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Home » Adderall Abuse Causes, Statistics, Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects

Adderall Abuse Causes, Statistics, Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a psycho stimulant prescription drug that is typically used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Containing a combination of mood-altering stimulants (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), Adderall affects chemicals in the brain that play a role in hyperactivity and impulse control.

Adderall is available in two formulations: An instant release (IR) and extended release (ER). Because of its amphetamine contents, Adderall is recreationally used for its stimulant and euphoric properties. Adderall has a high potential for misuse and is considered to have a high liability for dependence.

Street nicknames for the prescription brand Adderall include:

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    • Beans
    • Pep pills
    • Double trouble
    • Black beauties
    • Dexies
    • Speed

    Because of the nature of this drug, false senses of well-being are created with use of the drug. Adderall abuse occurs when men or women take Adderall for reasons other than medical purposes. The addiction to Adderall can be devastating, with short and long term consequences resulting from the abuse.

    College students abusing the “Study Drug”. As posted by: Daniel Wilkerson

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  • Adderall Treatment and Help

    Adderall is one of the more readily accessible drugs today and is highly addictive. Abuse of Adderall can result in physical and psychological damage. Thankfully, help is available to those who desire freedom from an Adderall addiction.

    The first step towards overcoming an addiction to Adderall is identifying the problem. Obtaining professional help is necessary in dealing with the complications that may have resulted from Adderall abuse.

    While Adderall addiction can be overwhelming, you or your loved ones do not have to fight this battle alone. Find an Adderall treatment center that can give you the resources you need to overcome this addiction.

    Adderall Statistics

    According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 6.4 percent of college students between the ages of 18 and 22 have used Adderall in a recreational way.

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  • Along with this, a correlation has been found between participation in binge drinking and Adderall abuse, with 89.5 percent of students who reported abusing Adderall also involved in binge drinking [1].

    Other statistics have shown that students who were in college full time and abusing Adderall for recreational purposes were three times as likely to have used marijuana, and eight times more likely to have used prescription tranquilizers recreationally as well [1]. These statistics reveal some of the dangers associated with Adderall addiction and abuse.

    Causes of Adderall Addiction

    When a man or woman begins taking Adderall for reasons other than prescribed, an Adderall addiction can occur. An addiction to Adderall can be formed because of underlying issues that have not been addressed.

    These issues or causes can be biological, psychological, or environmental in nature. Biological factors that can contribute to an Adderall addiction would include genetic influences or altered brain mechanisms or hormone levels.

    Psychological issues that can possibly contribute to the progression of Adderall abuse include unresolved traumas, cases or abuse, anxiety, or feelings of depression. Lastly, an addiction to Adderall may be caused by environmental factors, such as greater exposure to street drugs, poverty, or availability of the drug.

    Adderall addiction can also be co-occurring with abuse of alcohol or another substance, and even eating or mood disorders. The addiction nature is influenced by many factors, and it is common that Adderall abusers may struggle with more than one form of addiction.

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    Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Addiction

    In the case that an individual is abusing Adderall, there are several signs and symptoms to be aware of. The following are some of the signs and symptoms that may occur as a result of abusing Adderall:

    • Headaches
    • Uncontrollable shaking
    • Nervousness
    • Restlessness
    • Alerted sleep habits
    • Nausea
    • Weight loss
    • Constipation
    • Loss of Appetite
    • Stomach pain
    • Dry Mouth

    More severe side effects can result in the case of abuse and addiction. These include the following:

    • Weakness in arms and legs
    • Seizures
    • Pounding or fast heartbeat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Slow of impaired speech
    • Hallucinations
    • Aggressive behavior
    • Blurred Vision
    • Swelling
    • Paranoia

    If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these side effects as a result from abusing Adderall, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible.

    Happy Teenage Friends

    Adderall Effects

    Addiction to Adderall can lead to further side effects and complications. As the drug is continually taken without a prescription and under medical guidance, individuals addicted to Adderall are likely to develop tolerances and dependency.

    Men and women addicted to Adderall are more likely to overdose or inflict harm to their bodies when the drug is missed.

    The abuse of Adderall can also to lead to difficulties beyond physical complications, as addictions can impair relationships, hinder job responsibilities, and create financial hardships.

    Recognizing the problem and getting the necessary help and attention to treat an Adderall addiction can minimize these effects.

    Adderall Withdrawal

    Withdrawal from Adderall can be excruciating and unpleasant. Many individuals may resort to their drugs again to cope with the difficult symptoms that occur with Adderall withdrawal. Because of the nature of an Adderall addiction, a physical and psychological dependence can occur.

    In a state of withdrawal from Adderall, the body will attempt to recuperate from the interference of the drug within its systems. This process can result in the following symptoms:

    • Weakness
    • Tremors
    • Chills
    • Excessive sweating
    • Irregular heart beat
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Anxiety/Panic Attacks
    • Insomnia
    • Seizures
    • Depression
    • Paranoia

    Physical withdrawal symptoms can last from 48-72 hours or as long as 30-60 days. The withdrawal process from Adderall should be done under the supervision of a medical treatment team or in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Treatment programs for Adderall addiction will be able to help with withdrawal symptoms as well as in overcoming the addiction.


    [1]: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

    • Adderall is a drug designed to help those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, Adderall is now being abused by college students to help them focus and concentrate on their studies.
    • Drug abuse is a growing problem on today’s college campuses. By students’ sophomore year in college, about half of their classmates will have been offered the opportunity to abuse a prescription drug.
    • When high school students are told to “say no to drugs,” the message that is often received is that you are supposed to say no to drugs like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. An unfortunate oversight in this message is that commonly known illicit drugs are not the only dangerous substances that should be avoided. Adderall, a prescription medication used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a drug that is frequently abused among teenagers for the purpose of increasing concentration.
    • Many stimulant drugs, such as Adderall, are being used for purposes other than intended or prescribed. Interestingly, prescriptions for amphetamine-based ADHD drugs, such as Adderall, have more than tripled for women ages 20 to 39 since 2007.


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    by Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC on April 20, 2013 · 0 comments


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