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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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Can you help me understand addiction/dependency to adderall?

Resolved Question:

Can you help me understand addiction/dependency to adderall?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
Hello, and thanks for visiting JA.

Adderall is a dextroamphetamine stimulant and like all amphetamines, it can be extremely addictive. The addict or abuser (and it’s a very commonly abused drug) really enjoys and rapidly becomes used to the ‘buzz’ or ‘high’ that it produces, and therefore wants to repeat the experience more and more often, thus entering into a cycle of increasing use and dependency. Quite apart from the mental stimulus amphetamines also increase blood pressure and heart rate while constricting blood vessels. High doses can result in excessive and dangerous body temperature, seizures and heart failure.

Like almost all addictions, the substance acts on the ‘pleasure pathways’ of the brain, and initially, produces a ’rewarding’ experience. We humans carry out behaviors which bring us rewards or pleasure, and tend to repeat that behaviour as often as we can, even if we understand it can be harmful.

Adderall is very like nicotine in its addictive properties, in that it’s effect is very short lived, and becomes increasingly better tolerated by the body. As a result doses need to become more and more frequent. Repeated use puts the user into a situation in which simply stopping using the drug produces some extremely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, including depression, tiredness, sleep disturbance, aggression, anger or paranoia.

As a result users are more and more reluctant to discontinue its use for fear of developing withdrawal symptoms.

Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Than you for your response. This is helping me. Is there a difference between Adderall and amphetamine salts in terms of the addictive quality? How long does it take for an addiction to develop?

My wife was prescribed Adderall six months ago and has expressed that she cannot study or function at work without a certain dosage. She claims that she can tell the difference (once taken) between the amphetamine salts and the Adderall and will go to what appears to be great ends to make sure she has the correct high dosage of Adderall. When she is given the salts, she calls the Dr. and asks for a new prescription because the pharmacy/manufacturer messed up the order.

Does this sound like an addiction?