Signs of Adderall Abuse
Most people who abuse drugs are primarily motivated by one or more of three basic reasons: they want to feel good, they want to feel better, or they want to do better. In the case of adolescents, curiosity can be a fourth motivator for the initial abuse of drugs.
If the key motivation is feeling good, the person usually wants to get high, as in feeling euphoric. If they want to feel better than they feel right now, which may be feeling depressed and anxious or experiencing other negative emotions or even physical pain, then they hope that using the illicit drug will make them feel better.
Some people wish to perform better, as do some high school and college students who abuse amphetamines to get better grades or athletes who may believe their stamina is increased with amphetamines or other drugs.
Of adolescents who abuse drugs for the first time out of curiosity, once they know what using the drug is like, they may continue to use the drug because they want to feel good or better or to perform better.
The risk is that, whatever the initial motivation is in using the drug, if individuals continue to abuse amphetamines, they eventually may become addicted to the drug for their happiness, avoidance of problems, or their ability to succeed. They risk addiction because they believe that the drug gives them what they need better than anything else. And once they become addicted, they need the drug itself, both physically and psychologically, and the initial motivations for taking it become irrelevant. This is why it is important to avoid taking potentially addicting drugs in the first place unless there is a compelling medical reason to take the drug and it is taken under the supervision of a medical doctor.
Continued abuse of a drug can lead to dependence. Dependence happens when a person’s body becomes used to a drug and does not function as well without it. When this occurs, the person wants to keep using the drug. He or she has a hard time quitting because of unpleasant feelings known as withdrawal symptoms. Amphetamines like Adderall commonly cause dependence. People can become dependent on some of these drugs after using them only one time. Even when these drugs are prescribed by a doctor and taken correctly, people can find it hard to stop using. People who take these drugs legally can experience some of the same withdrawal symptoms that are felt by people who abuse the drugs. Sometimes, when children with ADHD stop taking Adderall, they become depressed or feel as if they want to kill themselves. This happens if they stop taking the drug abruptly instead of decreasing their dose slowly. Illegal use of amphetamines causes a terrible and powerful withdrawal syndrome.
The syndrome is even worse if the drugs have been habitually smoked or injected. When people try to stop using these drugs, they have strong cravings for them. They also may feel depressed and anxious, and might feel like killing themselves. Some people become very tired and lose interest in the things they once enjoyed. Others become angry or aggressive. Drug withdrawal can also lead to paranoia, psychosis (losing touch with reality), hallucinations, and delusions. This withdrawal syndrome can last anywhere from a few days to several years. To prevent these feelings, people often go back to using the drug.
The effects of amphetamines like Adderall are long-lasting, extending up to 15 hours after use. Adderall is a dangerous drug when abused; for example, a minor or moderate dose of Adderall can affect the cardiovascular system (manifestations like abnormal heartbeat, high or low blood pressure), the central nervous system (symptoms like confusion, abnormally fast reflexes, severe agitation, tremor – involuntary muscle twitching), the musculoskeletal (muscle pain), the respiratory system (rapid breathing), the urinary system (symptoms like painful urination and urinary retention – inability to urinate) and other health issues like elevated body temperature and mydriasis (dilated pupils).
Dangers of Adderall Abuse
The health issues of Adderall abuse depend on the method used to deliver the drug into the body.
When injected, the drug moves quickly into the body and gets through many of the body’s defenses against foreign contaminants. Common foreign contaminants like dust, bacteria, cause serious harm to the user. Users who inject amphetamines risk health problems like blood clots, infections, and drug overdose. The users who are sharing the needles increase their chances of contracting hepatitis, a liver disease, and HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus), which can lead to diseases like AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
It is very important to clarify what a psychological dependence means. According to the medical world, a psychological dependence is a dependence that affects the user’s behavior. The individual has a particular mental state that is characterized by an imperious wish of using the drug in order to obtain the drug’s effects.
Scientists claim that Adderall is not addictive when taken orally and used exactly as prescribed by the doctors. It becomes addictive when a person starts to abuse it. Adderall is known as a highly addictive drug when misused and can result in severe psychological dependence.
People who abuse Adderall can easily develop a physical tolerance to the drug that requires an increased dosage to attain the same results. This type of dependence can lead to signs and symptoms like cravings and panic attacks if the drug is not available. These panic attacks can cause psychotic episodes and even heart disorders.
Snorting the drug can seriously damage a user’s nasal cavities, causing open sores in the nose, burning sensation in the nose, and a frequent nose bleeds.
Recognizing an Adderall Addiction
The most commonly Adderall addiction signs:
1. Increased dosages of the drug
2. Withdrawal signs and symptoms
Many people tend to associate withdrawal symptoms with detox. Actually, the chronic Adderall abusers will experience withdrawal symptoms on a regular basis.
• Loss of energy
3. Aggressive/Psychotic Behaviors
In this category, we may include:
• Aggressive behaviors
5. Lifestyle Signs
Most important lifestyle signs of an Adderall addiction:
• Problems at workplace
• Relationship problems
• Health issues
• Decline in appearance
• Legal problems
• Financial problems
Signs of an Adderall Overdose
An Adderall overdose has high-intensity symptoms that may affect the internal systems of the human body. Overdosing with Adderall can cause health issues like cardiogenic shock (heart not being able to pump enough blood into the vessels), cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), circulatory system collapse (partial or complete failure of the circulatory system), acute amphetamine psychosis (e.g., delusions and paranoia), compulsive and repetitive movement, rhabdomyolysis (rapid muscle breakdown), pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs), pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries of the lung), respiratory alkalosis (reduced blood CO2), kidney failure and hyperpyrexia (extremely elevated body temperature).