Adderall treats the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When taken as prescribed, this medication can help patients with ADHD improve their focus and attention. However, it can also become addictive when someone misuses it.
If you have an addiction to this medication, Gateway can help. Our Adderall drug treatment program in Illinois helps people just like you recover.
WHAT IS ADDERALL?
Adderall is the brand name of a stimulant medication that combines amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Although the chemical makeup of Adderall is similar to methamphetamine, it is considered safe when taken under the direct supervision of a medical professional. Adderall increases the activity of two neurotransmitters in the brain — dopamine, associated with feelings of pleasure, and norepinephrine, also called the stress hormone. The result is a stimulating effect on the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Although Adderall can make a user more attentive and alert, helping them focus for longer periods of time, the drug also has some serious side effects. The DEA has classified Adderall as a Schedule II controlled substance because it does have accepted medical use, but it also has a high potential for misuse and severe addiction.
HISTORY OF ADDERALL
As early as the 1930s, doctors noticed that amphetamines produced a calming effect in hyperactive children that could increase their concentration. In the early 1990s, diagnoses of ADHD skyrocketed, and pharmaceutical companies raced to find new treatments based on amphetamines. Adderall emerged in the mid-1990s as the preferred treatment for attention deficit disorder, or ADD — thus the “Add” in the drug’s name. Adderall was created largely by combining amphetamine salts.
By 2001, a slow-release version was produced called Adderall XR. This drug is considered a safer alternative to Adderall’s original quick-release tablet.
HOW WAS ADDERALL INTENDED TO BE USED?
Adderall continues to be an effective method of treating ADD or ADHD, increasing an individual’s ability to focus and pay attention. This medication is also a treatment for narcolepsy. This disorder can cause individuals to fall asleep suddenly and without warning. Adderall can also be used for other conditions that impact people’s ability to stay awake or alert. Depending on the version of Adderall prescribed and a patient’s needs, the medication is generally taken one to three times a day.
Those who rely on Adderall for their ability to function daily are at risk of developing a tolerance or physical dependence on the drug. This puts individuals at risk of becoming addicted to Adderall.
IN WHAT WAYS DOES ADDERALL AFFECT THE BRAIN AND BODY?
Adderall contains two central nervous system stimulants: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These compounds act like the brain chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Since Adderall contains dopamine, it triggers feelings related to reward that can urge someone to keep taking it. Doctors prescribe Adderall in a way that minimizes addiction, but misusing it increases the risk.
Adderall can also cause side effects such as:
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
With a doctor’s supervision, Adderall can help relieve the symptoms of ADHD. However, it also has many risks for anyone who misuses it.
HOW DO PEOPLE USE ADERALL ILLICITLY?
Adderall is not considered a hard drug like its street drug relative methamphetamine. However, when taking the medication outside of prescribed instructions, the risk of developing a severe addiction with far-reaching consequences dramatically increases. Although you can receive a prescription for Adderall, the drug is not inherently safe. In fact, there is a thrivingblack market for Adderall, especially among high school and college students.
This potent stimulant is used in a variety of illicit ways:
- Study aid: From athletes to college students cramming for tests, Adderall is frequently taken without a prescription because it makes users feel more awake and alert.
- Getting high: Adderall increases levels of the brain chemical dopamine and can create a feeling of euphoria. Because you can get high off of Adderall, some teens and young adults use the drug recreationally. In these situations, users often crush the pills and smoke them, or mix the powder with water and inject the drug.
- Polydrug use: Sometimes, Adderall is mixed with alcohol or other drugs to enhance its effects. These combinations can be potentially lethal.
- Weight loss: Because Adderall suppresses the appetite, some people misuse it to lose weight. However, doing this means your body doesn’t get the nutrients that it needs.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE AN ADDERALL ADDICTION?
An Adderall addiction can happen when someone takes it in higher doses, for a longer time, and more frequently than prescribed. Someone who uses Adderall without a prescription also has a risk of addiction. You may have an addiction to Adderall if you show signs such as:
- Prioritizing Adderall over your friends, family and obligations
- Dedicating a large amount of money and time to getting and using Adderall
- Crushing, snorting or manipulating Adderall to get a greater effect
You may also feel the effects of withdrawal when a dose of Adderall wears off. These symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Weight loss
If you think you have an Adderall addiction, you have help available. Like many illnesses, Adderall addiction can receive treatment and support through drug addiction rehabilitation.
WHAT TREATMENT OPTIONS EXIST FOR ADDERALL ADDICTION?
Treatment for addiction to prescription stimulants like Adderall may include services like:
- Medical evaluation: When you start Adderall addiction treatment, you’ll go through a medical evaluation to help your treatment team understand your medical history.
- Addiction counseling: Since addiction impacts your behavior, therapy for stimulant addiction will help you learn new behaviors.
- Supervised dosing: A doctor may taper you off Adderall by gradually decreasing the amount you take in a supervised environment.
- Relapse prevention: After you stop taking Adderall, your treatment center might provide ongoing therapy to prevent relapse.
Everyone has a unique experience with an Adderall drug addiction rehabilitation center, so the services you receive might differ.
HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM ADDERALL DRUG ADDICTION REHAB IN ILLINOIS?
Effective Adderall drug addiction treatment centers take a holistic approach to your well-being. Addiction impacts every aspect of life, including social interaction, physical health, emotional wellness and financial stability. A comprehensive Adderall drug program in Illinois can attempt to help you with all of the addiction’s effects.
Successful Adderall addiction treatment can provide these benefits and more:
- Reconnecting with friends, family and loved ones
- Managing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms
- Building a support network of people who understand addiction
- Stabilizing your life at home, work and school
During Adderall addiction treatment, your treatment team will help you set recovery goals and meet them. You can take back the life you had before Adderall or build a completely new one.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ADDERALL DRUG REHAB TREATMENT AT GATEWAY?
At Gateway, you will follow these steps in treatment with the help of our addiction professionals:
- Patient evaluation: Your treatment team will evaluate your physical and mental health to develop a personalized treatment plan.
- Addressing underlying conditions: If you have any conditions that contribute to your Adderall misuse, your clinic doctor will help you treat them alongside your addiction.
- Learning new coping behaviors: Through services like group therapy and individual counseling, your treatment team will help you learn critical recovery skills.
- Preventing future relapse: As part of your personalized treatment plan, you will also receive relapse prevention services to help you stay on the path to recovery.
With multiple types of therapy available at Gateway, you can work with our providers to find an approach that works best for you.
Gateway has more than 50 years of history of offering drug rehabilitation for Adderall and other drugs. Our multiple locations throughout the Chicago area make it convenient for patients to get treatment. Learn more about our Adderall drug addiction rehab centers in Illinois by contacting our caring staff today.