Adderall Addiction and Recovery 

What is it Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name of a prescription stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy in children and adults. Adderall is a combination of two central nervous stimulant drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. An extended release form of the drug is also available and known as Adderall XR.

Like all stimulant drugs, Adderall increases the levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain meaning the user feels energised and alert. These rewarding effects are part of the reason this drug is popularly abused. Adderall interferes with the brain’s natural production of dopamine and norepinephrine resulting eventually in the brain ceasing to produce it of its own accord.

Adderall is produced as a tablet but can also be crushed and snorted or injected to increase its effects.

Street Names for Adderall

Adderall is often abused by many teenagers who use it as a study aid so they can stay awake and alert. There are many different slang terms used for this drug depending on the location and age group of the users.

  • Addys
  • Uppers
  • Beans
  • Black Beauties
  • Pep Pills
  • Speed
  • Dexies
  • Zing

History of Adderall

Amphetamine is the main active ingredient in Adderall. Amphetamine is a man-made drug and was originally synthesised by a Romanian chemist called Lazar Edeleanu in 1887. This drug has been used along with dextroamphetamine, under the names Benzedrine and Dexedrine throughout history to combat fatigue, most notably during World War II.

Adderall, was originally developed by Shire Pharmaceuticals in 1996 to compete with other ADD/ADHA medication on the market like Ritalin. This new, patented brand of amphetamine salts was commercially successful and in 2001 an extended release capsule was developed. This form of Adderall gives a low and steady dose to the user throughout the day.

What are the Effects of Adderall Addiction?

Adderall, although a prescription drug, can have exactly the same addictive effects as amphetamine. Its high potential for abuse means that in some countries even prescription use is banned.

Nobody sets out to become addicted and frequently the use of Adderall begins as a way to increase productivity during a stressful period at work or during exam times. It is even know for people to go to the doctor and fake the symptoms of ADHD to get a prescription for the drug.

Every addict’s path into addiction varies. This is a complex disease with many underlying layers which coupled together with trauma, abuse, depression and anxiety make it difficult to diagnose and treat without effective residential addiction treatment. CLICK Dual Diagnosis

Physical

  • Heart problems
  • Damage to the nose if snorted
  • Damage to the stomach if swallowed
  • Damage to the venous system if injected
  • Potential blood borne diseases if injected
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in the brain chemistry – short term
  • Changes in the structure and function of the brain – long term
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Unhealthy eating habits/malnutrition
  • Cravings
  • Tolerance

 

Psychological

  • Psychosis
  • Triggers
  • Compulsion
  • Obsession
  • Lying to yourself/denial

Emotional

  • Apathy /Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Memory loss
  • Mood Swings
  • Paranoia
  • Fear
  • Psychosis
  • Loneliness

Social

  • Potential increase in risky behaviour
  • Sexual problems
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Lack of interest in work/school
  • Lack of interest and ability in maintain relationships/friendships
  • Damaged relationships with family members
  • Isolation
  • Lying to others

 

Spiritual

  • Damaged self-esteem and self-worth
  • Damaged relationship with self
  • Lack of interest in life
  • Inability to function without the drug
  • Continued use despite negative consequences

 

The signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction get progressively worse over time and there will be no resolution until effective addiction treatment and aftercare are sought.

Adderall Withdrawal

Using amphetamines of any sort can lead to physical and psychological dependency. This means a variety of withdrawal symptoms can be experienced when the user stops taking Adderall. These can be different for each person and depends on many different factors such as how long the person has been using and their general physical and mental health.

Removing the drug ultimately means the brain is being deprived of the chemicals that it has begun to rely on. It takes some time before the body’s system starts working properly and producing these chemicals in normal amounts again.

Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:

Psychological/Emotional

  • Depression
  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks
  • Fatigue/Exhaustion
  • Mood Swings
  • Paranoia
  • Cravings
  • Disinterested in life

Physical

  • Oversleeping
  • Excessive hunger
  • Dehydration
  • Tachycardia or Arrhythmia

The Two Stages of Withdrawal – Acute and Post-Acute

There is usually two stages of withdrawal from Adderall addiction. The first stage has immediate acute symptoms and these are usually both physical and physiological. During stage two, former users experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS.

These refer to a number of psychological symptoms which can last for weeks or months after the user has stopped taking the drug. This is one of many reasons why residential treatment is the most effective way to treat Adderall addiction.

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Cravings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of motivation
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Anger or emotional outbursts

Adderall Withdrawal at Hader Clinic

Adderall withdrawal is very specific and symptoms may vary in severity and duration depending on the client. Usually these are both psychologically uncomfortable and potentially life threatening.

Accurate assessment by our capable medical team determines if our clients require a medicated period of detoxification.  This will depend on the individual’s circumstances and symptoms are always closely monitored by our skilled clinical and medical staff and treated accordingly.

Our team are highly experienced in providing safe and effective Adderall detox programs. They aim to keep clients as comfortable and supported as possible so they can participate in the program.

Evidence Based Adderall Addiction Treatment at Hader Clinic

The Hader Clinic program is internationally acclaimed and our staff are experienced in treating people addicted to Adderall. We recommend that clients, especially those with a long withdrawal period stay in residential treatment for the full 90 days. However, we also run the program for 28 days and 60 days.

At every stage of the process, clients are monitored, evaluated and their successes acknowledged. This really helps our staff to respond to what is going on for the clients and helps to instil an ever growing sense of self-esteem and a new found confidence.

The Primary Program is fully supervised 24 hours a day by a team of professional staff who want nothing more than to assist clients in their treatment goals. All of our case managers are in recovery creating a nurturing environment where real transformation is not only possible but tangible. They are great examples to clients entering our program who have given up hope that things can ever change.