August 31, 2023

Signs of Adderall Addiction & Abuse

image of woman representing signs of adderall addiction

It’s important to know the signs of Adderall addiction so that you can help yourself or a loved one get help if needed.

Adderall is a prescription stimulant with addictive properties and effects similar to methamphetamine. Due to its potency and ready availability, the risk of Adderall abuse and addiction is considerable.

While not everyone who uses Adderall will become addicted, those who take it regularly at unprescribed doses are at a higher risk of developing addiction. Over time, individuals who habitually use Adderall build up a tolerance to the drug and may find it challenging to function normally without it if physical dependence develops.

Adderall functions by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the CNS (central nervous system). Norepinephrine influences how the brain responds to stimuli and attention, while dopamine is known as the brain’s feel-good chemical, creating a rewarding sensation. While dopamine occurs naturally, drugs like Adderall lead to abnormally elevated levels of it, potentially causing people to seek more of the medication to recreate these effects.

The brain of someone addicted to Adderall becomes reliant on the drug to maintain alertness and productivity. Withdrawal symptoms like fatigue and mental fog upon discontinuation indicate a strong addiction. Prominent signs of Adderall abuse include the need for larger doses to achieve the desired effects, an inability to cut down usage despite intentions, and continued use despite knowledge of the negative consequences associated with it.

Man looks out window to represent adderall addiction signs

Symptoms of Adderall Addiction

The signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction can be physical, psychological, and behavioral.

Developing an awareness of the signs of Adderall addiction can help inform intervention and appropriate evidence-based treatment.

Physical Symptoms

These are the most common physical Adderall addiction signs:

  • Rapid speech: Individuals addicted to Adderall might talk quickly and excessively, often appearing unable to control the flow of conversation.
  • Aggressiveness: Adderall abuse symptoms frequently include increased irritability, hostility, and aggressive behavior.
  • Decline in personal hygiene: Neglect of personal hygiene and grooming habits can be indicative of addiction to prescription stimulants.
  • Anxiety: The symptoms Adderall abuse may involve heightened anxiety levels, leading to restlessness and nervousness.
  • Chest pain: Some people may experience chest discomfort or pain due to the stimulant effects of Adderall.
  • Dizziness: Adderall abuse can cause dizziness and lightheadedness as a side effect.
  • Fatigue: Paradoxically, prolonged Adderall abuse can result in extreme fatigue and lethargy during withdrawal.
  • Headaches: Frequent headaches might occur as a withdrawal symptom or as an effect of Adderall misuse.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is a common side effect of Adderall addiction.
  • Paranoia: Addicted to Adderall symptoms may include paranoia, causing individuals to become excessively suspicious or mistrustful.
  • Weight loss: Rapid weight loss can be a noticeable physical symptom of Adderall addiction.

Psychological Symptoms

The most common psychological Adderall addiction symptoms include:

  • Mood swings: Individuals struggling with Adderall addiction may experience abrupt and intense mood changes.
  • Depression: Adderall misuse can lead to depressive episodes, often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness.
  • Increased euphoria: Prolonged use of Adderall can result in an elevated sense of happiness or euphoria.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Paradoxically, excessive Adderall use can impair concentration and focus.
  • Paranoia: Unfounded suspicions and irrational fears are psychological symptoms associated with Adderall addiction.
  • Anxiety: Adderall misuse may heighten feelings of anxiety and restlessness.

Behavioral Symptoms

Behavioral addiction to Adderall symptoms may include:

  • Increased agitation: Adderall addiction might cause some people to become easily agitated and irritable.
  • Social isolation: Individuals addicted to Adderall may withdraw from social activities and isolate themselves.
  • Neglected responsibilities: Neglecting work, school, or family obligations are common Adderall abuse signs.
  • Risk-taking behavior: Adderall misuse might lead to engaging in risky behaviors without considering the consequences.
  • Doctor shopping: Adderall addicts may attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors.
  • Financial issues: Adderall addiction can result in financial difficulties due to overspending on the drug.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Adderall addiction, engaging with professional help is strongly recommended. Shortcut your search for immersive inpatient rehab by choosing Gratitude Lodge in Southern California.


How to tell if someone is on Adderall?

Look for increased alertness, focus, and energy, along with potential side effects like dilated pupils, decreased appetite, and increased heart rate.

How to tell if someone is high on Adderall?

Signs may include excessive energy, talkativeness, restlessness, dilated pupils, elevated heart rate, and potentially erratic behavior.

How to tell if someone is abusing Adderall?

Watch for behaviors like taking higher doses than prescribed, frequent cravings for the drug, neglecting responsibilities, withdrawal symptoms when not taking it, and engaging in risky activities to obtain the medication.

an image of Gratitude Lodge's adderall abuse treatment program

Get Treatment for Adderall Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

At Gratitude Lodge, situated in Southern California, our mission is to provide comprehensive treatment programs for individuals battling addictions and mental health conditions. We offer specialized rehab centers that are pet-friendly and dedicated to promoting whole-body recovery. Our two rehab centers are conveniently located in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA.

Our supervised medical detoxification program ensures a safe and smooth transition from addiction to ongoing recovery. After the removal of addictive substances from your system, you can move directly into our 30-day inpatient program.

All our treatment programs draw from a range of evidence-based interventions to cater to individual needs. These may include:

Feel free to contact our admissions team by calling 888-861-1658 to take the first step towards a healthier, addiction-free life.

Want to learn more?

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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