Adderall Addiction and Cardiac Health Problems

Oftentimes, there are side effects that occur when taking a substance or prescription medication. While many side effects of prescription medications are mild or even nonexistent when used properly under the guidance of a physician, these side effects can be heightened when the prescription medications are abused. This is often the case with Adderall, especially when it comes to the effects that it can have on the heart. 

While Adderall is a commonly prescribed drug, it’s important to remember that it’s highly addictive. Thus, anyone that abuses it often develops an Adderall addiction. Once a person develops an Adderall addiction, he or she will need to attend professional addiction treatment to function healthily again. 

Artistic image of man holding his head and white squiggles coming from his brainWhat is Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name version of a drug that is a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are synthetic stimulants that act on the central nervous system. Thus, Adderall itself is a stimulant drug that also acts on the central nervous system. 

What is Adderall Used For? 

Adderall is typically used to treat individuals with attention hyperactive deficit disorder (ADHD). This is because Adderall is known to improve people’s sense of focus and concentration while also helping decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity. 

Side Effects of Adderall

Like with any drug, there are numerous side effects that can come with taking Adderall. Some of the possible side effects of Adderall use include the following:

  • Anxiety 
  • Panic attacks
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Stomachaches
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Twitching
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Hoarseness
  • Changes in vision
  • Slowed speech
  • Fever 
  • Seizures 
  • Depression

Effects Adderall Has on the Heart

Woman holding chest in pain

One unfortunate side effect of Adderall is the effects it has on the cardiovascular system. In fact, Adderall can affect the heart even when used properly.  One way that Adderall often affects the cardiovascular system is by increasing a person’s heart rate. 

Many people also wonder, does Adderall raises blood pressure too? The answer to this question is yes, Adderall does raise blood pressure as well as heart rate.  That’s why doctors advise that individuals that take Adderall get their blood pressure and heart rate monitored regularly. 

Luckily, even with the increase in blood pressure and heart rate that Adderall causes individuals, the medication is still safe to use as long as it’s used properly. In fact, studies show that Adderall is even safe for adults with high blood pressure to use. To be on the safe side, though, doctors will likely assess a person’s family history, pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, and psychiatric conditions prior to prescribing the medication to him or her. 

Some of the top effects that Adderall has on the heart include the following: 

  • High blood pressure
  •  Heart palpitations
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)

Although it happens very rarely, Adderall also has the ability to cause people to experience heart attacks or strokes. Staying aware of this issue can prevent deeper health problems. 

Effects of Adderall Abuse on the Heart

Individuals that are looking to seriously improve their lives by focusing more and getting more work done often start abusing Adderall unintentionally. For example, many college students will unintentionally start abusing Adderall to get more of their homework and studying done.  

Before these students know it, their Adderall abuse has caused them to develop an Adderall addiction. Not only does Adderall abuse cause individuals to develop Adderall addiction, but it also worsens the negative short-term and long-term effects that the drug often has on the heart. 

Short-Term Effects of Adderall Abuse on the Heart

Soon after individuals abuse Adderall, they will likely start experiencing some of the negative short-term side effects of the drug on the heart. Some of these short-term side effects of Adderall use include an extremely high increase in blood pressure and heart rate. 

In fact, if a person abuses an extremely high dosage of Adderall, he or she may experience a heart attack or sudden death. Individuals that abuse 30 to 40 milligrams of Adderall also often experience heart attacks and related symptoms in the short run.  

Long-Term Effects of Adderall Abuse on the Heart

Over time, chronic Adderall abuse can even cause a person’s heart to experience heart palpitations, fast irregular heartbeats, long-term high blood pressure, or increased heart rate. Individuals that abuse large amounts of Adderall may even get a stroke. Other long-term effects of Adderall abuse on the heart include the chronic health condition of cardiomyopathy and necrotizing vasculitis, otherwise known as inflamed blood vessel walls. 

young woman looking worriedAdderall Withdrawal

Prior to developing an Adderall addiction, individuals will develop a dependency on the medication. When this occurs, individuals will start to experience Adderall withdrawal whenever they minimize or discontinue their use of the medication. 

Adderall withdrawal specifically occurs because Adderall binds with the dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine receptors in the brain. Because these receptors are the ones that release chemicals that make humans feel happy, constantly abusing Adderall tricks the mind into thinking that it needs more and more Adderall to feel happy and euphoric. 

Thus, when people don’t receive the amount of Adderall that they need to feel happy and euphoric, they start to become depressed. In fact, many individuals that are suffering from Adderall withdrawal become so depressed that they commit suicide. 

