Blog & Events

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.

The Experience

Admissions Process

Many people find the very idea of entering a rehab facility daunting. We at the Pasadena Recovery Center want to ease your fears and assure you that we will be here with you every step of the way. Many people believe that the hardest step is the very first one – contacting us – and then it gets progressively easier.

Learn More

Typical Day

A typical day at PRC consists of specialized groups such as Anger Management, Grief and Loss, Relationships, Relapse Prevention, Gratitude Group, Groups hosted by Mackenzie Phillips, Gary Richman, and more. Also you’ll get one-on-one counseling sessions with our specialized treatment team, as well as family sessions.

Learn More

Expert Speakers Series

At the Pasadena Recovery Center we regularly bring in community leaders and addiction experts to educate our residents, alumni and staff. For example, the Nation’s top drug official, Gil Kerlikowske (photo right), spoke about the California marijuana legalization ballot measure (Prop. 19) prior to the 2010 election.

Learn More
  • "Bob is the most talented chemical dependency counselor I've ever seen. Simple. Period."

    ~ Dr. Drew Pinsky

  • “Shelly the Shark always has the answers to everything. I want to thank you for being so tough on me.”

    ~ Ricco Rodriguez, Former UFC Champ

  • “That’s what we need, we need Shelly there everyday kicking our ass.”

    ~ Seth Binzer, Shifty Shellshock