Treating Adderall Addiction
Many people know of Adderall as a prescribed medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD. It is actually comprised of a combination of amphetamines.
It is essentially used as an aid to help people who suffer from ADHD to increase their ability to pay attention, to concentrate, stay focused and stop fidgeting. However, the drug is also one of the most widely abused and is highly addictive, which often leads to the need for treatment. It is very popular among students in high school and college. Many of those abusing the drug were never prescribed the drug.
Symptoms typical of abuse include headaches, dry mouth, nausea, digestive problems, reduced appetite, diarrhea, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, changes in sexual appetite. Prolonged use can have even more severe symptoms, such as weakness, dizziness, slowed speech, difficulty concentrating, paranoia, mania, seizures and aggressive behavior, hallucinations, tremor, vertigo, delirium and more.
Treatment for Adderall addiction depends on many variables, including how long the addicted person has been abusing the drug, whether it was prescribed in the first place, genetic makeup, etc.
Adderall Addiction Treatment
Like any addiction to a stimulant, Adderall addiction treatment is available as a residential program or as an outpatient program.
The first stage of treatment would be to detox from the drug. This is best done in a residential treatment center under the care and supervision of a medical doctor and treatment team. Many of the symptoms of detoxing, such as sleeplessness, or fatigue, or anxiety, depression and others may be eased with light, temporary medication. Following detox treatment is designed to help you understand your addiction, it’s impact on your brain, and to help you avoid relapse.
In a residential setting you will have the benefit of 24/7 care and therapy, including nutritional and exercise programs to help restore your body and brain. Many therapies are available to help you and some may focus on whether or not you have a prior traumatic experience that may be contributing to your addiction, or need to “self-medicate”.
Continuing Treatment for Adderall Addiction
People coming out of a residential treatment center will most often step down to an outpatient program. Depending on the level of addiction, some people may also start at this level of care.
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is designed to help transition you to living life without the need for, or dependence on drugs. An outpatient program will continue with one-on-one therapy, as well as group therapy, but may also include “life skills” courses that help teach you how to live life normally, without anxiety and without relapsing.
This course of treatment can last several months, after which many recovering addicts continue with therapy sessions on a weekly basis. Recovering addicts are also encouraged to join a 12-step meeting, such as Narcotics Anonymous, in order to create new friendships and a network of social support.
If you’re dealing with an addiction to Adderall, please call Recovery Channel now for advice and to see if your insurance will cover treatment.
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 a widely prescribed medication just like oxycodone. 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 treatment 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.
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