrawal begins.
Psychological dependence happens when Adderall becomes part of a routine. Taking the drug becomes a powerful compulsion. People with psychological dependence may become stressed when they can’t get the drug. They might do extreme things to get it, even if they know that it puts them danger.
Without the drug, people who suffer from Adderall addiction feel mentally foggy and tired. These withdrawal symptoms are the most common. Others include slower movement, increased appetite, insomnia and slow heart rate. Some people even feel depressed and suicidal.
The severity of these symptoms depends on the dose and duration of Adderall use. It also depends on whether people used regular or extended-release Adderall. The difference occurs because the regular dose acts and leaves the body faster than the extended release dose.
Withdrawal can start in a few hours after taking the regular Adderall dose. However, it might not start for a couple days after taking the extended release dose. Similarly, withdrawal can subside in just five days for some people but last up to three weeks for others.
Detox and Rehab Treatments
Many detox and rehab centers treat people with an Adderall addiction. Completing an extensive treatment plan that includes both detox and therapy reduces the risk of relapse.
Adderall withdrawal isn’t usually life-threatening. However, it’s safer to stop using under medical supervision than at home alone. Detox is particularly ideal for people with severe addictions and a high risk for complications. Despite this, anyone who goes through detox gets a headstart on the therapy that follows in rehab.
Detox centers use different methods to manage Adderall addiction withdrawal symptoms. Some of them use holistic approaches such as meditation and yoga. Others provide meds to relieve the symptoms, perhaps antidepressants to treat depression, agitation, and insomnia.
There are also inpatient and outpatient detox treatments. Inpatient treatment is the most intense and requires patients to stay at the center for the duration. Outpatient treatment is the most flexible and allows patients to commute between home and the center. Those in outpatient treatment can keep up with family, school and work obligations.
Healing Springs Ranch partners with a local detox facility that can take care of any Adderall detox treatment you may need.
Detox only manages withdrawal symptoms and introduces clients to therapy. They still need in-depth treatment to achieve recovery and learn how to avoid relapse.
Rehab centers like Healing Springs Ranch offer inpatient drug rehab treatment. However, some provide intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs. According to research, inpatient treatment increases the rate of long-term sobriety.
When people with Adderall addiction visit rehab centers for intake, they get a full health exam. They also answer questions and disclose their drug history so that the staff can create personalized treatment plans. At Healing Springs Ranch, these plans include a combination of experiential and educational therapies to meet each person’s needs and motivations.
Some common examples include one-on-one, group and family therapies. Contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy are two techniques that many rehab centers use. Places that offer holistic techniques may use art, drama, equine and educational therapies.
Following the main treatment, rehab centers also offer aftercare. This continued treatment helps clients transition into new lives without Adderall addiction. Sometimes it’s hard for them to go straight from rehab to home. Aftercare gives them the chance to adjust slowly, giving them more and more freedom.
Healing Springs Ranch aftercare services provide information about sober living quarters so clients can learn how to live life without drugs or alcohol. Therapy usually continues, and the participants may return to their prior obligations at home, school, and work.
Our aftercare services are designed to let clients return home to our facility when they need support. The therapists are also available for supportive phone calls. Rehab alumni are also welcome to return to speak at support meetings.
Get Adderall Addiction Treatment at Healing Springs Ranch
Therapy and a strong support network can help people with Adderall addiction overcome the mental disease. They can get this treatment at Healing Springs Ranch in Tioga, Texas. We offer a range of services, which we customize according to each person’s needs. However, we let our clients lead their own treatments and progress at their own pace.
Healing Springs Ranch offers 30-day, short-term and 90-day, long-term residential programs. During their stay, clients have access to a nine-hole golf course, fishing, kayaking and an outdoor swimming pool. Some of the traditional and holistic therapies that we use include:
- Anger management
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Educational therapy
- Equine therapy
- Drama and Art therapy
Put your life back into your own hands. Overcome Adderall addiction with help from compassionate addiction experts at Healing Springs Ranch. Call us now at 866-656-8384 to begin your journey to recovery.