8 Unmistakable Signs of Adderall Addiction

“The Truth About My Adderall Addiction”

Last December, Ruthie Freidlander wrote an excellent autobiographical article for Elle magazine that explained how an Adderall addiction crept up on her and eventually consumed her life.

Here’s how Ms. Friedlander explains the thought process that led to her full-on addiction:

It took about a month for me to get hooked.

I remember the first few times I felt symptoms of withdrawal—clammy hands, dry mouth, and nausea among them. But that Adderall-induced feeling had become my new normal. I wasn’t only doing well in school; I was doing well in life.

Need to be up for an early breakfast? Take a pill.

Need to be happy for dinner with the parents? Take a pill.

Need to feel super energized for the Barney’s Warehouse liquidation? Pre-sample sale pill popping was fine by me.

As Ruthie’s experience shows, it is very possible to develop a physical and psychological dependency on Adderall – especially if large doses have been taken for an extended period of time. Even when use is short-lived, Adderall can generate harmful side effects or withdrawal symptoms.

People with family histories of addiction, personal histories of substance abuse, eating disorders, untreated depression and low self-esteem are, in general, more susceptible to developing an Adderall addiction.

Physical dependency on Adderall occurs because the brain gets used to having large amounts of dopamine washing over it for an extended period of time. When drug use is stopped, the brain reacts negatively to the lower level of dopamine.

This often brings on a range of withdrawal symptoms – the most obvious proof that you may be addicted to Adderall.

Do You Have These Withdrawal Symptoms?

upset and withdrawn teen on floor adderall addiction

Typical withdrawal symptoms associated with Adderall addiction include:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • hostility, anger problems or mood issues
  • stomach issues: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting
  • appetite issues: too much or too little
  • sleep problems: insomnia or sleeping too much.

These issue can be particularly severe if the user quits “cold turkey”.  If you notice these symptoms after prolonged use, please seek advice or treatment.

Are You Psychologically Dependent?

In addition to physical dependence, many users end up relying on Adderall as an emotional or intellectual crutch. Psychological dependence on Adderall occurs because the drug provides a range of positive psychological benefits for non-ADHD users, including:

  • feelings of well-being, confidence and/or euphoria
  • boosted self confidence
  • improved memory retention and recall
  • ability to focus on tasks for extended periods of time
  • reduced need to sleep

Some users fear that their personal or professional lives will suffer if the drug is removed from their daily regimen. This fear prevents them from changing their behavior, leading to long-term abuse.

Have You Built Up A Tolerance?

The human body is capable of building up a tolerance to any form of amphetamines, including Adderall. Tolerance occurs when a person takes the drug for a long period of time, typically a few weeks at least, and then needs to increase the dose to feel the same effects.

Over time, you may find yourself increasing dosage from 20mg to 80mg per day (the maximum recommended dosage) to feel the same. Eventually, some people end up using 150-300 mg per day just to fend off withdrawal symptoms.

Are You Snorting It?

Adderall is packaged into capsule and tablet form for a reason – to release the drug slowly. If you’re snorting, parachuting or using the drug in any other way to boost the effects, then you may have an addiction.

Are You Up For Days, Then Sleep for Days?

Experiencing an Adderall crash is a clear sign you’ve taken too much of the drug. Crashing every few weeks may mean you need professional help.

Do You Lie to Doctors to Get It?

A large number of young adults who abuse Adderall simply lie to a doctor to get a prescription. Faking symptoms to get a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, for example. When you start lying to multiple physicians, you almost certainly have a problem.

Are You Buying It on the Street Or Online?

If you need so much Adderall that you can’t rely on just one prescription, then you may have an addiction that needs professional treatment.

Have Your Friends Noticed A Change In Your Personality?

crazy blonde adderall addiction

Often, people who are in the later stages of an Adderall addiction develop moodiness and anger issues as their withdrawal symptoms become more pronounced. They may become unusually irritable, paranoid, angry and hostile towards people they love. Or, they may withdraw socially and become emotionally distant to people who were once close to them.

If you hear complaints about your mood from people you know well – or any of the other classic signs of Adderall addiction above – then you may have a problem and should seek professional treatment.


Is Adderall Addiction Ruining Your Life?

If you or a loved one are addicted and need to quit, then call our hotline at (855)995-0943 to learn about the treatment options available to you. Open M-F, 8am-11pm EST.

What's Your Story?

If you have experience with Adderall abuse and are willing to share your story, your words can provide support and encouragement for others who are suffering right now.