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Focusing On Adderall: What You Need to Know

Commonly, Adderall is used to treat ADHD. However, before the drug is used for children ages 6 and under, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parent training in behavior management. For those older than 6, a combination of medicine and behavior therapy may be recommended. 

Rehab Adderall Addiction Treatment

Chances are you’ve heard of Adderall. But do you know exactly what it’s used for?

Known as the “study drug,” Adderall is specifically prescribed for those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). 

Unfortunately, Adderall sometimes falls into the hands of those without a prescription, leading to misuse and potentially addiction.

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It’s made from a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains, “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 comes as a tablet that’s taken by mouth. Be sure to consult with your doctor about the prescribed dosage and how often you should take it. Doctors will usually prescribe a lower dosage and then increase it over time. Your doctor may also ask you to taper off Adderall periodically to see if it’s still needed.

It’s highly important for anyone, whether you’re a student, athlete, or in the workforce, to only use Adderall under the supervision of a medical professional. 

Here, we’ll look at why Adderall is prescribed, how it’s misused, and what to do if you find yourself battling an Adderall addiction.

Managing ADHD with Adderall

Commonly, Adderall is used to treat ADHD. However, before the drug is used for children ages 6 and under, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parent training in behavior management. For those older than 6, a combination of medicine and behavior therapy may be recommended. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Medication can help children manage their ADHD symptoms in their everyday life and can help them control the behaviors that cause difficulties with family, friends, and at school.”

Stimulants such as Adderall are the most commonly used medications for ADHD. The CDC reports 70-80% of children will experience fewer symptoms when taking these medications.

It should also be noted that medications can affect people differently. You should always monitor your child’s situation and keep in contact with their pediatrician.

Contrary to what some may think, ADHD can affect adults as well. Symptoms can still present themselves even as you grow older, which is why some adults are also prescribed Adderall.

Symptoms of ADHD include, but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Overactivity
  • Acting without thinking
  • Problems with organizing
  • Constantly moving around
  • Interrupting people

If you think you or your child may have ADHD, speak with your doctor. Do not seek out Adderall from another person. It should only be used under the supervision of a medical professional.

Other Uses: Adderall for Narcolepsy

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explains narcolepsy as a condition that “affects the brain’s ability to control sleep-wake cycles.”

They also say, “People with narcolepsy may feel rested after waking, but then feel very sleepy throughout much of the day. Many individuals with narcolepsy also experience uneven and interrupted sleep that can involve waking up frequently during the night.”

Symptoms may include:

  • Extreme daytime sleepiness
  • Sleep paralysis (a temporary inability to move that occurs right after falling asleep or waking up)
  • Hallucinating (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
  • Loss of muscle control

While other medications may be used before Adderall, it is an option to treat the condition.Adderall for narcolepsy is typically prescribed for those 12 and older. 

As always, only use Adderall if prescribed by a doctor.

Consulting With Your Doctor

Many experts recommend having an open conversation with your doctor before taking Adderall.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says you should let your doctor know if you’re allergic to amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, or other stimulant medications such as benzphetamine, lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), and methamphetamine (Desoxyn). 

Also, if you’re taking any monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or have taken them in the last 14 days, bring that to their attention as well.

As always, tell your doctor what other prescription or non-prescription medications, and even herbal products, you’re taking.

Other things to mention:

  • Any family history of heart problems
  • If you have glaucoma
  • If you’re pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding

Your doctor should be able to answer any questions you have. It’s important, to be honest and upfront about your concerns.

If you’re prescribed Adderall, keep it closed in the container it came in and stored at room temperature away from any light or heat/moisture. Also, keep it in a safe place away from children and pets.

The Side Effects of Adderall

Like any drug, Adderall does have some side effects. Those may include:

  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea

The U.S. National Library of Medicine advises anyone who has these symptoms at a severe level, or if they don’t go away, to tell their doctor as soon as possible.

There are also more dangerous side effects. If you have any of the following, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Problems with speech
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Hallucinating
  • Numbness

If you notice your child is having chest pains or shortness of breath while on Adderall, again, seek medical attention immediately. Adderall may also be dangerous for adults with heart problems. 

Caution: Prescription Only

Put simply, Adderall can be misused, and you can overdose on it. 

Adderall misuse has become popular for weight loss, school/work/athletic performance, avoiding fatigue, and even to get high. In 2016, more than 1 million high school and college students were dealing with misuse of stimulants such as Adderall.

The fact is: Using Adderall for these purposes can be incredibly dangerous. You could develop an addiction.

If you’re unable to stop using Adderall, unable to function without it, or experiencing withdrawal, you may be dealing with an addiction. Signs of Adderall withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Aches
  • Sleepiness

Also, everyone is different. Without a prescription, you don’t know what dosage is safe for you. And even if you do have a prescription, never take more than what your doctor has prescribed. Anything else can lead to an overdose.

Adderall overdose symptoms can be quite severe. Symptoms like heart attack, chest pains, fainting, panic attacks, and tremors all raise eyebrows, but they are possible if an OD occurs.

If you think you or a loved one may have overdosed on Adderall, call 911 immediately. Medical personnel will try to restore blood flow to the heart if a heart attack occurs. In the instance of a seizure, they will take the proper steps to treat it.

Other procedures to treat an overdose include using activated charcoal to absorb the drug or pumping the stomach.

Aside from health risks, since it’s illegal to purchase Adderall without a prescription, you could find yourself facing fines and jail time as it’s a Schedule II controlled substance.

Treating an Adderall Addiction

Treatment for Adderall addiction usually caters to the needs of the person. You may need either long-term or short-term treatment depending on how severe your addiction is, whether detox is necessary, and how long you’ve been dealing with the addiction.

Your Adderall addiction can be conquered. Treatment may help restore the most important parts of your life.

You can seek treatment for Adderall misuse today. Reach out to us online or call 888-341-4325. Calls are free and confidential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Adderall help with anxiety?

Adderall is not prescribed for anxiety. Medical professionals prescribe Adderall for either ADHD or narcolepsy. It can even have unfavorable side effects such as depression or panic attacks if taken in excess. If you’re experiencing anxiety, speak with your doctor. Other treatments may be available.

How should Adderall make you feel?

Prescribed stimulants like Adderall increase alertness, attention, and energy. They can also increase the activity of dopamine (a feel-good chemical) in the brain. Misuse can lead to psychosis (disconnection from reality), anger, and paranoia (fear that others are trying to harm you). Adderall should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor, and should never be taken without a prescription or at a dosage higher than prescribed.

Does Adderall change your personality?

Everyone is different, so Adderall’s effects really depend on the person. If you notice any changes to your mood or personality, consult with your doctor. Adderall, however, has been shown to help with focus and overactivity.

What does Adderall do to your body?

According to Texas A&M Health, “Adderall is a combination of two central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. When these get to the brain, they act like the naturally occurring neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and norepinephrine.” Due to it acting like dopamine, Adderall can produce feelings of euphoria (pleasure, happiness). It can also impact alertness, clarity, and focus. Adderall can also reduce appetite and have other negative side effects, which were mentioned earlier. At the end of the day, pay attention to what your body is telling you. If something feels off, speak up.

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