The Risks Of Plugging Adderall

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The Risks Of Plugging Adderall

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

March 25, 2019

Adderall is a stimulant that is meant to be taken orally. People who are struggling with Adderall abuse and addiction may take this drug rectally (“plugging”). Plugging Adderall can result in addiction and serious health risks, such as heart attack.

Adderall (dextroamphetamine-amphetamine) can be habit-forming, and using the drug rectally can lead to heart problems, infection, and overdose. This central nervous system stimulant is linked to rising rates of abuse and addiction. Plugging Adderall increases the risk of dependence.

Adderall is a Schedule II drug, meaning it can have medicinal uses. This drug comes in tablet and capsule form and is used to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as sleep disorders like narcolepsy.

Using Adderall rectally causes the drug to hit the bloodstream extremely fast, which can result in an overdose. Plugging Adderall is a red flag that someone may be struggling with abuse and addiction.

Why Do People Plug Adderall (Rectal Use)?

People who are abusing Adderall may be curious about what happens if they take the drug rectally. Plugging Adderall may sound exciting or taboo, but it can lead to complicated infections in the rectal tissue and membranes.

When a person abuses Adderall, they may crush and snort the pills. This behavior can lead to damaged nasal tissue and a persistent runny nose. Rectal use may seem like a way to abuse the drug without the telltale symptoms of snorting.

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Some people may think plugging Adderall is safer than snorting it. But using this drug rectally makes it difficult to gauge the exact amount, and could lead to an overdose.

What Happens In The Brain When You Plug Adderall?

Adderall interacts with neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin. When these hormones are released, a person may feel aroused and alert. If a person abuses Adderall or takes the drug in large doses, they may also feel a strong sense of euphoria.

Plugging Adderall will likely result in an intensified high, including feelings of intense focus. Many people who struggle with Adderall abuse are students looking to enhance their academic performance.

Adderall is only available by prescription. Many of these prescriptions come in extended-release tablets, which release the drug over a 12-hour period. If a person plugs an extended-release tablet, a large dose will hit their bloodstream at once. This could result in overdose.

Plugging Adderall can also cause a strong but short-lived “peak” of the drug’s effects. This can lead a person to immediately desire another dose. If another dose is not taken, a person may start to “crash.” Coming down from Adderall can cause people to feel anxious, restless, and agitated.

Plugging Adderall can also impact the brain in ways that include:

  • mood swings
  • insomnia
  • tic-like behaviors
  • extreme alertness
  • altered judgment
  • psychosis
  • change in behavior
  • poor decision-making

What Happens In The Body When You Plug Adderall?

Rectal use of Adderall can cause serious reactions in the body. A person may feel energetic and jumpy or feel like their thoughts and words are moving fast.

Adderall causes an intense focused feeling, but plugging this drug comes with serious health consequences, including shortness of breath, twitching, and diarrhea.

Plugging Adderall can lead to additional physical side effects, including:

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • restlessness
  • changes in sex drive
  • heart attack
  • dizziness
  • chest pain
  • difficulty speaking
  • delusions (believing things that are not true)
  • aggressive behavior
  • pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in hands or feet
  • seizures
  • mania (frenzied or overly excited mood)

When people plug Adderall, they typically dissolve the medication in water and inject it into the rectum with a syringe. This method of use could expose the rectum to risks like internal and external tissue damage.

Plugging Adderall could also lead to complications in the colon or abdomen. Infections in this sensitive area of the body can make a person more susceptible to certain sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.

Adderall Overdose Symptoms

Rectal use of this drug makes it difficult to know the exact dosage a person is receiving. Plugging Adderall also causes the entire dose to hit the bloodstream at once, which raises the risk of overdose.

Sometimes a person may use Adderall to counteract the depressant effects of other drugs, such as alcohol. However, when Adderall is taken with other drugs, the risk of overdose spikes. If you see a person showing any of these signs of overdose, call 911 or poison control at once.

Signs of an Adderall overdose can include:

  • restlessness
  • tremors
  • aggressive behavior
  • confusion
  • fast breathing
  • feeling of panic
  • high fever
  • muscle pains
  • dark red or brown urine
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • blurred vision
  • fainting or “passing out”

Stimulant overdoses have risen in recent years, and this includes people who overdose on Adderall. More than 30 percent of college students report abusing stimulants, and over half of people with stimulant prescriptions report they’ve been approached to sell their medication.
Adderall Withdrawal And Detox

Like most drugs, Adderall can build up in the body and create what’s known as tolerance. Tolerance occurs when a person’s body requires higher and higher doses of the drug, in order to achieve the same high. This is also known as being dependent.

Being dependent on Adderall may cause a person to feel that they need the drug in order to perform daily functions. If they stop using Adderall suddenly, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • preoccupation with the drug
  • sleep problems
  • change in appearance

Drug detoxification programs can help people suffering from Adderall withdrawal. In a detox program, medical staff help get patients comfortable and stabilized, so they can safely get off of Adderall.

Currently, there is not an approved medication for stimulant addiction — but medical staff may administer certain medications that help to alleviate difficult withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment For Adderall Addiction

Every month, more than 6.5 million Americans struggle with abusing prescription drugs like Adderall. It can be difficult to stop using these drugs, especially if the medication was originally prescribed for a real health concern.

If a person has been plugging Adderall, they may be struggling with addiction. Rehab centers across the U.S. offer customized addiction treatment for those struggling with Adderall abuse.

Addiction treatment programs are offered in both inpatient (residential) and outpatient settings. At most rehab centers, clients engage in recovery therapies such as individual and group counseling, sober living skills, and medication-assisted treatment.

To learn more about the risks of plugging Adderall, or to explore treatment options near you, reach out to one of our specialists today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Nationwide Trends, What are prescription stimulants?

U.S National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus - Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine

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

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