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Adderall Abuse Symptoms, Signs and Addiction Treatment

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. Signs and Symptoms
  3. Effects of Adderall Abuse
  4. Adderall Abuse Treatment
  5. Adderall Statistics
  6. Teen Adderall Abuse

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that is used to treat the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD.

This drug is classified as a central nervous system stimulant. Adderall is prescribed by a physician who will normally start a patient on a low dose, gradually increasing it if necessary.

Adderall abuse occurs when people take Adderall for reasons other than medical need. Some people may take Adderall to help them stay up longer, for instance. For more Adderall facts and to learn about the signs of drug abuse, contact our hotline at 1-800-943-0566 to help an Adderall addict.

Adderall Abuse question 1

Signs and Symptoms


Adderall can cause side effects, and abusing Adderall can cause side effects to be more likely to occur. Some symptoms of Adderall abuse include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Adderall Abuse question 2

There are also side effects that can be severe. These may occur in rare cases when the medication is taken as prescribed, but the severe side effects are more likely to occur when the medication is not taken as prescribed. Some severe effects include:

  • Pounding or fast heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Seizures
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Numbness of arms or legs
  • Dizziness
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Verbal or motor tics
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Changes in vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Mania
  • Itching
  • Swelling (in the case of overdose or allergic reaction)
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Blistering or peeling skin


These side effects can be dangerous, so it is important to seek emergency help as soon as possible or to consult your doctor immediately. For information on your local emergency services, intervention specialists or to talk with someone who can help you understand the side effects of Adderall, contact our hotline at 1-800-943-0566. We can help you get the help you need to stay drug free.

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 or your local emergency services. Some symptoms of overdose include:
Compassion for loved ones struggling with substance abuse can help guide them towards much needed addiction treatment.

  • Feelings of panic
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Quickened breathing
  • Uncontrollable shakes
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat

For more info and articles about the symptoms of overdose, contact our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-943-0566. Our staff can help you understand the ways Adderall can affect your body, whether it is taken as recommended or recreationally.

Adderall Abuse question 3

Effects of Adderall Abuse

Adderall abuse facts indicate that Adderall abuse can lead to more serious side effects. Adderall problems like tolerances, dependency and addiction can occur when the drug is not taken as directed. Patients are more likely to overdose and to cause harm to their bodies when the drug is misused.

Adderall Abuse question 4

Adderall Abuse Treatment

Knowing the facts about Adderall can help prevent needing treatment by preventing addiction. However, if you or someone you know needs treatment for Adderall addiction, rehab centers can help. Rehabilitation centers will help by providing detoxification services and will aid in treating patients for psychological addictions as well as physical.

Adderall Abuse question 5

Adderall Statistics

According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, also called NSDUH, approximately 6.4 percent of fulltime college students between the ages of 18 and 22 used Adderall in a recreational way in the past year. On top of this, 89.5 percent of students who reported Adderall abuse also participated in binge drinking in the past month, and over half of those students were heavy abusers of alcohol.

In 2006 and 2007, the NSDUH reported that students going to school fulltime between the ages of 18 and 22 were two times as likely to have used Adderall recreationally, opposed to those in the same age who do not go to school full time.

So, just how interested are young people are in Adderall? To find out, the logical place to conduct research is where they go to find out what it is, where they can get it, how they shoul take it and what the likely side effects will be. That place is the search engine Google, in case you hadn’t guessed. The image featured above details search activity for the query “Adderall” over the course of the last five years. The data clear ly shows that this Amphetamine, (Dextroamphetamine Mixed Salts) has been receiving increasing interest year on- year since 2005.

After refining the search query to “Adderall studying,” the graph reveals even more: Nothing before 2009, followed by a steady increase every year after that until the present time. You’ll notice that the line doesn’t curve up smoothly as time goes on--it has jagged peaks and valleys. Here’s why.

Below is a graph that that breaks down search activity by month which allows us to see a lucid pattern. Interest in “Adderall studying” reaches its peak in May and December (during midterms and fall finals), then totally flat-lines in the summer when college students aren’t cramming for their exams.

Below is a graph that that breaks down search activity by month which allows us to see a lucid pattern. Interest in “Adderall studying” reaches its peak in May and December (during midterms and fall finals), then totally flat-lines in the summer when college students aren’t cramming for their exams. This finding has been corroborated by chemists from the University of Puget Sound in their testing of college campus waste water for traces of amphetamines and Ritalin metabolites at different points throughout the academic calendar. They found that during times of relatively low stress, only a few percent of students were taking an amphetamine (more likely those with legitimate prescriptions and usage). However, during exam periods, amphetamine use rose by a factor of eight, with an estimated 25% of students using Vyvanse or Adderall.

Read our full in-depth article on The Rise of the Study Drug here.

rise of the study drug

Students who were in college fulltime using Adderall for recreational purposes were also recognized as being three times as likely to have used marijuana, and they were eight times more likely to have used prescription tranquilizers recreationally as well.

Adderall Abuse question 6

Teen Adderall Abuse

Teen Adderall abuse is common because of stress and time management issues at college. If you help your child learn about the dangers of Adderall abuse and better ways to manage time, activities, homework and other school-related items, he or she will be less likely to need the drug to stave off sleep.

Resources, Articles and More InformationFor more information about Adderall and the potential damage it can cause for patients when it is abused, contact us at 1-800-943-0566.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.