Adderall Abuse And Its Effects On The Body

Short and long-term Adderall abuse can have harmful effects on functions in the body. Inpatient treatment for substance abuse may be needed to treat health concerns and overcome addiction.

Adderall is a prescription stimulant used to manage symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When taken as directed, Adderall can be an effective treatment for improving focus and concentration.

People who do not take the drug as directed, or take it without a prescription, are at increased risk of several health concerns. This includes drug tolerance and addiction. It can also lead to harmful effects such as heart irregularities that, in severe cases, can be fatal.

Adderall’s powerful effects on certain systems in the body pose many potential dangers when misused. Treatment for stimulant abuse may be needed to treat the physical effects of drug abuse and overcome Adderall addiction.

How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall belongs to a class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. When taken, it stimulates the central nervous system, which is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. Adderall acts on certain chemicals in the brain responsible for managing mood, pleasure, and cognitive functions like concentration and memory.

When abused, Adderall may cause effects that are more intense than when taken as prescribed. This includes a euphoric high and rush of energy. Taking Adderall regularly in high doses can also result in physical dependence, which can lead to addiction.

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Short-Term Effects On The Body

Adderall is a powerful drug that affects several systems in the body. This includes an impact on the central nervous system, digestion, and effects on the heart. The immediate effects of Adderall can vary based on dosage. This includes the intensity of mental effects such as alertness and energy level.

Short-term effects of Adderall abuse on the body can include:

  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • decreased blood flow
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • increased blood sugar
  • fast breathing rate

Taking high doses of Adderall within a short time-frame can pose additional dangers. This includes overdose and sudden death.

How Is Adderall Abused?

Adderall is abused by taking the drug without a prescription or taking it in any way other than prescribed which may include:

  • taking higher or more frequent doses than directed
  • snorting, smoking, or injecting it
  • continuing to take it after your prescription has run out
  • taking it to get high

The reasons why a person may abuse Adderall can vary. Many people may abuse Adderall for its ability to improve focus and concentration, earning its nickname as the ‘smart drug.’ It may also be abused for its ability to cause an intense rush of euphoria, also described as a high. Adderall can also decrease a person’s appetite, and may be abused for weight loss purposes.

Abusing Adderall for any length of time does not come without its dangers. This can include harmful effects on organ function and other areas of the body.

Long-Term Effects On The Body

Chronic abuse of Adderall can place additional stress on the body and may pose a greater danger to those with co-occurring medical conditions. Some of the most serious problems reported with long-term Adderall abuse concern the cardiovascular system. This involves impact on the heart, and blood pressure.

Additional long-term effects on the body may include:

  • dry mouth
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • weight loss (as a result of decreased appetite)
  • dizziness
  • tremors
  • stomach and chest pain

People who abuse Adderall for an extended period of time may experience varying symptoms as a result of their drug problem. The severity of these effects often depends on dosage amount, frequency of use, and any co-occurring health problems.

Adderall’s effects on the body may make it more difficult for people to keep a job or spend time with their loved ones. Those who abuse it may also not be aware of their problem, or may be in denial about its severity.

This ability to ignore the problem, however, will become more difficult over time as the addiction becomes more severe. Without treatment, people who take excessive amounts of Adderall may face serious dangers to their physical and mental health.

Dangers Of Heavy Adderall Abuse

Misuse of Adderall has been on the rise in the United States and is most common among young adults aged 18 to 25. Many people who take the drug abuse it to achieve better concentration and focus, but are unaware of the potential dangers of misuse.

Chronic misuse of Adderall can lead to faster tolerance. This causes decreased drug effects, requiring a person to take higher doses in order to feel the same sensations. Increasing dosages without medical supervision can be dangerous and increase health risks.

High doses of Adderall, for instance, may lead to:

  • dangerously-high body temperature
  • irregular heartbeat
  • heart failure
  • seizures

If someone is taking excessive amounts of Adderall, these effects may occur regardless of how long a person has been abusing it. These effects can also be symptoms of an overdose, which has the potential to be life-threatening. Mixing Adderall with alcohol and other drugs can further increase these health risks and should be avoided.

People who abuse Adderall may need treatment to help them safely detox from the drug and overcome their addiction.

How Can Adderall Abuse Be Treated?

The type of treatment someone needs to treat substance abuse problems can vary from person to person. Factors such as how long someone has been abusing Adderall and the severity of their drug dependence may be considered when determining a treatment plan.

Detox From Adderall

Treatment for Adderall abuse often involves a multi-step process that begins with detoxification, or detox. People who have become dependent on Adderall are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug. These symptoms occur as the body’s reaction to the drug leaving their system and may cause emotional and physical distress.

The safest and most effective way to detox from Adderall is to enter medical detox, where withdrawal symptoms can be monitored and treated. Stimulant withdrawal can cause several unpleasant symptoms that are difficult to treat in a home environment. Detoxing without medical support can also put a person at greater risk for relapse, dehydration, and other health problems.

Inpatient Programs

After patients have detoxed from Adderall, many doctors recommend inpatient care within a substance abuse treatment center. Inpatient programs may offer individual behavioral therapy and group therapy, which can be effective in treating stimulant abuse.

Inpatient programs also provide 24-hour supervision and structure, which can be important for preventing relapse in the early stages of recovery. Patients may also have access to other medical and psychiatric specialists as needed to treat conditions related to their addiction.

Getting Help For Adderall Abuse

If you are struggling with Adderall addiction, or are worried about someone else’s drug use, recovery is possible.

Contact one of our specialists to learn more about treatment for you or a loved one’s Adderall abuse today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Prescription Stimulants

National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus - Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine

U.S. National Library of Medicine - Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects

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