For the over 6 million kids who have ADHD, Adderall is a vital drug that helps them maintain a normal life. The Centers for Disease Control cites more than 11 percent of children today are diagnosed with this complex mental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, and the number of diagnoses are growing.
Adderall is prescribed as an upgraded choice to treat ADHD because it is longer lasting and overall more effective in comparison to an older medication, Ritalin. Because ADHD can last into adulthood, Adderall is also prescribed to adults. Taking this amphetamine helps many narrow their focus and feel more alert and driven to achieve goals.
Adderall, the “study drug”
Legitimate ADHD sufferers definitely need this kind of assistance to help them organize their excess hyperactivity. However, Adderall has made a name for itself as a popular study aid on college campuses, widely taken by students both with and without a prescription. According to the New York Times, “black markets” have sprung up at most schools. Adderall has become the second-most-common form of illicit drug use among college-age students, second only to marijuana.
As with any illicit drug use, Adderall abuse by undiagnosed users can have costly health consequences that even doctors don’t fully understand. The New York Times reports that there is little research looking into the long-term effects of Adderall. The FDA notes that even children who are diagnosed with ADHD can experience psychotic or manic symptoms, like hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania as side-effects with their usual dosage of stimulants like Adderall. This makes it especially dangerous that adderall use and abuse is gaining popularity at universities.
Side effects of Adderall abuse
With continued use, the likelihood of someone experiencing side-effects increases. They include:
- Decreased sex drive
- sleep problems
- Chronic fatigue
- Panic attacks
- Intense hunger
- Suicidal thoughts
Are you abusing Adderall?
Addiction Center cites signs of an Adderall addiction to include:
- Needing larger doses to feel the drug’s effects
- Not being able to finish work without Adderall
- Spending a lot of money getting the drug
- Being unable to feel alert without the drug.
The benefits of using Adderall as a study drug clearly don’t outweigh the health risks. As with any addiction, though, the presumed benefits of achieving goals and withdrawal symptoms caused by Adderall addiction makes it especially hard, sometimes unbearable, for users to quit on their own.
Therapists and treatment centers are the ideal resource for successfully quitting this kind of addiction.
Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?
One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.
But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.