A little daydreaming here and there never hurt anybody. In fact, there’s some evidence that it’s actually good for you. However, conditions such as ADD and ADHD go beyond the tendency to occasionally fantasize and make it difficult to concentrate, stay organized, commit to plans and manage time.
Drugs such as Adderall are designed to mitigate the negative effects of these conditions and help individuals focus and function in their daily lives. However, as with any substance, Adderall has the potential to be abused and misused. It’s important to understand how the medication works, the signs and symptoms of abuse and how you can avoid overdosing on Adderall.
What Is Adderall and How Is It Used?
Adderall is an effective treatment for ADD, ADHD and other related conditions. The drug is considered a central nervous system stimulant that works by releasing several chemicals into your body to give your brain a boost. The dopamine element triggers feelings of euphoria and contributes to Adderall’s ability to help your brain stay focused for longer periods of time. Similarly, epinephrine stimulates your body’s fight-or-flight response, which increases your brain’s sense of alertness and clarity.
It’s also proven helpful for managing narcolepsy and losing weight. As an amphetamine/dextroamphetamine combination drug, Adderall acts as a stimulant that improves cognitive control. In addition, it’s known to help users build up fatigue resistance and increase muscle strength.
Adderall is appropriate for use in both children and adults under the direction and supervision of a physician. As of 2022, an estimated 45 million people in the United States have a prescription for Adderall. It typically comes in immediate-release tablets and extended-release capsules.
Can You Overdose on Adderall and What Are the Risks of Adderall Abuse?
Adderall is a highly effective treatment when taken properly. However, as is the case with nearly all substances, there’s a chance for abuse, addiction and overdose. Abusing Adderall may also lead to dependence on the substance. This means you could have trouble functioning without Adderall, and your current dosage may be rendered less effective or ineffective as your body builds a tolerance to the drug. A dependence on Adderall can also make it difficult to stop taking the drug should your physician direct you to.
Additionally, one common side effect of Adderall is reduced appetite. Abusing Adderall can prolong this side effect and make it difficult to consume the nutrients your body needs to function and stay healthy. This risk is exacerbated if you have other health conditions that could be negatively impacted by improper diet. For example, going extended periods of time without eating can lead to serious or life-threatening outcomes for people with diabetes.
Because Adderall influences your central nervous system, overdosing on the drug can lead to dangerous outcomes if your heart rate becomes too elevated or your blood pressure spikes too high. Too much Adderall can also negatively affect your brain by causing hallucinations. Notably, the risk of overdosing on Adderall is significantly increased if other drugs or substances are involved.
Signs and Symptoms of an Adderall Overdose
If an excessive amount of Adderall is introduced into your body, you may feel restless, agitated or paranoid. You may also notice tremors and dry mouth. In more severe cases, you could experience chest pain, cramping and trouble breathing.
One serious risk associated with an overdose on Adderall is rhabdomyolysis. This is when your muscle tissues break down and release toxic proteins into your body, causing your kidneys to have trouble removing the waste. The symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include dark urine, severe fatigue and muscle cramps or weakness. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms after a suspected Adderall overdose.
Adderall overdoses are complicated by the fact that there’s no medical treatment available to counteract or mitigate the overdose itself. In cases of an Adderall overdose, medical professionals will treat the symptoms to stabilize the individual experiencing the overdose.
What to Do in Case of an Adderall Overdose
If you suspect you’re experiencing an OD on Adderall, you should immediately stop taking the medication. You need to receive medical attention if your symptoms become worse or you begin to have trouble breathing or managing your heart rate.
You’ll need to inform medical professionals of how much Adderall you consumed as well as any other substances you ingested. This information is critical to ensuring you get the proper care to manage your overdose. Be prepared to also tell your care providers about any underlying or preexisting conditions that may need to be monitored while you receive treatment for the Adderall overdose.
How to Prevent Overdosing on Adderall and Adderall Abuse
Preventing an Adderall overdose starts with following your doctor’s instructions regarding your personal dosage and usage needs. You should never take more Adderall than prescribed, and you should never take Adderall prescribed to someone else. Additionally, don’t attempt to ingest Adderall by snorting or injecting it into your body.
Adderall has been proven to be highly effective for ADD, ADHD and other related disorders. However, medications are only one element in managing these conditions. Proper exercise is also key to helping keep your mind sharp and increasing your ability to focus. Regular exercise causes a natural dopamine release in your body that promotes better mood and executive functioning skills.
Find a Way Out of Adderall Abuse and Addiction
Adderall can be a great tool for those who have cognitive conditions that make functioning difficult. However, it’s easy to abuse the substance by taking too much Adderall or taking it in a way that hasn’t been prescribed to you. If you’ve ever wondered, “Can I overdose on Adderall?” the answer is yes, and you need to know the risks of doing so.
The care team at Sunlight Recovery has a wealth of experience in assisting people who are suffering from Adderall abuse or addiction. Connect with Sunlight Recovery today to be matched with a care provider and treatment program so you can overcome your Adderall misuse.