Doctors prescribe stimulant medications like Adderall and Ritalin to approximately 2.5 million Americans every year to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These ADHD medications can help some patients, but they can also be easily abused.
When used as a treatment for ADHD, Adderall and Ritalin reduce symptoms, making it easier for patients to concentrate and control impulsive behaviors. Unfortunately, most people, especially teens, use ADHD medications to get ahead. Most don’t have prescriptions, so they will buy them from friends who have prescriptions.
A Monitoring the Future survey revealed that prescription drug abuse is rising among teens. Approximately 7.5% of 12th graders admitted using Adderall as a study aid.
Most teens downplay the danger of Adderall, while some are simply unaware. By virtue of it being a prescription drug, they assume that Adderall is not dangerous, yet it has harmful side effects, including addiction and substance use disorders.
This article discusses what Adderall is, the Adderall high, its relationship with academic performance, side effects, effects on mental health, and signs of addiction.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a drug that contains two stimulants: dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It comes in two forms, Adderall and Adderall XR.
Medical practitioners designed the drug to improve the attention span and focus of ADHD patients. Sometimes, they prescribe it to patients who need to suppress daytime sleepiness.
Adderall also tends to suppress appetite. Consequently, some people abuse it in the hope of losing weight.
Adderall is classified as a Schedule II drug. This means that its potential for dependence and abuse is extremely high.
The Adderall high
As mentioned above, teen pill abuse is on the rise in Texas, and Adderall happens to be one of the pills teens abuse most. So how exactly does Adderall make you feel?
Adderall increases dopamine levels, giving you a feeling of euphoria. It also stimulates the brain by activating the body’s fight-or-flight responses.
Most teens use Adderall to get high. They often mix it with other drugs and alcohol, which is extremely dangerous and life-threatening.
Since Adderall makes teens feel alert, they are more alcohol-tolerant since they can’t tell how drunk they are. Consequently, it increases the risk of alcohol poisoning.
Why do teens in Texas abuse Adderall?
Most Texan teens abuse Adderall because they believe it; gives them the necessary energy to focus and get high grades in school, improves their mental focus, enables them to complete their homework on time, and makes studying much more effortless.
It is noteworthy that most teens often feel overwhelmed and find it hard to balance out their academic work, social activities, and securing internships.
The relationship between Adderall and academic performance
Most high school and college students believe that Adderall is a harmless study aid since it improves attention and alertness. They use it to think clearly and focus, especially when writing papers or studying for exams.
Contrary to their belief, research shows Ritalin and Adderall don’t improve thinking or learning ability in people who aren’t diagnosed with ADHD. There is no evidence that Adderall can help teens improve their academic performance.
Students who abuse Adderall in the hope that it will improve their academic performance may:
- Spend less time studying since they are under the impression they will pass
- Abuse alcohol
- Skip most classes
- Experiment with other illicit drugs
- Have low grades compared to students who don’t abuse drugs
Adderall side effects
Adderall use has several short-term and long-term side effects. They are divided into two types: physiological effects and psychological effects.
- Weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Inability to concentrate
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lack of motivation
- Panic attacks
- Psychotic episodes
How Adderall affects your mental health
Since Adderall affects dopamine production, you will experience depressive episodes when you don’t use the drug. Additionally, it will be difficult for you to experience pleasure without it.
An NCBI study revealed that using Adderall for a long time may also result in psychosis. You will have schizophrenia-like symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, and mood disturbances. Additionally, you may experience panic attacks and anxiety.
The effects of Adderall are reportedly worse in individuals with underlying mental health conditions or a history of mental illness.
Adderall and heart problems
Adderall strains the heart and cardiovascular system. Even when you use it short-term, you may experience cardiac problems, including high blood pressure, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, and heart failure.
When you use it long-term, you are at risk of cardiac arrhythmias and a pounding heartbeat.
Adderall is just one type of ADHD medications that is also known to cause sudden death in teens. The risk with these is higher in those who have heart problems or heart defects.
Signs of addiction
If you repeatedly use Adderall without a prescription, medical monitoring, or care, you may get addicted. Signs of Adderall addiction include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Abrupt mood changes
- Chronic insomnia
- Anxiety and depression
When you abuse Adderall for some time but stop, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. The most prevalent withdrawal symptoms are:
- Craving for Adderall
- Suicidal thoughts
- Extreme hunger
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Phobic reactions
Withdrawal symptoms for Adderall addiction may be dangerous and overwhelming. Therefore, it would be best to have the assistance of medical practitioners and recovery professionals when you decide to stop using the drug.
Get help today
According to scientific studies, Adderall addiction and mental health disorders go hand in hand. Most Texans teens who abuse Adderall try to commit suicide. Therefore, treatment programs need to address mental health issues in treatment for Adderall addiction.
More Than Rehab offers an evidence-based, scientific treatment approach to ADHD medication addiction treatment. We also treat underlying mental health conditions like depression to give you the best chance at recovery.
We offer individual programs based on your needs. We have inpatient programs, outpatient programs, and partial in and outpatient programs. Our experts will guide and support you during the withdrawal process and teach you to focus and be productive without Adderall.
Contact us today to start your recovery journey and take control of your life. We are open 24/7. We are here to help.