Addiction to amphetamines like Adderall has become more and more prevalent over the last couple of decades. Knowing the warning signs of Adderall abuse is crucial to supporting a son or daughter who prescribed this potentially dangerous medication.
What are the Signs of Adderall Addiction?
Amphetamines are highly addictive stimulants that, while prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, can cause serious negative consequences when abused. Though there is no single reason why someone becomes addicted to Adderall, repeated use causes the brain to rely on the drug for the release of dopamine. This can lead to increased tolerance, requiring more and more of the drug before the desired effects are felt, and causing more intense lows and withdrawal symptoms when the drug wears off.
Symptoms of Adderall abuse can be obvious if someone knows what to look for, which can make a potential addiction easier to identify:
- Increased Talkativeness: Amphetamines stimulate the brain which can lead to hyperactive talking.
- Insomnia: People often use amphetamines to stay up for long periods of time, and these people may have trouble staying still.
- Loss of Appetite: Prolonged disinterest in food can indicate some sort of drug problem.
- Altered Vital Signs: Increased heart rate, high body temperature, elevated blood pressure, rapid breathing, and dilated pupils.
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Digestive problems are common, especially when there is a lack of food in the body leading to malnourishment.
In severe cases of amphetamine use or prolonged abuse, people who are abusing Adderall may show signs of hallucinations or aggressive, paranoid, or anxious behavior. When the drug is not present in the system, the person may crash and appear depressed, despondent, or disinterested in things.
Noticing the signs of Adderall abuse early on is critical for treatment because people tend to become tolerant of the drug very quickly, which means they will require more and more of it. This may lead to an Adderall binge which can cause extreme fits of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and fatigue that turns into days of sleeping and psychotic episodes or hallucinations. Prolonged use of Adderall can lead to serious psychological and physical health problems, so seeking professional help if you notice any of these signs is important in preventing those longer-term issues. The use of Adderall can also lead to more intense drugs like cocaine or meth to achieve the same euphoria as amphetamine tolerance continues to build.
What To Do If My Loved One Has An Amphetamine Problem
It can be hard to understand how someone became addicted to a substance, why they became addicted, and why they can’t just stop, especially if you haven’t experienced addiction personally. Because of this, it can be even harder to accept that someone you know and love is struggling with an addiction to Adderall. How do you bring it up to them? And how do you urge them to get help?
Top 4 Do’s
- Do come to the conversation prepared and educated. Research addiction, especially to the type of drug you know, or suspect, your loved one is using.
- Do listen; be empathetic and understanding. Someone is more likely to talk to you about what they are struggling with if you make it known you care about their feelings and that this is about helping them.
- Do show support no matter what their choice is. You don’t have to enable their addiction, but it is important that they know they have a choice and that it is their life. Forcing them to get help might force them away from you and it might lead to a relapse.
- Do set boundaries and not ultimatums. You don’t have to let their addiction slide, but setting ultimatums will not make someone want to get help. It can actually have the opposite effect.
Top 4 Don’ts
- Don’t try to make your loved one feel bad for their addiction. Criticizing their choices will only add fuel to the fire, it won’t make them change or suddenly want to get help.
- Don’t enable the addiction. You can’t force that person to get help, but you can make it clear that you won’t help them get high either.
- Don’t treat them like a child, especially if they aren’t. Most people can recognize that they do in fact have some sort of problem, even if they try to hide or deny it. And if they have friends or family members bringing attention to the addiction, it is more than likely that this will spark some sort of idea in their head that they have a problem. Speak to them directly and clearly, but don’t be patronizing.
- Don’t make the situation about yourself. It is not your fault that this person has a drug addiction, no matter what it feels like. Nothing good will come from blaming yourself, so try not to make it about placing blame and instead focus on trying to support them.
When Is It Time to Seek Treatment?
The sooner your loved one is able to receive treatment, the better, especially since Adderall is so highly addictive and can cause many long-term problems with continued use. Open up a conversation about their options and different treatments that are available to them, and make it known how much you support them but how much you want them to get help.
If an Adderall addiction has interfered with their life in any way, physically, mentally, or socially, it is time to seek help. Waiting to seek treatment could lead to long-term effects such as problems with breathing, heart problems, convulsions, psychosis, skin disorders, tics, and ulcers. These long-term effects are harder to get rid of, especially through continued and increased use of amphetamines.
Here at The Summit Wellness Group, our focus in treating amphetamine addiction centers on providing our clients with relief and support while they develop healthier habits and coping skills along with medications, psychiatric care, clinical therapy, and holistic treatments. Through a combination of these different techniques, lifelong recovery can be a reality. Our staff and community are dedicated to helping your loved one live a sober, fulfilling life that is free from the bondage of amphetamine addiction.