Adderall Addiction and Treatment
Adderall is a type of prescription amphetamine commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and different types of sleep disorder. Although it can help improve concentration and sleep patterns in children ages six to twelve years of age as well as in adults, Adderall is a highly addictive controlled substance. It is entirely possible for children and adults with ADHD to become dependent on Adderall and experience a decline in mental health and quality of life as a result. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that fatal overdoses due to Adderall and other psychostimulants have quadrupled in the past fifteen years.
Data from Johns Hopkins University indicates that Adderall misuse is rising among young adults and that 60 percent of all those engaging in nonmedical use of the drug were eighteen to twenty-five years of age. Whether it originated as legitimate or nonmedical, Adderall use during childhood very often follows users into adulthood, and it doesn’t take long to get addicted to the drug—many users experience tolerance and withdrawal after only a few months. Eventually, this misuse turns to full-blown dependency, prompting the need for treatment, including comprehensive medical detox and Adderall addiction rehab.
Elements of Adderall Addiction Treatment
Adderall addiction treatment is the process by which individuals suffering from Adderall dependency get the medical and behavioral help they need to overcome their dependency. The procedure can be administered through a variety of treatment models, including inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization, and more. The type of Adderall addiction treatment into which a patient enters is contingent upon a number of factors, including but not limited to the scope and duration of their dependency, their age, corresponding medical needs, co-occurring mental health issues, financial resources, lifestyle, and more. Although each patient’s treatment program will vary according to their care needs and lifestyle, two essential components of Adderall addiction treatment include detox and behavioral rehab.
Detox from Adderall
Detox from Adderall involves helping patients as safely and as comfortably as possible to eliminate the toxins in their system that have built up through long-term Adderall abuse. Prolonged and untreated Adderall misuse can create serious and lasting changes in the brain’s chemistry and central nervous system, and it’s critical that patients get adequate help for their withdrawal symptoms. While those with a more limited history of Adderall misuse may be able to detox on their own, it is generally recommended that patients get help from a hospital or treatment facility. The Adderall withdrawal period typically lasts three to five days and can include a variety of physical and psychological symptoms.
Some of the most common Adderall addiction withdrawal symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea and stomach illness
- Abdominal cramping
- Loss of short-term memory
- Depression and anxiety
- Vivid dreams
- Joint and muscle pain
Long-term health consequences of Adderall addiction include brain damage, overdose, organ failure, seizure, anxiety, depression, mania, delayed or stunted growth, fatigue, heart disease, and more. Children and young adults are at the highest risk for Adderall addiction and subsequent health risks.
Adderall Addiction Rehab
Rehab is another cornerstone of the Adderall addiction treatment process. Through group therapy, individualized counseling, and a patient-specific behavioral therapies, patients address the root causes of their Adderall abuse, including their ADHD and sleep disorder, as well as the lifestyle fallout and co-occurring mental illness associated with their dependency. Some of the more common long-term mental health issues that can emerge through Adderall addiction include severe anger, depression, anxiety, and the exacerbation of bipolar disorder and violent outbursts. Adderall addiction rehab can incorporate a wide range of therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) as well as motivational interviewing and other modalities.
How Do I Know If I Am Addicted to Adderall?
The lines between normal and excessive Adderall use are easier to delineate than other types of prescription drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines; however, it can also be hard to recognize the signs of Adderall addiction in yourself or someone you care about. Eventually it becomes very easy to tell if someone is addicted to Adderall through factors like behavior and physical indicators.
Some clear signs of Adderall abuse include:
- Lying and evasiveness regarding use
- Buying the drugs off the street
- Reacting indignantly when confronted about use
- Taking more than is prescribed
- Extreme, sudden changes in mood
- Inability to concentrate
- Cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Extreme irritability and aggression
- Extreme changes in weight
If you recognize that you, your loved one, or your friend is addicted to Adderall, take the necessary steps toward treatment and recovery.
The Aftermath of Adderall Addiction
Another fundamental component of Adderall addiction is aftercare to help patients get the help needed to deal with the psychological and logistical fallout of their abuse. The reality of Adderall addiction is that it can often wind up exacerbating the very conditions it was initially taken to treat, including ADHD and sleep disorder. Aftercare plans should include referral to local mental health professionals who are trained in the behavioral pathology of addiction, as well as support groups and treatment resources for their initial conditions. Patients develop their aftercare plan in rehab with the help of their treatment professionals and build on the progress they’ve made, applying the behavioral tools gained in counseling to high-pressure situations to avoid relapse.
You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Your Life to Adderall Addiction.
More addiction threats than ever face every part of the United States population; Adderall is but one of many. While it’s an incredibly effective resource in treating certain types of attention and sleep disorders and can make a marked difference in a user’s professional or academic success, this drug is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening substance that should only be taken under the guidelines set forth by a physician. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction to Adderall or any other types of amphetamines, get the help you need now, before it’s too late. You don’t have to do this alone.