How to treat Adderall addiction

Is Adderall becoming more of a problem than a solution for you? More here on how medical treatment can help. A full review of signs of Adderall addiction and where to get help.

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Think you’re addicted to Adderall?

If so, then read on.

You’re in the right place. Addiction is a medical condition. As such, it is treated medically. Keep in mind that while treating physical dependence on Adderall is a start, a full recovery requires the inner work of changing thoughts and beliefs.

In this article, we’ll go through the symptoms and signs of Adderall addiction. We’ll explore what withdrawal from Adderall is like. We’ll also describe what to expect from a stay in rehab. Plus, we’ve included a section for how you can help a loved one towards the end,

At the end, we invite you to ask us any questions you still have about Adderall addiction. We try to answer all real-life questions personally and promptly. We want to hear from you!

Time to Stop?
Quit Adderall For Good!

How do you get addicted to Adderall?

Some people are predisposed to addiction. Other people start with an Rx medication and use it as prescribed…but then fall into a drug problem. Each path to addiction is unique. However, there are some common patterns of use that can lead to “addiction.” Basically, you can get addicted to Adderall:

1. When prescription use becomes complicated by drug dependence and tolerance. Or when physical dependence shifts to psychological dependence. When you start craving Adderall to live normally, it’s possible that you are addicted to it.

2. When you use it other than prescribed. This includes using Adderall as a performance enhancement drug. People who chew, snort, or inject Adderall are also at risk of addiction.

From Rx to Addiction

Adderall (a combination of amphetamine and dextramphetime) is a medication prescribed to treat individuals whom exhibit symptoms of ADHD. In fact, Adderall can be extremely helpful for people with ADHD; it paradoxically calms the mind so that it can focus attention to get tasks done.

Still, Adderall is a habit forming drug.

It is easy to develop physical dependence to Adderall. In fact, physical dependence can occur within a few weeks of daily use. Plus, dependence is an expected outcome of regular, daily dosing. Further, Adderall users may experience an increase in their tolerance for the drug. When you become Adderall-tolerant, you need higher or more frequent dosing to achieve initial effect.

These phenomenon of dependence and tolerance can complicate your relationship with Adderall. If you find yourself at high doses…or if you cannot quit Adderall for fear of withdrawal symptoms, it might be time to take a look at how you’re using the drug. If physical need slips into psychological need…it’s possible that you’ve stumbled onto an addiction.

From abuse to addiction

Some people use Adderall for non-medical reasons. Because of Adderall’s ability to hyperfocus attention, it has become a popular drug for students wanting to increase their productivity. Adderall also creates a manic high that many find appealing. Adderall is often abused by:

  • crushing and snorting it
  • chewing it
  • injection

..or even taking it without a prescription. Any time you use a drug for nonmedical reasons to address stress of life, addiction is possible. While anyone can get addicted, those who feel the euphoric effect of Adderall are at most risk of developing addiction.  Still, the bottom line is this: people who take Adderall outside of medical prescription are at risk of developing addiction.

Am I addicted to Adderall?

Adderall addiction occurs over time. How can you know if you’re addicted, or not?

There are several factors that contribute and play a role in addiction. Some major symptoms of Adderall addiction include:

  • continual use of Adderall in spite of negative consequences
  • a criminal record caused by Adderall use
  • developing tolerance to Adderall
  • increasing Adderall dosage or frequency of use to maintain the level of focus and high
  • increasing amounts of time spent in obtaining Adderall or needing time to recover from use
  • unsuccessful attempts to quit or lower doses of Adderall
  • withdrawal from friends and family because of Adderall use

Addiction can be primarily defined as:

“an ongoing use of a drug regardless of the negative consequences in one’s life.”

In other words, you can be addicted to a drug if you see the havoc it creates…but just can’t manage to quit on your own.

But addiction is a complicated condition. Sometimes, addiction is so consuming that you may not even be aware of it. It’s also common for people to deny that there is a problem. The best way to really know if you’re addicted to Adderall is to seek professional help. A doctor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical social worker can help provide an assessment and diagnosis.

Ask for help in getting a diagnosis.

You don’t need to face a drug problem alone!

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The courage you need

Now that you have an idea of some of the signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction, how do you know if you are ready to seek treatment? What must be present to face Adderall addiction?

Because of the way any drug addiction makes you think, it can be hard to break away and seek treatment. Sometimes seeing the signs can be helpful. Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom. But your life does not need to be a mess before you seek treatment. If you’re ready to get better, there are several pathways to recovery from Adderall addiction.

All you need is the courage to face the problem.

Help for Adderall addiction

There are several ways to treat Adderall addiction. In fact, a reputable rehab will create an individualized program just for you. The program should address you physical and emotional needs. It should also be compatible with your psychological and spiritual beliefs.While the best programs are tailor-made for you…there are some common elements in the process.

Help for Adderall addiction usually includes the following:

1. Assessment of the condition – A battery of interviews, questionnaires, physical exam(s), and drug testing. The initial assessment will determine the best combination of treatments that can work for you.

