Adderall Addiction

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San Diego Adderall Rehab

At Healthy Life Recovery, we know developing an Adderall addiction is not an uncommon condition. Students, professionals, athletes, and people struggling with eating disorders are known to abuse this drug. The longer a person has abused the drug, the harder it becomes to quit. The withdrawal symptoms of Adderall may make it hard for someone to stop taking it on their own.

Our rehab center offers individualized treatment for Adderall addiction in San Diego, CA. We are staffed with trained professionals that only want the best for your physical and mental health. A substance use disorder (SUD) can be impossible to defeat without the proper treatment options. At Healthy Life Recovery, our addiction treatment center can help you take back control of your life.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a drug used to treat ADHD and is prescribed by medical professionals. This drug is an amphetamine that affects the central nervous system, similar to cocaine. It is a potent stimulant, a Schedule II controlled drug, and comes in 5-30 milligram tablets. Children, teens, and adults are able to concentrate better and remain calm throughout the day. Doctors also prescribe the drug to people who suffer from narcolepsy or excessive daytime sleepiness.

How Adderall Works

Adderall is a stimulant, which means it increases dopamine levels in the brain. The chemical dopamine is in control of attention, movement, and pleasure. It differs from cocaine in the sense that it causes a slow and steady increase in dopamine. The brain similarly naturally produces the chemical and releases it this way.

How Does Adderall Addiction Develop?

It is a common misconception that people think that Adderall is safe because it is a prescription drug. Especially because it is frequently prescribed to children. There are long-term consequences when an individual abuses this drug. Prolonged Adderall use will lead to tolerance and an addiction to the drug.

In order to abuse taking Adderall, an individual would need to take more than the dosage the doctor prescribed. Taking the drug without a prescription, and not administering it orally, are also forms of substance abuse. For instance, individuals may crush up the pill to snort the powder to get an instant high. Others may even dilute the powder and inject it, which is very dangerous.

Individuals abuse Adderall because it produces feelings of euphoria, increased concentration, and a suppressed appetite. These effects make Adderall an attractive choice for anyone looking for a boost in physical or mental performance.

Adderall is abused for many reasons, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Studying
  • Athletic performance
  • Recreation (to get high)
  • Staying awake
    Adderall Addiction

    Adderall’s Effects on Health

    Adderall can affect the body in many severe and potentially deadly ways. If an individual takes the drug in high doses, they can suffer heart problems such as an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and a heart attack. People may experience malnutrition, paranoia, and feelings of hostility and depression when abusing this substance. In some cases, abusing Adderall can lead to suicidal thoughts or even a stroke.

    The body eventually creates a tolerance to the drug when it is being abused. The dosage will have to be increased in order to feel the same effects as before. A lethal overdose can become a serious health concern once an extreme addiction has developed.

    It is important to seek medical attention if an individual is showing signs of overdose symptoms such as:

    • Chest pain
    • Fainting
    • Fast breathing
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Shaking
    • Vomiting
    Adderall Addiction
    The most dangerous side effect of Adderall abuse is overdosing. Taking Adderall with alcohol or other substances will increase the risk of a death-related overdose. In 2005, the Canadian government banned sales of Adderall XR (the time-released version of the drug) due to 20 deaths associated with the drug.

    Amphetamines, including Adderall, have been banned by the International Olympic Committee since 1968. Athletes taking Adderall have died because their increased blood pressure leads to heatstroke and cardiac arrest.

    Dependence Vs. Addiction

    Adderall dependence is natural and an expected physiological response when taking the drug. There is a physical dependence due to the change of chemicals in the body. However, there is no psychological dependence which is what happens when it is being abused. An individual may need help from their doctor to get off the medication because of these chemical changes. The individual does not crave or obsess over the drug.

    An addiction occurs when an individual is both physically and psychologically dependent on the substance. These people often run out of their prescriptions early due to taking more than prescribed. They then experience Adderall withdrawal, which results in going to any length to obtain more of the drug. These obsessive thoughts and cravings about Adderall are indicators of addictive behavior.

