Adderall, a common drug prescribed for the treatment of disorders such as ADHD or narcolepsy has a high abuse potential. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant and the most commonly prescribed amphetamine. The drug works by increasing the amount of dopamine, the “feel good” chemical in the user’s brain. Adderall has similar effects to other stimulants like cocaine when abused. The United States considers Adderall to be a schedule two controlled substance because of its addiction potential. Adderall is a beneficial drug when it is prescribed and taken correctly, but when taken without being prescribed by a doctor or taken inappropriately, it can be very dangerous to users.
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Adderall has many street names including black beauties, zing, pep pills, and dexies. It can sometimes be hard to tell when someone is abusing Adderall. Addicts can even hide their addiction from trained medical professionals.
Some symptoms of possible addiction to Adderall are
- unexplained weight loss
- unusually high energy level
- digestive changes
- new onset of anxiety
Many users do not feel like they have a serious addiction because after all, Adderall is a prescription drug prescribed by a doctor. Adderall has less of a stigma surrounding its use than other stimulants in part because of this false sentiment. Users often obtain the drug from friends and family members. People addicted to Adderall may also fake having ADHD or narcolepsy in order to persuade their doctor to prescribe the medication to them, since by having a prescription eliminates the danger of being arrested for possessing a controlled substance that isn’t prescribed to them. Other addicts may purchase Adderall from drug dealers on the street. This opens up the potential for a user to purchase tainted or fake pills.
However, no matter how the drug is obtained Prolonged Adderall abuse can lead to serious health conditions and even death. The drug can be taken by mouth, crushed and snorted through the nose, or injected by users. Any age group can become addicted to Adderall, but high school and college students are amongst the group with the highest rate of addiction to the drug. The drug is known to produce a euphoric high that can last up to six hours and other stimulant effects such as increased concentration that lasts for up to twelve hours. Difficulty with sleep, nervousness, and restlessness are common side effects felt by users both during and after a high.
Other side effects may include:
- hypertension- high blood pressure
- sexual dysfunction- particularly erectile distinction in male users
- paranoia and hallucinations
- Decreased appetite
- irregular heartbeat- may also lead to cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and stroke
In addition to the dangers listed above an overdose of Adderall may cause:
- unconsciousness and coma
- panic and feeling of doom
- irregular heartbeat
- Unusually fast breathing
An overdose is a medical emergency and can cause death without medical intervention. The overdose is treated by lowering the person’s body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate to safe levels. To do this, doctors use medications and may administer activated charcoal or pump the person’s stomach in order to remove the drug from the user’s system. It is important that if the person is able, that they tell the doctor how much Adderall they consumed. Death from an Adderall overdose usually comes from cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, or stroke. If the overdose is treated in a timely manner most patients will be able to make a full recovery.
Adderall addiction is a serious disease, but recovery is possible. Adderall addicts can sometimes quit using the drug cold turkey, but the temptation to continue using Adderall may be so strong that inpatient rehab is needed to conquer the addiction. Rehab centers will be able to provide a safe space to detox from the drug and will have medical staff who can help eliminate painful withdrawal systems of the drug. Since addiction is more common amongst people with mental illness, psychological counseling can also help an addict break their addiction.
The best way to keep Adderall out of the hands of someone who may become addicted to the drug is to keep medications locked away in a safe location. No one wants to become an Adderall addict, but sometimes the allure of the drug pulls someone into an addiction. Misuse of Prescription medications is on the rise, but by being responsible with medications, addiction rates could be greatly reduced.