Long term use of Adderall: The Consequences

Article Contributed By: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC of Addiction Hope

The use of the amphetamine based drug Adderall has been increasing among a widespread number of individuals across the nation. From the over-achieving college student bearing a stressful schedule, to the stay-at-home mom juggling a hectic routine and many people in between, Adderall seems to offer a short-term solution to handling pressure and increase productivity efforts under stress.

Whether this medication is obtained legally for the treatment of a condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or illegally through confiscation or the black market, the use of this prescription medication is not without negative effects.

Short Term Use, Long Term Addiction

While the intention of using this medication might be for short-term use, such as a needed “boost” to get through finals week, or a way to power through a busy work schedule, the addictive nature of this drug can induce a desire for:

  • Continued alertness
  • Extra focus
  • A “euphoria” that comes from Adderall abuse

Days may turn into months, with months rapidly turning to years, and Adderall addicts may find that their life and time has become consumed with this drug, finding ways to obtain it, and riding from euphoria to euphoria.

Adderall Can Be a Hidden Addiction

imagesMany Adderall addicts find that they are able to sustain a relatively normal style, thereby enabling their addiction for a greater length of time. On the outward, a person addicted to Adderall may seem capable, competent, productive, and efficient, with little display of symptoms that could reveal the true nature of the addiction.

However, over time, symptoms of an addiction to Adderall can become more apparent. Regardless of whether symptoms are noticeable to an outsider, an Adderall addict will undoubtedly suffer both short and long term symptoms as their addiction persists over time.

Long Term Symptoms

Long term consequences that may result from an addiction to Adderall may include but are not limited to:

  • Cardiovascular complications, including disrupted heart rhythm, increased risk of hypertension
  • Adverse psychological events, including stimulant-induced psychosis
  • Disruption in normal mood function, or increase in mood disorders
  • Development of mental health issues, including anxiety, paranoia, and/or depression
  • Decrease in normal brain function due to abnormal levels of dopamine in the brain
  • Risk of stroke from overdosing or taking high doses over a long period of time

No matter what the short-term appeal the use of Adderall may offer, be aware of the highly addictive nature of this medication and the long-term consequences that may result from use. The risks of using this drug far outweigh any benefit that may make this drug attractive.

If you are dealing with a demanding and/or chaotic lifestyle and in search of stress management techniques, be sure to talk with a trusted health professional about ways to healthily cope with daily stressors.