2. Detox – Withdrawing from Adderall can be extremely unpleasant, possibly even dangerous. Medical detox centers within a rehab provide 24-7 medical supervision to assist you during the acute phase of withdrawal.

3. Psychotherapy – Behavioral treatments for Adderall consist of talk therapy, group therapy, and support groups. Psychotherapy can help you identify the root cause of Adderall addiction and what contributes to it so that you can address and prevent further addictive behaviors.

4. Aftercare – A good rehab will help you settle back into life after treatment. Staff can help you find a community you trust and plug into so that you can maintain recovery.

Treating addiction can be a life-long process and you do have the possibility to relapse. But don’t give up on yourself. You can life free of addiction.

What’s Adderall withdrawal like?

Adderall withdrawal usually starts when you’re expecting your next dose. However, stimulants should be slowly tapered before you withdraw, especially from amphetamines like Adderall. This way, you reduce doses of time and minimize the severity of symptoms. This is one reason you should always go through Adderall withdrawal under medical supervision.

The second reason you want to seek medical help is that withdrawing from Adderall can be extremely unpleasant, possibly even dangerous. Adderall withdrawal manifests as a “slowing down”.  Long periods of sleep usually occur, as does depression. In fact, one of the most dangerous symptoms of withdrawal can include thoughts of suicide.

There can be several symptoms that might occur after you stop taking Adderall. The more common symptoms of Adderall withdrawal can include:

  • apathy
  • anxiety
  • abnormally long sleep cycles
  • depression
  • disorientation
  • dysphoria (generalized dissatisfaction with life)
  • extreme fatigue
  • irritability

There are no approved medications used to treat Adderall withdrawal at this time.However, doctors may prescribed short term use of antidepressants, or will use specific interventions when required. ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL SUPERVISION during Adderall withdrawal. Do not attempt an at-home detox.

Where do you get help?

Treating Adderall addiction is best when it is specifically catered to each person. There are several ways to treat addiction. You can seek one or many of the following types of help depending on the severity or nature of your addiction. Recovery from Adderall addiction can be sought in:

Adderall addiction treatment centers

Treatment centers are residential facilities where you stay to detox and recover from Adderall addiction in a program that spans several weeks to a few months. Treatment centers are a safe place where you are away from the chaos of your life and where you can focus on yourself. Adderall addiction treatment centers employ therapists and doctors on staff to help you. Sometimes there are classes and physical activities that are also available as part of your treatment. It is important to find a facility that is specifically designed to help with stimulant/Adderall addiction and which has experience in promoting successful outcomes.

Adderall detox clinics

Detox from Adderall is treated much like detox from methamphetamines. But going cold turkey off Adderall is not recommended because of the severity of adverse side effects which are possible during withdrawal. Instead, it’s more helpful to monitor and reduce Adderall doses over time with medical supervision. Clinics are places you can be monitored and know you are secure as you withdrawal and your body compensates. However, medical detox from Adderall dependence is only the first step in recovery.

Clinical psychiatrists specializing in Adderall addiction treatment

It can help immensely to find a psychiatrist and/or psychologist who specializes in treating addiction. Psychiatrists are doctors that can diagnose mental health disorders that might be underlying addiction and who can prescribe pharmaceutical treatments for such issues. Many times, when you are addicted to Adderall you can develop depression, anxiety, and panic attacks when you withdrawal from the medication. It may be necessary to seek out medication that can help with this to support your recovery.

Clinical psychologists specializing in Adderall addiction treatment

Psychologists are also an important aspect to recovery and facilitate talk therapy for addiction issues. Whether it be one-on-one, groups, or family therapy, psychologists understand, guide and teach you the behavioral changes which can support your recovery.

Adderall addiction support groups

Support groups bring people together who are going through the same thing. Adderall addiction support groups help those who are trying to recover from Adderall addiction. Members of these groups can provide support and advice and give you more options to help with recovery. They can also be a place you can continually go, especially if your recovery is in jeopardy.

Licensed clinical social workers

Clinical social workers are there to help people overcome mental health and substance abuse issues. They can help you find employment and housing options. They also help people develop tools so that they can be successful in society. You might find these workers in hospitals, treatment facilities, and private practices.

Your physician

Because detoxing from stimulants can be so difficult, many doctors recommend reducing doses of Adderall so that you do not suffer the severe aspects of withdrawal. This kinf of tapering, however, should be supervised by a medical doctor. Doctors can also get you into contact with different treatment options that can specifically help you treat Adderall addiction.

Trusted religious or spiritual leaders

Seeking out a religious/spiritual leader that you trust can be another way to help maintain recovery. Community is important to recovery. Many times these communities provide group therapy, classes, and support you need to maintain recovery. Different leaders have different methods with different results.

How to treat Adderall addiction questions

Do you still have questions about treating Adderall addiction? Please share your questions and experiences with treating Adderall addiction. We’ll try to respond to your questions personally.

References Sources: NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment
visit OK.govOklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse ServicesPrescription Medication Abuse and Treatment
Drug Abuse: Approaches to Addiction treatment
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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