Adderall Addiction and Rehabilitation

Adderall Addiction Rehabilitation Header
Last Edited: November 18, 2021
Patricia Howard, LMFT, CADC
Clinically Reviewed
Andrew Lancaster, LPC, MAC
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Dangers of Adderall Abuse

Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD. It is a central nervous system stimulant that affects multiple systems in the body, including heart rate and neural processes. This prescription drug is a strong Amphetamine that poses significant health risks to users and abusers. It is highly addictive and can cause significant concerning side effects, both short and long-term.

Because Adderall is obtained through a doctor, many people mistakenly believe that it is harmless. In fact, Adderall abuse is potentially deadly and easily leads to addiction in many cases. Adderall has many of the same properties as illegal Amphetamines, the only difference being that Adderall is quality controlled and legal.

Determining whether you have crossed the line from abuse into addiction can be difficult. Often, people who have become addicted to Adderall do not realize that they have developed an addiction. Eventually this addiction will become obvious and take over your life unless you get help. Many people who become addicted to Adderall graduate to more dangerous street drugs.

Click Here for a confidential benefits check to see if your insurance will cover the cost of treatment or call (866) 578-7471 to speak to a addiction specialist.

Street Names for Adderall

Adderall is easily obtained by illegal means. Though many people refer to it as Adderall, other potential names include Addys, Uppers, Beans, Black Beauties, Pep pills, Speed, Dexies, Zing, Study Buddies, and Smart Pills.

Effects of Abusing Adderall

Adderall is a common prescription medication used in the treatment of ADHD. Off label reasons this drug can be prescribed includes narcolepsy, weight loss and depression. The sought-after effects of the drug include mood increase, increase in energy, concentration, and focus of energy and attention. Although Adderall is common, it is by no means benign. Less positive effects of the drug include anxiety, irritability, appetite suppression and potentially deadly cardiac complications. The cardiac issues caused by Adderall use are usually short-term but can become long-term. Adderall is often used by college students as a study aid. Despite its prevalence, potentially even acceptability, Adderall is a dangerous drug that can cause addiction, overdose, permanent damage, and death.

Warning signs of Adderall abuse in a loved one

Distinguishing between the side effects of Adderall and signs of abuse can be difficult. After all, Adderall use as prescribed can cause a wide range of symptoms in the first place. Some signs that a loved one may be abusing Adderall include many of the normal side effects of the drug, however amplified. It is critical that you keep the lines of communication open, no matter what your loved one is doing. Regardless of the circumstances, there is hope.

Physical symptoms to watch for are sleep problems, picking at skin, sores, changes in behavior, weight loss, and changes in diet. If your loved one has essentially stopped eating or lost a significant amount of weight, it may be time to intervene.

Other potential warning signs are running out of a prescription too soon and money issues caused by supplementing the supply with pills bought on the street. This would indicate a progressed stage of addiction and action should be taken immediately.

Adderall abuse includes taking the medication in ways other than prescribed, such as snorting, taking a higher dose, or more frequently, taking the drug to stay awake or for reasons other than prescribed, exchanging medications and other potential warning signs.

Factual Dangers: Adderall

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True Stories Of Addiction

Tanner was prescribed ADHD medication, like Adderall, and became addicted at nine years old. His disease progressed quickly, but one day he had enough and reached out for help.
View all episodes now

Adderall Rehab & Treatment Options

Many people have a hard time convincing themselves that their abuse of Adderall has reached a point where rehab is necessary. Rehab is a difficult choice for most people, regardless of the drug or drugs of choice. Change is often frightening, especially if it means letting go of your main coping strategy. The task can seem insurmountable.

Rehab treatment centers will help you overcome your addiction and heal the underlying issues that led you to use. Without identifying and fully addressing such issues, the chances of getting or staying sober are small. Remember that the mood and mind altering substance is just a symptom of this bigger issue. For many people, it may be childhood trauma, difficulty managing or expressing emotions, loneliness, or just about any unpleasant experience or emotion that has been suppressed.

Professionals in this treatment center will work with you every step of the way, leading you towards a happier, brighter future. Through group and individual therapy sessions will overcome the past and learn how to handle difficulties that may arise in the future. You will learn new, healthier coping skills that will carry you through the years to come. Additionally, you will have the chance to learn and grow from others on a similar path as yourself. The friendships that you will make with others in treatment may very well last a lifetime.

