Last Updated on July 5, 2023 by Dr. Alberto Solà

More and more people today are being diagnosed with ADHD and one of the most common medications for this disorder is Adderall. Adderall is great for helping people who need it to focus, but it can also be very addictive. Some people who become addicted to Adderall are, in fact, the people who need it the most. But, there are also many people who develop dependencies to Adderall who do not even struggle with ADHD and instead buy it on the black market and abuse it. Adderall misuse and Adderall abuse is a big problem today; laws are in place to control access, but some people still do become addicted to it.

Regardless the path to Adderall addiction, this is an addiction that can become dangerous in a short time. People who struggle with an addiction to Adderall may develop mood disorders, seizures, ulcers, respiratory problems, malnutrition, skin disorders, or heart damage that can lead to heart attacks or stroke. However, even when the user is aware of these risks, he or she may have a hard time when it comes to stopping use.

If you or someone you know may be addicted to Adderall, read on to learn more. As with all addictions, it’s possible to break free from a dependency on Adderall if the afflicted individual has the proper support and treatment, and if he or she truly wishes to make a change.

Adderall® Abuse Symptoms

When Adderall® hits the bloodstream, it can trigger an elevation in blood pressure, breathing and heart rates, body temperature, and blood sugar levels. There is an increase in focus, and a decrease in appetite. (The latter makes Adderall® susceptible for misuse as a weight-loss drug.) These effects can all take a toll on the body’s brain, lungs, and other organs. With Adderall® abuse, those symptoms can intensify and may lead to hypertension, insomnia, weight loss, muscle weakness, constipation, organ dysfunction, head and stomach pain, lung damage leading to pulmonary distress, and increased risk for cardiac arrest or stroke, among other problems. But one of the biggest areas of impact is with the brain and its resulting effect on mood.

Adderall® Abuse and Mood Swings

As prolonged abuse of Adderall® continues to flood the brain with dopamine, it eventually changes brain chemistry. The brain will stop producing dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, because Adderall® has taken over that function. But when the body doesn’t have any Adderall® in its system, the resulting loss of dopamine can end up causing a kind of emotional crash. That can trigger irritability, anger, depression, paranoia, psychosis, or thoughts of suicide. 

These symptoms are especially problematic for people who have mood disorders. Adderall® abuse can lead to mood swings, which can be precarious for people who are grappling with something like bipolar disorder. There are generally two stages involved in bipolar disorder: mania and depression. Because Adderall® is a stimulant, it can trigger a facsimile of a manic episode, with the same heightened emotions. There is a danger that people who are in the depression phase of bipolar disorder will be tempted to use Adderall® to get out of that depressive state. However, the drug won’t necessarily eliminate the anxiety and sadness that can come with the depression. Mood swings can become more extreme, and switching between the manic and depressive episodes, called cycling, may occur more quickly. In the most serious cases, people may think about suicide or experience panic attacks or hallucinations. 

It’s important to note that Adderall® can affect people in different ways, according to their age, gender, and other factors. Women, especially, can be more susceptible to the intense symptoms of Adderall® abuse because they process the drug in a different way than men, especially during the menstrual cycle when Adderall® produces a stronger effect. Women with mood disorders may run the risk of increased anxiety and moodiness, in addition to the other symptoms associated with Adderall® misuse. 

What Happens If a Person Takes Too Much Adderall?

Adderall has been shown to alter the brain, and it may result in mental disorders like depression. Some addicts may also experience suicidal thoughts due to prolonged Adderall use.

Over time, extended Adderall use may make a person more prone to heart attack, stroke, and liver failure. Additionally, Adderall is sometimes take in conjunction with alcohol. This increases a person’s risk of a fatal Adderall overdose.

Some Adderall users try to snort Adderall or inject the drug directly into their bloodstream in an attempt to receive a quicker, better “high” than ever before. By snorting Adderall or injecting the drug into the bloodstream, the risk of suffering a fatal overdose increases accordingly.

Athletes sometimes take Adderall in an attempt to improve their performance. Yet doing so often leads to increased blood pressure, increasing an athlete’s risk of heat stroke and cardiac arrest. In fact, the International Olympic Committee banned Adderall and other amphetamines in 1968 due to the dangers associated with athletes abusing these substances.

What Does Adderall Addiction Look Like?

It may be hard to determine whether or not you or someone you love is addicted to Adderall. In most cases, people who become addicted to Adderall take it for the right reasons initially. However, this drug is very addicted and anyone can develop dependence in a very short time. With this in mind, it’s crucial that if you are prescribed Adderall that you take the prescribed amount at the frequency at which your doctor recommended. If you take more than you should or take Adderall on and off or intermittently, you may be setting yourself up for Adderall addiction.

People who are addicted to Adderall do demonstrate some Adderall addiction signs, though, whether they are prescribed Adderall by a doctor or not. People who find that they need to take larger doses of the drug or more frequent doses to experience the same effects as they did in the past may be suffering from addiction and they may not even realize it. 

Further, if the user sense that he or she may have a problem due to physical or mental problems or side effects but continues to use Adderall anyway, that is also a sign of dependency. When that person begins to shirk his or her responsibilities at work, home, or school as a result of drug use, then he or she is likely addicted to the drug. Finally, withdrawal symptoms are always a sign of drug dependency; if the user struggles when he or she cannot get or consume Adderall and is demonstrating Adderall withdrawal, a problem is likely building or already exists.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Fortunately, there is Adderall addiction treatment available. Quitting Adderall cold turkey works for some, but people who approach the problem this way may or may not experience ultimate success. Furthermore, withdrawal from Adderall can be challenging if attempted without help. People may suffer Adderall withdrawal side effects like an Adderall withdrawal headache. Other Adderall withdrawal side effects may include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, nausea, stomach aches or cramping, and even vomiting in some cases. Other people may experience other signs of Adderall withdrawal like depression, irritability, or other mood changes as well.

The Adderall withdrawal timeline is different for everyone, but it can be longer than one might think. It may only last a few days for some people but can last three weeks or more for others. As a result, it is wise for most people to seek treatment for Adderall addiction instead of simply trying to quit alone.

How to Detox From Adderall

If you want to detox from Adderall, it’s wise to seek professional guidance and treatment. You may not need to enter a residential treatment facility; for some, the Adderall detox can be handled and managed at home with remote support from a professional. 

There are numerous Adderall detox tips that can help make your detox timeline a bit easier. When you quit taking Adderall, talk to your doctor first. He or she will help to guide you through the process. Your doctor will likely tell you to focus on hydration and nutrition and to practice self-care. Limit other stimulants like caffeine at first and prioritize sleep. You may have trouble falling asleep at first, but once you do, the sleep will be some of the most restful sleep that you have had in a long time. Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and can help you sleep better, too.

Remember, your Adderall detox won’t happen immediately; it takes time. The Adderal detox timeline is different for every user, so don’t be hard on yourself. Recovery from Adderall addiction is possible. People quit using this drug all the time and return to a drug-free life, sometimes even after many years of use and abuse. You can too.

Adderall Detox Process in Clear Sky

However, if you find that you cannot break free from Adderall addiction on your own, there is help available for you. If you are recognizing Adderall addiction symptoms in yourself but can’t seem to stop taking more, then you need to seek professional Adderall addiction help. We can help you quit Adderall at our ibogaine treatment center in Cancun. Through an ibogaine experience, you can not only avoid some of the withdrawal symptoms that you might otherwise experience, but you can also get to the root of your problem and discover why you began abusing Adderall in the first place. We want to help you to live a healthy and drug-free life. Give us a call today to find out more about our facility, ibogaine, and how we can help you!