The Risks of Adderall Abuse
Adderall and other prescription amphetamines can quickly cause the user to build a tolerance while abusing, needing more of the drug to stay focused. This can lead to the people becoming nervous and irritable when they’re not using. Adderall is generally safe at therapeutic doses, but as an addicted individual continues to take more amphetamine, the drug’s harmful side effects continue to worsen.
At this stage, the addicted person may experience nausea and extreme weight loss. They may also suffer from insomnia, and delusions of power, or feeling “on top of the world”. People may even begin to become paranoid and start to experience body twitches. They may exercise poor judgment, take unnecessary risks, or do other things that are out of character.
Because users will frequently run out of Adderall, only to take high doses of the drug once they have access, addicted individuals may also suffer from frequent withdrawal symptoms, including extreme exhaustion, loss of interest in favorite activities, insomnia, nightmares, loss of appetite, extreme irritability, depression, and suicidal thoughts. This can lead to a roller-coaster-like cycle of binging and crashing.
This is one reason it’s important for people to work with their doctor when suffering from amphetamine addiction. A proper course of treatment involves gradually lowering a patient’s dose, under medical observation, to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
The Worst Case Scenario
When left untreated, addiction can eventually lead to dangerous rises in body temperature. Some addicted individuals have resorted to wearing ice packs on their backs to stay cool, or to go swimming when the temperature is below freezing.
Changes in behavior can become extreme, to the point where the addicted person has paranoid delusions about friends and family members. They may behave erratically, or become hostile and physically attack people they are close to. Prolonged use can lead to psychotic behavior, including auditory hallucinations. This can lead to an inability to hold a job, and the severing of ties with close family members.
Over time, prescription amphetamine addiction can lead to heart arrhythmia, eventually leading to heart attacks and, potentially death. Addicted individuals may also suffer irreversible nervous system damage, leading to convulsions, coma, and possibly, death. Adderall addiction also puts an individual at high risk of suicide, particularly if they are cut off from the drug or forced to go “cold turkey”.