It’s easy to assume that a prescribed medication is perfectly safe, especially since it comes from a licensed physician and is used to treat diagnosable symptoms. While this belief is valid, the fact of the matter is abuse of prescription pills, like Adderall, has steadily risen over the past 15 years due to non-prescribed drug abuse.
The difficult part about spotting Adderall abuse is that it genuinely can be used to improve inattention issues among children and adults. Unfortunately, individuals who struggle with addiction find themselves far too often abusing Adderall because of their relative accessibility and the misconception that they’re safer than illicit drugs.
What is Adderall Abuse?
Adderall abuse is a pattern of use that ignores the identified medical guidelines associated with the drug and leaves a person at serious risk for health issues and other problems. Abusing the drug can include using large amounts at one time or using it several times over the course of a few days or weeks.
The key element of someone abusing Adderall is typically the fact that they do not have an actual prescription for the medication and are accessing the drug illegally through black market channels. Extended Adderall abuse has been tied to physical health problems and emotional instability. For example, emergency room visits from Adderall abuse skyrocketed 156 percent between 2006 and 2011.1
Symptoms of Adderall Abuse
Being able to spot the telltale signs associated with Adderall abuse is essential to identifying a dangerous situation and help for your loved one when they decide to confront their addiction.
Some of the more obvious indicators of Adderall abuse can include:
- Excessive Feelings of Paranoia
Adderall-induced paranoia can take various forms, lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days or weeks – depending on the amount of the drug being used. The most common type of paranoia experienced by those abusing Adderall is a foreboding feeling of guilt that everyone knows what you are doing.
It is not uncommon for someone addicted to Adderall to avoid public appearances. Staying home and isolated for long periods of time can be a common sign of Adderall abuse.
- Habitual Headaches
An individual who is abusing Adderall may find themselves complaining of headaches frequently or taking an excessive amount of pain relievers to manage the issue. Headaches associated with Adderall abuse are typically severe and long-lasting and, similar to many other drug addictions, most people will turn to more Adderall in an attempt to find relief from their discomfort.
- Mental Health Issues
Adderall abusers often experience mental health issues due to their ongoing use of the drug. Anxiety and depression can develop over time due to the manner in which the drug impacts the normal functionality of the brain.
As a result, many Adderall abusers require dual diagnosis treatment to address their mental health issues and the Adderall addiction they have developed over time.
- Erratic Behaviors
Chemical imbalances in the brain and declining cognitive function associated with Adderall abuse can also lead to rapid emotional shifts, uncharacteristic behavior, and unpredictable moods.
A person chronically abusing Adderall may even become irrationally paranoid, aggressive, and violent – behaving in ways they would never have acted before they started using Adderall.
While these are not the only signs associated with Adderall abuse, they signify some of the more common behaviors a person struggling with Adderall addiction typically displays. The key to identify if an actual issue exists is to maintain a channel of communication with your loved one so that if a problem does arise, you are able to talk with them about it before it grows out of hand.
How Adderall Abuse is Treated
In many cases, treating long-standing Adderall abuse may require residential treatment to safely detox an individual off the drug. Treatment is also needed to address the physical issues and mental health complications stemming from their addiction.
In a safe and secure environment, your loved one would engage in a range of treatment methods. These can include individual therapy, group therapy, mindfulness training and other holistic therapeutic techniques focused on repairing the damage done by Adderall use.
It is important to speak with a qualified treatment provider prior to making any treatment decisions, so your loved one can start their recovery journey in the most appropriate therapeutic environment. Once this is accomplished, they can begin their recovery journey in a secure setting that specializes in overcoming addictive impulses and establishing healthier lifestyle patterns.
Holistic Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
There is no simple solution to overcoming a prescription drug addiction, so beginning the process of rehabilitation is an essential first step toward identifying the severity of your loved one’s Adderall abuse and potentially saving their life.
As a premier provider of non-12-step treatment in California, Ranch Creek Recovery offers an alternative approach to addiction rehab. We go beyond the traditional, widely used 12-step program and focus on tailor-fitting each recovery program to address every patient’s unique needs.
With a more intimate recovery experience, a higher level of care, a serene environment, individual recovery plans and a holistic approach, your loved one will receive everything needed to achieve sobriety and prepare for a thriving, sober life.
Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us.