One of the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is Adderall. Knowing how often it is prescribed it is no wonder that this drug is abused so often. Since it is an amphetamine it has a very high potential for abuse, but with the general ease of availability, it can become incredibly addictive.
It is also used in a large recreational capacity by users taking it as a focus aid or “study drug”, particularly in college-level situations involving finals. The enhanced attention, energy, and wakefulness are reported to help the users perform better in an academic setting. Some of those who end up abusing Adderall also begin using it as a diet drug, since one of the side-effects of its use is appetite suppression.
While it may only be available through a legitimate prescription, its addictive nature leads to a high rate of abuse, even in legitimate or authorized users. Many users begin taking it as a source of some extra energy, but they begin to rely on it too often, leading to a strong dependence. This dependence can also quickly turn into a potential overdose, especially among new users or users not familiar with dosages.
Many users take Adderall in its native pill form, but some users crush the pills up and snort them. This gives a much more immediate and strong effect since it allows Adderall to get through the blood-brain barrier much quicker than through the digestive system. This boost to the speed and strength of the drug’s effects is making snorting a much more popular way of abusing Adderall.
Snorting Adderall Side-Effects
The tablet form that Adderall comes in is often crushed into a rough powder by the users, and then insufflated, or snorted, for a much faster effect. The rapid onset of the “high” is often one of the main reasons that users begin taking it in this fashion.
Some of the forms of Adderall have a time-release formulation to allow a more steady long-lasting dose for some patients. These formulations, such as Adderall XR are crushed and snorted to completely bypass the extended release feature, sending the full strength of the drug into the user’s system. This can be incredibly dangerous for users that are not familiar with the drug’s effects, or may not be tolerant of such a dose.
In cases like this, snorting Adderall can lead to the brain being completely overwhelmed by the amount of Adderall that has been introduced into the body. This can lead to the liver not being able to break down or metabolize the drug fast enough to prevent damage to the body. Sudden overdoses like this can lead to elevated or racing heart rate, severe and sudden confusion, fever, psychosis, and seizures. Without immediate medical intervention in cases like this, the result can be a heart attack, stroke, and even death.
Additional problems can arise from snorting Adderall, which is not directly linked to the possibility of overdose or the sudden speed and onset of the drug’s effects. These can include trouble sleeping or other restlessness, nervousness, diminished appetite, sudden unexpected weight loss, irritability, aggression, and hostility.
Some users may find that when they snort Adderall, they experience symptoms such as dry mouth, headache, tremors, fatigue, dizziness, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, changes in sex drive as well as sexual function, and fever. Others abusing the substance reported symptoms like racing heart rate, hypertension, hyperventilation, blurred vision, itchiness and rash, numbness in the extremities, and panic. There are even some users who hallucinate, become delirious, paranoid, and even brain damage to the learning and memory centers.
In addition to all of this, Adderall boosts the levels of vital neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. These are several of your brain’s most potent “feel good” chemicals and help reinforce the behavior of addiction and abuse with a reward system. By abusing Adderall the user can begin to burn out the parts of the brain that both produce these chemicals as well as the receptors for them. This then makes taking the drug the only thing that can help correct the imbalance created by taking the drug, and it becomes a never-ending cycle of abuse and addiction.
Withdrawal Symptoms From Snorting Adderall
When someone who is addicted to snorting Adderall tries to break a dependency on it, there are a number of symptoms that may be encountered during the withdrawal and detox process. The drug’s dependency heightens the user’s mood, so cessation will likely cause significant irritability, general depression, and mood swings, and decreased libido.
Since Adderall is a member of the amphetamine family of drugs, when a user stops taking it or is weaned off, they may experience a high level of lethargy, fatigue, and general malaise. This can lead to them not enjoying various activities that they used to find significant pleasure in.
Other, more serious withdrawal symptoms include increased difficulties concentrating or focusing, trouble thinking clearly, increasingly frequent memory issues, muscle tremors, and anxiety. In many cases, the user will be able to project what symptoms they may experience during withdrawal. The symptoms that most users experience are often a direct opposite of the feelings they experience as the high.
Treatment Options for an Addiction to Snorting Adderall
If you or someone you love may be addicted to snorting Adderall, it can feel like there is no way out of the cycle and that it’s a hopeless fight. The most important thing for an addict to understand is that they are not alone and that there is help available if they want it.
There are some premier inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, helping the patient to recover in the way that is most healthy for them. By leveraging professional medical help, as well as potential medication and behavioral therapy, there has never been more hope for long-term recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Adderall, it is imperative that help be sought immediately before the side-effects are severe, or even fatal. Reach out today to a premier inpatient/intensive outpatient rehab center who can be the support and encouragement you need to break the dangerous cycle of addiction right now.