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Why Parents of Teens Need to Learn About Adderall

Why do I need to learn about Adderall?

Teenage Adderall usage is on the rise, and has been for quite a few years now. Many parents brush off the urgency of educating themselves on the topic, because Adderall is prescribed by trustworthy doctors, and it carries the misleading connotation of being helpful. You need to know, however that it is a commonly abused drug and carries the potential to be life-ruining or even life-ending.

 

What is Adderall, anyways?

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and therefore a Central Nervous System stimulant. The way that stimulants work is they speed up processes that occur in the human body. Adderall in particular, increases the brain’s production of dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s neurotransmitter responsible for mental focus and pleasure. Consequently, teenagers commonly use the drug to focus on school work, but also to experience feelings of elation and happiness.

 

When teens begin experimenting with the drug for the purpose of achieving that feeling of elation, or a ‘high,’ the consequences become very dangerous very fast. When an individual is taking Adderall very frequently or in large doses, the brain gets reliant on the excess of dopamine. It decides that there is enough in there without it needing to do the hard work of creating more, so it slows down the manufacturing of the neurotransmitter or even stops creating it all together. The user notices this decrease in dopamine, and they will begin to experience feelings of withdrawal. Initially, they will experience a lack of mental clarity, irritability, anxiety, and drowsiness. Naturally, their reaction is typical to up their dosage.

 

The FDA is aware of this addiction-causing process, so it has been classified as a federally controlled, schedule II substance. This is an acknowledgment of the fact that it has strong addictive potential. In fact, its effects have commonly been compared to those of cocaine.

 

How do I know if my teen is addicted?

Now that you know what Adderall is and how addictive it can be, you probably want to make sure that your loved one hasn’t fallen victim to addiction. If your child is prescribed the drug, some ways to tell if they are abusing it is if they are:

  • Consuming the drug in an altered form.
    • They may break the drug up to stop time-releasing mechanisms, snort it, or inject it.
  • Taking a higher dose than they were prescribed.
  • Taking the medication more frequently than advised.
  • Supplementing their prescription with someone else’s.
  • Constantly ‘losing’ their medication.
  • Frequently claiming their doctor doesn’t have them on a high enough dosage.

If your child has not been prescribed Adderall, but you suspect they are using it, the side effects you should be aware of if your teen mentions them are:

  • Anxiety
  • Blurred Vision
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Digestive issues
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hoarseness
  • Moodiness
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Reduced appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Paranoia

 

Teens suffering from addiction often put a lot of effort into hiding their side effects, because they don’t want parents to put a halt to their drug use. Something else to look out for are the names that your child may be using to refer to Adderall. The common street names are:

  • Addys
  • Black beauties
  • Hearts
  • Pep pills
  • Roses
  • Skippy
  • Speed
  • The smart drug
  • Uppers

Preventing Adderall Addiction

If you are lucky, then during your search you will find that you are wrong and that your child is not addicted to Adderall. That does not, however, mean that your work should stop there. You can never be too safe when taking preventative steps, such as:

  • Keep track of the Adderall in your household, if there is any.
  • Keep your personal prescriptions in a safe place so others cannot use it.
  • Teach time management skills, so your child is not tempted to take drastic measures, such as taking Adderall.
  • Teach your teen healthy coping mechanisms, so they do not turn to drugs like Adderall to get high.
  • Educate your teen about the dangerous side effect of Adderall.

Ending Adderall Addiction

If you do find that your teen is suffering from an Adderall addiction, it is important that you act quickly. Addiction is the beginning of a destructive path that leads to isolation, depression and a low chance of success in everyday activities. Health wise, using Adderall for an extended period of time can:

  • Increase blood pressure
  • Increase heart rate
  • Increase body temperatures

 

In the worst case scenario, your teen may suffer from an overdose. This can cause:

  • Cardiac rhythm abnormalities
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Coma
  • Panic attack/hyperventilation
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Delirium
  • Paranoia
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stroke

 

These are things no family should ever have to suffer through. The best thing to do if you realize your child is addicted to Adderall is to send them to a treatment center, like Inspirations for Youth and Families. It is dangerous to allow your teen to detox from the drug while at home. Your child’s body will have become dependent on the drug, so when they stop taking it, they will go through serious withdrawal symptoms. They will be much safer if they have a medical professional keeping an eye on them. Also, many people begin using again in order to make the withdrawal symptoms stop. If your loved one is at home, it is much easier for them to use again. They know where to get it, and they have the potential be around people that they may have used the drug with.

 

At Inspirations for Youth and Families, we will make sure they safely get through the detox process. Afterwards, we will help them to find what led them to the addiction in the first place. Teens often turn to drugs because of a deeper problem. We have top-rated therapists on staff, and an extremely supportive environment. If you are ready to get back the child you know, love and miss, contact us today.

Speak to an Adderall Coordination Specialist now.

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