Amphetamine Addiction

amphetamine makes body more active

Defining Adderall

Adderall (Amphetamine) is a stimulant drug used primarily for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (better known as ADHD) as well as narcolepsy and obesity. Adderall is a medication composed of two different amphetamines: levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Other drugs that are used to treat ADHD and are used as recreational drugs are Dextroamphetamine, Methamphetamine, Methylphenidate etc.

Adderall, like other amphetamines, acts on dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine receptors. As a result of activating these receptors to release these chemicals in the brain, Adderall pills are designed to be ingested orally and, used medicinally, makes the user feel more alert, more awake, more focused, and less hungry than they would be without the medication.

Adderall is used illicitly as performance enhancers for athletics and for cognitive enhancement by students. Adderall comes in various doses and lasts up to 4 or 8 hours depending on if the pill is designed to be fast acting or longer lasting. Recreationally, Adderall is taken through crushing and snorting.

Side Effects

Short-Term

  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Change in heartbeat or blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Temporary motor tics
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased focus
  • Decreased need for sleep

Long-Term

  • Fatigue
  • Drug craving
  • Dysphoric mood
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Unpleasant dreams

Do’s and Don’ts

Adderall should be taken only as prescribed; intake should be monitored by a physician. If a dosage is missed, it is important not to double the dosage.

Adderall should not be taken during nighttime as it may cause problems falling asleep.

Adderall should not be shared with others. The effects may effect each individual differently.

If the individual has any heart problems, it is important consult a doctor before starting Adderall.

Addiction and Overdose

Adderall addiction can happen fairly easily as one’s tolerance to amphetamines increases quickly. Consequently, the dose must be increased to provide the same effect. Consequently, this higher dose can lead to physical dependence, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms, which may last anywhere from one day to two months. Symptoms of abuse and withdrawal include and may lead to:

  • Psychosis
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Rapid muscle breakdown
  • Coma
  • Mania
  • Excessive muscle movement
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

If any of the above withdrawal symptoms occur, it is important to contact a medical professional. Ingesting too much Adderall simultaneously is harmful to the body and may lead to overdose. Should overdose occur, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, as the effects could potentially be life-threatening.

Treatment

There is no medication currently designed to treat Adderall or amphetamine addiction. However, in some cases the withdrawal symptoms are treated with antidepressants to decrease their severity. Sometimes the withdrawal symptoms are so severe that one needs to be placed on medication for seizures and psychotic episodes, so medical treatment for Adderall and amphetamine addiction is essential. Treatment centers have medical staff trained to handle the physical and psychological effects of recovering from addiction.

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