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Is it Possible to Have an Adderall Addiction?

This entry was posted in Addiction Recovery, Drug Abuse, Prescription Drugs and tagged Adderall addiction, addiction Adderall, is Adderall addictive, is it possible to be addicted to Adderall on February 21, 2022 by Justin Baksh, MS, LMHC, MCAP, Chief Clinical Officer.

While your coworkers are slurping down gallons of coffee and energy drinks throughout the day, you have a secret weapon. There’s a little orange pill that gives you an advantage, helps you to stay focused and determined while getting things done. It’s a great and affordable option to have, especially in the fast-paced world we live in today. Problem is, there is a potential for misuse as well as an Adderall addiction.

Why Would Someone Take Adderall?  


Adderall is a stimulant medication taken once or twice a day to help increase the ability to focus. As a Schedule II controlled substance (the same classification as meth, heroin or cocaine), Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is medically indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as well as a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.

However, the euphoric effects of the medication give it a high risk for abuse, dependence and addiction. Some have misused other’s (or their own) prescriptions while fake, fentanyl-laced versions have shown up on the streets, with sometimes fatal results.

Some feel that Adderall (also called “college crack”) gives them increased energy and concentration – perfect for all-nighters and extended study sessions. It is considered by many to be an upper, and there many reasons why people take it beyond an increased ability to concentrate.

Adderall unleashes a flood of dopamine in the body, giving users a euphoric high. At the the same time, it is a calming influence. It’s easy to see why people can get hooked on its effects.

There are many reasons why people can form an Adderall addiction: 

  1. Adderall is (relatively) easy to obtain. First of all, Adderall is a legal medication which can be obtained by prescription. ADHD is a relatively common disorder that relies on observation data (sometimes simply self-reported) for diagnosis. While Adderall can be habit-forming and possibly lead to some health problems, it is a popular and often-relied upon medication. it helps people focus on tasks and get more done throughout the day. For people with ADHD, it can be a lifesaver. Healthcare professionals may feel more comfortable prescribing Adderall to someone reporting concentration issues than they would prescribing opioids for pain.
  2. Adderall is inexpensive. Compare the price of visiting the doctor and getting a prescription of Adderall to the cost of getting a couple of cups of coffee each day. The prescription is going to be cheaper over the course of a month. Not only that, but people seem to like the Adderall option over coffee and energy drinks. The Adderall energy they feel is calmer and less erratic than that of caffeine.
  3. Taking Adderall would not be a basis for rejection from schools or jobs. Another reason the addiction is easy to form is because most schools and jobs do not test for the drug, nor do they ban it as a substance that is not allowed with their students or employees. Most facilities love the idea of their students or employees being able to focus and work faster so why would they be against you taking it even if they found out you were? Most companies are not in a position to determine whether a medication is medically necessary – they leave that up to the physician.
  4. Adderall suppresses the appetite. One of the less talked about reasons people form an addiction to Adderall is because it aids in weight loss by quelling your appetite. This and other medications like it are routinely used as a way to shed pounds easily, especially if it is taken in the morning. Imagine being able to make it through an entire day of work, not only running circles around your coworkers but also not having a single bite to eat? It starts to sound more like a fantasy option than a real outcome; however, the effects are real.
  5. Adderall gives you true focus. While there are dozens of reasons people take the medication, the main one is to improve focus. The pills actually do a great job of helping people, especially with those with ADHD, to focus on tasks in front of them. This can be anything from schoolwork to actual work, from running errands to doing chores. While the main effects are felt for about four hours, the overall effects of can be felt throughout the day.
  6. Adderall controls anxiety. Another relatively unknown use for Adderall is helping relieve anxiety. One of the common trends with people who suffer from anxiety is that they focus on too many things at once. These people will worry about whether they left the stove on at home or locked the door, if they can afford their upcoming vacation, if they are going to be able to lose weight before the holidays, get the promotion, make enough money, ever get married and anything else you want to throw on them throughout the day… all at one. Taking Adderall allows them to focus on one thing at a time. This can greatly reduce their anxiety levels.
  7. Withdrawals are not severe: If you are routinely taking Adderall for months at a time, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. However, compared to opioids and some other drugs, the withdrawals are mild. They include loss of energy, having to sleep longer, being irritable, trouble concentrating, intense hunger and so forth. They usually last anywhere from a week to a month but seem to subside over a relatively short period of time. There can be lingering cravings, however.

How Do I Know If I Have An Adderall Addiction?  

Addiction can be a difficult thing to identify. Take, as an example, someone relying on Adderall to get through their work shifts. Some may even claim they cannot get through work without it, leading to the conclusion that they must be addicted to it. However, if they are able to easily not take the medication on weekends, days off, vacations and so forth, that’s an indication that they are not actually addicted to it. (Although they may be somewhat dependent on it). However, if they are lying about their use of it, take it on their days off as well, or are looking for ways to get more or increase their dosage, those could be signs of addiction.

If you have grown tolerant of Adderall to the point where you need more and more of it to achieve the same effect, you may also by struggling with an Adderall addiction. Fighting irresistible cravings to use as well as having difficultly stopping or cutting down on Adderall can also be a sign of addiction.

The true test is whether use of the substance continues despite causing severe and negative consequences in more than one major area of life. For example, in relationships as well as at school, work or with the law. You may have an Adderall addiction if you cannot stop using it while your life is falling apart around you.

RELATED: Am I an Addict? How to Know

Why should you care about an Adderall addiction?

Adderall addiction needs to be taken seriously, especially if it is impacting your personal relationships and ability to function in your life. Remember, while the symptoms may not seem severe, this could create dependencies and addictions to other substances down the road. Make sure you are getting help if you are struggling with stopping your use of the drug and are hiding your use of it from friends and family. 

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