Adderall Detox & Withdrawal Management

Adderall detox should be initiated in a detox facility as the stress that the drug puts on your body can cause serious and life threatening symptoms. If you are unable or unwilling to enter a detox center, you should at least discuss stopping Adderall with a doctor beforehand.

Detoxing from Adderall can be dangerous. During detox, your body will try to break the physical dependency that has developed. As your body eliminates the toxins from your system, you may experience unpleasant symptoms. Some potential side effects of withdrawal are seizures, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and cravings for Adderall. In order to ensure your safety and increase your comfort level, find a detox center.

Medical professionals in a detox center will provide around the clock supervision and support. Medical professionals will treat your symptoms, thus alleviating your discomfort and allowing your mind and body to stabilize. Without these healing treatments, many people ultimately relapse before completing the detox process due to their discomfort.

The withdrawal process should not be underestimated. This stage of treatment can be difficult, however afterward your life will be changed for the better. You deserve the better life that is waiting for you on the other side of detox. Do not hesitate to get the help you need. You can start today.

Addiction to Adderall

Despite claims from pharmaceutical companies attesting to Adderall’s non-addictive nature, many users become addicted to the drug. Adderall is an Amphetamine that causes significant changes to the neurotransmitter levels in the brain. These changes can cause a physical, emotional or psychological addiction to the drug.

People can become addicted to Adderall after only a couple doses. This powerful drug influences the brain in such a way that the person will almost immediately start craving it. The individual may tell him or herself that it is because its medicine and they need it, however, this is just one of the many ways that addiction deceives people and propagates itself.

Additionally, after taking Adderall a person may feel mentally fatigued due to its upper effect. This may cause the person to believe that this diminished state is his or her normal, thus creating the idea that the drug is necessary all day every day. Thus, the vicious cycle of using is perpetuated.

Another type of addiction, physical addiction, may be evident by withdrawal symptoms such as cravings and restlessness when the drug use ceases. Withdrawal symptoms will vary in types and intensity between people.

Adderall Dependency

Adderall dependency is a serious issue that should be addressed by professionals that understand this complex issue. Adderall dependency is similar to addiction in that the person cannot function without the drug.

The difference is that once completely dependent, the drug only brings the person to his or her baseline, not higher. In other words, the drug is required just to feel normal and without it the person is likely to feel sick or unable to function at all.

People who are psychologically dependent may also believe that the drug is needed to perform daily functions that were possible before the drug was started. For example, he or she may have been able to do school work before, however, with more difficulty than others. Once mentally dependent, the person may believe that he or she cannot read a book or perform any scholastic task without the drug. In essence, he or she has ceased to function at all without the drug.

There is also emotional and physical dependence to Adderall. These share the core characteristic of needing the drug just to feel normal. Adderall dependence is serious, even life threatening in severe cases. It is easier than many people think to cross the line from what seems a therapeutic dose into overdose. If you or a loved one has become dependent on Adderall, get help today. The better life you deserve is waiting for you in sobriety.

Seeking help for a loved one

  • Do Interventions Work?
    With the proper balance of love and genuine concern, interventions have shown to be effective.
  • Is an Intervention Necessary for an Adderall Addicted Loved One?
    It can be. It may take an intervention to get your loved one to understand that he or she deserves treatment.
Intervention for Adderall Abuse

As with any other drug addiction, Adderall abuse and addiction often requires an intervention to help a friend or family member live a healthier lifestyle.

Adderall addiction can result in the tragic and untimely death of a loved one. Many drug users overdose and die with little warning. In fact, drug overdose is now one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Adderall may be a prescription drug, however, it is a powerful substance that should never be underestimated.

An intervention is a great way to stop the downward spiral of anyone who has become addicted to Adderall. An intervention is a pointed conversation where the person is confronted about his or her using in a loving and supportive way. The most important aspect of an intervention is to remain non-judgmental. Convincing the person to get help will be much more difficult if the avenues of communication are shut. Remember that addiction is a disease and not the result of bad decision making. Your loved one is struggling with a disease that requires treatment.

There are many different intervention methods and techniques. Consult an intervention specialist to find the best path for you and your loved one. If there are no intervention specialist near you, consult a counselor with training and expertise in addiction. There are a wide variety of techniques and settings to choose from.

There is hope for your loved one, however you must act to help him or her get started down a healthier path. Do not wait for tragedy to strike. Act now.

