Adderall Addiction | Effects, Abuse, Warning Signs, & Treatment

Adderall abuse can lead to the development of Adderall addiction, which can be effectively treated in a professional drug addiction rehab program.

Adderall is the brand name for the combination medication dextroamphetamine/amphetamine. It is a prescription drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Someone may abuse Adderall by taking too much or crushing the pills and snorting, smoking, or injecting the medication. Adderall abuse can lead to the development of a substance use disorder (SUD), which can be effectively treated in a professional drug addiction rehab program.

Effects Of Adderall

Adderall is a stimulant medication that increases activity in the central nervous system. Stimulants work by raising levels of dopamine and norepinephrine—neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain. This can cause someone to feel euphoric, more focused, and awake.

Side-effects of Adderall include:

  • increased energy
  • weight loss
  • increased alertness
  • increased attention
  • anxiety
  • nausea/vomiting
  • raised blood pressure
  • rapid heart rate
  • raised body temperature

Although Adderall is safe to take when used as prescribed, high doses of Adderall can overwhelm your cardiovascular system. Taking it to get “high” or without a doctor’s supervision puts you at risk of heart failure or seizures.

In addition, frequent substance abuse can have harmful effects on the brain and may cause psychosis and aggression. Psychosis can cause paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and difficulty sleeping.

Learn more about Adderall Side Effects

Adderall Abuse

Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance in the United States, which means it has a high risk of abuse. According to a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), college campuses are associated with a high rate of Adderall abuse.

Although college students, high school students, and athletes have been associated with Adderall abuse, studies have also found that misuse of the drug does not improve mental functioning in young adults.

Other prescription stimulant drugs include:

  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Concerta (methylphenidate)
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)

It is important to always take stimulant drugs exactly as prescribed. Someone who abuses Adderall may:

  • take a higher dose
  • take someone else’s medication
  • use it for pleasurable effects
  • crush the pills and snort, smoke, or inject the drug

Adderall Addiction

Addiction, also known as a substance use disorder (SUD), can cause psychological and behavioral changes in the brain.

Someone who has become addicted to Adderall may be unable to control how much or how often they take Adderall. Addiction may look similar to drug abuse but someone with an addiction is unable to stop, regardless of the consequences.

Warning Signs

Signs of Adderall addiction include:

  • using Adderall in ways other than how it is prescribed
  • prioritizing drug use over other responsibilities and activities
  • using Adderall in high risk situations
  • experiencing withdrawal if you try to stop
  • neglecting relationships
  • continued use, despite problems with job, school, or health


Frequent use of Adderall can also cause you to build a tolerance, which means you need increasingly higher amounts to feel the desired effects. Taking high doses of Adderall increases the risk of an overdose, which can cause life-threatening symptoms.

Symptoms of a stimulant overdose may include:

  • restlessness
  • tremors
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations
  • panic attacks
  • heart attack
  • seizure
  • coma

If you think someone is overdosing on Adderall, seek medical care immediately.


Long-term abuse can lead to physical dependence, which means withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur when Adderall is stopped.

Depending on how long and how frequently you used Adderall, withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. Many stimulant withdrawal symptoms can affect mental health and interfere with daily functioning.

Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:

  • intense cravings
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • difficulty sleeping
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • paranoia

Although Adderall withdrawal may not be life-threatening, symptoms affect everyone differently. A professional detox program can help you through the withdrawal process in a safe environment.

Adderall Addiction Treatment

A professional addiction treatment center can help you learn how to cope with cravings and maintain long-term recovery.

Inpatient and outpatient rehab centers offer a wide range of treatment services that can help you learn to change unhealthy behaviors and improve overall well-being.

Depending on the treatment program, you may be involved with:

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Adderall addiction and our outpatient treatment options, please contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System?

Adderall, both the immediate-release and extended-release versions, have a half-life between 9-14 hours. They take about 2-3 days to be eliminated from your system. However, they may be detected in urine for up to 4 days, in sweat for 14 days, and in hair follicles for up to 90 days.

Learn more about How Long Adderall Stays In Your System

What Are Some Signs Of Adderall Abuse?

There are a variety of signs of Adderall abuse, including impulsive behaviors, extreme weight loss, sleeping too little or too much, and missing deadlines.

Learn more about the Signs Of Adderall Abuse

Can You Smoke Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant that can be smoked. It contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Due to the stimulating properties, Adderall can be addictive and those using it may turn to smoking to increase the euphoric “rush.”

