One of the primary medication tools used to treat ADHD and ADD in people of all ages is Adderall and teens can be particularly susceptible to the impact of this stimulant that has a powerful influence on their central nervous system.
The positive impact that the prescription drug in treating these disorders is achieved by enhancing two particular brain chemicals, namely dopamine and norepinephrine.
The negative aspect of the way these drug works is that heightens sensitivity in the part of the brain that stimulates reward-seeking behaviors and pleasure, and that can create addiction issues.
Adderall is generally considered safe to use when consumed as prescribed, but a regular feature of referrals to a rehabilitation center for teens is when its use has escalated to abuse.
Understanding how abuse occurs
It should be emphasized that Adderall is considered to be a safe and effective way of helping teens to maintain the right level of focus and attention needed to achieve their potential.
It is also the case that research appears to verify the view that many teens who are prescribed Adderall do not have a higher tendency to slip into drug abuse in later years, but only if they use the drug as prescribed.
The problems come to the fore when teens misuse Adderall. This is because it makes them more likely to experiment with other drugs such as marijuana, and maybe even escalate to using cocaine.
Dosage levels usually start at a low level and increase incrementally in order to find the right amount needed to treat ADHD symptoms.
Increased dosage levels and a willingness to experiment with other drugs as a result of influences on their central nervous system making them more willing to take risks, can make teens particularly vulnerable to a scenario where abuse occurs at a point in their young lives where openness to experimentation and peer pressure can lead to addiction problems.
Spotting the signs
The bottom line is that anyone who misuses Adderall can soon develop a physical dependence on the drug, causing them to increase dosage levels in order to achieve the same effect.
There are a number of classic warning signs that could indicate that a teen might be abusing Adderall.
If they start to lack motivation and start having academic problems, including missing school and or displaying low energy levels, these are symptoms that should be investigated so that the cause of the behavioral change can be identified.
You might find a teen with an Adderall problem starts asking for more money or stealing to feed their habit. If you have noticed them becoming more withdrawn and secretive, or having sudden outbursts of anger, these are the sort of symptoms that could be an indication of an addiction problem.
The best course of action to take when a teen is suspected of abusing Adderall would be to contact a mental health professional so that they can carry out a comprehensive assessment.
It should be remembered that the best person to properly diagnose a substance use disorder is someone who has the professional experience and qualifications to confirm if a teen has a problem with Adderall abuse.
A rehabilitation center can help a teen to understand the consequences of long-term abuse and give them the tools and techniques that will help them to put the misuse behind them.