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Recovery from Adderall Abuse

Recovery from Adderall abuse does not happen overnight. Adderall addiction is similar to many other addictions and requires a good deal of work to achieve successful recovery.

The first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. This is difficult for everyone as society trains people to be independent and self-sufficient. The reality is that everyone needs help from time to time. No one should feel guilty for reaching out to another person. On the contrary, you should feel proud for finding the courage to change.

Everyone’s experiences are different and each path to recovery will be unique. It is never too early or too late to get the help you deserve to lead the life you want. The important thing is that you recognize that there is a problem and that change is necessary.

Recovery from addiction is full of rewards and possibilities. It also does not happen overnight and many people require the professional aid of addiction specialists in a treatment center. The process may be long and arduous, but the payoff is infinitely greater than the work it requires.

Whether you are looking at treatment centers or starting a 12-step program, the reward will surpass your greatest expectations. Millions of people worldwide have been where you are and taken the leap forward into sobriety. You have earned your place among these now sober and happy people.

Do not suffer a minute longer. Whatever your story, it is never too late to recover. Reach out today and get the help you need and deserve.

  • Is Adderall Recovery Possible?
    Yes. Recovery is possible. You just need to have the willingness to change your life, have the strength to reach out and take the action needed to recover.
  • How Do I Recover from Adderall Addiction?
    There are many ways one could recover from Adderall addiction. A very effective way to recover would be to attend inpatient rehabilitation.
  • Are Adderall Overdoses Common?
    The rates for Adderall overdose has increased three-fold from 1999 to 2005 according to the CDC.
  • How Dangerous is an Adderall Overdose?
    An Adderall overdose is very dangerous. It could lead to cardiac arrest, stroke or breathing failure.

Dangers of Adderall Overdose

Adderall is one of the more commonly used and misused substances today. Many abusers obtain the drug from friends or classmates for use as a study aid or to lose weight. However, the dose prescribed to one person who has taken the drug for a significant period of time may prove too much for someone who has not developed a tolerance.

Overdosing on Adderall is easier than many people think. Emergency room visits associated with stimulants, such as Adderall, have increased well over 200 percent between 2005 and 2010. Additionally, in 2010, half of the over 31,000 ER visits involved non-medical use of ADHD prescription stimulant drugs like Adderall, according to SAMHSA.

This prescription stimulant comes with significant risks, even though it is distributed by a physician. Overdose reactions to Adderall can cause permanent damage and death. Symptoms of Adderall overdose include rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, seizures, tremors, gastrointestinal issues, muscle aches and weakness, hallucinations, disorientation, panic, anxiety, aggression, fever, depression, blurry vision, fainting, loss of consciousness and death.

Some cases of fatal side effects have occurred at the prescribed dose, however most cases of severe damage or death occurred at higher than prescribed doses.

Combining Adderall with any other substance can make it even more difficult to determine the severity of the problem, especially if you mixed it with a downer, such as Alcohol. The combination of an upper and a downer can be devastating.

Adderall Use, Abuse and Dependency

Prescription drugs have caused an epidemic of abuse and addiction in the United States in the last couple decades. Headlines most often talk of the epidemiological consequences of opiates; however, prescription psychoactive medications deserve their fair share of the spotlight.

Prescription stimulants used for the treatment of ADHD and a few other, rarer disorders, have become more frequently abused over the last several decades as well. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that is thought to increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These neurotransmitters are linked to pleasure, attention, energy and other functions, potentially to dangerous levels.

These powerful prescription amphetamines are now the most sought after drug on college campuses. More and more children are being handed a prescription for drugs like Adderall to cope with what many experts argue are normal stages of development.

Few people missed the headlines of an elementary school student being forced to take ADHD stimulants to stay in school. This trend is all too frequent in what some believe is a symptom of a broken education system. Teachers argue that the children disrupt class, and they very well may, however, extremely addictive drugs should never be considered the solution to such a problem.

When schools are not only condoning, but forcing some students to take prescription mind and mood altering substances, such as Adderall, it is no wonder that high school and college students today see Adderall and other such stimulants as a valid option.

For those starting with the mentality that the solution to the problem is a pill, the situation is already primed for addiction issues. Coupled with a society obsessed with instant gratification and it is shouldn’t be surprising to learn that over 1.1 million Americans abused prescription stimulants in 2010, according to SAMHSA.

