Adderall is a stimulant drug popular among college students and has been abused widely by the same demographic. The insights below will help you learn about Adderall addiction.
Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, mood altering stimulants typically used in the treatment of attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD). In other quarters, Adderall is also used to treat sleeping disorders and depression. Some of Adderall’s street nicknames include beans, double trouble, pep pills, black beauties, dexies, and speed.
History of abuse
Adderall was initially introduced into the market under the name Obetrol about 20 years ago. When the manufacturing company changed hands, the drug’s new name became Adderall. Originally targeting brain chemicals that play a role in hyperactivity and impulse control in ADHD patient, Adderall is now a popular drug of abuse among college students because of its amphetamine contents.
Recreationally, it is used for its stimulant and euphoric effects. Students use Adderall as a ”study drug” which increases their concentration and keep them awake for long periods (up to 14 hours) so that they can study and write research papers.
Statistics on college Adderall abuse
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health published by the SAMHSA in 2009 showed that 6.4 percent of fulltime college students aged between 18 and 22 years had used Adderall in a recreational way in the past 12 months. The research showed that a similar percentage of students in the same age bracket were twice as likely to abuse Adderall as those not in college.
The report also revealed that college students taking Adderall were thrice as likely to have used marijuana in the last 12 months, eight times more likely to have abused cocaine, and five times more likely to have use painkillers non-medically. Over 90 percent of those using Adderall for non-medical purposes also reported to be binge drinkers.
When Adderall is abused over long periods, some of the severe side effects include extreme fatigue and weakness in the arms and legs, seizures, shortness of breath, blurred vision, slow or impaired speech, increased pulse rate, hallucinations, and swelling.
Cardiovascular problems such as disrupted heart rhythm and increased blood pressure may also develop from addiction. Some addicts experience loss of appetite, which may lead to gross weight loss.
Hostility, paranoia, and depression are also long-term effects of Adderall addiction. These are the mental health issue associated with prolonged Adderall abuse. The drug can also lead to physical and psychological dependence.
Psychological dependence occurs when users take the drug routinely and it becomes a subconscious habit. Physical dependence results from the high level of dopamine in the blood that prevents users from quitting Adderall because it may trigger withdraw symptoms such as depression, tiredness, and lack of sleep.
Prolonged Adderall abuse also has grave social implications. It can ruin relationships between the addict on other people, including friends and family members. Since addiction demands a constant supply of the drug, this can lead to financial adversities for addicts.
Adderall abuse also inhibits an individual’s capacity to be productive and take up job responsibilities. Addicts also develop irritability, and withdrawal from normal social interactions.
Getting help for Adderall addiction
Currently, there are no proven medications for treating Adderall addiction and the withdrawal process. Sometimes antidepressants are used to treat the psychological effects of withdrawal.
Supportive medical intervention is a popular and effective approach for treating Adderall detox and withdrawal. After successful withdraw, behavioral interventions can be used in a manner similar to that of treating cocaine and methamphetamine addictions.
Contingency management is a form of therapy that will provide reinforcement to the client who makes a healthy and conscious decision to quit Adderall use.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) deals with the factors leading to drug abuse and addiction, approaches that can reduce associated risks and provide useful coping skills after quitting drugs.
Recovery groups are also important community-based programs that will allow recovering clients to come together and share on their successes and challenges during recovery from Adderall addiction.