It never starts with a problem, or even the thought that this could create one somewhere down the road.

Adderall addiction begins with an exhausted parent trying to keep up, sneaking a pill from their child’s prescription here and there. Or, it begins with a college study buddy offering a way to make cramming for the next few exams much easier.

Regardless of how it starts, Adderall addiction creates serious problems over time, requiring substance abuse treatment.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is the most commonly prescribed central nervous system stimulant.

Is Adderall addictive?

It is an amphetamine, classified as a schedule II drug, by the DEA. This means that research shows that this drug carries a high potential for abuse.

What Is the Medication Prescribed for?

Despite the high potential for abuse, doctors find this drug highly effective in treating ADHD in children. Doctors also prescribe it for narcolepsy, because of its stimulant effect.

Understanding Adderall Addiction

If you or a loved one are addicted to Adderall, then you understandably want to know how this happened. Nobody starts with the intention to become an addict. There is a science to drug addiction, and Adderal addiction follows the same pattern as other popular drugs. It goes something like this:

  1. You simply try it.
  2. The drug binds to your norepinephrine and dopamine receptors, causing a buildup of these neurotransmitters in the blood and stimulating the reward center in the brain.
  3. During this high, you experience less stress and anxiety and feel more focused. If mixed with a depressant, you may even feel euphoric.
  4. You want that feeling again. And the more times you give in, the more difficult it becomes to stop.
  5. Your body starts to build a tolerance and needs a higher dose to feel that high.
  6. Eventually, when you do not feel high, you experience symptoms of withdrawal. So now you use not to feel sick rather than your initial reasoning.

This process spirals out of control without you even realizing, and suddenly, you can’t stop.

What Are the Signs of Adderall Addiction?

If you suspect that your loved one might suffer from an Adderall addiction, look for the following signs.

You may notice some or all of these short-term side effects affecting your loved one regularly:

  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • insomnia
  • hair loss
  • appetite loss
  • agitation
  • extremely talkative

Along with these side effects, you may notice the person acting secretive and running into consistent money trouble. Additionally, you might notice them buying an over the counter Adderall alternative, like Addrena when they cannot get prescription pills.

What Dangers Does Adderall Pose?

Adderall addiction brings with it many negative consequences. For instance, the tolerance build-up increases the risk for an overdose with each use. An overdose can cause a deadly heart attack or stroke.

Long-term side effects of Adderal can also create lifelong problems. Here are five long-term side effects you should know about.

1. Cognitive Impairment

Long-term Adderall use alters synaptic pathways in the brain and over time can start to change the user’s personality. They may suffer from:

  • paranoia
  • anxiety
  • mania
  • audio and visual hallucinations
  • psychosis

Reversing these effects after long-term use requires drug abuse treatment. Studies also suggest a link between depression and Adderall use, though which comes first is still unclear, treatment will focus on this as well.

2. Heart Disease

Stimulant use puts stress on your heart muscle and can damage it over time. Stimulants also affect the blood vessels. The most common long-term heart problems associated with Adderal addiction include hypertension (high blood pressure) and tachycardia (resting heart rate over 100.)

However, some users die from cardiac arrest due to exhausting the heart muscle over and over again.

3. Kidney Damage

Adderall taxes the kidneys in a few ways:

  1. It overworks them in the long term because your kidneys filter the blood and Adderall presents a toxin for them to filter out.
  2. Adderall, like most stimulants, can cause muscle breakdown overtime, releasing myoglobin, a protein that damages the kidneys when they filter it out of the blood.
  3. Stimulants trigger a fight or flight response from the sympathetic nervous system. This makes you hold onto your pee, which backs up the urine and causes hydronephrosis. This hurts and damages the kidneys over time.

4. Lung Damage

Many long-term users crush up the pill to snort it or inject it, to increase the impact of the drug and feel an immediate high. Both methods can damage the lungs and cause breathing problems over time.

This happens due to fillers inside the pill; it is never pure dextroamphetamine. These fillers get stuck and block tiny blood vessels responsible for blood vessels, building up pressure in the lungs and creating long-term damage.

5. Sleep Issues

Studies suggest that Adderall, like all CNS stimulants, keeps the user awake. Using the drug long term can create a sleep deficit, as users can find difficulty in both falling asleep and staying asleep.

Sleep deprivation itself can create a host of problems including, memory problems, trouble thinking, and chronic illness. One of the long-term effects of Adderal is experiencing this, even during periods of non-use.

The sleep issues can take a long time to correct one the person stops using.


If you or your loved one suffer from Adderall addiction, then you need professional help, just as with any other disease.

If your loved one suffers from addiction, you should encourage them to seek help. One way to do this is by staging an intervention, which involves all of the people closest to them explaining the problem they see, their need for help, and the consequences of the person not choosing to receive treatment.

Remember, enabling the person does not help them. Though cutting them off from money, communication, and other things they desire or need, you protect yourself and push them closer to seeking help.

If you suffer from this disease, call for treatment immediately. Your life matters and a treatment facility can help you through this; you are not alone!

For more information on drug addiction or to set up life-saving treatment today, visit Sublime Wellness Center!

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