Thinking of using Adderall to lose weight? Think again

When you think of Adderall, the word “focus” may come to mind.

In school, classmates might have used it to study for a test or to complete a project. Your college teammate might have used it to boost their athletic performance. At work, a coworker may have used it to stay awake to simply get the job done.

Dangers of Adderall for weight loss

When you think of Adderall, the word “focus” may come to mind.

In school, classmates might have used it to study for a test or to complete a project. Your college teammate might have used it to boost their athletic performance. At work, a coworker may have used it to stay awake to simply get the job done.

There are many reasons people misuse Adderall. Sometimes, it’s misused without a prescription, or at a dosage higher than what’s recommended. Both can be dangerous.

Adderall use can be tied to many things, even weight loss.

There’s a sense of pressure when it comes to looking our summer best, but remember, any body is a summer body, and using Adderall to lose weight is dangerous.

Let’s take a look at the dangers of using Adderall for weight loss, the side effects of Adderall addiction, and more.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is sometimes referred to as the “study drug.” Normally, Adderall is used to treat conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Referred to as a central nervous system stimulant, Adderall is made from a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Adderall is used to treat ADHD in adults and children 3 years of age and older. Adderall XR is used to treat ADHD in adults and children 6 years of age and older. Mydayis [another prescription stimulant] is used to treat ADHD in adults and children 13 years of age and older.

“Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall) is also used to treat narcolepsy (a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep) in adults and children 12 years of age and older.”

Adderall works by changing the amount of natural substances in the brain. Those prescribed Adderall for ADHD may find the drug helps with calmness, allowing them to focus on daily tasks.

As with other stimulants, Adderall use can be dangerous and addictive without a doctor’s supervision or prescription. Legally, Adderall is only available with a prescription.

Even with a prescription, Adderall’s side effects might include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Nervousness

More serious side effects could include:

  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there)
  • Skin problems
  • Trouble breathing

Dangers of Using Adderall for Weight Loss

Since Adderall suppresses appetite, some turn to the drug to lose weight.

Using Adderall for weight loss may not only be dangerous, it can also be a sign of an addiction.

According to information provided by Penn State University, Adderall increases the amount of dopamine released in the brain. Dopamine also helps send signals when the body is satisfied by food. Adderall can send messages telling the body it’s full when it’s actually not. So someone taking Adderall may not eat enough and lose weight.

But by simply not eating, you could be starving yourself, which isn’t a healthy way to lose weight. You can also become malnourished.

According to the United Kingdom-based National Health Service, this type of diet doesn’t usually have a positive effect on long-term weight loss anyway. You may also be missing out on essential nutrients the body needs.

Adderall dependence or misuse for things such as weight loss may also put you at a higher risk of overdosing, which could result in death.

Signs of an Adderall overdose could include:

  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Heart attack
  • Tremors
  • Panic attacks

If you’re taking too much Adderall to lose weight, or for some other reason, and also taking antidepressants, you can develop serotonin syndrome. This occurs when the body has produced too much serotonin (a chemical that affects a person’s mood). This could lead to vomiting, changes in blood pressure, changes in heart rate, and more.

What Does Adderall Addiction Look Like?

Adderall dependency comes in many forms.

The drug has become quite popular for high school and college students. In 2016, a reported 1.5 million people were dealing with stimulant misuse. This includes drugs like Adderall. Of that 1.5 million, approximately 60% were young adults. Despite those statistics, Adderall dependency can affect anyone.

Adderall addiction may be a result of using the drug for:

  • Weight loss
  • Getting high
  • Combating fatigue
  • Athletic performance
  • Meeting deadlines
  • School performance
  • Work performance

Adderall is dangerous when used for the reasons mentioned above, but also when taken at a dosage higher than prescribed or without a prescription at all.

In order to maintain the dopamine (“feel good” chemical) levels in the brain, dependency may occur. 

You might be dealing with an Adderall addiction if you:

  • Are unable to stop using it
  • Are unable to function without it
  • Are experiencing withdrawal

Signs of Adderall withdrawal include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Body aches
  • Tiredness

virtual care

Get treatment when
and how you need it.

How Adderall Misuse Affects Your Health

Adderall is the most common central nervous system stimulant prescribed by doctors, and its use requires constant supervision by a medical professional.

Doctors typically prescribe dosages between 5 and 30 milligrams. Since it can be hard to tell what dose of Adderall causes an overdose, you should never take more than what’s prescribed.

However, people don’t always have a prescription and get the drug illegally. This is dangerous.

People who misuse the drug may crush and then snort tablets to feel the effects faster.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Adderall is classified as a schedule II controlled substance. Other schedule II drugs include fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and methadone.

Not only can Adderall misuse affect your health, it can also affect your personal life. That includes troubles with the law such as fines and even being sent to jail. It’s important to seek help before it gets to that point.

How Are Adderall Overdoses Treated?

An Adderall overdose can result in a visit to the emergency room, or worse.

If you fear you may have overdosed on Adderall, or if someone you know may have, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

If an overdose does occur, activated charcoal can be used by medical professionals to absorb the drug. Other options may include pumping the stomach to remove the drug from the body. 

Since Adderall can affect heart rate and blood pressure, medicine may be used to prevent heart problems and damage.

Once the situation is under control, patients might have to remain under the observation of doctors for a period of time.

Seeking the Right Drug Treatment for Adderall Addiction

To prevent an Adderall addiction, it’s important to only take it if prescribed by a doctor, and at the prescribed dose. However, if you or someone you know is dealing with an Adderall addiction, help is out there.

Everyone is different, so treatments for drug misuse typically cater to the needs of the patient. 

To fight addiction, many have found success with inpatient treatment programs. Whether you may need long-term or short-term treatment depends on a few key questions:

  • How severe is your addiction?
  • Is a detox necessary?
  • What type of support system is available for the patient?
  • How long has the patient been addicted?

While shorter inpatient programs can last about one month, longer programs may extend to two or three months.

Rehab may prove to be beneficial by restoring self-confidence, self-respect, communication skills, and responsibility. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with Adderall misuse, it’s important to remember you’re not alone.

By visiting, you can learn more about ways to combat addiction. You can also call 888-341-4325. Calls are confidential and free. can help bridge the gap between those who need treatment and the quality facilities that provide it. By reaching out, you may speak with a treatment specialist who will determine what adderall treatment options may be needed.

Want to get help, but not ready to talk?

You can receive 24/7 text support right away and at your convenience. There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support to receive:

✅ Resources about addiction and recovery

✅ Info about our treatment process

"*" indicates required fields


Let Regard Healthcare walk you through the treatment process. We're here to help.
For 24/7 Treatment Help
100% Free and Confidential. Call 888-341-4325

For 24/7 Treatment Help Call:


For Immediate Treatment Help Call:
(888) 979-9592