The purpose of this Adderall guide is to provide essential information to patients and consumers who may be prescribed this medication or choose to use it for illicit purposes. It is crucial to read through this information to be fully aware of when you may be at risk of Adderall addiction or withdrawal. You can share this information with your physician to get the necessary medical treatment.
Adderall is a prescribed medication comprised primarily of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine1. It works by binding to dopamine and norepinephrine receptors in the brain and epinephrine receptors in the adrenal gland. This combination serves to increase specific brain chemicals that improve the user’s ability to focus and concentrate. However, it also increases the user’s sense of euphoria. Amphetamines are stimulants and have a significant potential for abuse.
Adderall is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some physicians also use it to treat narcolepsy. It works by changing the brain chemistry in the brain in specific ways.
Adderall is in a class of drugs known as stimulants. It is a Schedule II drug, meaning it is legal but considered dangerous because of its addictive qualities.
Common street names for Adderall include Hearts, Addies, Uppers, Bennies, Crosses, Speed, Black Beauties, and Truck Drivers.
Having this basic information is helpful for those just starting to use Adderall. You now know that it is a dangerous and potentially addictive medication with illicit uses.
Adderall is not the only medication used to treat ADHD. The following are other approved medications3 like Adderall:
Both medications are stimulants that manage brain chemistry to help individuals taking the drugs better concentrate. At least 40% of individuals who use medications to treat ADHD take one of these drugs. About half of these patients can use either drug, while the other half can only use one or the other due to side effects or because one of the drugs does not help symptoms enough.
These medications are amphetamines and stimulants. They raise the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain to help users to focus better. However, each drug does this differently, which can mean different side effects for you.
Adderall and Dexedrine are the two top central nervous stimulants used to treat ADHD. They share many similarities, including side effects and risks. Your physician can recommend which is best for you.
If you are looking for natural alternatives to improve ADHD symptoms, the following are several options:
As little as 30 minutes of exercise daily can improve ADHD symptoms, improve concentration, and boost impulse control in patients.
Yoga can improve ADHD symptoms, especially attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, there is little evidence that meditation is helpful.
It works as a stimulant like Adderall. Caffeine is in coffee, teas, and a variety of soft drinks. You need 25-30 cups of caffeine to replace Adderall if you are addicted. Additionally, with many caffeinated beverages, you get a significant amount of sugar that is unhealthy for you.
Certain minerals may benefit you if you know you are deficient in them such as magnesium, zinc, and iron. Any regular aerobic movement has proven helpful in improving symptoms.
Knowing about these Adderall alternatives can help you decide to switch or reduce medications if you believe you are becoming dependent on Adderall. You can discuss your options with your physician.
People from all walks of life have taken to abusing Adderall. It is a stimulant, also known as an upper. Anyone who wants to stay up or awake longer may misuse this drug. Additionally, individuals who take depressants or downers to sleep or avoid life may take uppers like Adderall when they need to be awake or aware during the day for appointments or other reasons.
Everyone is aware of the opioid epidemic by now. However, a stimulant epidemic is growing across the country. In certain areas, stimulant addiction is more of a problem than opioid addiction. You should note that in 2016, while 2.3 million people abuse opioids, another 2.6 million abused stimulants, including Adderall. When asked, 3.8 million people admitted using opioids illegally within the last 30 days, while 4.3 million admitted the same about stimulant use. By 2017, stimulant overdose deaths increased by 30%, to 7,663 losing their lives to stimulants like Adderall4.
Various groups abuse Adderall at differing rates. The rate of abuse generally depends on why they use the drug in the first place. They may need the medication temporarily or on a more permanent long-term basis.
Adderall has become a “study drug” among students. They buy it from other students or street sellers and use it to stay up to cram for midterm and final exams. Some students fake having ADHD symptoms to get their own Adderall prescription. Research shows that at least 11% of college students illegally use Adderall as a study drug.
From high school to professionals, athletes at all levels take stimulants to enhance performance. At least 7% of hockey players, nearly 12% of lacrosse players, and about 12.5% of wrestlers are known to abuse Adderall. Because use is self-reported, an overall percentage of athlete use of Adderall is unknown.
Even top-level professionals and executives abuse Adderall for its stimulant properties. Executives work up to 16-hour days regularly, which is unnatural to the body. An extra boost is needed to meet these physical and mentally demanding work hours. It is that executives have the third-highest rate of illicit drug use.
