Adderall is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. It may be prescribed to people who struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy. Adderall can also be abused, and an addiction can develop. Learn to spot the signs of Adderall abuse so that you can recognize and help a loved one with a problem.
Increase in Anxiety Levels
The prolonged use or abuse of Adderall can increase anxiety. The stimulating properties of the drug put users on high alert at all times. Uber alertness for extended periods of time is incredibly stressful. Eventually, alertness can translate to anxiety.
This kind of anxiety is more than just feeling nervous or worrying about certain situations. It is the development of a mental health issue. Having anxiety can disrupt life in many ways, making it hard to sleep, socialize or function without stress.
In some cases, Adderall abuse can also lead to depression. Panic attacks and nausea can also accompany depression. The only way to end these feelings of anxiety is to stop relying on Adderall. If there is an addiction at play, then doing so can be a challenge.
Restlessness, Twitching or Tremors
When Adderall is used to treat conditions like ADHD, the stimulant effect is just enough to help individuals focus. When used inappropriately, or by someone without a medical condition, it will be overstimulating.
When misused, the drug can cause individuals to become restless. If someone who is normally calm and collected begins to fidget constantly, it could be a sign of Adderall abuse. Other signs might include twitching or even tremors.
All of these actions might be involuntary. The individual may not want to visibly move around so much, but the drug is in control. When the brain is flooded with norepinephrine and dopamine, outlets like twitching, fidgeting and tremors are sometimes the only response available.
In extreme cases, convulsions and even seizures are possible. If you spot these drastic signs, then it could be a warning of prolonged or serious abuse. Taking action immediately is critical in these cases.
Drastic Weight Loss
One of the most noticeable signs of Adderall abuse is rapid weight loss. The drug Adderall is an appetite suppressant, even in healthy prescribed doses. When the drug is abused and taken in large or frequent amounts, it can cause the appetite to diminish rapidly.
Once the appetite is suppressed, many people abusing Adderall will see rapid weight loss. In the short term, they may be complimented on their appearance. However, prolonged Adderall use can cause malnutrition and muscle weakness. It is incredibly dangerous to lose weight in such an unsafe and quick way.
Unfortunately, some individuals purposely abuse Adderall for its weight loss potential. Sadly, many of these individuals will suffer far worse health problems as a result. Adderall abuse is never a smart idea, no matter what the desired results may be.
Changes in Sleep Habits
Adderall abuse can make sleeping very challenging. Since it is a stimulant, it can keep users awake for much longer than normal. However, the sleep deficit still exists. Prolonged use of Adderall may make people more tired, not more energetic, because of sleep deprivation.
After taking Adderall, individuals may feel energetic and stimulated. Eventually, that energy will wane. Lethargy and tiredness may set in. However, achieving restful sleep will remain difficult.
Since the drugs are still in the bloodstream, those who abuse Adderall may never get proper, restful sleep. The next day, they may feel exhausted. Unfortunately, this causes some individuals to turn back to Adderall for energy. This creates a dangerous cycle, continues the march to addiction and won’t actually result in focused energy or increased function.
If you are trying to pinpoint Adderall abuse in a friend or loved one, one clear sign might be labored breathing. Often, those who abuse Adderall can also deal with overstimulation of the respiratory system.
A person might regularly seem out of breath, even when they aren’t exercising. Small motions like standing up from a seated position can cause heavy breathing. This may be especially noticeable in young and normally fit individuals.
Ultimately, this is something you’ll only notice if you are familiar with the person’s health. A college student who plays soccer shouldn’t struggle to catch their breath when getting out of bed in the morning. Knowing the individual, their health and any changes can be a way to spot an Adderall abuse problem.
Sexual Disinterest or Dysfunction
One of the more intimate ways to identify Adderall abuse is through sexual changes. Typically, Adderall will dampen sexual desire and activity. Obviously, this is only something you might recognize if you have a close or romantic relationship with the individual you’re concerned with.
Adderall abuse can drastically reduce libido. Individuals who struggle with Adderall abuse may have very little desire to engage in any kind of sexual activity. Although changes to libido are common, a drastic change in a young person might be a sign of a bigger issue.
Social Withdrawal or Secretive Behavior
Adderall abuse can also impact behavior and personality in a major way. Individuals that abuse Adderall might become secretive, violent, paranoid or irritable.
It is normal for those dealing with addiction to become secretive. Most people know that their drug abuse is changing their behavior. They might also feel guilt or embarrassment about their dependence on Adderall. As a result, these individuals might withdraw from social settings and make excuses in order to avoid interaction.
Adderall abuse can also cause people to become increasingly irritable. Individuals who were friendly, kind and outgoing might act angry with little or no provocation. This is easiest to spot among people you’re already close to. A personality rarely changes drastically and suddenly unless there is a reason, and Adderall abuse might be that reason.
Abusing Adderall can also cause paranoia. Individuals may be worried that you’re spying on them or trying to get them in trouble. Anger and violence are also possible.
Knowing the signs of Adderall abuse can be helpful. With the right information in hand, you can recognize the problem and find your loved one help before it is too late.