Adderall Addiction

Individuals that let their Adderall dependence and withdrawal progress eventually develop full-fledged Adderall addictions. Once that happens, individuals are willing to do almost anything to continue their Adderall abuse.  This obsession with continuing to use more and more Adderall can cause some people with Adderall addictions to receive an Adderall overdose 

Adderall Overdose Symptoms 

Adderall overdose symptoms can be serious, and even deadly. Common symptoms of Adderall overdose include:

  • Heart attacks 
  • Panic attacks
  • Severe deliria
  • Severe hallucinations 
  • Body tremors
  • Hyperventilation
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Coma
  • Cardiac rhythm abnormalities
  • Vertigo
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Adderall Detox

The first step to overcoming an Adderall addiction is to attend Adderall detox. Adderal detox is the process of ridding the body of Adderall prior to attending addiction treatment. 

Because it’s common for people to experience Adderall withdrawal symptoms, it’s important that individuals that are detoxing from Adderall do so at a medical detox facility. That way there will be doctors and medical staff on standby throughout the entire detox process. Also, by detoxing at a medical detox facility, individuals with Adderall addictions will have access to prescription Adderall withdrawal medication. 

Adderall Addiction Treatment

Because of how addictive Adderall is, individuals with Adderall addictions should attend Adderall addiction treatment at an addiction treatment center such as Grace Land Recovery. Because Grace Land Recovery is also a dual diagnosis treatment center, individuals that suffer from both a mental illness and Adderall addiction can also receive the help that they need here. This is ideal since many people with Adderall addictions also suffer from depression due to the chemical changes that Adderall has caused in their brains. 

Inpatient Adderall Addiction Treatment

The level of addiction treatment that a person with an Adderall addiction should attend depends on the severity of his or her addiction. For example, individuals with severe Adderall addictions should attend inpatient addiction treatment. That way they can receive 24/7 care and monitoring. 

Residential Adderall Addiction Treatment

People with severe Adderall addictions that need 24/7 care and monitoring, but don’t want to be in as structured of an environment as that of inpatient treatment programs can attend residential treatment. Residential treatment is an inpatient treatment program that is more casual than standard inpatient treatment programs. This means that residential treatment program patients receive more leisure time. 

Partial Hospitalization Program Treatment

The most intense form of outpatient addiction treatment is partial hospitalization program (PHP) treatment. Thus, individuals with moderate to severe Adderall addictions that can’t afford to live in rehab facilities can receive PHP addiction treatment.  Partial hospitalization program treatment occurs for around five to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week.

Intensive Outpatient Program Treatment

Intensive outpatient program (IOP) treatment is the second most intense form of outpatient treatment. IOPs require patients to attend rehab for around three to four hours a day, a few days a week. Individuals with moderate level Adderall addictions can receive the help that they need at a specialized IOP. 

Outpatient Program Treatment

Standard outpatient program (OP) treatment is a form of addiction treatment that requires patients to attend rehab for around a couple of hours a day, a couple of days a week. Because the amount of time that standard outpatient programs require their patients to attend rehab, individuals with Adderall addictions should only attend an outpatient program if their Adderall addictions are mild. 

Receiving Medical Assistance for Heart Issues While Recovering from Adderall Addiction

Doctor comforting a patient

Because many people that abuse large amounts of Adderall also suffer from cardiac health issues, it’s important that they consult medical physicians as they start to overcome their addictions. By consulting medical doctors, individuals with Adderall addictions can receive the care that they need to help them treat and/or manage any cardiac damage that they’ve suffered. 

Individuals with milder Adderall addictions that have not lasted that long may be able to reverse some of the damage that their hearts and other organs have received due to substance abuse. People with more severe Adderall addictions or Adderall addictions that have lasted a long time will likely suffer from long-term cardiac damage. Still, such individuals can receive medical attention to help them manage their hearts. 

Receive Adderall Addiction Treatment At Grace Land Recovery 

Grace Land Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center located in the Memphis, Tennessee area. As a dual diagnosis treatment center, we here at Grace Land Recovery make sure to treat all of our patients’ addictions and any of their co-occurring mental health issues. 

Here at Grace Land Recovery, we understand the importance of treating the minds, bodies, and souls of our patients. Thus, we offer a wide variety of clinical and addiction treatment and therapy services. For example, patients that need some extra medical attention can consult our nurse practitioners. Such patients can also receive the care they need to treat their minds and souls by attending different forms of evidence-based addiction therapy. 

To further treat the souls of our patients, we even offer clinical addiction treatment groups that focus on spirituality. All of the physical, mental, and spiritual addiction treatment services that we offer here at Grace Land Recovery are ideal for people that are recovering from Adderall addiction. This is because many people with Adderall addictions also suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression, and physical illnesses, such as heart health issues. 

Get Help Now 

By offering such a wide array of high-quality and focused mental, physical, and spiritual treatment programs, therapies, and services, there is no better place to overcome an Adderall addiction than here at Grace Land Recovery. To learn more about our rehab center and the various addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer, contact us anytime. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our offices are open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.