How Does Adderall Addiction Affect Mental Health?

Can Adderall addiction affect mental health? The answer is yes–absolutely. Any form of substance addiction will impact a person’s mental health at some point. Generally, substance addiction causes mental and physical health to deteriorate. Changes in mental health may be gradual or they may occur with rapid onset. Mood changes and cognitive problems can accompany substance use disorders like Adderall addiction. If you are struggling with an addiction to Adderall, it’s important to learn about this drug and its potential for harm when abused. 

WhiteSands offers a full spectrum of treatments for substance use disorders. We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment plans, medical detox, dual diagnosis treatment, and medication management. Using evidence-based therapies, our clinicians can help clients develop strategies to manage their Adderall addiction. We combine traditional addiction therapies with alternative and holistic treatments that target various aspects of addiction and support overall mental and physical health. 

Our rehab center is staffed by experienced addiction specialists who have years of experience. We treat all clients with dignity and respect. By individualizing treatment plans, we’re able to help clients achieve their specific recovery goals. At WhiteSands, we feature luxury amenities and comprehensive support. Adderall and other substances of abuse can take a toll on a person’s life and health. Drug abuse can erode relationships and impact a person’s career. With treatment at WhiteSands, you can get help putting addiction behind you. Our programs feature a robust relapse prevention component. Let us help you manage your Adderall addiction so you can reach lasting recovery. 

What Are the Uses and Misuses of Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication that primarily treats attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The drug works by increasing the levels of certain types of neurotransmitters in the brain. The increase can improve cognitive focus, attention, and impulse control. Adderall contains the chemicals amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are both stimulants. It is an effective combination that can ease symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy. 

On the other hand, Adderall can also be abused when used recreationally. Some people misuse the drug in order to increase alertness and improve focus and attention span. Adderall has been heavily abused among students. Some students take the drug recreationally in order to improve their ability to study for long periods of time or increase cognitive alertness when testing. This, of course, is a misuse of the drug. Unless prescribed the drug by a physician, taking it without medical authorization is a form of drug abuse. 

In addition to its use/abuse as a study aid, Adderall is sometimes abused as a weight loss aid. Stimulants have been used in some cases to induce weight loss, but Adderall is not safe for use as a weight loss medication and poses health risks for users. Adderall can cause health risks such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, and cardiovascular irregularities that could pose emergency risks. Abuse of Adderall can also lead to an Adderall addiction. 

What Is Adderall Addiction?

A person can develop a dependence on Adderall that leads to addiction. A person can be said to be ‘addicted’ to a drug when they’ve developed a physical and psychological addiction to the substance. Adderall addiction involves signs and symptoms such as:

  • The development of a physical tolerance
  • Doctor shopping to obtain more of the drug
  • Using the drug in spite of negative consequences (i.e. job loss, relationship trouble, health problems)
  • Using the drug in secret
  • Lying about drug use
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug
  • Unable to control the amount of the drug taken
  • The onset of withdrawal symptoms after attempting to stop using the drug

Although people who are legitimately prescribed Adderall for a health condition can develop an addiction to it, often people who abuse the drug or use it recreationally are at increased risk for addiction development. Adderall addiction is dangerous as the drug, especially in large doses, can cause adverse health problems such as cardiovascular problems. 

As with other forms of substance use disorders, an Adderall addiction is chronic. Even after medical detox and ‘getting clean,’ a person can’t use the drug again without restarting the addiction. Treatment for Adderall addiction involves abstinence. People can achieve long-term recovery so long as they stop using Adderall for good. Although there are risks of relapse, high-quality treatment can help people prevent relapse and maintain their recovery progress. At WhiteSands, we help clients ward off relapse and keep their recovery on track.

The Brain on Adderall: Neurological Impact of Prolonged Use

adderall addiction

Prolonged use of Adderall can cause neurological changes in the brain that could lead to medical complications. Of course, individual responses to Adderall can vary among users. However, the risks for neurological problems increase with dosage increases and over time. First, the prolonged use of Adderall can lead to an imbalance of neurotransmitters, and chemical messengers, in the brain. This can be problematic for many reasons and can lead to the development of mental health disorders, including paranoia, anxiety, and others. Prolonged use of the medication can lead to dependence and the development of addiction. 

Additionally, using Adderall for a long period of time or taking too much of the drug can cause cognitive dysfunction to occur. Individuals might experience a decline in memory or poor executive functioning after prolonged Adderall use. At high doses, Adderall can have a neurotoxic effect. 

Abusing Adderall increases the risk of adverse neurological impacts. A person addicted to the drug faces a high risk of complications. If you are addicted to Adderall, it’s crucial to seek treatment at a high-quality addiction treatment center like WhiteSands. We individualize treatments to provide support that’s tailored to each client’s specific needs. 

How Adderall Overuse Can Lead to Depression

Adderall overuse can cause depression in some people. This may seem at odds with the drug’s function as a stimulant. Adderall misuse can cause a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain that leads to the development of mental disorders like depression. As neurotransmitters become affected, mood can become disrupted. The result can be the development of major depression or other conditions like anxiety. 

Depression can also occur as a result of a crashing effect when people come down off the drug. Abusing a stimulant like Adderall can result in a crash when the person stops taking the drug for a period of time. Withdrawal from Adderall can also lead to major depression as well as other withdrawal symptoms. People who abuse the drug may also experience sleep disturbances; lack of sleep can cause depression in some individuals. 

Resources and Support from WhiteSands

If you are engaged in Adderall abuse or addicted to this medication, you should seek help from WhiteSands. Our experienced clinicians can evaluate your condition and recommend the ideal course of treatment for you. We feature inpatient and outpatient treatment programs as well as clinically supervised detox and medication management. WhiteSands also offers high-quality dual diagnosis treatment. An addiction to a prescription drug like Adderall can be just as dangerous as an addiction to an illicit drug. Get help at WhiteSands to overcome your Adderall dependence. Let us help you transform your life and health for the better with treatment that’s customized to your needs. 

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.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.