It takes only a few days until the body adapts to the effects of Adderall. If you find yourself concerned whether or not you are suffering from Adderall addiction, you might want to review and take note upon yourself if you notice some of these physical and behavioral changes.
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How Do You Know if You’re Addicted to Adderall?
The following are the common signs of adderall addiction:
- Craving for larger doses of the drug
- Hesitation in withdrawing
- Decreased productivity when cutting Adderall
- Financial problems due to drug spending
- Loss of attentiveness without the drug
- In favor of using the drug rather than attending normal or important social activities.
If you find the signs above true, here are other noticeable signs you may add up on to your list.
- Loss of Appetite
- Social Isolation
- Sleep Problems
- Relationship problems
- Impulsive behaviours
- Bad hygiene
Adderall, when used properly, is beneficial among adults and children. Not all people who take Adderall will develop addiction; however, if you are taking regular and increasing doses of un-prescribed Adderall, you pose a high risk of becoming addicted.
How Adderall Affects the Body
Adderall is a commonly prescribed amphetamine with similar effects to meth. Not only does it help in improving attention, but it also increases focus and concentration. Under a doctor’s prescribed dose, this is a used medication for treating narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among adults and children.
1. Chemical Alteration
Adderall works by making the body alert and increases an individual’s energy level and ability to concentrate. On the other hand, it also disturbs sleeping habits and appetite.
Adderall stimulates some of the several hormones or chemicals in the body such as norepinephrine and especially dopamine. Among the two, norepinephrine is the chemical which makes you alert. This is normally produced by the body so you can act rapidly on certain stimuli. Furthermore, this chemical, in short, makes you more alert. On the other hand, dopamine is called the “feel-good chemical as it is associated with a certain activity with concentration and pleasure thus create a rewarding effect.
Like norepinephrine, dopamine is also normally produced by the body. Both are produced in low but traceable amounts and may vary depending on certain situations. In instances like taking Adderall, the body is stimulated to produce these chemicals at a higher rate, thus making an individual more alert and focused. Then also increased amounts of dopamine may also cause euphoria which also adds why Adderall can be addictive.
2. Physical dependence vs. Psychological Dependence
Without a proper prescription, the continuous intake of Adderall may form a higher tolerance level for an individual. A higher tolerance level would give the need to intake a higher dosage to feel the desired effect of the drug.
As the blood level of the amphetamine lowers through time, withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings may follow. This signifies the physical and emotional dependence of the user of the drug. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms may not fully indicate addiction, but it is always a sign of physical dependence on the drug.
In the case of Adderall addiction, an individual has both physical dependence and psychological dependence on the drug. Psychological dependence depicts the capability of an individual to crave for the drug more than anything else.
Individuals may abuse the drug in order to reach a certain “high”. This causes them to intake larger doses, thus making them run out of prescription medication earlier. Withdrawal symptoms at this point are almost unbearable for some. This may lead them to spend a huge amount of their energy and resources just to get and take on the drug usually up to the point where they would neglect normal day to day responsibilities.
Long Term Side Effects of Adderall
You might not notice it yet, but Adderall can make you age. You may not look as much as 10 years older now, but your internal organs do. Too much of the drug over time will cause stress in your brain, heart, and kidneys.
Psychiatric problems may develop in the brain with continual use of amphetamines. This may cause pronounced mood swings and be reported to cause some symptoms of schizophrenia and psychosis such as paranoia. Other symptoms are hallucinations and other mood and behavioral disturbances.
Adderall injures your heart with prolonged use as it increases the body’s heart rate and blood pressure. It is studied that the most common cardiovascular problems of people with ADHD are reported to be hypertension and tachycardia. In rare cases, this may also lead to strokes, seizures, and then heart attacks.
3. Liver and Kidneys
The liver is responsible for metabolizing amphetamine drugs and the kidneys are responsible for flushing them out of the system. According to Rohini, acute liver injury is rare even for the long term use of Adderall, but the liver may still be affected. On the other hand, the kidneys also have the tendency to be damaged by long-term amphetamine use which may result in kidney failure.
If one or more of these organs are damaged, it will very difficult for the system to be free from Adderall.
So what if you decide that you will stop taking Adderall? That is a good start and motivation for treatment. However, detox from the drug is not that sufficient for a complete recovery. When your body is not physically dependent on the amphetamine, you will not feel any of the withdrawal symptoms.
The withdrawal symptoms, like the drug effects, do vary from person-to-person depending also on the duration and amount of drug exposure.
According to the Australian Government Department of Health, here are the some of the amphetamine withdrawal symptoms with regards to long-term intake:
- Depression, irritability or other mood changes
- Sleep problems
- Unusual Fatigue
- Stomach aches
Abrupt withdrawal from Adderall or significant reduction of drug intake may provoke the withdrawal symptoms for some. By following a treatment program, from the doctor or a counselor, may help you in preventing relapses and support a long-term recovery.
Likewise, one method studied is the Harm reduction therapy where you gradually reduce your Adderall intake. Over time, with further reduction, the drug’s effects will no longer harm your body.
Any noticeable changes in your behavior may be lethal in determining any kind of addiction. Be knowledgeable of the common signs and symptoms. Then, If paired with self-observation this could not only help you, but your loved ones as well.
Local facilities are established for helping you. Being self aware is as important as calling out for people when you know that you are in need of help. Drugs like Adderall may be beneficial in many ways, but anything in excess is almost always toxic.