Anyone can develop an Adderall addiction at any point in their life, though teens, college students, and young adults are the most affected. It has a high potential for addiction even though it is prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently.

Without proper management, this prescription drug use can become recreational and lead to Adderall addiction. Spotting the signs of Adderall addiction can help you or your loved ones seek substance use disorder treatment before the use becomes out of control.

Adderall can have negative effects on your physical and mental health. To learn more about how to spot the signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction, keep reading.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a brand-name prescription amphetamine usually prescribed to people with ADHD or narcolepsy. It is one of the most commonly used prescription stimulants and also happens to be one of the most abused drugs out there.

Not everyone who uses it will develop an addiction; the people who begin to take this stimulant medication unprescribed way are at a high risk of developing an addiction. Adderall increases dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system.

This impacts how the brain responds to events, like paying attention and keeping up with outside stimuli without being overwhelmed. It also creates a rewarding effect, usually connected to completing tasks or overcoming obstacles.

People that develop a drug addiction to Adderall often feel a mental fog when they are not using it (one of many potential Adderall withdrawal symptoms). Adderall is needed to stay alert and productive; without it, it can feel like you cannot function. It is labeled as a schedule II controlled substance because of the high risk it poses to substance abuse and addiction.

What Are the Effects of Adderall?

People that are prescribed Adderall usually use it to help them focus and stay on task. People with ADHD often struggle with performing tasks in an organized way, and Adderall can help with this.

Some of the effects that might be experienced right after Adderall use are:

  • A desire to work
  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling social
  • Talkative
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impatience or anxiety

Adderall Dependence vs. Adderall Addiction

You might develop an Adderall dependence without developing an Adderall addiction. If you are prescribed Adderall to help treat ADHD, your body will become dependent on the drug due to the interaction of chemicals in your body.

At this point, you will not have a psychological dependence on the drug; you just need it to treat your condition. Adderall addiction is when a person becomes physically or psychologically reliant on the drug.

You may find it difficult to cope without the drug and begin to think about using it all the time. Soon this drug has consumed your life, and you’re not sure when it even happened.

People who experience Adderall misuse are more likely to run out of their prescription faster than they should and will go to great lengths to get ahold of the drug. You will begin to see changes in a person who is addicted to Adderall, both physically and mentally.

What Are the Symptoms of Adderall Addiction?

Adderall often produces feelings of confidence and concentration, making this a drug used by many people. It can also be an appetite suppressant which can be dangerous for people who suffer from eating disorders.

It is abused for a multitude of reasons, including:

  • Studying
  • Staying awake
  • Weight loss
  • Athletic performance
  • Heightened experience

When you begin to misuse Adderall, symptoms may give it away that you might be struggling. Though many people who abuse Adderall can appear to be motivated individuals who are busy as can be.

Recognizing the signs and speaking up is the best way to get addiction treatment.


People who are suffering from Adderall addiction might display several physical symptoms. People who misuse Adderall experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Aggression
  • Exhaustion
  • Decline in hygiene
  • Impulse behaviors
  • Changes in personality
  • Sleeping for long periods
  • Convulsions
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of strength
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Twitching
  • Peeling Skin
  • Constipation
  • Urge to urinate

It might not be apparent right away that someone is misusing Adderall, so if you know a friend is prescribed it, don’t be afraid to check in if you think there could be drug abuse. Sometimes these side effects happen behind closed doors, and it can be difficult to see enough to know better.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are actively using Adderall, whether prescribed or not, you should contact a recovery treatment center like Soba Recovery Center as soon as possible.


Adderall has a direct impact on your mind and mental state. It can help you stay focused and give you more energy to socialize and find inspiration, but misuse leads to dangerous mental effects.

Some mental effects that Adderall addiction can have on someone are:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Over-working
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Mania
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia or psychosis
  • Hallucinations

While there can be many benefits to prescribed Adderall that is being used properly, the side effects of its misuse are not to be taken lightly.


When you begin to misuse Adderall, it might become apparent in social settings. Not just out in public but also in small settings with friends and family. Paying attention to the following symptoms might allow you to recognize Adderall addiction in someone you love.

Some social symptoms of Adderall addiction are:

  • Intense excitement
  • Social withdrawal
  • Being overly talkative
  • Secretive behavior
  • Struggling financially
  • Problems within relationships

Signs Someone Is Struggling With Adderall Addiction

When someone is struggling with Adderall addiction, there are signs that you can look out for to try to get them help. While side effects and symptoms play into and help identify the addiction, there are signs directly related to Adderall that can be pretty common.

Increasing Dosage

People sliding into Adderall addiction will begin to increase their dosage, regardless of a doctor’s instruction. They will begin to feel that they need more of the drug to feel its effects. By increasing the dosage, a person is only feeding into the addiction and making it harder for their body to cope and adjust.

Recognizing the Harm

People that are struggling with addiction to Adderall might be able to recognize that they are struggling but use it despite that knowledge. If a person can understand that they are causing harm to themselves but make no effort to make a change, they might not be fully in control of their actions.

Spending Time and Money

For someone struggling, they will find no problem in spending hours of their day trying to figure out how they will get their hands on Adderall. They won’t even think twice about paying for it or putting a lot of their money towards it because it is considered a necessity.

Neglecting Other Activities

Adderall addiction can really consume your life. You will begin to rearrange your schedule around getting Adderall and think about the next time you can use it.

You might choose to use Adderall over going out with your friends or spending money on groceries, pushing you further into unhealthy self-isolation.

You might begin to notice that you cannot finish work without taking Adderall, and not because it will just help you focus more. Without it in your body, you can begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms, making focusing and paying attention even more difficult.

Suffering Withdrawal Symptoms

People who are addicted to Adderall will likely suffer withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using or don’t use it for a few days. This makes quitting on your own very difficult.

Sometimes entering a detoxification program at a recovery center is the best way to come off it. Coming off of it in a controlled environment can be ideal for someone struggling with Adderall addiction.

People who stop using Adderall and suffer from withdrawal symptoms often experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • A slow heartbeat
  • Mental fog
  • Confusion

How To Get Help

Adderall addiction is nothing to joke about. Just because someone you know may have it prescribed doesn’t mean you should consider getting your hands on it. When used correctly, Adderall can do its intended job and help people struggling with ADHD. When misused, it can be a very difficult drug to come off of.

Seeking treatment with Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, is one way to fight Adderall addiction. We offer detox services that provide you with around-the-clock care, behavioral therapy, and assistance as you go through the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is not easy, but it is completely worth it.

You can enter inpatient or outpatient Adderall addiction treatment programs to continue working through your addiction. Becoming sober is only part of working through your addiction, and relapses happen.

Find what works best for you, and know that you aren’t alone. Reach out to a Soba representative to talk more about our services and how we can get you help today!


Adderall Abuse On The Rise Among Young Adults, Johns Hopkins Study Suggests | Johns Hopkins University

Adderall Addiction Signs and Symptoms | Hazelden Betty Ford

Adderall (CII) | FDA

Potential Adverse Effects of Amphetamine Treatment on Brain and Behavior: A Review | NCBI

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