Quoting psychologist and addiction specialist Harry Stratyner, recovering Adderall addict and author Casey Schwartz explains in “Generation Adderall” that adderall is extremely addictive because it helps people forget. Ironically, Adderall is most often abused as a “smart drug” or cognitive enhancer to help people remember. College students, entrepreneurs, and business executives alike turn to the little blue pill to help them maintain their focus. “Many people are using adderall to mask a sense of disappointment in themselves, Stratyner says, because it narrows their focus down to simply getting through each day, instead of the larger context of what they’re trying to build with their lives.” As a result, adderall becomes “extremely psychologically and physiologically addictive.”
Understanding Adderall Addiction
Addiction as explained in a model based on neuroscience usually involves the pleasure and reward center of the brain as dictated by a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine communicates pleasure and sends encoded messages to the reward center of the brain. From there, the brain learns to prefer whatever the pleasure-causing substance is. In fact, the brain becomes reliant upon it. Amphetamines, like all addictive substances, cause a surge in the production of dopamine, but also helps a hyperproduction of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is also a neurotransmitter, but one that helps the body to engage in action. The norepinephrine helps create the sought after Adderall sensations and benefits like hyperfocus, attention, increased energy, lack of tiredness, and arousal. Combining both the pleasure of euphoric sensations and the vigilance of focused sensations leads to adderall addiction. With abuse, the brain eventually becomes unable to produce its own dopamine or norepinephrine. Completely reliant upon adderall, chemical dependency takes hold.
Amphetamine addiction is a relentless cycle because of the difficulty in making it through a period of withdrawals. Coming off of adderall, for many addicts, follows a similar routine. Schwartz highlights this perfectly in her article. First, is impulsively getting rid of all the Adderall left in the house. Second, is spending a few days not suffering any immediate effect. Third, is the onset of dysfunction, the body going into withdrawal, unable to perform even the simplest of tasks. Schwartz writes, “then, suddenly, an internal Adderall voice would take over, and I would jump up from my desk and scurry out to refill my prescription- almost always a simple thing to achieve- or borrow pills from a friend, if need be. And the cycle would begin again.”
Ending the cycle of Adderall addiction is not impossible. With supervised medical detox and intensive therapeutic treatment, Aurora Recovery Center provides a program to help you get your life back. We offer men and women seeking transformational recovery a step down program to help them learn how to re-live life again. Recovery starts with you. Start your recovery with us. Call us now for more information at 1-844-515-STOP.