Signs and symptoms of Adderall misuse

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Adderall is one of the most commonly misused drugs in the U.S. There are two reasons why this prescription amphetamine is so popular: Availability and potency. These days, it is not uncommon to see symptoms of Adderall misuse among 8th graders, 10th graders, and 12th graders alike. Furthermore, almost all of the addiction solutions Florida providers report an increase in treatment requests for Adderall. In this article, we are going to explain exactly why Adderall misuse is dangerous, the signs and symptoms of Adderall misuse, as well as provide you with some information on possible treatment options.

Why is Adderall misuse dangerous?

Aside from being dangerous on its own, Adderall is a common “gateway drug”. What this means is that a person can quickly transition from misusing Adderall to abusing even more dangerous drugs. On its own, Adderall is highly addictive and anyone can develop an Adderall misuse problem. Over the course of time, people build a tolerance to the drug, all but forcing them to take ever-increasing doses. Overdosing on Adderall is extremely dangerous, as it can lead to numerous health complications, even fatal ones. This is why it is very important that a person seek Adderall addiction rehab as soon as possible. During rehab, Adderall addicts will have access to professional drug detox and inpatient rehab options and will be closely monitored by professional medical staff.

person holding a bag of Adderall
Adderall is extremely addictive.

What are the signs of Adderall misuse?

Even though most people understand that Adderall has a high abuse potential, this does not stop the legal manufacturing process. This is due to the fact that Adderall has great success in helping treat numerous medical conditions (narcolepsy, hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder, etc.). However, most people who abuse Adderall do not have a medical prescription. What usually happens is that a person gets their drugs through someone who has a prescription, often someone they are in a relationship with. In fact, this is why many Adderall addicts seek couples rehab in Florida. Adderall, on its own, is a very powerful stimulant and the symptoms of Adderall misuse are quite similar to symptoms of stimulant addiction. That is why Adderall abuse falls within the DSM-5 category of stimulant use disorder.

Before DSM-5 joined the concepts of physical dependence and addiction into the category of substance use disorders, there were no clear ways to diagnose whether someone is suffering from Adderall misuse. These days, however, a person can be diagnosed with Adderall use disorder depending on the number and the severity of the symptoms they experience. There are 11 symptoms covered by the DSM-5, including:

  • Consuming more Adderall to get a similar effect to the one that was experienced with earlier use
  • Disregarding family, work, school, or other responsibilities in lieu of misusing Adderall
  • Not stopping to misuse Adderall even after it is clearly causing physical and mental problems
  • Increased frequency of Adderall intake
  • The presence of withdrawal symptoms once Adderall consumption drops below a familiar amount

Who is most likely to misuse Adderall?

There are two groups of individuals that have the highest chance of misusing Adderall. The first group is comprised of people who have a medical condition for which Adderall is usually prescribed. This particular group will usually be very careful with their Adderall dosage and will follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter. However, some people may not be able to resist the easy access to Adderall and will start misusing it after a time. These are usually the same people that will even consider the question “Does insurance cover rehab?” before they start fueling their addiction. Adderall misuse is, of course, highly individual, but is more likely to happen when someone has easy access to the drug.

person reading about symptoms of Adderall misuse
Adderall misuse is very common in students.

The second group of people will not have Adderall prescribed to them but will try to obtain it through different means. Most commonly, these people will know someone who has an Adderall-prescribing condition and will use them to obtain the drug. Furthermore, this group is much more likely to develop a serious Adderall addiction, as they are not using the drug for medical purposes. They may also try to increase the already high potency of the drug via other means. For example, what many Adderall addicts do is crush the pills and snort them instead of taking them orally. By having Adderall snorted, a person can achieve a more intense euphoric rush due to the fact that the stimulant is delivered to the brain much faster.

Symptoms of Adderall misuse

Adderall, being a stimulant, has the potential to produce very nasty side effects. Physical side effects can occur very shortly after use, while mental side effects can take longer. However, it is the mental symptoms that are the most dangerous. You can sometimes spot that a person is using Adderall if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling much more social than usual
  • Being more talkative than normal
  • Having an illusion of wellness
  • Getting a strong desire to work
  • Thinking about more things than usual
  • Having a feeling of worry, impatience, anxiety, or nervousness

While these symptoms may be easy to spot, the issue is that they are usually not long-lasting. That means that a person who is abusing Adderall may not be near someone who is actively searching for the symptoms. Even so, knowing about these short-term symptoms may allow you to figure out whether someone has an Adderall problem.

three people talking
Adderall misuse may make you somewhat more social in the short term.

Common side effects

Aside from short-term symptoms, there are other common side effects that you may be able to observe. They include:

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Having trouble falling/staying asleep
  • Weight loss/Malnutrition
  • Uncontrollable shaking in one area of the body (e.g. leg)
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in sexual interest levels

These side effects can be observed long after someone has misused Adderall. However, the issue is that many of these side effects may be perfectly natural. It is, therefore, quite important to verify that the side effects are not caused by any other condition before you accuse someone of misusing Adderall and trying to send them for Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment. Furthermore, you may be able to spot numerous mental health side effects of Adderall misuse.