Millions of American children are prescribed ADHD stimulants. Approximately 6.4 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. Additionally, an estimated 6.1 percent of all children between ages 4 and 17 were prescribed ADHD stimulants in 2011, with about a 7 percent increase yearly, according to the CDC. Some states had as many as about 1 in 10 children in this age range on stimulant medication.

For the millions of children growing up with pills as an academic aid, the probability of progressing into prescription drug abuse and addiction is good. Even for the classmates of these kids, who see so many others taking pills to enhance their academic performance, the allure is intense.

When use of these prescription drugs becomes abuse, not many are surprised. Abuse of ADHD stimulants may look like taking more than prescribed, taking it to stay up or counter the effects of alcohol. Also, abuse translates to snorting the drug for a more intense effect, taking another person’s prescription, buying the drug off the street, or anything that is not specifically communicated and accepted by your prescribing physician.

Some who have been using the drug for an extended period, may not be able to feel normal without the drug’s effects. In less severe cases, the person may lack the energy to participate in normal activities, or even get out of bed. This is potentially Adderall dependence, which is characterized by a need for the drug of choice to feel normal and function at all.

Worse still, given the mood-altering effect of Adderall, stopping the drug can set off depression, which in its worst state could lead to suicide. This prescription drug has many of the hallmarks of other addictive drugs, legal or illegal. Stopping it suddenly can produce adverse reactions that pose serious risk to the individual.

Given the prevalence of Adderall abuse, many users and abusers disregard warnings due to the commonality of such behavior. Despite the prevalence, these are symptoms of an increasingly insidious problem that must be addressed. If the cycle of abusing the drug, needing more than prescribed, getting more, needing more, and so on is not challenged and treated, it often leads to death one way or another. Many prescription drug abusers graduate to other, harsher and more dangerous street drugs, while others attempt to managed their prescription drug habit. The result of either path typically ends in jail, death, or rehab.

There is a large number of people who were set on a path of self-destruction early in life. Understandably, many are in denial that this is a problem given that it is not necessarily abnormal. In order to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life, however, you must face the fact that you have become addicted to a prescription drug and, even though the addiction is not your fault, your recovery is your responsibility. Only you can save your life. Do not wait until the situation is worse than any nightmare. You are not alone in this struggle. Get help today and find the better life that you deserve.

  • What Are Some Common Short-term Effects of Adderall Abuse?
    Adderall presents many negative side-effects such as appetite loss, irritability, trouble sleeping and feeling of restlessness.
  • How Do I Prevent Myself from Having Short-term Effects from Adderall?
    If you are addicted to Adderall, the only way to prevent side effects is to stop abusing the medication. If you are prescribed, talk to your doctor about going on a lower dosage.

Short-term effects

Adderall is a short acting stimulant that last approximately 4 to 6 hours. It is marketed as a treatment for ADHD, ideally to be used in conjunction with psychotherapy and other treatments. Rarely do people do more than fill a prescription to treat their ADHD.

The beneficial effects of Adderall include an increase in alertness and attention span. For those with ADHD, this drug congruently decreases impulsivity and hyperactivity and seemingly directs that energy into more manageable state of calmness, focus and attentiveness.

For people who do not have ADHD, the drug has the opposite effect. It increases energy, possibly increasing impulsivity and hyperactivity as well. Adderall works like Cocaine in people who lack the symptoms of ADHD.

Adderall can cause dangerous behaviors in people regardless of whether they do or do not have ADHD. Additionally, short-term side effects include insomnia, sleep problems, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, nausea, anorexia, nervousness, dizziness, stomach ache, teeth grinding, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, stroke, increased libido, aggression, depression, abnormal thoughts, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and more.

Serious side effects such as heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, extreme fatigue, jaw pain, pain in left arm, and highly increased heartbeat all warrant immediate medical attention.

Despite the popularity of Adderall, one of the most common prescription drugs, abusing it can be exceptionally dangerous.

Long-term effects

Long-term effects of Adderall are less frequent than short-term effects as the drug is mostly short acting. However, long-term negative consequences are a real threat to anyone using or abusing the substance.

Long-term health issues include depression, heart problems such as sudden cardiac death, increased or decreased blood pressure, and changes to the brain and neural processes. Long-term use of the drug can cause significant cognitive difficulties once the drug is stopped.

Amphetamine psychosis, which is marked by hallucinations, delusions and paranoia is another concern. The full long-term impact of Adderall is not fully understood as the drug’s popularity and explosion of use has mostly occurred within the last couple decades and science is scrambling to catch up with the prescription drug addiction epidemic.

