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Adderall Psychosis: Signs, Symptoms And Risk Factors

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

April 2, 2019

Adderall psychosis is a condition that can arise from abusing amphetamines. Getting treatment for Adderall addiction can prevent this and other negative side effects of the drug.

Adderall psychosis is a condition where symptoms of psychosis brought about by amphetamine use. This can happen in people who are abusing the drug. It can also happen in people with underlying mental health conditions who take Adderall.

Adderall is a prescription drug commonly used to treat ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder). Adderall is a central nervous stimulant that promotes increased focus, motivation, and energy.

This substance is also taken or abused by people who do not have ADHD. Adderall promotes feelings of euphoria and an increased sense of wellbeing. It also decreases appetite and need for sleep.

Adderall can have a number of side effects ranging from dry mouth to symptoms of psychosis.

What Is Adderall Psychosis?

Psychosis is when a person loses touch with reality. This condition is a symptom of more serious mental health conditions. Psychosis can result in delusions or hallucinations.

People who experience psychosis can also experience a lack of motivation to participate in everyday activities and withdraw from friends and family.

Individuals experiencing drug-induced psychosis are likely to display symptoms similar to regular psychosis. Drug-induced psychosis is also linked to violent behavior, suicidal ideations, and hospitalization.

What Are The Signs Of Adderall Psychosis?

Most people who are prescribed Adderall and take the drug as prescribed will not experience Adderall psychosis. This condition most often occurs in people who are long-term amphetamine users. It can also arise following a stimulant overdose.

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Signs that someone is experiencing Adderall-induced psychosis can include:

Hallucinations — Auditory hallucinations are the most common type of hallucinations experienced with Adderall psychosis. Auditory hallucinations are when a person hears things that are not real. Visual hallucinations may also occur with this condition.

Delusions — Many people with Adderall psychosis will experience paranoid delusions. This includes ideations of being watched or followed or of persecution. Delusions can cause people to act strangely or behave in an odd or dangerous way.

Agitation — Hallucinations and delusions often lead to extreme agitation in people with Adderall psychosis. Agitation could include pacing and the inability to stay still.

Disorganized speech — People with Adderall psychosis may repeat or use wrong words. They may also ramble or speak in an unusual pattern.

Catatonia — In severe cases of Adderall psychosis, people may become catatonic. Catatonia is an unresponsive state.

Symptoms Of Adderall Psychosis

Symptoms of Adderall psychosis will look very similar to symptoms of the organic mental condition. The most common symptoms of amphetamine psychosis include hallucinations and delusions.

Other symptoms of Adderall psychosis may include:

  • grandiosity
  • auditory hallucinations
  • visual hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • aggression
  • mania
  • erratic behavior
  • trouble thinking
  • agitation
  • delusions
  • anxiety
  • lethargy
  • antisocial behavior
  • mood changes

Risk Factors Of Adderall Psychosis

There are a number of factors that can increase someone’s risk of developing Adderall psychosis.

Risk factors that may contribute to developing amphetamine psychosis include:

  • high-stress levels
  • how long the drug is used
  • how much of the drug is taken
  • using other drugs with Adderall
  • lack of sleep
  • malnutrition
  • dormant mental health conditions such as psychosis or schizophrenia

All of these factors put people at a higher risk for experiencing Adderall psychosis. However, these factors don’t guarantee that this condition will occur.

How Long Does Adderall Psychosis Last?

How long Adderall psychosis lasts is highly individual. The duration of this condition will depend on any pre-existing mental conditions as well as how much of and how often the drug is taken.

For most people, Adderall psychosis will last a short amount of time, often a day or less. However, for others, stimulant psychosis can last weeks or even months and require medical attention.

If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing Adderall psychosis, it’s best to seek medical treatment.

Getting Help For Adderall Addiction

Adderall abuse and addiction can put people at an increased risk of experiencing Adderall-induced psychosis. Getting help for addiction is the best way to prevent this and other adverse side effects.

Most people will need a formal treatment program to successfully overcome addiction to Adderall. This may include a stay at an inpatient treatment facility. Inpatient programs provide intensive and personalized treatment to help people get on the path to recovery.

To learn more about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of Adderall psychosis, contact our treatment specialists today.

Mental Health Daily - Drug-Induced Psychosis: List Of Causative Agents

Cochrane Library - Treatment for amphetamine psychosis

BMC Psychiatry - Amphetamine-induced psychosis - a separate diagnostic entity or primary psychosis triggered in the vulnerable?

EASA - What is psychosis?

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