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What Are Some Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?

The symptoms of drug withdrawal, and the length of that withdrawal, vary depending on the drug of abuse and the length of the addiction. These are a few withdrawal symptoms and timelines for major targets of abuse:

  • Heroin and prescription painkillers: flu-like symptoms lasting 24-48 hours
  • Benzodiazepines: anxiety and/or seizures lasting weeks or (in some cases) months
  • Cocaine: depression and restlessness lasting 7-10 days
  • Alcohol: tremors and/or seizures lasting three days to several weeks

In 2011, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health(NSDUH) published that almost 25 million Americans over the age of 12, approaching 10 percent of this section of the population, had used an illicit drug in the month prior to the survey, classifying them as current drug users.

Addictive drugs and alcohol make changes to the way the brain processes emotions and regulates mood. Many of these changes create a flood of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which create an artificial feeling of pleasure, or a “high.”

Continued abuse of drugs or alcohol interferes with the motivation and reward chemistry and circuitry, resulting in drug cravings and dependence.

Once a dependence on a substance has formed, withdrawal symptoms will start when the substance is then removed. Different drugs and substances will have different withdrawal symptoms and timelines, depending on how they interact with the brain and bodily functions. Drugs are absorbed and remain active in the body for differing amounts of time. This is often referred to as the drug’s “half-life,”which relates to the different withdrawal timelines for each substance.

The severity and duration of withdrawal is influenced by the level of dependency on the substance and a few other factors, including:

  • Length of time abusing the substance
  • Type of substance abused
  • Method of abuse (e.g., snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing)
  • Amount taken each time
  • Family history and genetic makeup
  • Medical and mental health factors

For example, someone who has regularly injected large doses of heroin for several years, with a family history of addiction and underlying mental health problems, is likely to experience a longer withdrawal period with potentially more…

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Developing a drug addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that make sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems. With the right treatment and support, change is possible. Don’t give up—even if you’ve tried and failed before. The road to recovery often involves bumps, pitfalls, and setbacks. But by examining the problem and thinking about change, you’re already well on your way.

Overcoming drug addiction: Decide to make a change

For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to make a change, or if you have what it takes to quit. If you’re addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how you’re going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. It’s okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:

  • the way you deal with stress
  • who you allow in your life
  • what you do in your free time
  • how you think about yourself
  • the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take

It’s also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know it’s causing problems in your life. Recovery requires time, motivation, and support, but by making a commitment to change, you can overcome your addiction and regain control of your life.

Overcoming addiction step 1: Think about change

  • Keep track of your drug use, including when and how much you use. This will give you a better sense of the role the addiction is playing in your life.
  • List the pros and cons of quitting, as well as the costs and benefits of continuing your drug use.
  • Consider the things that are important to you, such as your partner, your kids, your pets, your career, or your health. How does your drug use affect those things?
  • Ask someone you trust about their feelings on your drug use.
  • Ask yourself if there’s anything preventing you from changing. What could help you make the change?

Preparing for change: 5 key steps to addiction recovery

  1. Remind yourself of the reasons you want to change.
  2. Think about your past attempts at recovery, if any. What worked? What didn’t?
  3. Set specific, measurable goals, such as a start date or limits on your drug use.
  4. Remove reminders of your addiction from your home, workplace, and other places you frequent.
  5. Tell friends and family that you’re committing to recovery, and ask for their support.


Explore your addiction treatment options

Once you’ve committed to recovery, it’s time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:

  • Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
  • Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
  • Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Types of drug treatment programs
Residential treatment – Residential treatment involves living at a facility and getting away from work, school, family, friends, and addiction triggers while undergoing intensive treatment. Residential treatment can last from a few days to several months.
Day treatment/Partial hospitalization – Partial hospitalization is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but wish to still live at home and have a stable living environment. These treatment programs usually meet at a treatment center for 7 to 8 hours during the day, then you return home at night.
Outpatient treatment – Not a live-in treatment program, these outpatient programs can be scheduled around work or school. You’re treated during the day or evening but don’t stay overnight. The major focus is relapse prevention.
Sober living communities – Living in a sober house normally follows an intensive treatment program such as residential treatment. You live with other recovering addicts in a safe, supportive, and drug-free environment. Sober living facilities are useful if you have nowhere to go or you’re worried that returning home too soon will lead to relapse.

