Adderall is a prescription drug that is used primarily in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms among adults and teenagers. This drug has become what is referred to as a “smart drug” among teens-turned-young adults. A “smart-drug” is a term used to describe Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, and other stimulants which are misused as study aids by high school and college students.
Those most susceptible to Adderall abuse and addiction are students between the ages of 18 and 22. Young people will typically use Adderall for reasons related to learning, studying, and school performance. The stimulant drug is used as a study aid because it can improve focus and boost alertness.
According to a study conducted by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4% of all full-time college students used Adderall recreationally in the last year. Abuse of Adderall can lead to anxiety, headaches, dizziness, and restlessness.
Many who are abusing Adderall are unaware of the dangers of this drug. Some users may also experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as irregular heart palpitations.
Statistics show that Adderall is being abused at an extremely high rate. Use of Adderall and other ADHD medications increased by 35% between 2008 and 2012. The greatest increase in ADHD medication use was seen among women between the ages of 19 and 25. The top consumers of Adderall were boys between the ages of 12 and 18.
It’s not just teens who are using ADHD medications, between 2007 and 2012 the number of prescriptions for adults tripled. In 2007, ADHD prescriptions for people ages 29 to 39 were 5.6 million. This number has grown to almost 16 million in 2012.
Am I Addicted to Adderall?
You may be addicted to or abusing Adderall if and of the following apply to you:
- Do you spend a lot of your time focused on getting, using or recovering from using Adderall?
- Do you have strong urges to use Adderall?
- Has using Adderall led to failure of meeting obligations in your life at school, home, or work?
- Do you find yourself using Adderall other than directed by your doctor? Taking the medication more frequently or in greater quantities than prescribed?
- Do you find yourself focusing on your next dose of Adderall?
- Have you experienced difficulty reducing the amount of Adderall you use?
There are some telltale signs and symptoms of Adderall abuse and addiction, including:
- Unusual excitability
- Loss of appetite
- Being overly talkative
- Difficulty sleeping
- Social withdrawal
For those who are abusing or addicted to Adderall, rapid withdrawal can be extremely dangerous. Quitting “cold turkey” can lead to extreme discomfort and even potentially dangerous effects, such as hallucinations. Seeking professional help for Adderall abuse or addiction is recommended. Rehab centers offering medically supervised detox can help with the management of withdrawal symptoms. Following detox, clients may choose to continue their Adderall abuse or addiction treatment through an IOP program, where they will continue the recovery journey.