The initial effects of Adderall can be an energized, upbeat and euphoric rush. Adderall and other stimulants produce that initial rush by increasing the brain’s levels of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter linked to movement, attention and pleasure.
When used medically, Adderall can start low and gradually increase the dopamine levels until they create a beneficial therapeutic effect. When taken non-medically, Adderall can often send the dopamine levels skyrocketing, resulting in the surge of euphoria.
That surge of euphoria, however, typically comes with an irregular heartbeat and a body temperature high enough to reach dangerous levels. The increased stress on the cardiovascular system can result in heart failure or seizures.
Long-Term Effects of Adderall Abuse
Those who continue to abuse Adderall or take it in high doses or in the non-traditional manner of snorting it can suffer from its longer-term effects.
- Anxiety | Paranoia | Hostility | Psychosis | Restlessness
- Irritability | Rapid speech | Insomnia | Weight loss
Because taking Adderall in combination with alcohol increases people’s capacity for alcohol, they face a higher risk of alcohol poisoning or overdose. They may also find themselves hit with increased blood pressure and a severe case of the jitters.
Statistics from the SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated that 89.5 percent of the full-time college students who abused Adderall also admitted to binge drinking within the past month. More than 50 percent admitted to heavy alcohol use in general.
Signs of Abuse and Addiction
Those who cross the line from Adderall abuse to addiction are likely to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms which include:
- Increased appetite | Drastic changes in sleeping habits | Fatigue | Depression
- Extreme agitation | Slowing down of their functioning due to psychomotor retardation
Adderall abuse can eventually lead to addiction, which is marked by the inability to stop using the drug despite the damage it may be causing. Adderall addiction can cause extensive damage, not only to a person’s physical and mental health but also to his or her relationships, performance and quality of life.
Those who fall into the trap of Adderall addiction may exhibit behavioral changes, such as a sudden need for money to support a habit or stealing to attain the money. They may become secretive in an attempt to hide the drug or their use of it and obsessive about ensuring they have a steady supply of the drug on hand.
As Adderall becomes more important in their life, other things may fall by the wayside. They may no longer indulge in certain hobbies, socialize with friends or otherwise engage in activities they used to enjoy. School work, job performance and overall appearance may begin to suffer.
They may fall short on:
- Tending to their responsibilities | Keeping appointments |
- Showing up each day where they’re supposed to be