As you consider the options, keep in mind:

No treatment works for everyone. Everyone’s needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. It’s important that you find a program that feels right.

Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on…

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Heroin is becoming ever increasingly dangerous and more addictive especially with the introduction of Fentanyl. If youre having trouble quitting this guide can help you and maybe even save your life!

Addictionblog writes

What Happens When You Stop

If you’ve been using heroin daily for a couple of weeks or more, your body begins to adapt. This is because heroin is a strong opiate that affects the brain as a depressant. To accommodate these effects, the brain begins to send chemical signs for certain functions to “speed up.” Over time, you begin to function normally only with the drug. In other words, you can become physically dependent on heroin quickly and adapt to its central nervous system depressant effects.

What happens when you stop taking heroin is that you go through a period of withdrawal. During withdrawal, you’ll experience a variety of predictable symptoms, some of which are very difficult. During this time, the body is seeking homeostasis after a period of “speeding up” certain functions and system. It takes time to get back to its original, “non-heroin” induced state.

How long does it take to detox from heroin? It takes time to resolve these symptoms. Acute symptoms peak around 72 hours after your dose but can persist for 7-10 days after you stop taking heroin. Protracted withdrawal symptoms related to mood and sleep disorders can persist for weeks or months later.

Can I Just Stop?

Unfortunately, quitting heroin all of a sudden does not always positively help long term recovery and abstinence. It is not a question of self control or willpower. Drastic dose reduction is very difficult when the body has developed dependence on heroin over time. In these cases, the body manifests specific [uncomfortable] symptoms if it doesn’t receive its dose.

The intensity of withdrawal symptoms varies by individual but extreme discomfort is common. And to avoid withdrawal, some people relapse into heroin use, especially outside of medical settings.This is why the best way to stop taking heroin is WITH MEDICAL SUPERVISION. You may be prescribed medications during heroin detox, or asked to gradually decrease dosage in or to taper the withdrawal. Make sure you consult a medical professional any time you want to stop taking heroin in order to increase your chances of a successful withdrawal.


Stopping heroin comes with side effects. If you are ready to undertake this step, you can anticipate the following side effects to occur:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Aches & body pains
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Decreased appetite
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Sleep disorders
  • Shivers
  • Sweating
  • Watery eyes

You can expect these symptoms to manifest a few hours after your last dose, and peak around 42-72 hours later. The intensity and duration of these symptoms will depend on your dosing history and the type of user you used to be. The heavier the use, the longer and more intense the symptoms. If you like to learn more about the timetable of these symptoms, check out our visual presentation of heroin withdrawal over time.

Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

Protracted withdrawal, as defined by medical professionals, is the presence of specific signs and symptoms common to acute withdrawal that persist beyond the generally expected acute withdrawal timeframe. Their appearance is not psycho-somatic. Chronic substance use causes molecular, cellular, and neurocircuitry changes to the brain that affect emotions
and behavior and that persist through the weeks and months after you quit heroin.

In fact, many people experience these signs and symptoms after acute withdrawal from heroin. The most common symptoms of protracted withdrawal during heroin detox include:

  • Anhedonia
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Impaired impulse control
  • Impaired problem solving
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Sleep difficulties

It is common for many people to experience difficulty feeling pleasure, or anhedonia, for months after they quit heroin. Heroin PAWS get better over time.

These symptoms take time to resolve, and are a true phenomenon! SAMHSA has produced a newsletter about protracted withdrawal with more details about symptoms and suggestions for how to address them. Just know that if you’re feeling bad – even after 6 months or longer – things will get better!

It takes time to reverse extreme brain changes after taking heroin. And know that it’s not just you. You are not crazy! Adaptive changes in the central nervous system may lead to affective changes that persist for many weeks or longer beyond acute withdrawal.

Cold Turkey

Due to its highly addictive properties, suddenly stopping heroin can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and provoke relapse. Instead, plan withdrawal with a detox clinic or your doctor. Talk to a medical professional, or check in at an addiction treatment facility and let the process be supervised. It does not mean that you are weak. In fact, medical supervision will significantly increase the chances of successful recovery. Not only can withdrawal symptoms be made less uncomfortable, you will receive the emotional, social support that you need.

