In today’s society, our attention is captured by our cell phones, social media, and the news. It seems like sitting still and enjoying the moment is a concept of the past. For people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sitting still and focusing on one thing, unfortunately, does not exist. To battle this neurobiological disorder, a doctor will often prescribe Adderall. It has become extremely popular throughout the United States across all demographics. According to American Addiction Centers, an alarming 50 million people were prescribed stimulants such as Adderall in 2011, nearly 15% of the United States population.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is defined as being a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both being central nervous system stimulants that target nerves and chemicals in the brain. Adderall increases the amount of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain, bringing clarity and focus to individuals who normally are in a state over overstimulation. Adderall is mainly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but can also be prescribed for narcolepsy. An individual that is diagnosed with ADHD seemingly has lower levels of dopamine in the brain which in turn requires them to constantly seek stimulation.
Signs of Adderall Abuse
Generally, people abuse Adderall in an attempt to be more productive. Some people fall victim to Adderall addiction by noticing improvements in their school or work performance, typically giving the Adderall credit for their success which in turn enables them to lean on it further to achieve similar results in the future. Some people even refer to Adderall as a “smart pill” or “study drug.” A study was conducted by The Center for National Health Research at a small college in Maine finding that 1 out of 3 students had previously abused Adderall while in college.
Adderall is used by millions of people every year for various reasons. Some prefer the way it helps them focus on school or work, others choose to take it due to the “high” you receive by taking large amounts. Individuals that frequently take Adderall are prone to becoming addicted by increasing the amount they consume on a day-to-day basis. If you believe your loved one is abusing Adderall, some key signs they might exhibit are:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach
- Increased heart rate
- Reduced sex drive
- Chest pain
Adderall withdrawal symptoms
Individuals that take Adderall for extended periods of time eventually become dependant on the drug. When a person develops a tolerance, they consequently have to take larger quantities to achieve the same effects as they initially felt. When deciding to quit Adderall, many people will experience unpleasant withdrawals. Adderall withdrawal symptoms are not as severe as other substances such as Heroin or Alcohol but nonetheless should be taken seriously. Seeking medical attention is always recommended when experiencing symptoms such as these:
- Increased appetite
- Poor concentration
- Suicidal ideations
- Body aches
The withdrawal process will vary for every individual depending on a few factors. How long the substance was used and what amount was taken daily will usually determine how long and severe the withdrawal symptoms will be. On the short end of the spectrum, symptoms can be gone in as little as 5 days. If an individual used Adderall heavily for a significant amount of time, it can take as long as 3-4 weeks.
Treatment for Adderall abuse
If your loved one begins developing an addiction towards Adderall or is displaying signs such as rapid mood swings or changes in appearance, seeking professional medical help is recommended. The first step when treating someone for Adderall addiction is finding a credited detox facility. At detox, the individual will be able to safely go through the withdrawal process with medical staff present should any health complication arise. Seeking medical assistance during this stage of the recovery process is highly recommended due to health risks associated with withdrawals.
After successfully completing detox, the next step in the recovery process is finding an addiction rehab program such as inpatient or outpatient treatment. Finding the right inpatient treatment program, also referred to as a residential program, is a great option for individuals suffering from addiction. These types of drug addiction programs tend to have high success rates and are known to be very thorough, oftentimes implementing individualized treatment plans designed to fit the specific needs of the client.
Inpatient treatment programs typically integrate medical detox into their programs as well At an inpatient facility, patients will stay overnight for a predetermined amount of time, usually about 28 days. Here they will experience a variety of professional therapy and counseling sessions including:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Wellness and fitness activities
- Spiritual activities
- Individual counseling
- Aftercare planning
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) offers the flexibility needed to receive treatment for addiction but maintain work and family responsibilities during treatment. This type of addiction treatment program requires the individual to attend counseling and therapy sessions at the treatment facility 2-3 mornings or nights per week, whichever the client prefers. Outpatient treatment can last on average 3 months to a year depending on each individual’s unique set of needs.
Outpatient treatment options are often used as a step-down program after completing a more thorough program such as inpatient treatment and can be a great option for someone that has a mild addiction problem, wanting to correct the issue before it gets any worse. A variety of therapy and counseling practices that are introduced in outpatient treatment practices include:
- Group counseling
- Group therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Individual counseling
- Spiritual activities
Due to Adderall being a highly addictive stimulant, it is vital to choose a treatment program that is beneficial to your specific needs and that offers individualized treatment options. Identifying healthy opportunities for growth and implementing an aftercare plan to prevent future relapse can make a significant difference in the success an individual will see both during and after treatment. Teaching individuals healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with subtance abuse and drug addiction should be a high priority at any treatment center.
We are here for you
Coming to terms with the fact you or a loved one is struggling with the disease of addiction may initially be difficult. You might not know where to turn as far as receiving the help that is needed to successfully quit drugs or alcohol. At Knoxville Recovery Center, our staff of highly trained addiction specialists understands the struggles of addiction firsthand, many previously battling with this destructive disease themselves. They know exactly what it takes to learn a new way of living without substance abuse and how to develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with addiction in the future.
At Knoxville Recovery Center, our specialists combine a variety of therapies, holistic healing modalities, and healthy living practices to give you the best chance possible at life while in recovery. We understand that high-quality, effective addiction treatment cannot be improvised and we will design an individualized treatment plan tailored to specifically fit your needs. If you or a loved one feel that you need help, please reach out to us today.