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Understanding an Addiction to Adderall

by Landmark Recovery

July 29, 2020
A man researching adderall


Can you become addicted to Adderall? Despite proven success in certain diagnoses, this drug is abused with unsettling regularity by individuals from all walks of life.


What is Adderall?

A man researching adderall

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that targets areas in the brain that regulate hyperactivity and impulse control. Its chemical makeup is a combination of two different amphetamine salts, dextroamphetamine, and racemic amphetamine.


This drug is typically prescribed to treat the manifestations of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but it can also be prescribed for narcolepsy.


Because it is a controlled substance with a high potential for abuse, it should only be taken on the recommendation of a medical professional and only at the prescribed dosage.


Use and Misuse

For an ADHD diagnosis, Adderall helps to calm hyperactivity, allowing the individual to focus on school or work-related tasks. However, taking Adderall over an extended period will build up a tolerance. Soon, the patient will find that it no longer curbs their symptoms, and they may turn to larger doses of the medication to get the same effect.


Some individuals use Adderall for non-medicinal purposes, to get the euphoric feel-good ‘high’ that the stimulant can cause. There has also been a documented trend of students abusing prescription stimulants, or so-called “study drugs,” to boost their mental performance and test-taking ability.


Adderall comes as a capsule that is taken orally. In an attempt to increase the effects of the drug, abusers may open the capsule and snort or inject its contents.


Is Adderall Addictive?

The short answer is – yes. Like many substances, Adderall can become habit-forming and even addictive when misused. Because of its alarmingly high rate of improper use, Adderall has been deemed a Schedule II controlled substance by the FDA. It can only be acquired with a triplicate prescription from a licensed medical professional. Selling Adderall, or giving it to someone it was not prescribed, is a federal offense.


Addiction occurs when users:


  • Take more than their prescribed dose
  • Take Adderall over an extended period
  • Take the drug for any other reason than its prescribed use


The risk of addiction to Adderall is not restricted to a specific demographic, but it is more present for individuals who are attempting to achieve extended periods of wakefulness, increased levels of focus, or improved mental or physical performance. These can include students, athletes, those with stressful or demanding jobs, and individuals attempting to lose weight.


Additionally, misusing Adderall can also pose a heightened risk of addiction for those with a history of substance abuse.


Using Adderall recreationally or in amounts that were not prescribed by a doctor can be harmful. Addiction to this class of drugs leads to serious repercussions, including:


  • The “Adderall crash
  • Drug-seeking behaviors to acquire the substance from doctors
  • Painful withdrawal symptoms when the need is not fulfilled
  • Severe and potentially fatal heart problems


If you are struggling with an addiction to Adderall, it is essential to seek help right away. The longer the addiction continues, the higher potential there is for physiological and psychological harm.


If you or a loved one is struggling with Adderall dependency, contact us today. There is help for you right here, and you don’t have to suffer alone.


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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.