Adderall has been around for a long time in one form or another. In fact, it’s even available by prescription to individuals with certain learning disorders and other types of conditions. But what is interesting about Adderall is that it’s also a drug with a high potential for abuse.
There are plenty of people who benefit from the medication, but, unfortunately, there are also people who become addicted to Adderall and many very similar drugs. Anyone who knows someone with an Adderall addiction or has one themselves should learn more about Adderall and what its potential abuse entails.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a name-brand drug that’s a stimulant. This drug is often used to treat ADHD and can sometimes be used to treat narcolepsy, although this is less common. In terms of the exact drugs used to make Adderall, more specifically, it’s composed of amphetamines, a type of stimulant, and a type of drug called dextroamphetamine.
This type of stimulant increases the activity of certain types of neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine and dopamine. Adderall is reasonably widely available because doctors commonly prescribe it for ADHD, so it’s relatively easy for people to abuse their prescriptions.
This medication is also a drug that came out after Ritalin had been on the market for several years. Adderall came out in 1996, but it was also a precursor to Vyvanse, which came out in 2007 and comprises lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. It’s also a precursor to Concerta, which is methylphenidate.
The Drug That Improves Cognitive Functioning in the Workplace and School
Because Adderall is a stimulant, one of its known effects is increasing alertness and the user’s ability to focus for long periods. And because many college students are looking for a competitive advantage, Adderall is commonly abused to help as a study aid. Similarly, Adderall is often used in the workplace to put in long hours and get a competitive edge on colleagues or catch up on work tasks.
About one in six students reported using Adderall and other cognitive-enhancing drugs to help with studying in 2015. And in 2018, about one in 75 workplace employees tested positive for amphetamines via a urine test.
The Risks Associated With Abusing Adderall and Other Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs
When people who don’t have ADHD take Adderall, it can temporarily evoke euphoric or mood-boosting effects. However, for most people who have ADHD, it helps them focus without mind-altering effects. Those who take Adderall or other ADHD medications for mood-boosting effects rather than for their prescribed purpose are more likely to develop an addiction than those who take it to treat an identified medical condition (which is often true for legal but easily abused pharmaceuticals).
Unfortunately, even though people who don’t have ADHD can get a cognitive boost from taking stimulant drugs, there are many negative consequences to taking Adderall and similar types of medication. Some of them might be merely uncomfortable in the short term, but some of them can have serious health consequences over the long term.
The most common side effects of using Adderall and other stimulant drugs include higher blood pressure and heart rate, faster breathing, heavy sweating, restlessness, anxiety, depression, confusion, tremors, panic attacks, and seizures.
Adderall Abuse Among Employees
Adderall abuse is also widespread in the working class, and there’s an increased likelihood of overdose. In fact, in 2016, a study pointed out an increase of 67% of Adderall abuse by adults from 2006 to 2011. Furthermore, emergency room visits that involved Adderall went up by 155%.
There are many reasons beyond the desire to replicate euphoria that Adderall and similar drugs are easy to abuse and even become addicted to. For instance, people who use Adderall for long periods often have more difficulties sleeping, making them even more likely to take more Adderall to regain the mental clarity they’re missing from lack of sleep. And the more someone takes Adderall, the more tolerant their body becomes to it, causing people to increase the amount they take. Some of the most potentially devastating long-term consequences of taking cognitive-boosting drugs include myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, psychosis, or sudden death.
Why Consider Medical Detox for Adderall Abuse
One of the quickest and safest ways to detox from Adderall is going to a medical center where professionals can monitor you. While it’s possible to detox on your own, depending on the amount of time you took Adderall and how much, it can take up to three weeks, and the withdrawal symptoms can be pretty severe. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms from Adderall include insomnia, headaches, sleeping too much, achiness, depression, fatigue, nightmares, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. These symptoms can last for as short as a few days to as long as a few weeks.
With the presence of many of the symptoms and the length of withdrawal time, it’s understandable why many people struggle with quitting after they’ve become addicted. This difficulty is also why many people need a quality rehab center that can take them through learning more about the detox process and how they can stay away from Adderall and other cognitive-enhancing drugs for the long haul.
