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The Dangers of the “Study Drug”
Adderall is a prescription drug designed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. In the past decade it has also been labeled “the study drug.” Adderall is known to stave off sleep and increase energy levels. These effects improve focus, so students often access the drug to help them complete their college class work.
A report shed light on the misuse of Adderall among young adults. The data cites that 60% of all Adderall use was by 18-25-year-olds. In fact, the article states that ER visits among young adults for Adderall-related visits had increased 156% from 2006-2011. Adderall overdose-related psychosis, seizures, and coma are noted in the report.
Because Adderall is highly addictive, serious long-term health issues, both mental and physical, pose a real threat to young adults. The risk of Adderall overdose psychosis is a serious adverse effect of this drug. Young people should know that a prescription stimulant can cause as much harm as meth or cocaine.
Adderall is composed of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, and comes in doses ranging from 5-30mg. Some abuse this drug in hopes of getting a boost in energy and mood, or desired weight loss. They are often unaware of the long-term effects that can occur with constant use. After feeling the initial euphoric effects, the brain’s reward system records it. A pathway is mapped, causing the person to seek the high over and over again.
The stimulant will increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the central nervous system. This results in the “feel good” effect. Also, the effects of the drug can affect the speed that the brain responds to input. This results in being better able to absorb and manage large amounts of data. Over time the brain becomes used to the drug to produce this response.
According to the New York Times piece Generation Adderall, prescriptions for the drug have spiked since coming on the market in 1996. In 2000 there were 5 million scripts written for Adderall. This increased to 9 million in 2005 and to 16 million by 2012. In fact, 42% of individuals aged 12 and older in 2015 did state they used the drug without a prescription.
How Long Does It Take to Become Addicted to Adderall?
Because Adderall is a prescribed by doctors many young people assume it to be safe. In reality, Adderall is the same DEA drug class as cocaine, morphine and meth. These are all drugs with a high risk for abuse. Tolerance and ramps up quickly.
During this early phase, the drug will increase dopamine levels in the brain. This triggers the rewarding effect and causes the person to desire it again and again. As tolerance increases, more of the drug is required to continue to achieve the desired effects. This leads to dependence.
Symptoms of Adderall Addiction
Over time, people that abuse the drug may come to believe they cannot function without it. This is a sign of dependence, or Adderall addiction. When someone is abusing Adderall abuse signs and symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping.
- Severe mood swings.
- Loss of appetite resulting in weight loss.
- Hoarse voice.
- Upper gastro pain.
- Sexual problems.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Erratic behavior.
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heart rate.
Adderall-induced psychosis can occur as a result of long-term abuse of the drug. It is also one of the more severe symptoms in the event of an overdose.
As Adderall abuse increases, such as snorting high doses of the drug, the risk of OD is real. Adderall overdose psychosis and other Adderall withdrawal symptoms can occur, which require medical care. Signs of OD may include:
- Panic attacks.
- High fever
- Stomach pain
- High blood pressure.
- Break down of muscles.
- Cardiac arrhythmia.
- Severe tremors
- Loss of consciousness.
Adderall overdose is treated by attempts to rid as much of the drug from the system as possible.
Healthy Ways to Manage School or Work Stress Without Adderall
Learning how to reduce stress is a way to avoid this drug. There are some helpful lifestyle changes that will help students better cope with their coursework. These include:
- Regular exercise. Adding a fitness routine into your week, even if it is simply a daily run or bike ride, can help keep stress under control. It will also improve sleep and mental sharpness.
- Eat healthy. A healthy diet plays a part in brain health and being able to focus and concentrate. A diet that limits junk food and caffeine is rich in healthy foods will help increase energy.
- Get organized. Learning how to manage work or school demands is key to avoiding stress. Use a daily to-do list to stay on top of tasks, which will reduce stress. Use a phone app to help keep track of projects, assignments, and due dates.
- Be mindful. Staying focused on the present moment, with focused breathing can help reduce stress. Use the simple practice of mindfulness to help keep your focus on the here and now..
By seeing the dangers of Adderall abuse early on you can get it under control by learning how to relax and reduce stress.
Ken Seeley Communities Treats Adderall Addiction in Palm Springs
Ken Seeley Communities is a full-service treatment program in Palm Springs, CA. KSC covers all aspects of treatment for Adderall addiction, starting with a monitored detox. We offer options for treatment, including IOP, PHP, and residential rehab. Sober living housing is also offered at KSC. For answers about our program, please contact us today at (877) 744-0502.