Serious side effects

Aside from being able to create a variety of physical symptoms, Adderall can also induce numerous mental health changes in the person who is abusing it. Some of the symptoms may be hallucinatory in nature, while others may be a lot more serious. Luckily, serious mental health symptoms of Adderall misuse are not very common. That said, there is a possibility of them occurring. On the other hand, there is a high possibility of serious physical side effects. Here are some of the more severe physical health symptoms that you might want to be on the lookout for:

  • Seizures
  • Exhaustion
  • Fever
  • Rash or itching
  • Verbal or muscular tics
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heart rate/Pounding heartbeat
  • Throat, eyes, or face swelling
  • Blistering/peeling skin
person in pain
Adderall misuse can lead to considerable chest pain.

If you notice any of these symptoms (and you believe they were caused by Adderall misuse) it is usually best to contact a treatment center immediately. The professional medical staff there will help you prevent any further symptoms from jeopardizing the individual’s health.

Adderall misuse also has a strong connection with significant long-term symptoms as well. Furthermore, a person who goes into the withdrawal phase may have to deal with nightmares, panic, suicidal thoughts, or even mania. Even so, there is not enough information currently that indicates that Adderall misuse has a large impact on the brain and the major organs in the body. However, the way in which a person administers Adderall may create additional symptoms. For example, someone who crushes, liquefies, and injects Adderall directly may suffer from collapsed veins. Those who snort Adderall in its crushed form may develop significant damage to their nasal cavity, as well.

Behavioral symptoms of Adderal misuse

Aside from being able to spot physical and mental symptoms, you may be able to spot a change in the behavior of a person who is misusing Adderall. The simple fact that it is possible to visit several pharmacies and purchase large quantities of Adderall means a lot of travel time. This is something that can be picked up on by a keen observer. There are other signs you may be able to spot, as well. The most important things you should be looking for are any changes in the person’s usual behavior. Furthermore, Adderall misuse often involves drug paraphernalia (miscellaneous equipment). If you notice that someone is purchasing a lot of syringes, for example, it may indicate that they are misusing Adderall (or some other drug).

Someone that snorts Adderall, on the other hand, will require objects that are capable of crushing the drug. Snorting may also involve the use of rolled-up bills, straws, hollowed-out pens, or a similar implement. Similar to cocaine, Adderall can also be made into lines by using a sharp-edged object. The object used will likely have a residue of some sort that can be used to identify its purpose.

Yet another behavioral change can be observed in the way that someone pays for Adderall. Most of the time, a person will start draining their finances in a rapid manner (emptying their checking/savings accounts, spending work wages, etc.) just to get their hands on more of the drug. Simply looking into the person’s finances may provide you with a definite sign that something is going on.

a hooded person wearing a mask
People who misuse Adderall tend to become more secretive.

Lack of self-care

The most common behavioral change due to Adderall misuse is, by far, the lack of self-care. A person who is fixated on using the drug will slowly start to prioritize it over anything else. The change may be either sudden or gradual but it almost always happens. As the person sinks toward Adderall misuse, their health will start to deteriorate and grooming will start being less and less important.

Social avoidance

Social avoidance is one of the most common symptoms of substance abuse, Adderall included. If you notice that your loved one has started withdrawing from social events, it may be that they are developing (or have already developed) a substance problem. Alternatively, people who misuse Adderall tend to hang out with similarly-minded (Adderall addicts) people. Most of the time, however, the person who is misusing Adderall will want to be left alone. The longer this state of things is allowed to continue, the more difficult it will be to recover.

The change in social habits does not come quickly, it happens gradually over time. At first, most people who misuse Adderall will try to keep appearances and try to act like nothing is wrong. However, as the addiction takes over, they usually become more and more disinterested in keeping up appearances. If that is allowed to happen, the only course of action is to seek treatment at a professional treatment center.

Adderall treatment at Bright Futures Treatment Center

Bright Futures Treatment Center is specialized in treating the symptoms of Adderall misuse, as well as any other issues that may stem from addiction. Our professional medical staff is capable of creating highly-personalized treatment plans that cater to the exact needs of our clients. In fact, our outpatient program Florida is one of the best in the state! Each one of our clients gets the full attention of our team, and we strive to maintain a strong therapist-to-patient ratio. Our comfortable, serene, and compassionate space is the perfect location to facilitate the recovery process.

At Bright Futures Treatment Center, we specialize in helping individuals and families improve their lives. Our primary mission is to enable our clients to achieve rapid and long-lasting recovery in an easy and comfortable manner as possible. If you have any questions concerning the symptoms of Adderall misuse, or anything else that may have to do with your or your loved one’s well-being, feel free to get in touch with us. Our compassionate staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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