While it is possible to go cold turkey off heroin and reduce the detox time, it is unnecessary and not what doctors recommend. Quitting heroin suddenly can cause serious withdrawal symptoms and it’s highly likely that you relapse if using this method. There are various other ways to stop taking heroin aimed at minimizing the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Medical Detox

The safest way to stop taking heroin is under medical supervision. The following professionals can help treat you directly or refer you to assessments and services in your area:

  1. An addiction specialist (MD)
  2. A clinical social worker
  3. A licensed clinical psychologist
  4. A medical doctor
  5. A psychiatrist

To begin, anyone coming off heroin requires a set of physical and…

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SAMHSA writes

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is the intentional or unintentional use of medication without a prescription, in a way other than prescribed, or for the experience or feeling it causes. Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) (PDF | 3.4 MB) indicate that about 15 million people aged 12 or older used prescription drugs non-medically in the past year, and 6.5 million did so in the past month. This issue is a growing national problem in the United States. Prescription drugs are misused and abused more often than any other drug, except marijuana and alcohol. This growth is fueled by misperceptions about prescription drug safety, and increasing availability. A 2011 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that opioid analgesic (pain reliever) sales increased nearly four-fold between 1999 and 2010; this was paralleled by an almost four-fold increase in opioid (narcotic pain medication) overdose deaths and substance abuse treatment admissions almost six times the rate during the same time period.

Prescription drug abuse-related emergency department visits and treatment admissions have risen significantly in recent years. Other negative outcomes that may result from prescription drug misuse and abuse include overdose and death, falls and fractures in older adults, and, for some, initiating injection drug use with resulting risk for infections such as hepatitis C and HIV. According to results from the 2014 NSDUH report, 12.7% of new illicit drug users began with prescription pain relievers.

2008 report by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (PDF | 2.3 MB)(link is external) estimates that the abuse of opioid analgesics results in more than $72 billion in medical costs alone each year. This is comparable to costs related to other chronic diseases such as asthma(link is external) and HIV.

The problem of prescription drug abuse and overdose is complex, involving insufficient oversight to curb inappropriate prescribing, insurance and pharmacy benefit policies, and a belief by many people that prescription drugs are not dangerous. The 2014 National Drug Control Strategy (PDF | 1.5 MB) serves as the blueprint for reducing drug use and its consequences in the United States. The new strategy reviews the progress made over the past four years and looks ahead to continuing efforts to reform, rebalance, and renew the national drug control policy to address the public health and safety challenges of the 21st century.

Learn more about:


Health Day writes-

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Using illegal amphetamine drugs such as “speed” and “ice” may lead to premature aging of the arteries and heart, researchers warn.

They said their new study adds to evidence about the need to tackle the “global stimulant epidemic.”

The investigators were led by Stuart Reece, a clinical associate professor at the University of Western Australia. They assessed arterial stiffening in more than 700 Australians in their 30s and 40s. Arteries tend to harden with age.

Those participants who used illegal amphetamines showed greater aging of the arteries than others, including those who smoked tobacco or used the heroin substitute methadone, the study reported.

The link between illegal amphetamine use and greater aging of the arteries was seen in men and women. It was also independent of other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, Reece and his colleagues said.

It’s not clear if this damage is reversible, the researchers noted.

The study was published Feb. 9 in the online journal Heart Asia.

Amphetamines are stimulants that can cause heart effects such as elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke and aneurysm rupture, the researchers said.

The study didn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship or provide information on dosage.

Still, the findings suggest that “recurrent habitual amphetamine abuse ages the cardiovasculature, and likely the whole organism generally,” the researchers said in a journal news release.

“It is therefore conceivable that stimulant abusers do physiological and cardiovascular harm,” they added


Narcanon writes

Heroin use and suburban teens are two terms that don’t feel like they belong in the same sentence. When many think of suburban teens they think of soccer, video games, driving tests and even the problem. They don’t think of a full blown heroin addiction that is in need of treatment.

Unfortunately, the heroin abuse problem with suburban teens is astounding. But what many don’t know is that the problem didn’t begin with heroin. There is a major epidemic going on with teenagers across the country and it is starting with something that is promoted as “safer” and given to teens by people they trust; doctors. The problem is starting with prescription drugs. And after teens use these substances and become addicted they gateway into the use of heroin.

