Adderall, a drug most often prescribed to combat the symptoms of ADD/ ADHD, is very commonly abused among today’s teenagers and college students. Although it is available through prescription only, that hasn’t stopped legions of teens from taking advantage of the drug’s availability and abusing Adderall- sometimes to a dangerous degree. If you are a parent of a teen or a teenager yourself, it’s important to understand that despite its popularity, Adderall can be quite dangerous if not taken as prescribed. Below you will find some of the top facts about Adderall and Adderall abuse/ addiction:
It’s very popular among today’s young people.
Adderall is probably one of the most widely abused prescription drugs among teens and young adults, and because of its popularity, many young people mistakenly believe that the drug is free from harmful side effects. One of the most popular uses for Adderall among those who abuse it is as a study aid. Affectionately nicknamed “college crack,” Adderall enables students to concentrate for long periods of time, a characteristic many students abuse in order to write long papers or study for exams.
Adderall is also commonly used as a party drug. The pills contains dextroamphetamine, a stimulating substance that makes the user feel energized and more aware. In fact, Adderall’s side effects are often compared to those of cocaine, and it is therefore often abused at parties because of the feelings of confidence, well-being, enhanced libido, and talkativeness that it elicits. Finally, Adderall is commonly abused for the purpose of losing weight. Because the drug is a stimulant, it is extremely effective at suppressing one’s appetite. As a result, many young people (especially females, who are statistically more likely than males to feel pressured to be thin) choose to abuse Adderall for the sole purpose of losing weight.
There’s a fine line between abuse and addiction.
As with all substances, there is a fine line between Adderall abuse and Adderall addiction. As a result, it is important to recognize the signs of Adderall abuse before it has time to develop into a full blown addiction.
Signs that could possibly indicate Adderall abuse or addiction include:
- Purchasing it without a prescription
- Using it for purposes other than to control ADHD symptoms (or for any purpose other than the one recommended by the doctor prescribing the medication)
- Overusing the drug (whether you have a prescription or not)
- Faking symptoms to obtain a prescription
- Crushing or breaking the pills
- Snorting, smoking, or injecting the drug
- Increasing Adderall dose due to an increased tolerance
- Abusing the drug in the face of negative or damaging side effects
If you fear that a loved one could be abusing the drug, look for the signs. If someone is high on Adderall, they will likely exhibit some of the following cocaine-like symptoms, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Agitation/ irritability
Adderall abuse can have some very serious consequences.
Abusing Adderall can have a number of negative side effects. Some were covered in the list of symptoms found above, but others are more serious. When an individual is given an Adderall prescription, they are first screened for certain conditions, including underlying heart problems, seizure conditions, thyroid problems, and high blood pressure. These conditions can have severe and sometimes deadly interactions with Adderall, so it is important to know whether you are at risk before taking the drug. Therefore, when someone takes Adderall outside of a doctor’s orders and without these medical screenings, they are putting themselves at great risk. The negative (and sometimes very serious) consequences of Adderall misuse can include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Psychosis (such as paranoia)
- Extreme depression, nausea, irritation, and exhaustion (especially during the “crash”)
- Dangerous weight loss and anorexia
- Prolonged insomnia
- Sudden death
As you can see, Adderall, despite its popularity, is not something to be taken lightly. Without proper medical supervision, the drug can cause some very serious negative side effects. Therefore, if you are addicted to Adderall or suspect that someone you know could be abusing the drug, it’s very important that you find help as soon as possible. If you don’t, the consequences could be disastrous.