There are almost always side effects that can come from taking prescription medications. While the side effects of many medications aren’t too severe or dangerous when a prescription medication is taken correctly under the supervision of a doctor, they can get dangerous and severe when a prescription medication is abused. Abuse of the prescription medication, Adderall can severely affect the heart. This is especially true if a person abuses Adderall to the point of developing an Adderall addiction. Learn about the prescription medication Adderall and how abusing it can cause cardiac health issues here.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a brand-name prescription drug and synthetic stimulant that’s made out of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Individuals take Adderall to help them focus. Adderall also helps decrease hyperactivity and impulsivity. In fact, most doctors prescribe individuals Adderall to help them treat their attention hyperactive deficit disorder (ADHD).
Like many drugs, Adderall works by acting on the central nervous system. As a result, Adderall abuse can affect people’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The effects that Adderall has on a person’s central nervous system can also cause a person to develop both an Adderall dependency and an Adderall addiction.
Why People Abuse Adderall
While doctors usually prescribe Adderall to individuals that suffer from ADHD, many young people in high school or college use and abuse the drug to help them focus more on their schoolwork and stay alert longer so that they can study more. In fact, even adult professionals are known to abuse Adderall to help them focus and achieve more at work. Unfortunately, people that abuse Adderall for these reasons don’t realize that the negative effects of their Adderall abuse will ultimately cause them to crash and become worse students or workers.
Another reason why people intentionally abuse Adderall is that they want to feel the euphoric effects that the stimulant medication gives off. Individuals that choose to abuse Adderall simply for its euphoric effects often don’t have a prescription for the drug.
How Addiction Happens Even If Adderall is Prescribed
While many people abuse Adderall intentionally, many others start abusing Adderall unintentionally. This is because many people with Adderall prescriptions start to take more of the drug than they were prescribed in hopes that it will help them focus even more.
Some people with Adderall prescriptions will even take the drug longer than doctors prescribed them to because they think they still need to be medicated. Unfortunately, due to how addictive Adderall is, not following one’s doctor’s orders when it comes to the drug’s use can cause individuals to develop Adderall addictions.
Side Effects of Adderall Use
As we just mentioned, taking Adderall can affect a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Some of the physical, mental, and emotional side effects of Adderall use include the following:
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Chest Pain
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Changes in vision
- Slowed speech
While many of the side effects of Adderall use are concerning, people that use them properly usually don’t develop them bad enough or enough of them to cause them harm. That said, any adverse effects should always be reported to a medical professional.
How Does Adderall Affect the Heart?
While many of the side effects of Adderall use are not something that the common person with an Adderall prescription needs to worry about, one danger of using Adderall that a person should definitely keep an eye on is how the medication affects a person’s heart. This is because using Adderall increases a person’s heart rate. Abusing Adderall can increase the heart rate even more which can lead to a heart attack or heart damage.
Does Adderall raise blood pressure too, you might ask? The answer to this question is yes, it does. That’s why it’s important for anyone that takes Adderall to monitor his or her own blood pressure and heart health. Reckless use of Adderall without monitoring one’s blood pressure and heart rate can cause a person to experience heart palpitations and, in extreme cases, a heart attack or stroke.
Luckily though, if people use Adderall correctly under the supervision of their doctors, even the side effects that the drug has on the cardiovascular system shouldn’t get too severe. In fact, studies show that even adults with high blood pressure can safely take Adderall.
Additional Effects of Adderall Abuse on the Heart
On top of the possible heart palpitations, heart attacks, or strokes that Adderall abuse can cause a person, it can also cause short and long-term negative effects on the health of a person’s heart.
Short-Term Adderall Abuse Effects on the Heart
The short-term negative effects of Adderall abuse on the heart can easily go from bad to worse. This is evident in the fact that short-term Adderall abuse effects range from a severe increase in blood pressure and heart rate to heart attacks and possible death.
Long-Term Adderall Abuse Effects on the Heart
The irregular heartbeats and increase in blood pressure and heart palpitations will only increase and become more severe with long-term Adderall abuse. In fact, the negative effects of long-term Adderall abuse on the heart can become so severe that it causes people to suffer from strokes and chronic heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy and necrotizing vasculitis.
Cardiomyopathy is a chronic heart condition that makes it hard for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. Necrotizing vasculitis is a chronic heart condition that causes a person’s blood vessel walls to be inflamed.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
A person experiences Adderall withdrawal symptoms when he or she minimizes or discontinues the use of the prescription medication. When a person starts developing Adderall withdrawal symptoms, it means that the person’s body has become dependent on Adderall to function.
A common Adderall withdrawal symptom is depression. This is because Adderall binds to the dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine receptors in the mind which are the ones that make humans feel happy.
Thus, when a person abuses Adderall for extended periods of time, it can cause that person’s brain to associate Adderall with feelings of happiness. This may happen to the point where minimizing or discontinuing one’s use of Adderall causes that person’s brain to stop releasing these happy chemicals and become depressed. That’s why it’s common for individuals that suffer from an Adderall addiction to commit suicide. Whether it was caused intentionally or unintentionally, individuals that suffer from an Adderall addiction can also die from an Adderall overdose.
Adderall Overdose Symptoms
If you or someone you know suffers from an Adderall addiction, it’s important to know the signs of an Adderall overdose. That way, you can get the help that you need and avoid dying from your overdose.
Common Adderall overdose symptoms include:
- Cardiac rhythm abnormalities
- Heart attacks
- Panic attacks
- Extreme deliria
- Extreme hallucinations
- Body tremors
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Loss of consciousness
Adderall Addiction Treatment
To overcome an Adderall addiction, individuals must attend Adderall addiction treatment at a rehab facility, such as Phoenix Rising Recovery. Adderall addiction treatment programs teach individuals that suffer from Adderall addiction how to healthily cope with their addiction triggers. That way, individuals don’t turn to Adderall abuse when they encounter triggers.
Individuals with severe Adderall addictions should receive inpatient or residential treatment. This is because inpatient and residential treatment monitor and provide patients with care 24/7.
Individuals with milder Adderall addictions can take one of the outpatient forms of addiction treatment. This is because outpatient treatment programs allow patients to live away from rehab facilities while receiving care. Outpatient addiction treatment programs are also much shorter than inpatient addiction treatment programs.
Receive Adderall Addiction Treatment in Palm Springs, CA
Here at Phoenix Rising Recovery, we make sure that all of our addiction treatment programs revitalize the minds and bodies of our patients. That way each of our patients can get as close to the physical and mental health that they were in prior to developing their addiction as possible.
Offering a variety of addiction treatment programs and therapies that cater to the minds and bodies of our rehab patients also makes it so that our patients are better equipped to sustain long-term sobriety than with most rehab centers. This is because the mental, physical, and even spiritual health of individuals in addiction recovery can impact whether or not they relapse.