One of the side effects of Adderall is loss of appetite. Without addressing this symptom, it can result in serious eating disorders, perpetuating addiction to Adderall. It is a vicious cycle that requires medical intervention.
Adderall is meant to be swallowed whole in its pill form. Some people misuse the substance, however, to enhance and quicken its effects. There are several ways to abuse Adderall. The following is for informational purposes only:
This information provides a warning. If you or someone you know misuses or abuses Adderall, contact a treatment facility or emergency room for assistance immediately.
Adderall is a stimulant. It is not an Opioid.
It is dangerous to mix stimulants like Adderall with Opioids. When you do this, you are putting incredible stress on your body. Each of these drugs affects the brain, lungs, and heart. When taken together, that affect doubles, straining these body symptoms, sometimes beyond endurance, specific adverse outcomes will occur when mixing these two drugs.
Taken more than one medication at a time or mixing drugs always poses risks. When one of those drugs is a stimulant, the risk becomes substantially more significant.
There are several types of side effects5 associated with Adderall. All Adderall side effects carry their own set of risks individuals should know about to make informed decisions about use:
The following are typical short-term Adderall side effects:
Common long-term Adderall side effects users need to be aware of include:
Individuals who suddenly stop taking this drug may experience the following Adderall withdrawal symptoms:
Anyone experiencing an overdose caused by too much Adderall may experience the following Adderall overdose side effects:
Having advanced knowledge of these side effects may change your mind about using or abusing Adderall. Withdrawal and overdose symptoms are severe. As with any addiction, there is always the possibility of coma and death.
Adderall is available in two forms, long-acting and short-acting. The short-acting pill lasts a mere four hours. The long-lasting pill is to be taken in the morning and last all day (8-12 hours). The drug may come in capsule form, which holds time-released beads. Half of the beads are released into your blood right away; the other half released later.
Experts can detect Adderall use in the blood up to 46 hours after use.
Saliva shows Adderall use up to 50 hours after use.
Even hair will reflect drug use. A hair test will show if someone used Adderall within 90 days after use.
Adderall will appear in urine up to 48 to 96 hours after use. Urine tests are the most common drug detection test.
Your gastrointestinal tract absorbs Adderall. Generally, Adderall stays in your system for three days. The exact amount of time depends on your age, metabolism, Adderall dosage, and organ function.
Each medication or drug has a different length of time it will last in your body. Having this information is vital because you may be heading for an overdose if you continue to take dose upon dose.
There are multiple options for treating Adderall withdrawal or addiction. Choosing the right one for you depends on the intensity of your addiction, whether you have commitments that prevent inpatient treatment, and financial capability since your insurance may limit the type of treatment they cover. Following are treatment options for Adderall addiction:
Inpatient care is an intensive treatment that requires 24/7 care. You live temporarily at the treatment facility. Your living space includes a bed and dresser at a minimum. More than likely, there is a bathroom and shower facility for women and one for men. All patients are required to participate in one-on-one and group therapy programs.
For individuals who need treatment but cannot commit to 24/7 inpatient care, outpatient treatment is available. With this treatment, patients get to stay in their homes and commute to treatment following a predetermined schedule. They also may be required to attend 12-step groups in the community to support their recovery.
Physicians rely on specialty therapies to assist patients during Adderall addiction treatment. These therapies include:
CBT involves helping patients change the way they think. This evidence-based therapy works by showing the patient that when he/she/they change how and what they believe, changes in behavior follow.
DBT, often paired with CBT, is used in private therapy but can also be used in group therapy to help patients get in touch with their emotions to understand why they felt they needed to abuse Adderall in the first place.
Treating Adderall addiction is possible. The sooner you seek treatment, the better. The longer you stay addicted, you risk severe withdrawal symptoms or an overdose that can result in death. It is suggested you contact your physician with any questions or concerns about this drug.
When taken correctly, Adderall treats ADHA successfully in children and adults. Use this Adderall guide for current information on the uses and side effects of Adderall. Knowing the risks of Adderall if you misuse it also is essential. By understanding the dangers of Adderall overdose and withdrawal due to addiction to the medication, you can share this guide with a loved one and seek immediate medical attention.