One of the fastest growing drug problems in the United States is the use of prescription medications in ways other than they were intended. Teenagers in particular have identified physician-ordered drugs as low-cost and widely available alternatives to cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin. These medicines are sold on the Internet and in high school corridors. Adderall is just one of the prescription drugs that is stolen out of medicine cabinets and turned into a party drug. You can get high, stay up studying for tests or dance the night away when you abuse this drug.
Adderall is a commonly prescribed drug that helps patients with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. When taken as directed, this medication provides substantial benefits. When taken too quickly, in too large of doses or with too many other drugs, Adderall damages the body and leaves a lifelong imprint of problems. It speeds up the mind, making it easier to stay up all night cramming for exams but also takes away the ability for the brain’s nerve center to react properly. Extended use can quickly lead to dependence and addiction.
Adderall is a federally controlled substance precisely because it offers such a high potential for abuse. The drug is known by many other names. At the pharmacy, it may be called dextroamphetamine, which is the generic version of the brand name. In high school hallways or at pharming parties, it may be referred to as the smart drug, speed, Skippy, uppers, roses or hearts. This substance can be ingested, snorted or injected.
While the current number of teenagers taking the drug can only be estimated, approximately six percent of full-time college students have used Adderall in a non-medical way. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that, compared with their peers, these Adderall users are:
- Three times as likely to abuse marijuana
- Five times as likely to misuse prescription pain relievers
- Eight times as likely to abuse prescription tranquilizers
- Nine times as likely to take cocaine
Adolescent Adderall abuse can lead to significant side effects and even the potential for a sudden death. If you are currently taking Adderall or any other prescription drug without a doctor’s orders, please get help. You can call our trained substance abuse team at to discuss ways to enter treatment and recovery.
Adolescent Adderall Abuse and Side Effects
Students mistakenly believe that prescription medications are safer than street drugs because they come from registered doctors and pharmacists. The truth is that each prescription is catered to the individual taking it and his or her specific illness. The physician has seen the recipient’s medical history but not yours. For instance, Adderall can interact with a number of other medications. You increase your odds of having health problems if you take Adderall or any other stimulants with any of the following:
- Antacid or ulcer medicines
- Narcotics and pain pills
- Seizure medicines
- Blood pressure medicines
- Blood thinners
Many teenagers have overdosed because their over-the-counter and prescription medicines doubled the effects of the Adderall.
Teen Adderall Addiction
The purpose of Adderall is to calm and focus children and adults who suffer from ADHD. When used as directed, it is a safe, effective medication that carries a low risk of dependency.
The problem occurs when teens use the drug as a stimulant to get high. Adderall can help young adults feel awake and focused. The person takes the drug more often to finish projects before school, study for the SATs, go out all night with friends, or just to keep up with academic and familial obligations. At the same time, the brain knows that certain chemicals are in too high of a supply, so it shuts down production. The teen then has a more difficult time achieving the same pleasurable feeling, so the dosage or the frequency increases.
If these symptoms sound like you, you may be addicted to Adderall. Call today to discuss your situation and your options. Confidential help is available whenever you are ready.
Adderall abuse can contribute to a list of mild, severe and life-threatening side effects. According to the Food and Drug Administration (), some of the most common problems are:
- Weight loss
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Trouble sleeping
- Pains in the head or stomach
- Growth retardation
- Psychotic symptoms
- Hearing voices
- Manic symptoms
- Sudden death
Taken without a doctor’s supervision, Adderall can cause dangerous reactions in adolescents who have any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Allergy to stimulants
Teens who take Adderall with other prescription or illegal drugs can damage functioning in their brains and bodies. Injecting the drug also leads to transmission-related diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and infections. Overdose is always possible, especially when combining Adderall and alcohol.
Adderall Addiction Treatment
While Ritalin was once the go-to drug for staying up all night, Adderall has quickly moved into the top spot. The high number of teenagers searching for euphoria has led a number of them to lives of tolerance and addiction. The highs are never enough and the lows are too low. When they do not take enough Adderall, they feel anxious and irritable. They can’t sleep, but they also lose the desire to perform regular activities because nothing brings joy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has even seen cases of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
At this point Adderall addicts can no longer go even a few hours without needing to feel the pleasure of a high. These addicted teens may steal money, sell possessions, rob people or even enter into the drug trade in order to score a few more pills.
Patients who enter treatment can detox in a safe environment and have the support they need to set their lives straight. Recovering addicts learn about how to stay healthy, how to identify risky situations and how to avoid using drugs. They also learn problem-solving skills for better interactions at school, at work and within relationships.
Teen Adderall addiction is preventable and reversible. If you or a friend is suffering from this chemical dependency, call . Prescription drug abuse counselors are ready to discuss your health and recommend treatment plans that fit your needs.