Many people take Adderall outside of prescription guidelines to increase focus and concentration. Adderall use is harmful to the heart and brain and may develop into a condition that requires an Adderall addiction treatment program.
Adderall is a stimulant medication containing the drugs amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Doctors prescribe this medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall or its extended-release version, Adderall XR, has an extremely high potential for use and addiction, especially when used by individuals without these medical concerns. At Vertava Health, we understand the complex relationship between your life, health, and substance use. Our treatment focuses on these connections so that we can treat and restore your physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health. Call 888.601.8693 today to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is most renowned for its use in treating ADHD, but it can also be used to treat narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). This drug is offered in two formulations, including the immediate-release Adderall (written simply as Adderall) and an extended-release version, Adderall XR. Both are offered in 5 mg to 30 mg doses, in varying colors or color combinations, with the former as a tablet and the latter as a capsule.
As a stimulant, Adderall changes your brain chemistry, most notably by increasing dopamine (a brain chemical or neurotransmitter) and the rate by which your central nervous system (CNS) functions. These changes may include:
- Alertness, attentiveness, or energy
- Higher blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate
- Better mood
- Feelings of well-being
- Decreased appetite
- Less of a need for sleep
Prescribed use induces these states in what is typically a manageable and safe way. But for those who do not use the medication as the doctor prescribed, Adderall can be dangerous, addictive, and even deadly, as these changes shift into dangerous extremes.
What Effects Does Adderall Use Affect Your Brain?
Adderall can gradually increase and level out dopamine during prescribed use to reach a more natural, optimal level. As higher and more frequent doses of the drug are used, these levels spike quickly and unnaturally during use. Dopamine is responsible for creating these effects, and the feel-good effects drug users seek. Altering and increasing levels of this neurotransmitter is the underlying goal of the majority of drug use, even if the user isn’t mindful that this is the reason. Quickly and radically boosting dopamine is what creates the pleasurable effects associated with most forms of recreational drug use, especially with stimulants like Adderall.
Over time, your brain thinks it no longer needs to produce normal dopamine levels (and other brain chemicals affected by use) on its own. As this production decreases, your brain becomes reliant on Adderall to function properly, which affects how your physical states are managed. When you’ve transitioned into this state, you have formed a dependence.
Within these periods, a person may also find that the amount of Adderall they once used no longer creates the sought-after effect, leading them to take more. This is called tolerance. While both dependence and tolerance can occur within prescribed use, they are characteristic of addiction when they come along with drug-seeking and habitual use.
Is Adderall a Smart Drug?
In the past several years, Adderall has garnered widespread attention for its prevalence as a study drug or smart pill. This reputation is due to the perception that it offers cognitive enhancement or an increased ability to think and perform mental functions.
Contrary to people’s ambitions, prolonged drug use is actually detrimental to your brain. Furthermore, the damage which occurs can actually make it more difficult for an individual to think clearly and efficiently.
In addition, these patterns of use and the subsequent changes to a person’s brain chemistry can significantly alter a person’s mental and emotional states. It can lead to fluctuating and unstable moods and new or worsening mental illnesses. These changes can decrease a person’s ability to retain and utilize new information or carry out and maintain complex thought processes. As your drug use progresses, it can be doing the reverse of what you hoped it would do and so much more detriment beyond that.
Who Uses Adderall Drugs?
The range of Adderall use is wide, but it frequently stems from an individual’s pursuit to enhance their academic or professional performance. Individuals take the drug because they believe it will help them learn more, think better, and stay more alert or awake for more extended periods. This makes it an appealing drug for students and professionals alike. However, these notions are very misleading. Adderall use can be extremely harmful to your health and life, leading to addiction, overdose, and death.
One especially frightening thing is that this use often starts young. The use of Adderall and other prescription stimulant medications is particularly high among adolescents and teenagers. When confronted with the growing pressures revolving around academic performance, far too many individuals of these ages turn to Adderall and other prescription stimulants.
Since a large amount of Adderall use begins at these ages before transitioning into young adulthood and beyond, it’s important to understand the root of use. Even adults fall prey to Adderall use for these same reasons. Many individuals will feign having ADHD throughout these ages to procure a prescription for this medication.
Is It Okay to Self-Medicate with Adderall Drugs?
You might wonder what happens to a person who is using the drug to self-medicate. Maybe they believe they have ADHD but have never been assessed for it. Perhaps they have been diagnosed but aren’t seeking medical guidance from a physician or have failed to return for a new prescription and check-up.
In either case, taking Adderall in dosages that you determine on your own can place your body and brain in harm’s way. Even if your brain could benefit from this medication, taking it without guidance means you could overlook something which places you in danger. No two people’s bodies and brains are alike. Therefore, Adderall should only be used after a doctor evaluates your unique health history and prescribes it based on these facts.
Side Effects And Risks Of Use
Even with prescribed use Adderall can create some uncomfortable, serious side effects, including:
- Breathing difficulties
- Cardiovascular complications
- Gastrointestinal complications (nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea)
- Auditory, tactile or visual hallucinations
- Delusional thinking
- Manic tendencies
Within situations of use, the risk for and intensity of these side effects rises. Due to the CNS stimulation, a person’s blood pressure, breathing, heart, and temperature rates all climb, placing undue strain on your cardiovascular system. From this and other impacts, additional side effects may arise.
It can be scary to realize that you’re exposing yourself to heightened risks. Replace your fear with a sense of empowerment and hope. With our help, you can begin working on protecting your body and brain as you develop a sober life.
Learn Valuable Life Skills
For those who began using Adderall in an attempt to bolster their performance, the thought of a sober life can be intimidating. As the Adderall use accelerated, handling these areas upon your own accord through your skill, talent and determination may seem frightening.
Within an addicted state, many individuals may believe they can’t handle the challenges and expectations of these responsibilities without the drug. This isn’t true. We’re here to show you the power you have within, a power that can build positive changes and success for yourself, your loved ones, and your career.
However, the truth is, you can succeed without Adderall, both within your personal and professional lives, and Vertava Health is here to show you how.
The Benefits Of Inpatient Drug Rehab Programs For Adderall Use
At Vertava Health, we treat addiction medically, mentally, and spiritually. Through this approach, you’ll get far more out of both your treatment and recovery, as well as better all-around health.
Here are some of the transformative and research-based treatment modalities we rely on to help you build a healthy, sober life:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Adventure therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Wilderness therapy
If you do have ADHD or another mental health disorder, we also offer dual diagnosis treatment.
We believe in treating the individual holistically, in a way that is tailored to your own dynamic personality and life. All of this treatment occurs on one of our peaceful, natural campuses, under the guidance of our highly-trained and caring treatment professionals.
Build a Sober Life with Vertava Health
If you’d like to regain control over your life and beat your Adderall addiction, contact us today. Our treatment offers only the best and most compassionate, up-to-date methods of addiction treatment. Vertava Health can help you or a loved one regain a more balanced, sober life. For more information about our Adderall addiction treatment program, contact us today at 888.601.8693.