Battle and Triumph: Adderall Addiction Stories

Adderall Addiction Stories

Personal Accounts of Stimulant Abuse and Recovery

Adderall is a type of combination medication commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While it can provide benefits for individuals suffering from this condition, it’s also one of the most commonly abused drugs in the U.S., especially in young adult populations

If you believe your loved one might be addicted to Adderall, we understand how upsetting and frightening this situation can be. We also know there is hope and healing on the other side. 

Today, we’re sharing a few inspiring Adderall addiction stories to show you that recovery is possible, especially with the right treatment center and support team by your side. 

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a medication that combines two different drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Together, these substances help regulate the brain of someone with ADHD, helping it move from a state of overstimulation to one of baseline stimulation.  

How does it work?

In short, Adderall affects the portion of the brain that’s responsible for initiating and controlling hyperactivity and impulsivity. It does so by increasing the amount of dopamine in this region. At the same time, it also lifts the mental “fog” that people with ADHD often experience. 

When this happens, they find it easier to make decisions, pay attention, and focus on the task in front of them. 

How Is It Abused?

On one hand, this medication can be very helpful for individuals with an ADHD diagnosis. When they take it, they may finally feel as though they can calm down and be still in their own body. They have greater clarity and cognition, without the extra “noise” that they’re used to experiencing. 

However, when someone without ADHD takes Adderall, it can have the opposite effect. Instead of feeling gently focused, they may experience a range of negative side effects, such as:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Greater sociability and talkativeness
  • Greater energy levels
  • Paranoia
  • Nervousness or restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping

In addition, once the effects start to wear off, the person might feel sluggish and drained. They’ll go from a euphoric high to experiencing a major crash. Even if they understand and anticipate this reaction, many people still take Adderall in an off-label context. 

Some of the reasons they might do so include:

  • To push through feelings of fatigue to meet a deadline
  • To help them study or party longer
  • To experience a high

What are the Symptoms of Adderall Abuse?

If you believe that someone you know might be abusing or misusing Adderall, there are a few symptoms to know. Some of the most common signs of this particular drug addiction include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Excessive nervousness and panic 
  • Marked changes in behavior (e.g. excitability, intensity, greater desire to work)
  • Increased amount of time spent deep in thought 
  • Shaking an appendage uncontrollably
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Hallucinations and delusions

As you can see, these effects can take a toll on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental health. You might also notice them exhibiting drug-seeking behavior, such as “doctor” shopping for different prescriptions, searching in homes for Adderall, or being afraid of withdrawal symptoms when running out of the drug. 

Inspiring Adderall Addiction Stories

It’s painful to see anyone you love fall victim to drug abuse. You might think that all hope is lost, and wonder where to turn next. This is why we’re thankful that so many former addicts are willing to open up and share their experiences!

If you search for Adderall addiction stories online, you can find a range of first-person accounts. Let’s take a look at some of the most hopeful and inspiring ones. 

Alex Atwood: A Worker Pushed to the Edge

Our first story comes from Alex Atwood, who opened up about his battle with an Adderall addiction to Employee Benefit News. Alex started taking this medication like many people do: to work harder. 

As the story notes, white-collar workers are increasingly turning to this drug to help them work longer hours and meet important deadlines. While this movement affects everyone, it’s most notable in young employees, who are eager to please and fixated on productivity. 

To maintain his energy and focus, Alex tried Adderall. At the time, he was a single father of two daughters, trying to make it in the corporate world as a young entrepreneur. Trying to juggle everything at once without letting anyone down, he found himself growing tired and burnt out. 

He knew he needed to rest so his mind and body could recover, but there was a big catch-22: If he did that, he’d miss out on valuable work time and possible new opportunities. To help him keep up, his then-girlfriend suggested Adderall. 

After attending a doctor’s appointment and sharing about his inability to focus, Alex walked away with a prescription. That first dose was a game-changer. He flew through this work, had boundless amounts of energy, and was even up for playing with his children when he got home. 

It wasn’t long before he was hooked. He became dependent on Adderall, feeling intense anxiety when he thought he’d be without it. His health and sleep suffered, and he developed mood swings. 

He knew he had to break free of the cycle, so he gradually reduced his intake. Doing it on his own was possible, but he experienced painful withdrawal symptoms and unbearable cravings. The process took nearly a decade to complete, made possible by Alex’s commitment to self-care, meditation, exercise, and a type of therapy called neuro-linguistic programming

Casey Schwartz: A College Student Who Overdosed

Businessmen aren’t the only people turning to Adderall to improve their focus and productivity. College students cramming for midterms or trying to stay out as late as possible can also be allured by the drug. 

This was the case with Casey Schwartz, who shared her Adderall addiction recovery story with Buzzfeed News. In 2000, she was a freshman at Brown University, facing a common dilemma: She had a report due the very next day, but she hadn’t read the book.

She went to vent to a friend and left the dorm with a small blue pill. Just one hour later, she was ecstatically studying in the library. She read the book, completed the essay, and found herself wrapped in a brand-new world. The only problem? 

She couldn’t get enough of the medication. She resorted to searching for it everywhere, stealing it at parties, and buying it off the campus black market. She sought isolation so she could be alone with her racing thoughts, and she also lost weight. 

When working on her manuscript one evening, Casey overdosed on Adderall. She was rushed to the hospital and thankfully survived the event, but it was the wake-up call she needed to make a change. She went home, drew incompletes in her classes, and spent her winter break working on the essays she’d been too hyped up to complete earlier. 

She details the rest of the story in her book, “Attention: A Love Story.” Ultimately, the grip of Adderall addiction held Casey in its grip for 10 torturous years, but she came out on the other side and has now made it her mission to share her story and shed light on how such a seemingly innocent medication can become anything but. 

Emma Sturgeon: A Student Looking for Escape

While some college students use Adderall to study harder, Emma Sturgeon openly admits she was drawn to the drug for the way it helped her escape. In a story told to Women’s Health Magazine, she explains received her first prescription as a high school sophomore, and that her addiction started the following year. 

In addition to helping her focus, the pills also helped her insecurity and boosted her self-esteem. Before long, she was crushing and snorting the pills in the school bathroom. In college, she began mixing it into her drinks.

As her addiction grew, so did her risky behavior. Emma started stealing money from loved ones, buying out her suppliers’ entire stock, and taking much more Adderall than prescribed. Later, in college, she overdosed on the drug after a date didn’t text her back.

In addition to taking approximately 15 pills of Adderall that day, she also mixed it with alcohol from the local liquor store, eventually losing consciousness at a house party. Doctors put her into a medically induced coma, where she remained for three weeks. 

Once out, she attended a 30-day inpatient rehab program, followed by a more intensive six-month stint at a nearby facility. Now, she regularly attends recovery meetings and lives a healthy lifestyle to encourage long-term sobriety. 

Get Proven Help for an Adderall Addiction at Purpose

As these Adderall addiction stories reveal, this medication can have an unbearable hold on someone. Even the most well-intentioned individuals can fall victim to its snares because it’s so attractive at first. People discover that it makes them more social and talkative, as well as more focused and alert.

However, the risk of misuse and overdose is very real and can lead to devastating consequences. If you believe that someone you love might be addicted to this medication, Adderall rehab and recovery services are available. 

We offer these services at Purpose Healing Center, and we’d love to share more about them with you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.