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Is Your Kid Addicted to Adderall?

Parents, have you heard of Adderall? If you are not familiar with it you should be! Adderall is a prescription drug used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. However, many teens have been using the drug illicitly as a “study aid,” because they think it improves focus, memory, and concentration.

But, this can be a dangerous, and addictive practice!

According to the website,, “The demographic most susceptible to Adderall abuse and addiction is students between the ages of 18 and 22. Many of these young adults initially turn to the stimulant drug as a study aid. That’s because it can help improve focus and boost alertness.  Some of these same students will go on to use the drug outside of academia, eventually spiraling into addiction.”

The National Institutes of Health’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, notes that 6.4 percent of all full-time college students have used Adderall recreationally within the past year.

What Are the Dangers of Adderall Abuse?

Teens and young adults who abuse Adderall are often unaware of the drug’s dangers. Negative side effects seen with Adderall abuse include anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and restlessness. In some cases, users also experience increased blood pressure and heart rate, as well as irregular heart palpitations.

Adderall is classified as a schedule II drug, meaning that it has a high potential to become addictive. When someone first takes the drug, they are likely to feel more energized and alert. However, as they continue to take it, the body develops a tolerance, and more of the drug is required to feel the same way. It’s not uncommon for a person to slowly take higher and higher doses, resulting in abuse and then addiction.

What Are the Signs of Adderall Addiction?

There are both physical and behavioral signs that someone is abusing Adderall. Some signs to look for include:

  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • The decrease in personal hygiene
  • Mood swings
  • Bursts of anger
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Difficulties maintaining or starting new relationships

Unfortunately, if you suspect a loved has already become addicted, most people will need help to beat an Adderall addiction. When looking for an appropriate rehab center, you’ll want to choose one that offers a medically supervised detoxification program. Quitting suddenly, or going “cold turkey” is ill-advised, as Adderall withdrawal symptoms can be severe.

The detox process involves a progressive decrease in Adderall dosage that takes place under the supervision of trained medical staff. Eventually, the dosage will become so low that the patient can completely stop taking it without experiencing the effects of withdrawal.

Do you know anyone who has used Adderall as a “study aid.” Did they become addicted? Please reply using the comments below.

About Cynthia Lechan-Goodman

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