There is no doubt that society has become focused on quick fixes and instant gratification. The reality of many issues, however, is that quick fixes only create more problems and do not actually fix anything. The academic arena may be one of the most contentious areas for this argument. The United States is seeing a drastic change in technology and culture. The classroom has become a battleground for the fight surrounding prescription drugs as a treatment for academic issues.

Children who might be more immature or experiencing problems act out and disrupt the class. As a society, our focus should be on how best to remedy the underlying problem and not on how to mute a normal side effect of childhood.

  • What are the Long-term Effects of Adderall Abuse?
    Adderall abuse can really harm any person who is abusing the drug. Abusing Adderall can lead to hostility, depression and paranoia.
  • Will the Long-term Effects go away when I Stop Abusing Adderall?
    The effects can possibly go away over time but it may take a while. Some people require therapy for their effects.

Dangers of Adderall

Levi’s addiction took him to places he never thought he would go. He didn’t realize how dangerous drugs and alcohol were until it was too late and he was already addicted. He was drinking alcohol and failing all his classes and needed something to help him get on track. A friend introduced Levi to Adderall and his addiction took off from there. He started selling drugs to support his habit, and shortly after got into trouble with the law. He realized his addiction was out of control and decided to reach out and ask for help. Levi has since recovered and living a life of happiness and joy.

Find out More about your available options today (866) 578-7471

Seeking help for a loved one

  • Will Inpatient Treatment Help my Adderall Addiction?
    Yes. Inpatient treatment is one of the most effective ways to recover from any addiction.
  • How Long is Adderall Inpatient Treatment?
    The length of your stay in an inpatient program depends on your individual addiction and the program you chose to go to.
Inpatient Adderall Rehab

A rehabilitation treatment center is the ideal place to recover from Adderall addiction. Addiction is a disease that requires professional treatment to uncover underlying issues and successfully address them.

Many people addicted to Adderall dismiss the problem as a medical issue, complication or adverse side effect of the drug. Despite its legal status, Adderall is highly addictive. Addiction to Adderall must be treated like other drug addiction or the problem is likely to continue worsening until tragedy strikes.

An inpatient treatment center offers the most comprehensive care possible. Quality treatment centers often offer a detox level of treatment, where you will start your journey. This highest level of care will provide you with around the clock supervision and support, allowing you to relax and know that you are in good hands.

Once the Adderall and any other substances have been eliminated from your body and you have fully stabilized, you are ready to begin the next phase of inpatient treatment. Partial Hospitalization Program, or PHP, is where the hard work begins. In PHP, you will have several different types of therapy throughout the day, helping you to look inward and find the underlying issues that led you to become dependent on prescription medication. This may seem like a simple question, however, often there are issues that must be addressed for an individual to move forward toward healthier habits and lifestyle.

The better life you want is possible, if you commit to sobriety and put in the effort.

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Outpatient Adderall Rehab

outpatient rehab programs are another great way to get and stay sober.  Ideally, outpatient follows an inpatient treatment plan, however, not everyone is able to attend an inpatient treatment program due to financial and time constraints. Outpatient offers relatively intensive therapy and in-depth analysis of addiction on a part-time, non-residential basis.

Because of the decreased level of care, outpatient is recommended only for people who have fully detoxed and stabilized. Most participants in the program will have gone through that facility’s or another inpatient program.

Outpatient programs utilize many of the same therapeutic methods as inpatient treatment, however time constraints permit fewer sessions. Some of the therapies used in outpatient treatment are individual and group therapy.

The individual therapeutic technique most commonly used in addiction treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. This therapy focuses on negative thought patterns and works to break the vicious cycle. CBT works to identify how such thought processes negatively influence a person’s life and replaces the negative thoughts with more positive, productive and healthy thoughts.

Group therapy is another common therapeutic tool utilized for the treatment of addiction. Group sessions allow each member to share their own experiences and help the other members work through their problems. This allows groups to build each member up and everyone to benefit from the collective experiences of the group.
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  • What is Outpatient Rehab?
    Outpatient rehabilitation is most effective when you have already completed an inpatient program. You will travel to a facility a few times a week for different types of therapy.
  • Will Outpatient Help my Adderall Addiction?
    Yes. Outpatient will help your addiction but works best if you attend inpatient rehab first.