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Adderall Abuse in Teens

Adderall is a medication that is commonly prescribed by a medical professional to help young people soothe symptoms that are associated with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Due to the fact that ADHD is typically diagnosed during one’s adolescence, prescription drugs, such as Adderall, have become increasingly available and easily accessible to the youth in America. Unfortunately, one of the results that accompanies the presence of these helpful medications is the propensity for abuse and the possible development of dependence. Many teens have an erroneous notion that prescription medications are safer to abuse than other drugs, but in reality, they can have equally damaging results. Abuse occurs when a young person uses Adderall more frequently than prescribed by the medical professional, uses an increased (unprescribed) dose of Adderall, uses Adderall when it was not prescribed at all, or ingests Adderall in a way other than the way it was prescribed (i.e. crushes and snorts a pill, instead of swallowing it). There are many treatment options for young people struggling with Adderall abuse.

Side Effects

Several side effects can be exhibited in a teenager abusing Adderall. Some of them include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach aches
  • Manic symptoms
  • Dry Mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Intense mood swings
  • Severe headaches
  • Stunted growth
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Overdose

The side effects that can occur in young people abusing Adderall can be dangerous and lead to long term consequences. Additionally, there are a number of possible adverse reactions that can occur if a teen abuses Adderall while also taking other types of medications. When needed, it is essential to always take Adderall responsibly and under the direct care of a medical professional.


There was once a time when Ritalin was the most prescribed medication to help young people manage symptoms associated with ADHD, but nowadays, that slot is occupied by Adderall. With the ever-increasing demands on teens to succeed in school and properly prepare themselves for adulthood, Adderall is frequently abused by teens, as it produces a feeling of euphoria. Adderall can also result in an individual feeling more awake, alert, and give a teen an “I can do anything” attitude. The more a young person abuses Adderall, the larger a tolerance is built, which means more drugs are needed to achieve the same feelings.

Treatment for Adderall abuse or addiction is available for those in need. The first step a teen must go through when treating Adderall abuse is to go through detox. Detox is a process that rids one’s body of any abused substance or substances. This is essential in treating Adderall abuse, because an adolescent’s body has become accustomed to functioning with the presence of Adderall. Adderall can affect the way a young person’s brain works and removing the substance from a teen’s body can result in unpleasant side effects. These are known as withdrawal symptoms. Their occurrence is a normal byproduct of detox and should be expected. Every teen is different and their withdrawal symptoms will vary. Teens that have built up a high tolerance for Adderall will typically experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. The duration of one’s withdrawal symptoms will also vary. Some teenagers may experience the majority of their withdrawal symptoms within five days, and some may experience them lasting three weeks, or longer. After detox, it is recommended that teenagers continue with their recovery process by attending some form of substance abuse or addiction treatment program. Attending a substance abuse or addiction treatment program can help a young person recover from Adderall abuse and learn the tools needed to go on to live a sober and satisfying life.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact an individual for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769.


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