Tree House Recovery Tennessee

Adderall Abuse, Misuse and Addiction

Adderall Abuse, Misuse and Addiction

Understanding Adderall Abuse, Misuse and Addiction

At Tree House Recovery in Nashville, Tennessee, we recognize the growing trend of students resorting to prescription stimulants such as Adderall to cope with the mounting pressure of escalating college fees and intense scholarship competition.  The prevalent belief is that these stimulants can enhance academic performance and help secure admission to their dream college. In this article we will cover Adderall abuse, misuse and addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with Adderall, we offer effective treatment. Call us today to learn more (615) 314-8310.

Adderall: The “Smart Drug” Myth

Often referred to as “smart drugs” or “study drugs,” substances like Adderall are thought by many to boost cognitive abilities. However, rather than increasing intelligence, Adderall can create an illusion of enhanced intellect by intensifying motivation. It’s worth noting that such substances can trigger serious side effects, including hallucinations, epilepsy, psychosis, and malnutrition.

The Risk of Adderall Abuse and Addiction

Continuous usage of Adderall can lead to addiction along with its accompanying risks. It’s crucial to dispel the misconception that some teenagers and even parents hold that Adderall misuse is harmless. On the contrary, amphetamine, the active ingredient in Adderall, is highly addictive.

Understanding Adderall and its Effects

Adderall is a brand-name prescription amphetamine that stimulates the brain to overproduce certain chemicals, such as dopamine, affecting an individual’s mood, motor activity, and alertness. High school and college students often abuse it because of the prevailing belief that it can enhance academic performance.

The History of Amphetamine Abuse

The history of amphetamine abuse dates back to 1887, starting with its synthesis by Romanian chemist Lazar Edeleanu. [1] It was later repurposed as a decongestant inhaler, Benzedrine, in the 1930s, following the discovery of its stimulating effects by American biochemist Gordon Alles. Over the years, it has been used to treat various conditions such as depression, narcolepsy, and pregnancy-induced nausea.

Methods and Dangers of Adderall Abuse

Abuse of Adderall is commonly done orally, but the drug can also be chewed or crushed and snorted for a quicker high. Street names for Adderall have evolved to avoid suspicion, a factor that has led to its classification as a Schedule II controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).[2] This category, which includes drugs such as Vicodin, cocaine, OxyContin, and Ritalin, is designated for substances that have a high potential for abuse and addiction but are also recognized for their medical use.

Recognizing Adderall Addiction

Adderall addiction is characterized by continued usage of the drug despite detrimental effects on an individual’s financial situation, job, or personal relationships. Symptoms can significantly impact all aspects of life. Effective treatment aims to help individuals regain a healthy level of functioning and contribute positively to society.

The Dangers of Mixing Adderall with Other Substances

Common symptoms of Adderall abuse can vary, depending on the severity of the addiction. Mixing Adderall with other substances like alcohol, marijuana, and Xanax can compound and unpredictably alter the side effects, making it even more dangerous.

Adderall Abuse Statistics

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has successfully conducted the inaugural comprehensive assessment of prescription stimulant usage, misuse, use disorders, and reasons behind abuse among adults in the United States. Based on yearly averages, it was found that approximately 6.6% (equivalent to 16 million) of U.S. adults utilized prescription stimulants in the preceding year. Out of this group, 4.5% (or 11 million) employed prescription stimulants responsibly, without any instances of misuse. However, 2.1% (or 5 million) admitted to misusing prescription stimulants at least once during the same period, while 0.2% (or 0.4 million) were diagnosed with prescription stimulant use disorders. To gather this information, the analysis utilized data from the 2015 and 2016 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, which were carried out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). [3]

What does Adderall look like?

Typically, Adderall comes in tablet form. The tablets are usually small and round or oval-shaped, with a smooth surface. They are commonly color-coded to indicate the different strengths and formulations. For example, the immediate-release tablets may be orange or peach-colored, while the extended-release capsules may be blue or clear with tiny beads inside.

Each tablet or capsule may be imprinted with identification marks such as alphanumeric codes or logos, indicating the manufacturer, dosage strength, or other relevant information. These markings are designed to assist in identifying the specific formulation and ensure accurate dosing.

Getting Help for Adderall Addiction

Most of the Adderall abusers, about sixty percent, reported acquiring the drug from a friend or relative. At Tree House Recovery, we are here to help if you or someone you know is struggling with Adderall addiction. Please call us today to explore the various treatment options available for Adderall addiction. Call for a confidential assessment today (615) 314-8310.

Cited Sources:

  1. Wikipedia: Wikipedia contributors. (2023, May 14). Lazăr Edeleanu. In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 16, 2023, from
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI): National Center for Biotechnology Information. (n.d.). In Bookshelf. Retrieved May 16, 2023, from
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, April 16). Five million American adults misusing prescription stimulants. News Releases. Retrieved May 16, 2023, from