Adderall Facts and History
Adderall is a member of the amphetamine group of drugs, or speed. As a psychostimulant drug, and one of the most popular, Adderall works mainly by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.
It is a descendant of the once commonly used weight control drug Obetrol. Adderall was approved by the Federal Drug Administration for treating ADHD in 1996 and is widely prescribed. It is also prescribed for narcolepsy, though not nearly as often as for ADHD. Adderall is also used as a performance and cognitive enhancer, as well as an aphrodisiac.
Adderall Addiction Overview
Although Adderall is generally well tolerated in prescribed doses, as a member of the amphetamine family, Adderall addiction is common as it is widely abused.
The most common side effects are irregular heartbeat and psychological symptoms such as anxiety or euphoria. It is readily available and highly accessible. It has been called “methamphetamine in pill form” as Adderall’s effects are very similar to those of the common street drug methamphetamine.
It produces euphoria and a sense of wellbeing in the early stages of use, symptoms which become more difficult to attain as the use continues to evolve into full blown addiction. College students often rely on Adderall as a study aid and then also adopt it as a “party drug”.
Adderall is available in two formulations, an instant release form and an extended release format, although it is common for those abusing Adderall to crush the extended release version to attain the full effect of the drug instantly.
Ideal Recovery for Addiction to Adderall
Addiction to Adderall is a serious risk among those who begin to use the drug, with or without prescription, as the drug is highly addictive.
The larger than prescribed doses of Adderall used by addicts are very likely to cause impairment of cognitive function and to induce rapid muscle breakdown as well as psychosis in the form of delusions and paranoia.
The addiction to Adderall may also have been formed because of other, underlying issues, such as a genetic influence or altered brain mechanism, or past trauma, abuse, anxiety or depression. It is not uncommon for Adderall addiction to co-exist with addiction to other substances, such as alcohol (89 percent of college students who use Adderall recreationally also binge drink) as well as eating disorders.
The course of recovery for addiction to Adderall is largely cognitive in nature, including group and one-on-one therapy, possibly along with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) among other therapies and educational classes that help the addict understand the impact of Adderall on the brain and body, plus exercise and nutritional programs.