Adderall is a prevalent drug for the treatment of various mental disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy. However, its popularity has reached beyond its medical uses. Statistics have shown that Adderall abuse and addiction has been growing in the past decades.

By 2012, an estimated 16 million prescription of Adderall is being given out by doctors. This number is almost three times it was in 2008. Furthermore, in the same year, 116,000 individuals were admitted in rehabilitation centers due to Adderall addictions. (1)

Is Adderall Addictive?

Adderall was initially created by the company Richwood Pharmaceuticals in 1996 to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder among children and adults. However, the Food and Drug Administration subsequently approved it for the treatment of narcolepsy or a sleeping disorder that makes it hard for people to sleep properly.

The drug works by causing increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. It has a powerful stimulating effect on its users making them more active and aware of their surroundings. This stimulating effect is one of the reasons why people are abusing the drug.

Studies have shown that the drug also has aphrodisiac and euphoric properties that make people feel a lightheaded and “high” sensation. Lastly, some people use the drug to improve their cognitive and physical performance.

People using the drug for this purpose, more often than not are not aware that they are already abusing the drug. Hence, their long term use results in an unintentional physical and psychological dependence.

Adderall Tolerance

A psychoactive drug can eventually cause tolerance among its users. That is why the FDA often advises doctors on how long should patients be taking the drug only; otherwise, it could lead to physical and psychological dependence.

Tolerance is a state at which the drug no longer affects a person the way it originally does. More often than not, it results in the user increasing their dosage until they end up overdosing. One of the major signs of Adderall tolerance is that the drug no longer helps aid in its original purpose. (2)

Signs of Adderall Addiction And Abuse

Not only is Adderall dangerous to abuse Adderall, but it is also illegal. The FDA has categorized Adderall as a Schedule II drug due to its high potential abuse. The FDA also placed the drug under the supervision of the Drug Enforcement Agency to prevent any further abuse of it.

Below are some of the common signs of Adderall Addiction and Abuse:

  • Taking more than what the doctor has prescribed
  • Mixing it with other substances to increase its effects.
  • Absorbing the drug in other method other methods such as snorting in more than just one instance
  • Long term use of the drug for other purposes than the FDA approved it for
  • Using the drug more than what the doctor has allowed
  • Asking for the leftover Adderall or others
  • Purchasing the drug from illegal sources

Immediately consult your doctor if you or someone you know shows any of these signs of abuse. Furthermore, if addiction has been confirmed, avoid using the cold turkey method as it may result in several adverse withdrawal symptoms.


Diller, L. (n.d.). The United States of Adderall. Retrieved September 5, 2017, from HuffingtonPost:

Tolerance and Resistance to Drugs. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2017, from MSD Manual: