10 Commonly Overlooked Signs of Adderall Addiction
Adderall, a Schedule II narcotic amphetamine drug, is commonly used to treat children and adults affected by attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Though Adderall requires a doctor’s prescription, this drug carries many of the same addictive properties as cocaine.
Amphetamines, in general, stimulate the body’s central nervous system (CNS), which affects a wide range of bodily processes, some of which include respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolism functions. While not addictive when taken as prescribed, those who do abuse the drug enter into a cycle of cravings and dependency that takes an enormous toll on the body over time.
According to the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, increasing tolerance levels become the driving force behind Adderall addiction as the brain comes to require increasingly larger doses of the drug. Without needed dosage amounts, users develop withdrawal effects that make it difficult to function in everyday life.
Signs of Adderall addiction closely resemble those experienced with cocaine addictions. While signs like tremors and weight loss can easily be identified, other less noticeable signs can also develop. Here are 10 commonly overlooked signs of an Adderall addiction in progress.
1. Increased Heart Rates
Adderall’s role as a central nervous system stimulant directly affects heart function. According to the U. S. Food & Drug Administration, long-term Adderall abuse leaves users with unusually high blood pressure and heart rates, which makes them especially susceptible to cardiac arrest and stroke.
2. Aggressive Behaviors
As drugs like Adderall target areas of the brain that regulate impulse control, overstimulation of these areas over time reduces a person’s ability to maintain control over his or her emotional displays.
Regulating nerve signal conduction is one the central nervous system’s primary roles. Adderall abuse creates brain chemical imbalances that hamper CNS functions. Numbness in fingers and toes develop as a result of these chemical imbalances.
4. Poor Decision-Making
Adderall triggers the release of dopamine and norepinephrine brain chemicals. These chemicals act as messengers throughout the central nervous system as well as within the areas of the brain that regulate cognitive functions. Poor decision-making develops as changes in the brain’s biochemistry start to impair cognitive processing.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, stimulant addictions can further aggravate pre-existing medical conditions. People prone to seizures or those who have a history of seizures may experience more frequent and more intense seizure episodes when abusing Adderall.
6. Psychotic Behaviors
With long-term use, Adderall abuse can cause users to exhibit psychotic-type symptoms, some of which include –
- Delusions of grandeur
- Violent displays
Over time, Adderall users start to engage in binging behaviors where large amounts of the drug are consumed. Once the drug’s effects wear off, users can sleep nonstop for days.
8. Sleep Problems
As Adderall abuse causes overstimulation of central nervous system functions, it becomes increasingly harder to maintain any type of sleep pattern.
Like cocaine’s effects, Adderall withdrawal leaves user agitated and restless. These symptoms grow worse the longer a person uses.
10. Vivid Dreams
Not unlike the hallucinations that develop from long-term abuse, Adderall withdrawal can cause a person to experience vivid, disturbing dreams on a regular basis.