Hyperactivity and impulse control are two challenges presented to children and young adults who need to remain focused in school—the solution: Adderall. Adderall is a prescription used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy by stimulating the brain and nerves. However, many young adults misuse Adderall, even buying the medication from others without a prescription—leading some young adults to become addicted. Adderall addiction treatment programs help teens find the focus necessary to navigate their lives without prescription drugs.
As the parent or guardian of a teen using Adderall without a prescription, you might have many questions for professionals: Is Adderall a narcotic? What are the red flags for Adderall use? Our professionals at Destinations for Teens can give you the answers you need to support your teen.
Why Do Teens Misuse Adderall?
Doctors often prescribe Adderall to help young adults with ADHD concentrate and remain focused on their school work. However, Adderall abuse is also prevalent amongst teens. While some take Adderall to improve their academic or athletic performance, others use the drug for recreational purposes. It’s a common misbelief that Adderall is not as harmful as other prescription drugs purchased illegally. Misusing Adderall carries serious consequences such as addiction and even experiencing an overdose. A 2019 report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows stimulants such as Adderall resulted in more than 900 overdose deaths in the United States.
Is Adderall a Narcotic?
Not quite. A narcotic is a type of medication a doctor prescribes to relieve pain. Adderall is considered an amphetamine but has the same high addiction potential as traditional narcotics.
What Are the Signs That a Teen Is Abusing Adderall?
When teens use Adderall without a prescription, they will often crumble the pill and snort it. Here are some red flags to pay attention to if you believe that your teen is misusing Adderall:
- Mood swings, including angry outbursts and anxiety
- Less motivation and energy
- Consistent absenteeism from school or work
- Academic problems
- Less interest in appearance and hygiene
- Secretive behavior
- A new social circle that is very different than previous friends
- Stealing money
- Frequently selling items
- Requesting money from friends and family with no apparent reason
- Shortness of breath
- Using poor judgment
- Extreme weight loss
- Using poor judgment to gain access to Adderall
Snorting Adderall is Dangerous
Adderall is provided in pill form with a specific dosage when prescribed by a doctor. However, when someone purchases Adderall illegally, they will use it differently. Illegally-gained Adderall pills are often crushed and then snorted.
However, snorting Adderall has many adverse effects. One of the most significant impacts occurs in a person’s nasal cavity. In addition to causing dry skin and nosebleeds, the septum will disintegrate over time with prolonged use. Without a septum, a teen who snorts Adderall will have a hole inside their nose that increases the likelihood of an infection.
When a teen purchases Adderall illegally, there’s no way of knowing if the dosage is suitable for their body. In addition, when crushing pills, a user changes the time-release associated with Adderall—providing the user with a larger dose and reaction at once. As a result, snorting Adderall increases the risk for an overdose that may result in death.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
Snorting Adderall consistently is a clear sign of addiction. When this happens, teens will use Adderall in large doses and for a more extended period than initially intended. In both instances, the teen user builds tolerance and dependence on Adderall. When someone stops using unprescribed Adderall, they will experience the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Difficulty waking up
- Bigger appetite
- Uncontrolled or slow movements
- Frightful dreams
- Anxiety or depression
Focus On Living a Substance-Free Life with Destinations for Teens
It’s not uncommon for teens to desire perfection. They want to do well in school, excel at sports, and gain the approval of their family and friends. Prescription drugs such as Adderall often allow teens to focus on specific parts of their lives. However, using Adderall without the support of a medical professional is dangerous.
If your teen is currently misusing Adderall or other prescription drugs, it is time to seek help. Destinations for Teens offers several treatment options to support your teen’s substance use disorder. Contact us today at 877.466.0620 so your teen can begin making healthier choices for their lives.