Oak Forest Recovery - Adderall Resources

Statistics About Adderall Use

In 2019, 4.9 million people in the U.S. aged 12 and over misused prescription stimulants, such as Adderall.

75% of prescription stimulant abuse happens on high school and college campuses.

The percentage of college students who report using stimulant medications without a prescription ranges from 5 to 35 percent.

5 Fast Facts about Adderall

Stimulants like Adderall increase wakefulness, motivation, and aspects of cognition, learning and memory. That’s why many people without medical need take Adderall to improve their mental performance.

Youth who misuse prescription medications, such as Adderall, are also more likely to report use of other drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine.

Every year, thousands of young adults are sent to the ER for Adderall abuse and its dangerous side effects.

Nonmedical use of prescription stimulants poses risks for addiction, cardiovascular events, and psychosis.

High doses of a stimulant can result in dangerously high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, or even heart failure or seizures.

About Adderall Addiction

Adderall is a prescription drug intended to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, many people use the drug illegally without a prescription. The risk of developing a stimulant addiction with prescription drugs, such as Adderall, in increasing in the U.S. The drug is being prescribed more often, and with a rise in prescriptions comes a rise in nonmedical use.

Much of the nonmedical use of Adderall happens on high school and college campuses. This is because many college students use Adderall to help them stay awake and increase their focus while they study. Athletes may use it to improve their athletic performance. Other people may use it to lose weight or get high.

Adderall increases the activity of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. These changes in dopamine activity can alter the brain’s ability to experience pleasure without drugs. If you continue taking Adderall frequently, these changes in your brain will become more long-lasting. And if you form a tolerance to Adderall, you will need more of the drug to get the desired effects.

Adderall users can become physically dependent on the chemicals in the drug without being addicted. When the user is both physically and psychologically dependent on Adderall, this is addiction. Individuals who are addicted to Adderall will experience cravings and obsessions with Adderall, and will have withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug.

Negative side effects of adderall

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lethargy
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Inability to concentrate

Physical effects

  • Heart disease
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Heart palpitations
  • Trouble breathing
  • Headache

Withdrawal symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Intense craving for Adderall
  • Intense hunger
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Panic attacks

Signs of overdose

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fast breathing
  • Stomach pain
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Fainting
  • Fever 

Treatment for adderall addiction

If you or someone you know is addicted to Adderall, there is help available. Recovery from Adderall addiction is possible with the right treatment.

Detoxing from Adderall

It is not recommended to stop Adderall suddenly or “cold turkey,” because you could experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Instead, you should wean off the drug slowly, preferably under medical supervision. Weaning or tapering off Adderall will take a few weeks to a few months. It is extremely important to have emotional support during the first month of stopping the drug, as this is when cravings are strongest, and 40-60 percent of relapses occur. Detoxing is never considered a complete form of treatment, but should instead be part of a longer-term treatment plan consisting of therapy and ongoing support. 

Inpatient Treatment

For those with severe addictions to Adderall, or those who are struggling with more than one addiction, inpatient treatment may be recommended. Inpatient rehab usually lasts between 29 to 90 days. Inpatient rehab focuses on one-on-one counseling in order to address the issues influencing the individual’s addiction. Common therapies used for Adderall addiction include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Holistic therapy


Continuing Treatment

After completing an addiction treatment program, it’s important to continue your treatment to prevent relapse. Ongoing treatment can include a 12-step program such as Narcotics Anonymous, or individual therapy such as CBT.