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Is Adderall Addictive?


Are you popping Adderall pills to get through a hard day of work or to study for an upcoming exam? Is it getting harder to stop taking Adderall?  

It may feel like your Adderall prescription is harmless, especially if it’s been prescribed to you by a doctor for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy, but an Adderall addiction has some intense side effects that can seriously derail your life. 

Understanding Adderall

So, is Adderall addictive? It can be—especially because of how it stimulates your brain. When you take an Adderall pill, it increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. Dopamine is also known as the “feel-good” chemical—it’s a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy and motivated. Norepinephrine is also a neurotransmitter, and it helps your body respond to stress, concentrate on a task, and be energized throughout the day. 

So, when you take Adderall, your brain releases these two transmitters that make you feel happy, calm, and ready to take on any challenge that life throws at you. At first, Adderall may seem like a miracle pill that helps focus for a stressful test or presentation, but it can be an intense drug to which you can easily develop an addiction. 

Risk Factors for Adderall Addiction

Since a lot of people are prescribed Adderall by a doctor, it can be hard to figure out if you or a loved one are suffering from an Adderall addiction. Though an Adderall addiction can look different to everyone, it’s important to know the common risk factors for developing a dependence on it:

Dosage and Frequency of Use

Are you using your Adderall more often than a doctor told you to? Are you doubling up on pills to get you through the day? The more you take Adderall, the more addictive it can get. If you need high dosages or more pills to get through a stressful day, then you may have a dependence on it. 

Non-Medical Use: 

Did you start taking Adderall with friends or at a social setting like a party? How about using it before a stressful test or to get you through work? If you were never prescribed Adderall by a doctor but use it to self-medicate or as a recreational drug, then you are at risk of developing an addiction to it. 

Personal and Family History

Certain genetic factors can influence your ability to get addicted to Adderall. It’s important to look at your family history and how you were raised. If you have a history of substance abuse or if it runs in your family, then it could increase your chances of developing a dependency on it. 

Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

People who suffer from other mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder may use Adderall to self-soothe in times of distress. If you find yourself using Adderall to self-medicate, please know that you are not alone. These mental issues are very common, and it’s important to get help if you are suffering. 

Polydrug Use

Using Adderall with other substances like alcohol can enhance its addictive effects and make it much harder to quit.

Adderall Addiction

Signs of Adderall Addiction

It’s important to recognize the signs of an Adderall addiction and get the help that you or your loved one needs. Some common signs of Adderall addiction can include:                    

Taking More Than Prescribed

If you find yourself doubling up your medication or if you are taking pills more often to get through the day, then it could be a sign that you are suffering from an Adderall addiction.

Obsessive thinking about Adderall

Are you finding it hard to concentrate on your life without thinking about the next time you are going to take Adderall? If you obsess about getting your hands on Adderall so much that it keeps you from doing normal tasks and living your life, then it could indicate an Adderall dependence. 

Withdrawal Symptoms

If it’s getting increasingly harder for you to stop taking Adderall or if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it, then you could be addicted to it. Withdrawal symptoms can feel like fatigue or exhaustion, depression, having little interest in things that used to bring you happiness, or suffering from insomnia and having trouble falling or staying asleep. 

Neglecting Responsibilities or Engaging in Risky Behaviors 

If you are blowing off your responsibilities, like not showing up to work or ignoring your friends and family, or if you find yourself engaging in illegal or risky behaviors to obtain Adderall, then you might be suffering from an Adderall dependence. 

If you or a loved one are doing anything unsafe that can put you in harm’s way to get more Adderall, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. 

Seeking Help For Adderall Treatment in Southern California

If you or a loved one are suffering from Adderall dependence, please know that you are not alone, and it’s possible to get your life back on track. SCRC offers top-tier prescription pill treatment in Southern California that is dedicated to serving clients and helping them live a life free from addiction. 

Personalized Treatment Plans

Our prescription pill treatment in Southern California is tailored to suit the needs of each individual client. Addiction can look different in everyone, and SCRC believes that rehab should not offer a one-size-fits-all approach but should be personalized to fit each individual who comes through our doors. 

If you think that you or someone close to you is suffering from an Adderall dependence, then help is just a click or phone call away. Our dedicated admissions team can answer any questions and help you determine which path is right for you. Starting your recovery journey can be scary, but you don’t have to face it on your own. Reach out today and see how much can change with a simple phone call.


Epiphany Wellness (2024) Adderall Addiction: Effects, Risks, Symptoms and Treatment Resources 

Help.Org (2019) Adderall Addiction and Abuse  

National Library of Medicine (2011) Nonmedical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students: Why We Need To Do Something and What We Need To Do

Southern California Recovery Centers

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