    Adderall Addiction

    Signs of Adderall Abuse

    Common signs of an Adderall addiction include:

    • Wanting an increase in doses to feel the drug’s effects
    • Wanting to cut down on use but not being able to
    • Taking the drug despite knowledge of the drug’s harmful effects
    • Not being able to finish work without the drug
    • Spending a lot of time and money on the drug
    • Being unable to feel alert without taking the drug
    • Neglecting other normal or important activities in favor of using Adderall
    • Suffering withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
      Help is Available

      Who Abuses Adderall?

      It can be challenging to recognize when someone is abusing Adderall. Oftentimes, people abuse the drug in order to focus better and enhance productivity. A person abusing this substance does not look like a typical drug user and instead is perceived as a motivated individual. It is common for young people to value the feeling of motivation and drive. This is why students and young professionals are most often likely to abuse Adderall.

      Students And Professionals

      College students, in particular, make up a significant population of Adderall abuse. The drug’s ability to help one focus and stay awake for longer than normal makes it attractive to students and working professionals. This population is constantly facing ever-increasing demands at school and work.


      Athletes may abuse this drug to fight exhaustion and enhance performance during practice and in competition. In 2012, Adderall’s abuse contributed to a record-breaking year of drug-related suspensions in the National Football League.

      People With Eating Disorders

      People who struggle with an eating disorder may abuse this drug because it suppresses their appetite. If someone with an eating disorder becomes addicted, they will often need treatment that cares for both issues simultaneously.

      Adderall Addiction

      Common Drug Combinations

      People tend to combine Adderall with other drugs for numerous reasons. Some individuals may do this in an attempt to enhance its effects. Others may even take a drug to counter Adderall if it is preventing them from falling asleep. No matter the reason, mixing this drug with other substances increases the risk of overdosing.

      Some common drugs that are combined with Adderall include:

      Treatment & Prognosis

      The first step to treat the abuse of this prescription drug is to wean off of it slowly. This requires the individual to continue taking the drug, but gradually in lower doses. This will help reduce any withdrawal symptoms as well as increase the chance of success.

      The individual will then need to go through a detoxification process. Depending on the dosage level and length of the substance abuse, will determine if a person needs medically supervised detoxification. Some people may choose to do this process at home. Others who abused the drug at higher levels will go through detox in a medically supervised setting. 

      Currently, there is no medication-assisted treatment to treat this addiction. Following detox, the most effective treatment options for Adderall addiction are behavioral health therapies. Behavioral treatment may include:

      • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
      • Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives
      • The Matrix Model
      • 12-Step Groups
      • Family Behavior Therapy

        Inpatient Adderall Rehab

        Healthy Life Recovery’s Adderall addiction treatment program offers an inpatient alternative. Inpatient facilities provide all the support and resources the patient might need for an efficient recovery. The inpatient treatment offers individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management when needed.

        Residential treatment consists of 24/7 care while staying in the facility. The duration of this program usually lasts about 30 days and further assistance can be provided at an outpatient rehab center.

        Outpatient Adderall Rehab


        Healthy Life Recovery understands the needs of certain individuals. That is why we offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Our outpatient rehab in San Diego is designed to assist patients with maintaining their commitments while receiving the necessary care to remain sober. Each outpatient service provides the ongoing structure and support for people to transition back into society.

        Treatment for Adderall Abuse in San Diego, CA

        Trying to overcome your Adderall addiction alone can be extremely challenging. Get the help you need and deserve today in the beautiful city of San Diego. Our Healthy Life Recovery Addiction Center can provide the care you need to live a healthy life again. Contact us to find out the treatment options that best suit your needs.
        Adderall Addiction

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        Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

        Medically Reviewed By:

        Dr. Sanjai Thankachen

        Dr. Sanjai Thankachen graduated from Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in psychiatry in 2008 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York. Dr. Thankachen is currently working with Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists in an outpatient practice, as well as working at multiple in-patient psychiatric and medical units bringing his patients the most advanced healthcare treatment in psychiatry. Dr. Thankachen sees patients with an array of disorders, including depression, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dementia-related problems.

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        Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

        Edited for Clinical Accuracy By:

        Sean Leonard, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

        Sean Leonard is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. He received his master’s degree in adult geriatric primary care nurse practitioner from Walden University and a second postmaster specialty in psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner from Rocky Mountain University. Sean has experience working in various diverse settings, including an outpatient clinic, inpatient detox and rehab, psychiatric emergency, and dual diagnosis programs. His specialty areas include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD.

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