When someone enters a medical detox program, they’ll have access to the tools they’ll need to withdraw from drugs with less temptation to return to the chosen drug when they’re most vulnerable and feel the full effects of withdrawal. And because withdrawal symptoms can last for so long when someone is detoxing from Adderall and other amphetamines, it can take time before the person can decide that they no longer need these types of drugs.
What People Can Expect When They Undergo Medical Detox
There are many symptoms associated with going through detox, and, unfortunately, even medical detox can’t take those symptoms away. Many people will have nausea, insomnia, impatience, headaches, chills, aches and pains, cravings, seizures, vomiting, lightheadedness, difficulties concentrating, and sweating.
There isn’t a drug that can temporarily replace Adderall to avoid withdrawal symptoms altogether, but slowly tapering off the drug can make it more tolerable. While we can’t help you bypass all of these symptoms, there are some things that we can do to make your experience as safe as possible during medical detox. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency. Searches are done on new patients to ensure a drug-free environment to prevent relapse. We further ensure people’s safety by closely monitoring their detox and providing medication if needed.
Treatment Options for Adderall Abuse and Addiction
Anyone currently struggling with an Adderall abuse problem or addiction should find multi-faceted help that offers plenty of options throughout the patient’s road to recovery. At Granite Recovery Centers, you or your loved one will attend individual and group therapy sessions, medical detox, overnight programs, and more.
At Granite Recovery Centers, we also have specific steps we go through during the medical detox portion of treatment that anyone thinking about undergoing treatment should know about. Mainly, one of the first things that anyone going through this treatment program will experience is a sub-acute medical detox in which trained professionals will monitor them for 24 hours until they have entirely rid themselves of the drug. Once a person has undergone this initial 24 hours, a medical professional will assess them. If their body has not wholly detoxed, they will continue to wait for their body to rid itself of the drugs. Once the patient finishes the detox portion of treatment, they’ll move onto the rehab stage.
To further elaborate on what defines sub-acute care, you must understand the different levels of addiction and detox risk. Whenever someone detoxes, it’s stressful on the body. Some people need hospital-level resources offered at a Level IV treatment center that provides acute care. Some people only need sub-acute treatment because their risks of having dangerous stressors are low. At Granite Recovery Centers, we oversee a sub-acute center rated at a 3.7. Our facility can support patients who have a high-to-manageable risk of withdrawal symptoms.
People with these symptoms will have great difficulties controlling their substance use, and they’re likely to have low interest in detox and will need motivational strategies. Additionally, people who need a sub-acute detox program, like Granite Recovery Centers offers, will also need 24-hour monitoring during their detox phase. Finally, they’ll also need a 24-hour structured center during the rehab portion of treatment.
Granite Recovery Centers also uses an evidence-based approach to treatment, meaning that we focus on using a 12-step program that strives for long-term recovery from addictions. Evidence-based programs have also undergone some testing and meet certain standards. They have been subjected to scientific testing to determine that the programs work. Evidence-based programs are also psycho-therapeutic treatments that The National Registry approves for Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. Our treatment program includes cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, trauma therapy, and grief and loss therapy.
There are also aftercare programs available for people needing more structure even after they’ve gone through detox and inpatient treatment. In an aftercare program, a person has access to continued support even if they’re no longer living in the inpatient program. It’s common for people with drug addictions to need these types of programs, and they can be helpful for a wide range of people.
At Granite Recovery Centers, we also have sober living houses designed to help people who need the support of living in a structured environment after they’ve already received the initial care. In this program, patients will engage in everyday activities like chores, exercise, process groups, goal setting, and more.
Anyone interested in getting medical detox and rehab, either for themselves or a loved one, should contact Granite Recovery Centers to learn more about their options. Someone from our center will determine if we are the right option for you or your loved one. While Adderall addiction can be a challenge to overcome, some great treatment options are available at Granite Recovery Centers.