Dependence on Adderall can happen after only just a few weeks of taking ADHD medication. Dependence means a person can develop Adderall addiction under almost any circumstance. The difference between dependence and addiction is important to note along with how to navigate the challenges of coping with dependence if it affects a loved one.
Symptoms of Dependence
A combination of d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine salts, Adderall is highly addictive. Some people may become addicted within a matter of a few weeks. Just because a body has become dependent on Adderall does not mean a person is now addicted. More likely, a person that develops addiction to Adderall is probably taking higher doses to get the same effect. Some symptoms of dependence include:
- Unpleasant physical side effects when Adderall is not taken
- Feeling the need to take Adderall to feel ‘normal’
- Taking higher doses of Adderall to experience the same effects
Treatment of Dependence
Physical dependence on Adderall can be very dangerous as the drug can cause cardiovascular problems and is difficult to stop abruptly. Adderall should be taken under a physician’s guidance as a doctor will need to create a tapered dosing schedule. This allows the body to adjust to lower levels of the drug until it is no longer needed. Dependence on Adderall can lead to withdrawal symptoms which may include:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
The best way to treat Adderall withdrawal is to gradually decrease the dose under supervision of a medical professional until it is safe to get off the medication. Withdrawal symptoms may last for days or weeks if a person tries to quit.
Treatment of Psychological Dependence
Psychological symptoms of craving and compulsion to use Adderall will be present during addiction. Treatment for dependence on Adderall will be needed if:
- The need to take Adderall happens during normal situations
- Compulsive need to use Adderall occurs
- Adderall cravings kick in
- Adderall use continues in spite of negative consequences
Simply reducing the dosage is unlikely to help once a person quits taking the medication. A doctor may recommend a therapist specializing in addiction to help reduce use of Adderall but some people find support groups helpful in resisting the urge to take the drug as well. It is better to seek help for dependence or addiction on Adderall than to let it continue taking hold of a person’s life, leading to a downward spiral.
If you suspect a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is just around the corner. Harmony Place is a state licensed treatment facility and leader in evidence-based treatment for co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Contact us at 1-855-652-9048 to find out how we can help support you or your loved one in seeking treatment.