70 Percent
Of Prescription stimulant abuse happens on high school and college campuses.

5 to 35 Percent
Of college students reported using stimulants medications without prescriptions.

4.9 Million 
People in 2019, age 12 and over in the U.S. misused prescription stimulants, including Adderall.


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

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

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

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

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


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 happens on high school and college campuses. This is because many college students use this medication 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.

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.


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


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


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


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


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


It is not recommended to stop 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 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 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.