Adderall Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Programs

Adderall is a prescription stimulant that is commonly misused for its effects. Inpatient treatment and continuing care may be recommended for people with chronic or severe Adderall addiction.

Adderall is a powerful stimulant drug that is prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

It contains the active ingredients amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. By acting on certain brain chemicals, Adderall can increase alertness, focus, and cause a rush of energy.

When misused, Adderall can cause euphoric effects that may be addictive. Adderall abuse is broadly defined as taking the drug in any way other than prescribed.

Dangers And Side Effects Of Adderall Abuse

Adderall, a prescription amphetamine, is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that works in the body by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

This stimulates the brain’s pleasure and reward system and affects various systems throughout the body.

Common side effects of Adderall include:

  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • talkativeness
  • dry mouth
  • nervousness
  • headache
  • constipation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • changes in sex drive
  • loss of appetite

When misused, Adderall can become highly addictive and cause serious side effects, such as:

  • chest pain
  • dangerously high body temperature
  • shortness of breath
  • psychosis
  • high blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeat

These dangerous side effects are also common signs of Adderall overdose, which can be deadly without emergency treatment.

Severe cases of overdose can cause liver failure, stroke, seizures, and heart attack. People who take high doses of Adderall or mix it with other drugs may be at greater risk for serious overdose.

In addition to overdose, other dangers of chronic stimulant abuse include:

  • increased risk for depression and suicidal thoughts
  • impulsive behavior
  • memory loss
  • unhealthy weight loss
  • hostility
  • gastrointestinal issues (e.g. constipation)
  • liver damage

Identifying Signs Of Adderall Abuse And Addiction

Addiction is a complex disease that can affect how you think, feel, and behave. Addiction doesn’t discriminate by gender, age, race, ethnicity, or level of income.

Knowing when you’ve developed an addiction, or spotting it in someone else, is not always easy.

If you’re concerned about your Adderall use, consider looking for the following signs:

  • being unable to reduce or stop your drug use
  • continuing to take Adderall despite negative consequences to health, employment, or personal relationships
  • frequently taking Adderall to manage stress, weight, or mood
  • hiding or lying about your Adderall use
  • experiencing withdrawal symptoms after the effects of the drug have worn off
  • feeling unable to get through a day without taking it

Drug addiction can make it difficult for a person to want to stop using substances, even drug use causes harm. Watching someone you love struggle, or living with addiction, can feel like a hopeless battle.

If you or a loved one is abusing prescription stimulants like Adderall, know that recovery is possible. It’s never too soon to ask for help.

The following are ways Adderall can be misused:

  • taking higher doses than prescribed
  • taking Adderall for reasons other than prescribed
  • taking Adderall without a prescription (e.g. buying from a drug dealer or taking from another person’s prescription)
  • crushing and snorting Adderall
  • injecting Adderall
  • taking Adderall with other drugs (including alcohol) for their effects

Adderall abuse is a dangerous form of substance misuse that can lead to addiction, increased risk for suicide, overdose, and—in severe cases—death.

Treatment programs for Adderall abuse and addiction aim to help individuals learn supportive strategies for coping with stress, urges to use, and other triggers.

Adderall Abuse And Addiction Treatment

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 5 million people in the United States report misusing prescription stimulants like Adderall each year.

Commonly known as the “study drug,” Adderall abuse is most common in teenagers and young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

College students and young professionals may begin misusing Adderall to cope with stress and improve their performance in school or at work. This can lead to a cycle of addiction that can be difficult to break without professional treatment.

Treating Adderall addiction requires a whole-person approach to address the physical, mental, and psychological sides of living with addiction. For people who have developed a physical dependence on Adderall, this will first require detox.

Adderall Detox And Withdrawal

Taking Adderall for longer than a few weeks can cause increased tolerance and drug dependency. This is when your body becomes accustomed to the presence of Adderall in your system. When misused, Adderall dependence can become more severe.

Quitting Adderall following a pattern of drug abuse may cause symptoms of withdrawal, such as fatigue, depression, irritability, stomach aches, and poor concentration.

Adderall withdrawal can begin within a few hours of your last dose and may last for some time, depending on whether you’re quitting Adderall all at once or tapering your dosage.

The severity and timeline of withdrawal can also be influenced by genetics, mental health history, and other factors related to your drug use.

With addiction, it can be difficult to quit or taper your drug use alone. The best way to stop using Adderall is to seek professional detox assistance.

Adderall detox programs can identify a detoxification plan that meets your needs. Detox programs can support addicted individuals through each step of the acute withdrawal process, by offering both medical and behavioral support.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient treatment—also known as residential rehab—is the most effective type of treatment program for substance use disorders.

This comprehensive program involves living in a rehab center for around-the-clock supervision and support.

Addiction rehab centers offer a safe and supportive environment for people to learn the tools they need to stay sober. During rehab, residents follow a structured routine that is customized to their needs.

At Spring Hill, we offer evidence-based treatments—such as behavioral therapy—that are proven to help former Adderall addicts break free from their addiction.

We also offer holistic therapies and dual diagnosis treatment for people with co-occurring mental health disorders—all within a comfortable, home-like environment.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs can serve as an effective step-down program for people who have recently completed rehab and can benefit from continued treatment.

Outpatient treatment can also be suitable for people with mild substance abuse issues who don’t require a higher level of care.

At Spring Hill, we offer an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for stimulant addiction. Within this program, residents may attend treatment at our rehab facility for a few hours a day, several days a week.

During this time, you may attend individual counseling, group therapy, and meet with a psychiatrist as needed for medication management.

Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes offer temporary housing to support newly sober residents as they transition from rehab to independent living.

Many sober living communities have trained staff on the premises to offer behavioral support. Sober living homes may require that residents attend outpatient treatment at a nearby rehab center and participate in house meetings.

Spring Hill partners with nearby sober living homes in the Massachusetts area to coordinate housing for individuals who can benefit from this form of transitional care.

This often includes people who have traveled to our treatment center from out of state, as well as people recovering from chronic or severe addiction.


Aftercare involves setting up a long-term treatment plan for people who are in early recovery from drug addiction. Aftercare services can vary by treatment center. At Spring Hill, our primary form of aftercare support is our alumni recovery support network.

After completing four weeks of treatment, patients at our recovery center gain access to a network of current and former patients. This supportive service offers ongoing peer support and keeps people connected to our facility for upcoming events.

Our aftercare professionals can also coordinate care in a sober living home, and help identify ongoing sources of support for patients as they return home.

Begin Your Recovery Journey At Spring Hill

Spring Hill Recovery Center is an accredited Massachusetts rehab center that serves the greater New England region of the United States.

We are specialized in treating substance abuse and addiction, and offer dual diagnosis care for people with co-occurring mental illness.

Spring Hill offers a range of addiction treatment programs, including residential rehab and intensive outpatient treatment. At Spring Hill, you’ll find a customized approach to treatment that recognizes that every resident has different needs.

For stimulant addiction, we offer the following treatments:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • 12-Step Programs
  • Family Therapy
  • Alternative Therapies (e.g. yoga, art therapy, music therapy)
  • Aftercare Support

If you’re looking for an effective treatment program in or near Massachusetts to help you or a loved one recover from an addiction to Adderall, look no further than Spring Hill.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not kept us from helping New England residents begin their recovery journey.

Call us today for more information about Spring Hill and our Adderall addiction treatment programs.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse—Prescription Stimulants
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine—Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—2018 NSDUH Key Findings

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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