Asana Recovery

Signs Your Child is Abusing Adderall

child abusing adderall

Adderall is a prescription drug that is most commonly prescribed to treat the common developmental disorder attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. It is a stimulant substance that interacts with the dopamine and norepinephrine receptors in the brain to help encourage motivation and focus. Individuals who have ADHD benefit significantly from the prescribed use of Adderall, as it helps balance out the brain’s chemistry to aid in their overall educational and behavioral success. While Adderall has changed the game for everyone from childhood to elderly years who are experiencing ADHD, it still remains a highly addictive drug. Just because it is a prescription does not mean that it does not have potential to be dangerous. Any use of Adderall that is not recommended by a medical or mental health professional constitutes as abuse, which can quickly lead to Adderall addiction. Regardless of whether Adderall abuse remains abuse or develops into addiction, using it for purposes outside of those it is approved for can be deadly. 

Adderall is a hugely common medication prescribed to children and young adults for the treatment of ADHD. In the United States, an estimated 388,000 children between ages 2 and 5 and another 2.5 million children between the ages of 6 and 11. There have been several advancements made in regards to understanding and treating ADHD better than in past decades, but one thing still remains true — Adderall is one of the most popular prescription drugs to abuse in the entire world. A major reason for this is because of the sudden rush of energy it produces when consumed. 

Signs Your Child is Abusing Adderall 

Adderall is a stimulant, which means that regardless of who uses it, it will produce stimulant effects. If your child is abusing Adderall, it is likely that some of the more specific signs of their abuse will include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Sudden, unexplained bursts of energy
  • Prolonged spans of excessive energy
  • Excessive talking
  • Inability to sit still
  • Racing thoughts
  • Exaggerated behaviors
  • Energy “crashes”
  • Sleeplessness

These are some of the most common effects of abusing stimulants. The intensity with which they occur will be related to factors such as how much Adderall is being abused, if there is a mental health disorder occurring, and if Adderall is being abused alongside other substances.

In addition to these signs, your child is likely to show a number of other symptoms of their Adderall abuse that are not exactly specific to Adderall, but more specific to the nature of drug abuse and potential addiction. These symptoms can include:

  • Withdrawal from usual social circles and family
  • Hanging out with new friends who engage in questionable behavior
  • Isolation from others
  • Seeming detached from others or their surroundings
  • Changes in mood, sleep patterns, and eating habits
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Falling behind in school
  • Dropping out of activities or no longer participating in hobbies they once enjoyed
  • Secretive behavior
  • Drug paraphernalia (e.g. pill bottles, spoons, razors)

The older your child is, the more likely it becomes that they may start showing more concerning signs, such as:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Being charged with a DUI/OUI
  • Engaging in risky sexual behaviors (including having unprotected sex or selling themselves for money to buy more Adderall)
  • Being fired from one or more jobs
  • Having difficulty finding employment
  • Being financially unstable 
  • Dropping out of school
  • Becoming voluntarily estranged from the family 

The saying, “the bigger the kid, the bigger the problems” is one that rings true in this situation. As your child gets older, they run the risk of getting into more dangerous situations because of their Adderall abuse. They also start to become old enough in the eyes of the law to be responsible for their actions, meaning that if they engage in illegal behaviors, they may face legal repercussions.

Risk Factors for Adderall Abuse

When you realize that your child is abusing Adderall, you might immediately blame yourself. You might be in such a state of shock that you cannot even fathom how this happened. Conversely, you may not be surprised at all. Regardless of how you feel when you find out that your child is abusing Adderall, it can be helpful to have some context as to possibly why your child started abusing this prescription drug.

Some of the most common risk factors for any type of substance abuse, including Adderall abuse, in children can include the following:

  • History of abuse (physical, emotional, verbal, mental, sexual)
  • Witnessing and/or being involved in community violence
  • Having members of the family who have struggled with substance abuse or addiction (specifically closer relatives, such as parents and siblings)
  • Presence of one or more mental health disorders (whether treated or not)
  • Abandonment or neglect
  • History of defiant behavior
  • Abnormal socialization 
  • Coming from a low-income family
  • Peer pressure 

These are just some of the risk factors that exist for children, teens, and young adults. Anytime an individual, regardless of their age, experiences something traumatic or comes from a home where there is violence, aggression, or neglect, the abuse of drugs like Adderall can become an easy go-to. But, it is just as important to note that children who abuse Adderall and other substances can come from well-rounded, loving families. The decision to experiment with a drug like Adderall can happen because of many things, including something as simple as peer pressure. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to be aware of what the signs your child is abusing Adderall are and be ready to take action if necessary.

Aderall Rehab Orange County

If you are witnessing signs your child is abusing Adderall, then there is no better time than right now to reach out for help. At Asana, we can show you and your child the path towards recovery. 

So, call Asana Recovery right now. The sooner you act, the more likely it will be that your child will stop using Adderall and all other mind-altering substances for good.