As one of the most powerful, prescription amphetamines on the market, Adderall’s status as a legal substance belies the actual dangers involved with abusing this drug. As a treatment medication, Adderall does a good job at eliminating many of the symptoms associated with ADHD disorder, narcolepsy and obesity.
Unfortunately, prolonged use of this drug sets a person up for abuse and addiction as well as a range of health programs. Adderall overdose develops out of the accumulated effects had on brain and body functions.
If you or someone you know has been abusing this drug on an ongoing basis, understanding how the potential for Adderall overdose develops over time can be a good first step towards getting the help you need.
Adderall’s primary effect works to speed up the body’s central nervous system functions. It does this by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain.
Whenever the brain’s chemical system is changed, the brain automatically adjusts its own processes to accommodate any excesses or deficiencies, according to the journal of Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. In the process, a person comes to tolerate increasingly larger doses of the drug.
The brain’s tolerance for Adderall increases at a fast rate. Before long, a person will have to start ingesting incredibly large dosage amounts in order to experience the drug’s desired effects.
After a certain point, Adderall’s stimulant effects will overpower the brain and body’s ability to keep up. When this happens, Adderall overdose occurs.
When used in a party environment, mixing Adderall with alcohol can have a “mellowing” effect while still maintaining an Adderall high. While alcohol may well smooth out the edges, its interaction with Adderall in the brain can be deadly.
Whereas Adderall speeds up central nervous system functions, alcohol has a slowing effect. As a result, a person may believe he or she can drink more due to Adderall’s energizing effects.
Under these conditions, Adderall’s effects lay the groundwork for alcohol bingeing, alcohol poisoning and possible death, according to Columbia University.
Adderall works by altering critical neurotransmitter systems in the brain. As these systems change, users move closer and closer to addiction.
When addiction takes hold a person enters into a pattern of compulsive drug use. Considering how the brain’s tolerance for Adderall increases, dosage amounts will likely increase at a fast rate for someone engaging in compulsive Adderall abuse.
With an active Adderall addiction, the degree of strain this drug places on blood pressure and heart functioning greatly increases the risk of stroke or heart attack.
People with heart problems or other health conditions may be especially vulnerable to Adderall’s harmful effects. Certain underlying conditions leave users at ongoing risk of sudden death.
Health conditions commonly associated with sudden death include:
Ultimately, an ongoing pattern of drug abuse leaves the door wide open for Adderall overdose to occur. If you or someone you know struggles with Adderall abuse and need help finding treatment, call our helpline at 800-768-8728 to discuss treatment options with one of our addiction specialists.