Skip to content

Adderall Addiction Treatment

Adderall Addiction, Treatment, Signs & Effects

Adderall is an addictive prescription stimulant with effects similar to meth.  Although not everyone who uses Adderall will develop an addiction, people regularly taking Adderall at higher than prescribed doses are at an increased risk of becoming addicted.  This is because Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system. 

Norepinephrine affects how the brain responds to events, particularly how it pays attention and the speed at which it reacts to outside stimuli.  Dopamine, the body’s “feel-good” chemical, creates a rewarding effect.  Although dopamine occurs naturally, drugs like Adderall produce unnaturally high levels of it.  This can cause users to come back for more.

Adderall Addiction
Addicted people often feel tired and mentally foggy

The brain of an addicted person is dependent on Adderall to stimulate alertness and productivity.  Without Adderall, addicted people often feel tired and mentally foggy.  These are symptoms of Adderall withdrawal, a vital sign of an addiction.

Understanding Adderall (Amphetamine)

Adderall, a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, is the most commonly prescribed amphetamine.  Amphetamine is a powerful stimulator of the central nervous system. It is used to treat some medical conditions, but it is also highly addictive, with a history of abuse. It is a schedule II controlled substance because of its strong addictive potential.  Adderall comes as a tablet to be ingested orally with doses ranging from 5 milligrams.  Some people looking for immediate effects may crush up their tablets and snort Adderall.  Street names for Adderall include speed, uppers, black beauties, Addys, and pep pills.

Signs Of Adderall Addiction

  • Needing larger doses to feel the drug’s effects
  • Wanting to cut down on use but not having the ability to do so
  • Taking medicine despite knowledge of the harm it’s causing
  • Not being able to finish work without Adderall
  • Spending a lot of time and money getting, using, and recovering from the drug
  • Being unable to feel alert without the drug
  • Neglecting other normal or essential activities in favor of using Adderall
  • Suffering withdrawal symptoms when not using Adderall

No one intends on becoming addicted to Adderall.  Usually, the problem increases productivity on a stressful day at work or to study for an important test.  Some people even fake attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms to get their prescription for the drug.

This is how many people eventually become addicted to Adderall and soon prioritize the drug over everything else.  Unfortunately, the withdrawal symptoms caused by Adderall addiction make it hard for users to quit on their own.  These symptoms can seem unbearable, however, getting the help of a therapist or treatment center increases the chances of successfully quitting.

Adderall Dependence Vs. Adderall Addiction

An Adderall dependence is a natural, expected physiological response to the drug.  The individual has physical support due to the interaction of the chemicals in the body (even if taken as prescribed) but not a psychological dependence where they are abusing the medication to reach a “high.”  They may require assistance from their doctor to get off the drug due to how the chemicals affect the brain; however, they are not mentally obsessing or craving Adderall.

An Adderall addiction refers to a person’s physical and psychological reliance on Adderall along with a specific set of behaviors.  These individuals are usually unable to cope when they stop taking Adderall and will go to any length to obtain more of the medication.  The use of the drug becomes the main priority of the individual because they often run out of their prescription early due to taking more than prescribed, leaving them in withdrawal from the substance, which results in going to any length to obtain more of the sense.  Obsessive thoughts about Adderall and cravings are also an indicator of addictive behavior.

Adderall Effects and Abuse

Many people mistakenly believe Adderall is “safe” because doctors prescribe it.  However, continued abuse of Adderall can lead to long-term side effects and an addiction that can be hard to break.  People abuse Adderall because it produces confidence, euphoria, increased concentration, and a suppressed appetite.  These effects make Adderall a go-to choice for anyone looking for a boost in physical or mental performance.  Taking Adderall without a prescription or in a way not directed by a doctor is considered abuse.  This includes snorting Adderall pills or taking large doses to get a more substantial effect.  Adderall can be abuse for many purposes, including:

  • Weight Loss
  • Studying
  • Athletic Performance
  • Recreation (to get high)
  • Staying Awake

Although people associate Adderall abuse with adolescents, many older people also use the drug. 

Who Abuses Adderall?


Athletes may abuse Adderall to counter fatigue and enhance performance during practice and in competition.  In 2012, Adderall abuse contributed to a record-breaking year of drug-related suspensions in the National Football League.

People with eating disorders

People struggling with eating disorders may abuse Adderall because it suppresses appetite.  If someone with an eating disorder becomes addicted to Adderall, they will often require treatment that cares for both issues simultaneously.  In addition, Adderall abuse can cause severe health-related problems, including a potentially lethal overdose.

Signs Of An Adderall Overdose

  • Chest Pain
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Fast Breathing
  • Uncontrollable Shaking
  • Fainting
  • Fever

Common Drug Abuse Combinations

There are several reasons for combining Adderall with other drugs.  Some users may do this in an attempt to enhance the effects of Adderall.  Some may even take a pill to relax if Adderall is preventing them from sleeping.  No matter the reason, mixing Adderall with other drugs increases overdose risks and complications such as heart attack.  In 2009, 72 percent of people admitted to an emergency room for complications with prescription stimulants like Adderall had other drugs in their system.

Some Drugs Commonly Abused With Adderall

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana

Basically, the chance of getting alcohol poisoning is higher for people taking Adderall.  This is because the alertness Adderall produces can mask the effects of severe alcohol intoxication.  As a result, someone on Adderall might not realize how much they have drunk and ended up with alcohol poisoning.  Studies have also shown that adolescents using Adderall are more likely to abuse alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.

We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope.  We work as an integrated team providing support through Adderall addiction and other aspects of treatment.  Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life.  Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.  Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.


[1] SAMSHA –