Learn more about Smoking Adderall

What Happens When You Take Anally?

Taking Adderall anally (plugging) can lead to faster, stronger side effects, but can also increase the risk of infections, drug overdose, and substance use disorders.

Learn more about Plugging Adderall

What Does Adderall Look Like?

Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat ADHD, is produced as an immediate release pill (Adderall) and an extended-release capsule (Adderall XR).

Adderall pills are round or oval-shaped and come in several different colors, with each pill embossed with “AD” or “dp” as well as the dosage.

Adderall XR capsules vary in color and one end may be transparent, revealing small medication balls. Each capsule is printed with Adderall or SHIRE 381 and the dosage.

Learn more about Identifying Adderall

What’s The Street Value Of Adderall?

Adderall sells for about 50 cents to $1.00 per milligram (mg) on the street. A 20 mg pill usually goes for $5 to $15, while 30 mg may cost $15 to $20.

Many factors can affect the street value of Adderall, such as location, authenticity, quantity, and type.

Learn more about How Much Adderall Costs On The Street

How Can You Manage An Adderall Crash?

If you become dependent on Adderall, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. The early stages of withdrawal, known as a “crash” or “comedown,” can cause unpleasant symptoms, like depression, and fatigue.

A detox program can help you manage your symptoms with the help of experienced healthcare professionals. You may recover from mild symptoms easier with the help of a healthy diet, hydration, and plenty of rest.

Severe symptoms, especially feelings of depression, may benefit from medication and therapy.

Learn more about how to cope with an Adderall Crash

What’s The Difference Between Adderall & Desoxyn?

Adderall is a mixture of amphetamine salts (dextroamphetamine and amphetamine), while Desoxyn is medical-grade methamphetamine. Both are schedule II controlled substances that are FDA-approved to treat attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Some differences between Adderall and Desoxyn are:

  • Adderall is FDA-approved to treat narcolepsy, but Desoxyn is not.
  • Desoxyn is FDA-approved to treat obesity, but Adderall is not.
  • Adderall pills are commonly abused by teens, college students, and young professionals.
  • Desoxyn isn’t widely abused in pill form, but methamphetamine in crystal form is a common and highly addictive illegal street drug.
  • Side effects that are unique to Adderall include rashes, hives, blistering, or peeling skin.
  • Side effects that are unique to Desoxyn include paranoia and aggressive behavior.

Learn more about Adderall Vs. Desoxyn

What’s The Difference Between Adderall & Dexedrine?

Adderall and Dexedrine have several similarities. Both drugs are CNS stimulants and used in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. They work similarly, which means they are likely to cause similar side-effects. 

However, Dexedrine contains dextroamphetamine, while Adderall contains both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. 

Learn more about Adderall Vs. Dexedrine

What’s The Difference Between Adderall & Modafinil?

While both Adderall and modafinil are prescription stimulants that can treat a variety of different conditions including narcolepsy and ADHD, Adderall is significantly more potent and has a higher potential for harmful substance abuse.

Learn more about Adderall Vs. Modafinil

What’s The Difference Between Adderall & Concerta?

Adderall and Concerta have different active ingredients. Adderall’s active ingredients are dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, while Concerta’s active ingredient is methylphenidate. 

Adderall is available in extended-release and immediate-release forms, while Concerta is only available in extended-release form.

Learn more about Adderall Vs. Concerta

What’s The Difference Between Adderall & Ritalin?

There are a couple of differences between Adderall and Ritalin. The biggest difference is what they’re made out of. Adderall is made up of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine while Ritalin consists of methylphenidate hydrochloride. 

Adderall also has a longer half-life than Ritalin, which means it stays in your system for a longer period of time.

Learn more about Ritalin Vs. Adderall

What’s The Difference Between Adderall & Vyvanse?

Adderall and Vyvanse are both stimulant medications. However, Adderall contains four types of amphetamine salts while Vyvanse contains only one. In addition to this, Adderall can help those suffering from narcolepsy while Vyvanse can be used to help treat binge eating disorder.

Learn more about Adderall Vs. Vyvanse

What Happens If You Snort Adderall?

Snorting Adderall can cause hyperactivity and increased energy for a short amount of time. It can also cause damage to the nose, increase the risk of overdose, and lead to long-term substance use disorders.

Learn more about Snorting Adderall

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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