Call us today

(972) 848-0221
Menu close
Get Help Now

Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center

Signs of Adderall Abuse

Adderall is the brand name of a prescription stimulantdesigned to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) in children and adults. Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Adderall in 1960, this medication experienced a surge in popularity in the US in the 1990s as more children received diagnoses of ADHD.

The medical understanding of ADHD and how it should be treated has improved a lot in several decades, which means that the combination of prescription drugs and therapy is widely used to manage this behavioral disorder. Unfortunately, with more children receiving this combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine to treat their condition, Adderall is widely available and often diverted for abuse.

The Recent History of Adderall Abuse

Some research shows that Adderall prescriptions surged 45 percent between 2002 and 2010. While Adderall is extremely effective at treating ADHD and used off-label to treat somnolence problems associated with sleep disorders like narcolepsy, the availability of the substance also means it may be given away, sold, or stolen for nonmedical reasons. In people with ADHD, the surge in dopamine triggered by amphetamine and dextroamphetamine helps to improve focus and attention to tasks and to reduce physical jitteriness or shaking associated with too much energy in the body. However, in people who do not have ADHD, the stimulation of dopamine triggers intense physical and mental energy, greatly elevated mood, sleeplessness or restlessness, and jitteriness.

Because Adderall has been widely prescribed to children, the drug is abused by many high school and college students as a “study drug.” Students without ADHD see the mental and physical improvements in their ADHD-diagnosed peers and believe that the drug is solely responsible for the enhanced performance. These students are likely to ask their friends for pills, especially when exams, tests, or major papers are due because they believe that the stimulant drug can help them stay up all night to complete assignments, retain more information, or cram for tests. As the first generation of study drug abusers grew up, they continued to abuse Adderall to increase their physical energy during workouts, reduce their appetites so they could lose weight, and stay focused at competitive, intense jobs with long hours.

Adderall is extremely addictive for people who do not have a medical reason to take the drug. Abusing stimulants can cause harmful side effects – not just addiction, but acute and chronic physical harm that can reduce quality of life or lead to overdose and death.

Physical Signs of Adderall Addiction

Even taking Adderall as prescribed can cause side effects; however, problematic and dangerous side effects are more likely in people who abuse this drug for recreational reasons because they likely take larger doses more often than a medical professional would recommend.

Physical side effects from abusing Adderall can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Stomachache
  • Decreased or poor appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Shaking or tremors that cannot be controlled

Very serious physical side effects from Adderall may include:

  • Changes in vision
  • Chest pain
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Teeth grinding
  • Uncontrolled movements or sounds
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling in the face, lips, or tongue
  • Trouble talking or swallowing
  • Seizures

These may be signs of an overdose. If someone displays these symptoms, call 911 immediately. They need emergency medical attention to survive.

People who struggle with prescription drug addiction, including to Adderall, may show other signs of substance abuse like:

  • Multiple empty pill bottles
  • “Losing” prescriptions or frequently needing refills
  • Doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions
  • Lying about the drug
  • Acquiring it online or on the black market
  • Stealing the drug from friends or family with a prescription
  • Poor decision-making
  • Changes in academics or work performance
  • Less social interaction with friends or family
  • Appearing high, energetic, or jittery much of the time
  • Changes to sleeping and eating habits
  • Becoming defensive or aggressive when asked about the drug
  • Experiencing financial or legal problems because of the substance

Mental and Emotional Signs of Adderall Addiction

People who abuse Adderall seek the intense mental effects of the drug; they want to feel awake, energetic, and intoxicated. However, there are problematic mental side effects associated with Adderall, including:

  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Being easily angered or annoyed
  • Depression

Mental and behavioral changes may indicate that a person is overdosing on Adderall. These include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions of grandeur or paranoia
  • Intense suspicion of others
  • Believing things that are not true or real
  • Aggressive and violent behavior toward oneself or others
  • Other uncontrollable behaviors
  • Seizures

The Adderall Comedown

Adderall is a very addictive drug because it triggers the brain’s reward system by releasing a large amount of mood-elevating dopamine. Another reason the drug can be risky is that the crash after taking a nonmedical dose can feel intense, and to avoid comedown effects, one may take more Adderall. The “Adderall crash” is notoriously unpleasant, and symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sluggishness
  • Foggy or slow thinking
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Depression

Other signs of the Adderall crash include intense cravings for the drug, anxiety, irritability, panic attacks, fatigue, low mood, unhappiness, physical discomfort, and even suicidal ideation. People who take Adderall as prescribed avoid this crash, in part, by taking the amount their doctor recommends; they also receive medical supervision to taper off the drug if they want to quit Adderall. Without medical supervision, misuse and abuse are much more likely, and the withdrawal symptoms from suddenly stopping this drug can be intense. Many people relapse into Adderall abuse because of the discomfort of withdrawal, but this can cause an overdose.

Professional Help to Overcome Abuse of Adderall

Adderall addiction can be effectively managed, but it requires attention from medical professionals who understand addiction to stimulants. Getting supervision to ease the physical discomfort of withdrawal is the first step; after detox has been successfully completed, a comprehensive rehabilitation program can help one to recognize the underlying causes of addiction and personal triggers. Fortunately, there is a lot of help available from addiction specialists to stop abusing Adderall.