The Statistics Don’t Lie

The problem of suburban heroin use with teen’s starts with something as simple as a legal prescription; a thing that is being given to more and more young people every year. One of the last known statistics indicates that over 11 million kids were being put on anti-depressants alone since 2003. Additional information indicates that the total number of legal prescriptions given out per year in every age group has gone up about 39% since then. These are prescriptions for all types of drugs including opioid painkillers, depressant drugs and prescription stimulants.

Above and beyond the prescription problem is the marijuana epidemic. High school kids state that marijuana is the easiest drug to come by. In more than 17 states this may be because the drug has been legalized for medical purposes. This in addition to the illegal trafficking of marijuana and the substance can be picked up by most high school kids.

Other drugs that suburban teens can score included synthetic drugs, and illicit substances like heroin, ecstasy, and even cocaine.

In total, 17% of high school kids use drugs during the school day. And, 86% of high school kids were fully aware of other kids abusing drugs during the school day.

Years ago not too many problems where plaguing suburban teens. However, today, high school students that live in suburbs are some of the most at risk groups for heroin abuse in the United States.

How This Leads To Heroin

The statistics above indicate a major problem but how does this lead to heroin addiction. The truth is that the drugs listed above are mostly gateway substances with the exception of cocaine [although cocaine is its own gateway into crack].

A teenager will start out abusing alcohol, smoking marijuana or taking a stolen or borrowed prescription. The drug will provide the “high” that they are looking for. As the addiction continues the young person will start to try stronger and harder drugs. In the case of prescriptions they will build up a prescription drug tolerance where they have to take more and more of the prescription to get the same effect. Eventually, in the case of prescriptions, the teen cannot get a high off of them and turns to heroin as a cheaper and stronger alternative. In a nutshell this is how suburban teens are getting hooked on heroin.

As a side note, another trend or “piece of the puzzle” is Social Media. According to recent statistics 75% of students who see their friends engaging in drug or alcohol use [partying] state that they are more likely to do the same. Another additional piece of information is that those who are left alone at night without parental supervision also are more likely to engage in drug or alcohol usage.

The Narconon program has many effective alternatives for those addicted to drugs and alcohol including Narconon sauna that helps addicts to remove residues from the body left by drugs and reduce physical cravings.


Drug writes

Xanax is the trade name of the prescription medication alprazolam, and is in a category of drugs known asbenzodiazepines. Typically, doctors prescribe Xanax to treat patients suffering from anxiety and panic disorders.

The medication works by interacting with a receptor in the brain that in turn increases inhibitory brain activity, thus tempering any problematic excitement related to anxiety.

As a fast-acting drug, the majority of the benefits are established within an hour after use, with the total duration of effect being at least 6 hours. Xanax is commonly abused by those seeking it for its sedative effects.

Xanax is especially addictive when misused (taken recreationally or other than as directed). Anyone can become addicted to Xanax. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Xanax use can result in tolerance, addiction, and dependence if taken in large quantities or used for a prolonged period.

Even people who take the medication exactly as prescribed can become addicted to it without realizing it.

Signs and Symptoms

Other Names for Xanax

  • Alprazolam – The chemical name for the drug.
  • Niravam – A variation of alprazolam that dissolves on the tongue rather than needing to be swallowed with water.

Street names include:

  • Xannies/Zannies.
  • Handlebars/Bars.
  • Blue footballs.
  • Benzos.

Symptoms and signs of Xanax abuse can be both physical and mental.

Physical Signs and Symptoms

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Feelings of elation.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Sleeping for extended periods of time.
  • Light-headedness.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Problems with memory.
  • Sluggishness.
  • Nausea.
  • Headache.

Mental and Social Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse typically can infiltrate nearly all aspects of a person’s life. It is common for people with Xanax problems to have strained relationships with close friends and family, as well as marital problems.

Professional issues are also common, as those struggling with a Xanax dependence will often miss work due to them not feeling well, especially if they are unable to take Xanax and experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Other common signs of a Xanax addiction include financial problems. Finances can suffer due to spending increased amounts of money on the substance, or dedicating time to obtaining more drug that would otherwise be spent more productively.

