Alaska Sleep Education Center

Adderall's Uses, Side Effects and Treatment

Posted by Sara Anderson on Jun 11, 2021 1:36:00 AM

Misusing Adderall is Dangerous

Adderall is a combination medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works by regulating the amounts of certain substances in the brain. The components Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine belong to a class of drugs known as stimulants. They can help increase the ability to pay attention, remain focused on an activity, and better control behavior problems. These stimulants may also help you organize tasks and improve listening skills.

Other than treating ADHD, Adderall drug is also used to treat a sleeping disorder known as narcolepsy. It helps you stay alert and awake during the day. However, it should not be used to treat normal tiredness or to hold off sleep in someone with no sleep disorder.


Safe Use of Adderall for ADHD Treatment

Although Adderall is a prescription medication, many people often abuse it due to its stimulating nature. Misuse can lead to overdose, addiction, and significant adverse health effects such as cardiovascular disease, psychotic symptoms, and unhealthy weight loss. People who have become acutely addicted to the drug may require professional substance abuse treatment to recover.


How Long Does Adderall Last?

The effects of Adderall can last for varying amounts of time based on the version of the drug. The immediate-release Adderall version lasts around 4­–6 hours per dose, while the extended-release (Adderall XR) only needs to be administered once every morning.

Typically, Adderall is absorbed along the gastrointestinal tract and deactivated by the liver or excreted unchanged in the urine. Besides, about 20-25% of it is transformed into metabolites, which include hippuric and benzoic acids.

Other than the drug version, the rate at which Adderall is eliminated can be affected by the pH of the patient’s urine. A person with a low urine pH often eliminates the drug faster than a person with a higher pH.

Additional factors that can affect how long does Adderall lasts in the body include:

  • How often the person took Adderall
  • What dosage the person took
  • When the person last took the medication
  • The weight of the person
  • Kidney or liver impairment issues

Usually, employers, law enforcement, sports organizations, and medical and mental health professionals test for amphetamines. They do that through urine tests, hair tests, blood tests, and saliva tests to determine whether you have used Adderall or similar drugs before.

Overall, here is the duration Adderall can appear in your system through different tests:

  • Urine test: This is perhaps the most commonly used type of testing. You will most likely test positive for Adderall through a urine test 72-96 hours after last use.
  • Hair test: Though the hair test is less commonly used, it offers a greater window of precise detection time. Traces of amphetamines can still be detected for as long as 3 months from the last use.
  • Saliva test: Through a saliva test, Adderall can be detected for 20-50 hours after last use.
  • Blood test: Although traces of Adderall can be detected much sooner after last use, it only remains in the blood for about 46 hours.

Overall, Adderall is one of the most commonly prescribed ADHD treatment medications. Over the recent years, the number of people aged 12 and older who have used amphetamine products has increased substantially. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, those who used Adderall as well as Vyvanse, Dexedrine, and similar drugs increased from just over 12 million to about 12.7 million.


Effects of Adderall Abuse

While many people use Adderall with a doctor’s prescription after diagnosing ADHD or narcolepsy, this drug is commonly misused. From 2016 to 2017, the number of persons aged 12 and above who misused Adderall rose from 5.1 million to 5.2 million. Even today, Adderall and amphetamine abuse is rising steadily. More often, people who abuse Adderall take someone else’s medication or acquire it illegally. 

They may also use it in ways other than what was prescribed (by snorting, crushing, or injecting it) in a bid to intensify the high. Some high school and college students may use the medication to improve their concentration and performance in school. Some adults may also take it to enhance their memory or improve their performance at work.

It’s important to note that abusing the drug is dangerous and may lead to addiction, psychosis, anger, paranoia, and heart problems.


Signs Of Adderall Addictive

One of the commonest side effects of Adderall abuse is addiction. Adderall addiction can interfere with numerous areas of a person’s life, including their health, relationships, employment, or schoolwork. Some common signs of addiction include:

  • Taking Adderall in bigger sums or throughout a more extended timeframe than planned. 
  • Failure to scale back Adderall use. 
  • Not taking an interest in recently appreciated exercises for Adderall use. 
  • Utilizing Adderall in hazardous circumstances. 
  • Proceeding to utilize Adderall despite the fact that it is causing physical or mental issues.
  • Building resistance to Adderall, so the individual needs to take logically higher dosages of the medication to get a similar impact as in the past. 
  • Investing a lot of energy procuring Adderall, utilizing it, or recuperating from its belongings. 
  • Longing for Adderall. 
  • Trouble dealing with duties at work, school, or home because of Adderall use. 
  • Proceeding to utilize Adderall despite the fact that its utilization is causing social or relational issues.
  • Withdrawal manifestations when the individual chops down or stop use. 

Abuse and addiction likewise increase the danger of excessive use. Individuals who develop tolerance to the medication may consistently build their admission of Adderall, raising the probability of taking excessively and ingesting too much.

Common symptoms of an Adderall overdose include:

  • Panic.
  • Confusion.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Aggression.
  • Nausea.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • High fever.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • High or low blood pressure.
  • Rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown in muscle tissue that emits a damaging protein into the bloodstream, which can harm the kidneys).
  • Circulatory collapse.
  • Restlessness.
  • Convulsions.
  • Coma.
  • Tremors.
  • Overactive reflexes.

In the event of an overdose, you may require emergency medical services. In worst-case scenarios, Adderall overdose can result in death.


What Happens When You Stop Using Adderall?

Withdrawal symptoms may exhibit in people who have acutely misused the drug and developed chronic physiological dependence. Common stimulant withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Cravings.
  • Fatigue.
  • Agitation.
  • Insomnia or sleeping more than normal.
  • Depression.
  • Lack of pleasure.
  • Slowed movements.
  • Slowed heart rate.
  • Vivid dreams.
  • Increased appetite.

Withdrawal symptoms usually develop within a few hours to several days after a person has stopped using Adderall and can last up to 2-3 weeks. In people with severe stimulant dependence, having a supervised medical detox can help. The treatment could include close patient monitoring alongside medications to help ease withdrawal effects, decrease the likelihood of relapse, and manage any medical or mental health issues. Studies have suggested that relapse is common in amphetamine users and can occur within 4 weeks of quitting.


Getting Help for Misuse

Overall, Adderall can be helpful for individuals grappling with ADHD and narcolepsy. Unfortunately, many people misuse the drug and put themselves at risk of addiction and overdose. Substance abuse treatment programs can help someone break free from Adderall addiction and restore health and wellbeing. Behavioral therapies, like contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy, can help people stop over depending on stimulants and learn strategies to stay clean. 

While cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you how to manage your triggers and control thought patterns that may result in Adderall abuse, contingency management rewards you for behaviors geared towards sobriety. Some programs may provide detox and addiction treatments on-site, while others require the patient to undergo detox off-site. If you’ve been abusing Adderall or other stimulants, reach out for help today! 

 If you live in Alaska and believe that you may be suffering from a debilitating sleep disorder click the link below for a free 10-minute phone consultation with one of our sleep educators to help determine if a sleep study is right for you.

Chronic Drowsiness

Topics: sleep problems, medication, addiction

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