Signs of Adderall Abuse: Symptoms of Stimulant Addiction

Signs of Adderall Addiction

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Adderall is a combination of four salts of  amphetamine and scientists classify it as a central nervous system stimulant. This puts it in the same category as caffeine and cocaine. Doctors prescribe Adderall to people with signs and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (excessive sleepiness) because it speeds up and heightens certain processes in the body.

Amphetamines are widely abused to enhance sports, academic, and professional performance. They are highly addictive prescription stimulants with effects similar to cocaine.

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Table of contents:

Why People Develop Addiction to Amphetamines

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is a potent stimulant that increases the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the human brain. These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of pleasure, motivation, and attentiveness. They improve concentration and control sleep and appetite. An Adderall high feels like increased confidence, concentration, and energy. Because of these chemically induced euphoric effects, it is easy to develop an addiction to CNS stimulants.

In the United States, the DEA has classified Adderall as a schedule II controlled substance, putting it in the same category as cocaine, methadone, and OxyContin. Drugs in this category have a high potential for severe physical and psychological addiction. That’s why these medications can only be legally obtained with a physician’s prescription and refills must be called into a pharmacy by a doctor’s office.

According to the 2015 SAMHSA announcement on nonmedical use of prescription drugs, each year about 137,000 full-time college students start non-medical use of prescription stimulants – that’s an average of 400 new users per day who are at risk of addiction. When it’s finals weeks for college kids, the price of 30 mg Adderall in the non-authorized entity can go up to as much as $10 per pill. In addition, some people begin abusing Adderall for anxiety because it enhances sociability, confidence, and energy levels and end up with an addiction.

It can be difficult to recognize Adderall abuse symptoms in someone. This is because people with an addiction to this medication do not resemble the stereotypical drug abuser. Very often, individuals with an amphetamine addiction are young professionals, high achievers, and students who begin abusing the medication in order to focus better.The easiest way to recognize an addict is to make one pass Adderall urine test. However, this is not always possible as the person can reject to pass one.

Once an addiction develops, stopping Adderall and functioning without it becomes a monumental task. Before you know it, they’re showing signs and symptoms of addiction and searching for how to get an Adderall prescription online. The dependence often goes unrecognized, especially in the early stages, because it’s difficult to imagine that someone who’s so driven and ambitious can have a drug addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Stimulant Addiction

What are the signs someone is on Adderall? Can you overdose on Adderall? How do you know if someone close to you has amphetamine addiction? There are certain telltale signs and symptoms of stimulant addiction that you can be vigilant for:

  • Social withdrawalaggressive woman screaming
  • Unusual excitability
  • Over talkativeness
  • Aggression
  • Secretive behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Unexplained financial troubles

If someone has a prescription for Adderall, they can still develop an addiction to the medicine by:

  • Taking it at a higher dose than prescribed
  • Taking it more often than prescribed
  • Taking it through unapproved methods such as snorting
  • Taking it for reasons other than a medical need
  • Taking someone else’s medicine
  • Buying it from an illicit source
  • Taking it for fun

Side Effects of Stimulants: Prescription Use vs. Abuse

Many people who use prescription Adderall are under the impression that the medication will have no adverse effects, signs, or symptoms because it is being taken as recommended by a doctor. In fact, because stimulants are prescribed to children with ADHD, people wrongly assume that they are completely safe.Some people even believe that taking Adderall while pregnant cannot harm the fetus because this drug is often prescribed even to the small children.

The truth is virtually every drug has some side effects. Adderall is a potent CNS stimulant that can have potentially deadly side effects. An overdose of this medicine can result in serious signs and symptoms such as heart attack, stroke, and liver failure.

Even if someone is using Adderall exactly as directed by a doctor, certain unwanted effects may occur. Stimulants are prescribed for long-term use. Some people find that after prolonged use the current dose of the medicine becomes ineffective. This may require an Adderall tolerance reset. Some of the common side effects of prescription stimulant use include:

  • Headache, blurred vision, dizziness, weakness
  • Restlessness, agitation, irritability
  • Fear, anxiety, insomnia
  • Unpleasant taste, dry mouth
  • Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache
  • Fever, loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Impotence, reduced libido, difficulty in having an orgasm
  • Palpitations, increased blood pressure

What are the signs of Adderall abuse? When someone abuses stimulants for non-medical reasons without a doctor’s prescription, there is a risk of more intense and more frequent side effects. Common signs and symptoms of abuse include:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Hoarseness
  • Digestive issues (nausea, diarrhea, constipation)
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Changes in sex drive

In people with an addiction, prolonged abuse of Adderall can have dangerous side effects, such as:

  • Weakness and numbness in the limbs
  • Chest painman holding chest because of pain
  • Dizziness
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Hives or rash
  • Blistering or peeling skin
  • Vision changes
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Mania
  •  Seizures

Helping Someone with Adderall Addiction Symptoms

Do you think someone you know has signs and symptoms of Adderall use? Are you wondering why a loved one who used to be a clear-headed achiever has become a paranoid, violent, or secretive wreck? Such changes in behavior are signs that you should be concerned. Helping someone with symptoms of addiction to stimulant medications requires an understanding and non-judgmental mindset. People with a dependence on stimulants are usually struggling with a number of signs and symptoms – keeping up academic or work performance, racing thoughts, insomnia, extreme mood swings, and maybe even severe depression.

It’s a good idea to involve a professional therapist in any confrontation or intervention with a loved one. Professionals are trained to bring up the subject gently. They know the best language to use without sounding accusatory or judgmental. They can guide family and friends on how to cope with the stress of living with an addict.

People with signs of Adderall addiction are often high achievers and driven to do well academically or professionally. They begin misusing these medications to improve focus and performance. When approaching someone who shows signs and symptoms of addiction, it’s important to express support and understanding and listen to their fears and reservations about coping with life without the drug. Here are some tips to help a person with signs of addiction:


  • Maintain balance and integrity (don’t get convinced to try out the drug with the addict) concerned woman talks to a drug addicted female friend
  • Help the person find the best rehab facility for addiction treatment
  • Stand by them even when the going gets rough
  • Insist on professional help at an accredited rehab center
  • If you stage an intervention, do it with love and care


  • Don’t expect the person to admit there’s a problem immediately
  • Don’t expect immediate results from rehab (it can take anywhere from 30 days to several months)
  • Don’t assume rehab will resolve all problems

I Think I’m Addicted to Adderall – What Should I Do?

Treating alcohol and drug addiction is a complicated process and must be done under the supervision of healthcare professionals. Quitting Adderall cold turkey is not a good idea. Withdrawal from the medication requires a slow taper to ensure it is safe and comfortable. The Adderall withdrawal timeline depends on the formulation of the drug. The regular formulation of the medicine is usually cleared out from a person’s system in about six hours. The extended-release formulation can take 10-12 hours to wear off.

If you have Adderall addiction signs and symptoms, it’s important to seek care at a reliable treatment center. A number of outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation facilities offer recovery programs for people with addiction to Adderall.

Find the Help You Need

If you or someone you love has Adderall addiction signs, call our free helpline (888)-459-5511 for more information on treatment options. Advisors are available to answer your questions, give you information on addiction to stimulant drugs, and guide you towards the safest and most effective recovery programs. Calls are always confidential and secure.

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Signs of Adderall Abuse: Symptoms of Stimulant Addiction

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