Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)
All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 14th December 2023
Adderall (or Adderall XR) is a commonly prescribed drug on the NHS which is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy.
Students have also been known to consume Adderall when preparing for exams. In fact, Adderall is often referred to as ‘the study drug’.
It can be abused if it is used in larger quantities than prescribed, used for the incorrect reasons, or if it is used by someone who has not been prescribed the drug.
Adderall increases the production of dopamine in the brain which stimulates the central nervous system. Dopamine is known as the brain’s ‘feel good hormone’, which is what can cause users to become addicted.
Adderall also affects the brain’s regulation of the hormone ‘norepinephrine’. Norepinephrine is a ‘flight-or-fight’ hormone, which works by increasing the heartbeat and raising blood pressure when a person is faced with danger.
Over time Adderall users build up a tolerance to the drug which means ever greater quantities are needed in order to feel the desired ‘high’.
Adderall is commonly consumed orally; however chronic users are known to crush up Adderall tablets and snort the resulting crumbs; users may also inject Adderall.
As Adderall stimulates the central nervous system, a reported 70% of adults and up to 80% of children show improvement in their ADHD symptoms when taking nervous system stimulants, according to healthline.com.
It is a very successful prescription drug if used correctly and as prescribed, but as with all medications, Adderall can cause some side effects.
Side effects of long-term Adderall addiction include:
Despite the positives Adderall has for people suffering from ADHD, as it’s a nervous system stimulant is can cause hallucinations or various other thought problems.
In addition, you could experience other side effects from Adderall such as your tongue, throat or even face swelling up, potentially causing you difficulty breathing.
The drug could also increase your heart rate, raise your blood pressure, cause numbness in your fingers or give you cold toes as a result of poor circulation.
It can also constrict your blood vessels, give you a dry mouth, cause stomach-ache or constipation, develop a lack of appetite from potential nausea or diarrhoea resulting in extreme weight loss, and can also slow down growth in children who could be taking Adderall.
It’s also possible that you could have an allergic reaction to the drug which causes an outbreak of hives, itchy skin, or a nasty rash.
Alongside these physical side-effects, Adderall could also make you feel particularly restless or nervous in addition to experiencing trouble sleeping with the potential to cause insomnia; people with ADHD will tend to feel these effects more.
Chronic Adderall addicts may suffer psychosis and fatal amphetamine poisoning as a result of their drug use, which is why it is important to seek professional addiction treatment for Adderall addiction.
At Cassiobury Court, we offer a 28-day comprehensive Adderall rehab programme where patients move into our Watford centre to receive their structured rehabilitation treatment.
A medical recovery team observes your progress throughout the detox process and during therapies, and prescription medications are offered to ease painful withdrawal symptoms experienced during Adderall detox.
Our residential rehab programmes involves an initial detox period to withdraw you from the drug, followed by a number of intensive therapies to help treat the mental side of addiction.
During the ‘acute’ detox period clients can feel depressed, experience strong cravings and feel fatigued as a result of dopamine deficiency. Many users attempting to detox from home often relapse in order to avoid this feeling of depression.
It’s important that you detox from Adderall gradually as just stopping abruptly can cause you to crash, leaving you feeling fatigued and disconnection.
Since Adderall alters the brain’s chemistry, once Adderall is withdrawn it is thrown into a state of hyperactivity. Dopamine levels in the brain are depleted and require a period to adjust.
Healthline.com explains that a “review found that there are no drugs that can effectively treat withdrawal from amphetamine, one of the components of Adderall. That means you need to work through the symptoms of the crash.
There’s a very high risk or returning to drug use in the first few days of your detox which is why it’s so important to have a team of medical professionals supervising your Adderall drug detox, such as in our centre at Cassiobury Court.
The withdrawal period is a tough phase to go through, but the addiction recovery team at Cassiobury Court are available to assist you.
A list of common withdrawal symptoms experienced during Adderall detoxification include:
In addition to any prescribed medication for your withdrawal symptoms, you could also help ease the discomfort by eating nutritious foods, getting regular exercise, and sticking to a regular sleep schedule at the rehab clinic.
Doing this can contribute greatly to a more comfortable recovery from Adderall with our help in private rehab.
Withdrawal symptoms typically reduce within 5-10 days after Adderall was last consumed. Once detox is complete clients attend addiction therapy and counselling sessions.
Now the aim of rehab is to treat the underlying psychological causes of Adderall addiction.
Completing both an Adderall detox and therapy to treat addiction gives you the best chance at long-term recovery.
It is a common problem that substance abuse is caused by a psychological problem, trauma or environment, which is why it is so important to treat the mind as well during inpatient rehab treatment.
Once therapy sessions have concluded, we can create a tailored relapse prevention and aftercare plan to suit your specific needs; this is provided free of charge for twelve months after leaving our Adderall rehab.
We also encourage clients to attend Narcotics Anonymous groups in their local area, as this provides you with additional support during your recovery.
Our aftercare sessions take place every Saturday at our rehabilitation centre in North London.
Cassiobury Court is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre located in London.
To learn how we can help you to overcome your drug addiction, please get in touch with us. Call today on 01923 369 161 or complete the enquiry form.
John Gillen - Author Last updated: 19th December 2023
John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years of experience providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John also co-authors the book, The Secret Disease of Addiction, which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.
Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 14th December 2023
Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)
Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems. His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.
A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.
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