Adderall & Prescription Stimulants Addiction

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In many cases, prescription stimulants such as Adderall may seem like the perfect solution to balancing your personal, professional and social life. In a world where it feels like there are never enough hours in the day, who wouldn’t want the promise of getting more done?

Prescription stimulants are prevalent in our society because they are stimulants, allowing people to stay alert and awake for long periods of time. While initially developed to treat conditions like narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they’re often abused by students, partygoers and professionals looking for that extra “edge.”

However, the boost from stimulants comes at a cost. It can quickly become a crutch that makes it difficult to function without them. In fact, amphetamines, the active ingredient in popular brands like Adderall, Dexedrine and Vyvanse, are structurally similar to methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug known for its damaging effects. Both work by releasing more dopamine in the brain and carry a high risk of abuse.

Prescription stimulants can be deceptively dangerous. If you or someone you care about is taking these drugs recreationally or without the supervision of a doctor, it can start to interfere with your daily life and may lead to addiction. Avalon Malibu can help you develop the skills, tools and knowledge needed to break free from your dependency.

What Are Prescription Stimulants?

Prescription stimulants are a class of drugs that increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, leading to effects like wakefulness, euphoria, excitement, increased concentration and a lack of appetite. When used therapeutically under the supervision of a doctor, stimulants are useful for treating certain medical conditions.

Prescription stimulants often come in two main forms: amphetamines and central nervous system (CNS) stimulants such as methylphenidate.

Amphetamines

Amphetamines, sometimes known as “speed,” can be found on the streets or prescribed by a doctor. These drugs stimulate the central nervous system and increase neurotransmitter activity in the brain, especially dopamine.

  • Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)
  • Desoxyn (methamphetamine)
  • Benzedrine (amphetamine sulfate)

CNS Stimulants

The effects of CNS stimulants are similar to those of Adderall, Dexedrine and other amphetamines. However, these drugs are norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), which allow these neurotransmitters to build up in the brain. Other NDRIs include cocaine, “bath salts,” and the antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin).

  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Concerta (methylphenidate)
  • Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)

How Are Prescription Stimulants Used?

Prescription stimulants are widely known as an effective treatment for ADHD. In individuals with the condition, they help by increasing focus, attention and concentration while reducing impulsive behaviors. Stimulants are also known to improve the symptoms of narcolepsy and reduce appetite. In some cases, they are used as a short-term treatment for obesity.

When abused recreationally, people often take prescription stimulants to stay awake longer for working, studying or partying. Adderall is especially popular among college students pulling all-nighters and professionals who are burning the candle at both ends. However, eventually, individuals burn out as the false energy provided by stimulants wears out.

Signs of Prescription Stimulant Abuse

When someone is abusing prescription stimulants, multiple effects occur in the brain and body that changes the way they function. For example, amphetamines will increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can make people feel jittery. They can also lead to euphoria, heightened energy levels, enhanced sociability and improved focus.

Over time, prescription stimulant abuse can cause individuals to develop additional symptoms and side effects that negatively affect daily life, such as restlessness, insomnia, anxiety and — in extreme cases — psychosis. Those who become addicted may also experience hallucinations, tremors and substantial weight loss. One’s personality can even be affected, with normally calm individuals becoming more aggressive or violent due to their use.

Other signs of prescription stimulant abuse include:

  • SEEMING “JITTERY” AND UNABLE TO RELAX
  • SUDDEN OR DRAMATIC WEIGHT LOSS
  • ENLARGED PUPILS
  • EXCESSIVE SWEATING
  • IRRITABILITY AND FREQUENT MOOD SWINGS
  • RACING THOUGHTS
  • ANXIETY AND PARANOIA
  • IMPROVED CONFIDENCE
  • INCREASED AGGRESSION OR VIOLENCE
  • SHORTENED ATTENTION SPAN
  • TROUBLE SLEEPING
  • ASKING FOR REFILLS MORE FREQUENTLY THAN NORMAL

Prescription Stimulant Treatment at Avalon Malibu

When a person decides that they’ve had enough of drug use, they come to Avalon Malibu’s Cottage House for help in their recovery from prescription stimulants. Most often, a user of amphetamines has been taking the drug for quite some time. The idea of living without the “crutch” of stimulants is daunting, but the wear on the body and the cycle of abuse may have grown even more frightening – enough to seek help. Withdrawal symptoms from prescription stimulants are similar to that of street drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine. Some of the effects are mental fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia and malnutrition.

At The Cottage House, where detox from amphetamines and prescription stimulants takes place, clients can become agitated, anxious, lethargic and even suicidal as the body rids itself of harmful substances and starts to heal from the effects of addiction. To make the process as safe and easy as possible, we provide 24-hour care and support from licensed physicians, nurses and therapists who work together to ensure that everyone who comes to Avalon Malibu for treatment gets the help and attention they need to recover.

After detox, we help individuals explore the underlying causes of their substance abuse and discover a healthier, more balanced way to live. We know that stimulants are powerful drugs with a strong hold on the mind and body, so we utilize a holistic, long-term approach that gives clients the tools, resources and knowledge to manage their addiction for life.

If you or a loved one is abusing prescription stimulants without the supervision of a doctor and having trouble stopping, we can help. Avalon Malibu provides comprehensive substance abuse and mental health treatment to help individuals heal from the effects of addiction. Located on a beautiful beachfront property in Malibu, California, we provide the optimal environment for resetting the brain and body. Contact or call us today at 888-958-7511 to learn more about our exclusive treatment programs and how they can help.

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