Teen Adderall abuse can lead to addiction and dependence and all of the problems that come with it. Here’s how to spot it.
Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. A central nervous system stimulant, Adderall helps to correct dysfunctions in the brain’s dopamine system to help improve the focus and other mental functions of individuals with ADHD. Teen Adderall abuse involves using Adderall in ways that weren’t prescribed by a physician. These can include using Adderall to get high, taking more Adderall than your doctor prescribed, or taking someone else’s Adderall for any reason. Prescription drug abuse is dangerous, and it’s illegal.
Statistics About Teen Adderall Abuse
Like many prescription drugs, Adderall has a high potential for abuse, addiction, and dependence, and it’s very tightly regulated to help prevent these from occurring. But teens are still able to procure and abuse Adderall despite safeguards. According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future Survey, nearly eight percent of 12th graders reported using Adderall for non-medical purposes in the past year, making Adderall abuse the second most commonly abused drug after marijuana.
Why Teens Abuse Adderall
The effects of Adderall include increased focus and energy, talkativeness, and euphoria. Some teens abuse Adderall in order to experience the pleasant or exhilarating effects of the drug. Others use it because they believe it will improve their academic or athletic performance, a myth that has been soundly debunked through research. In some cases, teens may abuse Adderall as a way to suppress their appetite and lose weight.
Signs of Teen Adderall Abuse
Adderall abuse can lead to addiction, which is characterized by compulsive Adderall use despite the negative consequences of the abuse. Addressing teen Adderall abuse before the abuse becomes an addiction is essential for protecting your teen’s health and wellbeing.
Signs that your teen may be abusing Adderall include:
- Excessive talkativeness.
- Loss of appetite.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Shortness of breath.
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Anger, irritability, combativeness, and other mood changes.
Adderall addiction symptoms include:
- Compulsive Adderall abuse despite the problems it causes.
- Using increasingly larger amounts of Adderall.
- Experiencing problems at work, home, or school as a result of the Adderall abuse.
- Spending a lot of time seeking out Adderall, taking it, and recovering from its effects.
- Finding that you can’t quit Adderall even though you want to or try to.
- Experiencing intense cravings for Adderall.
If your teen exhibits Adderall addiction symptoms, treatment should be an urgent priority.
Dangers of Teen Adderall Abuse
When used in ways other than as prescribed, Adderall is a dangerous drug in both the short term and long term. Short-term effects of Adderall abuse may include:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
- Dangerous increases in body temperature.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Heart failure.
Long-term effects of Adderall abuse can be devastating and include:
- Organ damage.
- Cognitive decline.
- Mood disorders like depression or anxiety.
- Chronic hostility or paranoia.
Preventing short term and long term effects of Adderall abuse requires ending the abuse altogether.
Treatment for Teen Adderall Abuse and Addiction
Treatment for Adderall abuse or addiction is essential for helping your teen end the abuse. Treatment involves a variety of engaging therapies that help teens:
- Identify and address the underlying issues behind their abuse.
- Identify self-destructive thought and behavior patterns and re-learn healthy ways of thinking and behaving.
- Develop essential skills to cope with stress, cravings, and other triggers.
- Improve their self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-awareness.
- Find purpose and meaning in a life without drugs.
- Learn to have fun and relax without drugs.
Treatment helps teens end their Adderall abuse for the long-term while improving all areas of their lives. Treatment works, and it can work for your teen.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.