What is it Adderall?
Adderall is the brand name of a prescription stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy in children and adults. Adderall is a combination of two central nervous stimulant drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. An extended release form of the drug is also available and known as Adderall XR.
Like all stimulant drugs, Adderall increases the levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain meaning the user feels energised and alert. These rewarding effects are part of the reason this drug is popularly abused. Adderall interferes with the brain’s natural production of dopamine and norepinephrine resulting eventually in the brain ceasing to produce it of its own accord.
Adderall is produced as a tablet but can also be crushed and snorted or injected to increase its effects.
Street Names for Adderall
Adderall is often abused by many teenagers who use it as a study aid so they can stay awake and alert. There are many different slang terms used for this drug depending on the location and age group of the users.
- Black Beauties
- Pep Pills
History of Adderall
Amphetamine is the main active ingredient in Adderall. Amphetamine is a man-made drug and was originally synthesised by a Romanian chemist called Lazar Edeleanu in 1887. This drug has been used along with dextroamphetamine, under the names Benzedrine and Dexedrine throughout history to combat fatigue, most notably during World War II.
Adderall, was originally developed by Shire Pharmaceuticals in 1996 to compete with other ADD/ADHA medication on the market like Ritalin. This new, patented brand of amphetamine salts was commercially successful and in 2001 an extended release capsule was developed. This form of Adderall gives a low and steady dose to the user throughout the day.
What are the Effects of Adderall Addiction?
Adderall, although a prescription drug, can have exactly the same addictive effects as amphetamine. Its high potential for abuse means that in some countries even prescription use is banned.
Nobody sets out to become addicted and frequently the use of Adderall begins as a way to increase productivity during a stressful period at work or during exam times. It is even know for people to go to the doctor and fake the symptoms of ADHD to get a prescription for the drug.
Every addict’s path into addiction varies. This is a complex disease with many underlying layers which coupled together with trauma, abuse, depression and anxiety make it difficult to diagnose and treat without effective residential addiction treatment. CLICK Dual Diagnosis
- Heart problems
- Damage to the nose if snorted
- Damage to the stomach if swallowed
- Damage to the venous system if injected
- Potential blood borne diseases if injected
- Weight loss
- Changes in the brain chemistry – short term
- Changes in the structure and function of the brain – long term
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Disturbed sleep
- Unhealthy eating habits/malnutrition
- Lying to yourself/denial
- Apathy /Exhaustion
- Memory loss
- Mood Swings
- Potential increase in risky behaviour
- Sexual problems
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Lack of interest in work/school
- Lack of interest and ability in maintain relationships/friendships
- Damaged relationships with family members
- Lying to others
- Damaged self-esteem and self-worth
- Damaged relationship with self
- Lack of interest in life
- Inability to function without the drug
- Continued use despite negative consequences
The signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction get progressively worse over time and there will be no resolution until effective addiction treatment and aftercare are sought.
Using amphetamines of any sort can lead to physical and psychological dependency. This means a variety of withdrawal symptoms can be experienced when the user stops taking Adderall. These can be different for each person and depends on many different factors such as how long the person has been using and their general physical and mental health.
Removing the drug ultimately means the brain is being deprived of the chemicals that it has begun to rely on. It takes some time before the body’s system starts working properly and producing these chemicals in normal amounts again.
Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:
- Anxiety/Panic Attacks
- Mood Swings
- Disinterested in life
- Excessive hunger
- Tachycardia or Arrhythmia
The Two Stages of Withdrawal – Acute and Post-Acute
There is usually two stages of withdrawal from Adderall addiction. The first stage has immediate acute symptoms and these are usually both physical and psychological. During stage two, former users experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS.
These refer to a number of psychological symptoms which can last for weeks or months after the user has stopped taking the drug. This is one of many reasons why residential treatment is the most effective way to treat Adderall addiction.
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of motivation
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Anger or emotional outbursts