Signs of an Adderall Addiction

Adderall, a prescription medication used to treat diagnosed medical conditions like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

May 10

Adderall, a prescription medication used to treat diagnosed medical conditions like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, has become a substance of abuse for many people today. The drug has been dubbed a “study drug” by high school and college students looking for an edge in their academics. Unfortunately, while the substance is touted for its ability to help users focus and stay awake for long periods, it also leads to negative side effects, including addiction. The staff at Pasadena Recovery Center offers these facts about Adderall addiction to help you recognize signs of dependency in yourself or someone you love.

Understanding Stimulants

Adderall falls into the category of amphetamines, which are stimulant drugs that have been used for a variety of medical purposes. When these substances are used for non-medical reasons, they can be both dangerous and addictive. Short-term effects include difficulty sleeping, irritability and restlessness. The drug can also inhibit appetite, leading to weight loss.

Long-term effects of Adderall are even more concerning. These might include increased blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and persistent headaches. It can also lead to mental symptoms like hostility, paranoia and depression.

Symptoms of Addiction

Adderall is an addictive substance, which means users can become dependent on the drug over time. Signs of Adderall addiction include:


Tolerance refers to the need for increased amounts of the drug over time to get the same effects. In some cases, users will need to take more and more of the substance just to feel “normal.” Users may fake symptoms to get new prescriptions for the drug or buy the drug on the street to continue to feed the developing addiction.


If the drug is stopped suddenly, it can lead to side effects like loss of energy, sleep disturbances, irritability or headaches. People going through withdrawal from Adderall may also exhibit angry outbursts with no explainable cause. These symptoms indicate the user may require medical detoxification and professional treatment to overcome their Adderall abuse.


Over time, a person is no longer able to get the energy boost from the Adderall they did at first. This can lead to complete exhaustion and the inability to function on a daily basis. Exhaustion can also be due to nutritional deficiencies caused by appetite suppression and unhealthy weight loss.


People that become addicted to Adderall may exhibit a number of aggressive, hostile behaviors in addition to unexplainable angry outbursts. These might include risky behaviors and poor judgement, paranoia or delusions of grandeur. Sudden or unexplainable changes in a person’s personality or behavior may indicate substance abuse.

General Signs

Addiction of any kind usually results n noticeable lifestyle changes, including withdrawal from people and activities, loss of interest in work or school and a decline in personal grooming. You may also notice the person begins to struggle with financial or legal issues, or experiences significant difficulties in personal or professional relationships.

Getting Help

If you or someone you love is struggling with Adderall dependency, the time to get help is now. This addiction can be extremely dangerous, increasing the user’s risk for heart attack or liver failure. The sooner the user gets the necessary help to overcome the addiction, the better the prognosis will be. To learn more about treatment for Adderall dependency, contact Pasadena Recovery Center at 866-663-3030.

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