As a potent stimulant — traditionally prescribed to help individuals suffering from inattention issues and other learning disabilities — Adderall can help students increase their alertness and boost their scholastic productivity. Because of this, Adderall abuse in college students is more common than you might think.
Adderall use typically starts innocently enough, being used by students and young professionals trying to stay ahead of the game. But as with any controlled substance, drugs like Adderall that are incorrectly used and abused carry a high risk for addiction.
Research has shown that anyone who takes this drug on a long-term basis or disregards the prescription guidelines will start to show addiction signs within a short time.
- What does this mean for you? Your body will become accustomed to having the medication to perform, and you’ll need to take more of the substance to produce the same effects.
Abusing Adderall by taking more than what’s prescribed can be a slippery slope that often leads to a substance use disorder, which can result in serious health issues and significant emotional stress.
Adderall Abuse in College Students
The pressures of college life combined with normal stressors associated with young adulthood have made prescription stimulant abuse, like Adderall, more widespread than ever.
Early morning classes and late-night study sessions can lead to exhaustion and overwhelm even the most intelligent student. That seems to be why more stressed-out college students are turning to legal and illegal substances to stay focused and motivated in school.
- Research has shown that individuals ages 18 to 25 are most likely to abuse prescription Adderall and typically account for 60% of all abuse and addiction cases.
- They use the drug to remain attentive in the classroom and maintain higher grades. In addition, people abusing Adderall claim they can stay up later and that the drug makes them feel more socially engaged.1
The Dangers of Adderall Abuse and Addiction
If you begin abusing Adderall, you can quickly develop a tolerance for the drug and become addicted in a short amount of time. This is because there are physical and emotional signs that can indicate an Adderall use disorder.
Adderall functions as a central nervous system stimulant, which can lead to nervousness, restlessness and anxiety that impacts your sleep patterns and overall health. You might find it difficult to stay asleep or fall asleep once you begin abusing the drug, and you can even develop tremors that cause various parts of your body to shake involuntarily.
Additionally, abusing Adderall can negatively impact your mind and body in a number of concerning ways that can include:2
- Serious cardiac issues
Adderall is a stimulant that has been shown to raise the body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. Taking high doses of Adderall can result in serious medical issues such as seizures, strokes, and even a heart attack.3
- Serious psychiatric symptoms
Studies have shown excessive Adderall abuse has been linked to psychosis and schizophrenia-like symptoms, such as paranoid delusions, hallucinations, and other behavioral or mood disturbances.3
- Serious issues when combined with other stimulants
Combining Adderall with highly caffeinated beverages, like coffee and energy drinks, can induce irregular heart rhythms and even death in young people.4
- Serious neurological complications
The purpose of Adderall is to stimulate the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. However, these changes have been shown to impact the brain’s reward center over time and alter your ability to experience pleasure without the chemical support of amphetamine use.4
- Very difficult withdrawal symptoms
When Adderall is consistently abused, it rewires your brain and fundamentally alters your behaviors. Someone trying to quit Adderall will usually experience withdrawal symptoms that include insomnia, severe depression and psychomotor agitation.4
You Can Overcome Adderall Abuse and Addiction with Specialized Addiction Treatment
Adderall addiction among college students is very real and very dangerous. The physical complications associated with Adderall abuse and the mental health concerns caused by the drug are simply not worth a higher grade-point average.
Fortunately, there are clinical interventions and treatment facilities that specialize in diagnosing and treating these types of substance use disorders in a safe and secure environment. Consulting a specialist to identify the extent of your addiction, and the most appropriate clinical action to take, is essential before beginning therapy.
Why Pursue Adderall Addiction Treatment?
The main benefit of Adderall addiction treatment is your body can safely detox off the drug under the clinical guidance of addiction and medical experts, and you’ll receive the proper, life-changing support you need as you begin your recovery journey.
Adderall Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
At Ranch Creek Recovery, we take the time to understand why you turned to Adderall in the first place to properly diagnose your substance use disorder and create an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs.
We understand that substance addiction impacts everyone differently, and your unique situation deserves individualized care and support.
If you’re genuinely focused on achieving long-term success and overcoming your addictive impulses, contact us directly to discuss your options and begin your journey back to health and wellness. We’re here to help in any way we can.
1 John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Adderall Misuse Rising Among Young Adults. Accessed September 19, 2021. https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2016/adderall-misuse-rising-among-Young-adults.
2 The National Center for Biotechnology Information. Nonmedical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students: Why We Need To Do Something and What We Need To Do. Accessed September 19, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951617/.
3 National Center for Health Research. “Study Drug” Abuse by College Students: What You Need to Know. Accessed September 19, 2021. https://www.center4research.org/study-drug-abuse-college-students/.
4 The Ohio State University. College Prescription Drug Study. Accessed September 19, 2021. https://cssl.osu.edu/posts/632320bc-704d-4eef-8bcb-87c83019f2e9/documents/cpds-key-findings-2018.pdf.