Additionally, someone that is overusing Xanax will appear excessively tired and lethargic while lacking the motivation to engage in normal activities of daily life. They will show signs of lower interest in tasks that require sustained attention.

Benzodiazepine drugs can have an amnestic effect, making it quite easy for individuals abusing them to forget the fine details of important conversations or tasks that need to be performed.

You might find yourself thinking about how you are going to get more Xanax when you have finished what you have. You could develop cognitive problems that make it difficult for you to articulate your words.

Addicts also tend to build up a tolerance to Xanax. This means that more of the substance is required to achieve a similar effect to when it was first used. In addition, those people dependent on the drug will experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not taking the medication. An addict’s life begins to revolve around drug use, and it is common for users to start taking other drugs when they do not have access to Xanax.

Effects of Xanax Abuse

Woman agitated

Using Xanax, especially for a prolonged period, can have numerous negative effects on your body. The medication is a central nervous system depressant, which means that it slows down aspects of your mental and physical health. The most common effects of Xanax use include:

  • Lack of coordination.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Confusion.
  • Disorientation.

Xanax is known to slow down respiratory rates of people that abuse the substance. Alone, this can be dangerous as your breathing slows, but the situation becomes more troubling when the substance is mixed with alcohol. Since they are both depressants, their combined effect could lead to serious injury, coma, or death.

Some people develop memory impairment, which typically only affects the short-term memory.


Addiction Hope writes

What is Zoloft?

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) known as Zoloft, (chemically known as sertraline) is an antidepressant mainly used for treating major depressive disorder in adults as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. It is one of the most prescribed antidepressants available and is easily obtained, and this in turn makes it easy to abuse. Zoloft is deemed to be physically non-addictive, but a psychological addiction can be developed through continued abuse. Zoloft addiction can result when a user begins abusing the drug by crushing the pills and inhaling them or by swallowing several pills at once. Often, those with a Zoloft addiction will take larger doses in order to try to get high. There are some serious negative effects that can arise as a result of abusing Zoloft. Violent thoughts, aggressive behaviors and suicidal tendencies have been associated with a Zoloft addiction. Zoloft is also marketed under the name Lustral.


Addiction or abuse studies are not performed for the drug sertraline also known as Zoloft. Therefore, formal statistics for Zoloft addiction are not available.

Causes of Zoloft Addiction

As with other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), Zoloft is found to be non-addictive, but an addiction to Zoloft can be created. Zoloft is broken down in the liver and needs to be monitored by a physician. A person’s disposition is elevated by sertraline interacting with the SSRIs. Often, someone abusing Zoloft is trying to enhance their state of mind through a mood elevation. A Zoloft dependency can develop by abusing the drug.

Signs of Zoloft Use, Addiction and Dependence

There are several warning signs displayed by someone who has a Zoloft addiction. Whereas developing a physical addiction is uncommon, a psychological Zoloft addiction can arise. This may happen because the abuser has become addicted to abusing the drug and is trying to get some sort of increased energy, numbness, or mood enhanced reaction. Some of the abuse signals are:

  • Decreased libido
  • Nausea
  • Aggression
  • Violent thoughts and actions
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness
  • Irritability

Zoloft Effects

There are some negative side effects that are presented as a result of a Zoloft addiction. Even though sertraline is supposed to be physically non-addictive, there are some unwanted physical reactions that occur as a result of abruptly stopping the use of Zoloft. There are also negative psychological side effects and social results that are related to abusing Zoloft. A few physical features include:

  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Agitation
  • Numbness
  • Jitters
  • Akathisia (a painful inner agitation; inability to sit still)

A few of the negative psychological results include:

  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Confusion and incoherent thoughts
  • Psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Hostility

Some social fallout consists of:

  • Loss of relationships with loved ones
  • Family torn apart
  • Diminished involvement in personal activities
  • Loss of profession
  • Financial loss
  • Reclusive behaviors

Zoloft Withdrawal

There are multiple undesired side effects that are caused by a Zoloft addiction. There are still some physical reactions that occur even though Zoloft is regarded as physically non-addictive. There are also unwanted symptoms of a psychological withdrawal that are felt when someone with a Zoloft addiction stops using. Some of the withdrawal indications felt are nausea, headaches, psychosis, insomnia, moodiness, irritability, confused thinking, depression and muscle aches.

Zoloft Addiction Treatment

Zoloft addiction is not highly studied, and there is modest information available. However, an addiction to sertraline is possible like it is with all drugs. The best solution for treating a Zoloft addiction is to maintain calm and stress free environment.. Anyone dependent on Zoloft needs to seek help. They need to admit there is a problem and seek assistance. The best and most important step to recovery is confessing there is a problem. The next essential step is requesting help. There is help available for all addictions. Asking for help is all that is needed to start the healing process


American Addiction Centers writes

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Aggression
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Heart disease
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Constipation

Close to 50 million prescription stimulant drugs like Adderall were dispensed in 2011 to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

This represents an almost 40 percent rise in these prescriptions since 2007, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) publishes.ADHD is one of the most common childhood neurobiological disorders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that as of July 2015, almost 10 percent, or close to 6 million, American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lifetimes.

adderall abuse

Adderall is the brand name of the drug amphetamine-dextroamphetamine that is intended to increase focus and attention spans in those suffering from ADHD. It is also prescribed to treat daytime sleepiness or narcolepsy at times.

adderall abuse rates college
As prescriptions for Adderall rise, so may its potential for diversion and nonmedical use, which increases its health risks too. Adderall is abused as a “smart drug” across college campuses. It is used to combat the pressures of higher education in an attempt to stay awake and focus for longer periods of time, thereby enabling students to potentially get more done.
A study at the University of Kentucky found that 30 percent of its students had abused an ADHD stimulant drug like Adderall at some point as a possible “study enhancer,” CNN reports.

Adderall also suppresses the appetite and may also be abused as a weight loss drug. Other times it may be used in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol recreationally, or to get “high.” Mixing Adderall with other substances can be very dangerous and may more easily result in a life-threatening overdose or negative interaction between the substances.


Amphetamines writes

1. Increased Dosages

Adderall works as a central nervous system stimulant that speeds up most every major bodily process. By stimulating individual cell receptor sites in the brain, Adderall causes excess amounts of vital neurotransmitter chemicals to be released in the brain.

adderall addiction help

Filling prescriptions early is a sign of Adderall abuse.

According to the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, this overstimulation of receptor sites causes brain cells to grow weaker with each successive dose. In the process, they become desensitized to Adderall’s effects. When this happens, larger doses are needed to produce the same desired effects. This Adderall addiction sign will persist for as long as a person keeps using.

2. Withdrawal Symptoms

While many people tend to associate withdrawal symptoms with detox, long-term Adderall users will experience withdrawal symptoms on a regular basis. Ongoing Adderall use causes widespread chemical imbalances to develop in the brain.

As brain chemical imbalances worsen, the brain becomes unable to properly regulate bodily processes. Withdrawal symptoms develop as different bodily processes start to breakdown.

Withdrawal symptoms commonly take the form of:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of energy
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Angry outbursts
  • Constipation

Withdrawal-type Adderall addiction signs mark the first stage in the addiction process.

3. Aggressive/Psychotic Behaviors

Healthy psychological functioning relies on the brain’s ability to maintain a delicate balance of neurotransmitter chemicals. According to the U. S. Food & Drug Administration, once imbalances start to form, Adderall’s effects leave users unable to control their impulses, emotions and reasoning abilities. In turn, a person starts to exhibit the following Adderall addiction signs:

  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Violent outbursts
  • Paranoid
  • Delusions of grandeur
  • Risk-taking behaviors

4. Exhaustion

Long-term Adderall use essentially “burns out” brain cell receptor functions, an effect that mirrors how other bodily processes are affected. Over time, Adderall addiction signs of exhaustion and fatigue result from the body’s inability to properly metabolize food nutrients. As a result, a person’s energy levels remain abnormally low.

5. Lifestyle Signs

As the brain and body become more dependent on Adderall’s effects, a person’s motivations and priorities start to center on getting and using more drugs. Adderall addiction signs affecting a person’s lifestyle most often take the form of:

  • Missed days at work
  • Relationship problems
  • Failing health
  • Decline in appearance and grooming
  • Legal problems
  • Financial problems