Adderall is a prescription drug made from dextroamphetamine and amphetamine to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. The drug works by binding to dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine receptors in the user’s brain and body. This increases the feel-good chemicals produced in the brain and enhances focus, alertness, and concentration. Adderall also gives the user a feeling of euphoria.
As a prescription drug, Adderall can be addictive if it is abused. Short-term drug use can cause problems, but the long-term effects can have dangerous consequences on the brain, body, and personality.
How Does Adderall Affect Personality?
The abuse of prescription drugs can have long-term effects on the user’s mental and physical health. In the case of Adderall use, abusing this drug can affect one’s personality. Extended use of Adderall for a long time can lead to social impairment. People who have been abusing it for a long time might even start to experience notable personality changes. This is not just irritability.
Long-term abuse of the drug can result in continuous intoxication leading to psychosis. This condition is clinically identical to schizophrenia. Studies indicate a connection between schizophrenia and Adderall, while more research also suggests that users become more hostile.
When Adderall is taken in the correct prescribed dosage, it is not supposed to affect your sense of humor or personality. It will just control the user’s impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Taking too much of the drug can flatten the user’s personality, temporarily making them seem uncommonly withdrawn or quiet. If users notice these effects after taking the medication, they can talk to their healthcare provider to switch the drug or lower the dosage.
Other lasting effects on personality resulting from Adderall abuse include:
- A lack of motivation
- Lack of focus
- Mood swings
Adderall can also cause significant mood swings to the extent where the user seems like they have bipolar disorder or an altered personality. These mood and behavioral changes can affect romantic and interpersonal relationships for users.
Some men who use Adderall have reported experiencing erectile dysfunction or feeling disinterested in sex, particularly those using it for a long time. Such side effects can impact romantic relationships leading to emotional distress and frustration. It can be helpful to speak to a therapist about these mood changes, especially if you take Adderall for ADHD.
Effects On The Brain
Since Adderall is a stimulant, it increases dopamine produced in the brain to address the symptoms of narcolepsy and ADHD in users. Even though taking the drug can boost concentration and increase one’s motivation, long-term use can cause damaging, long-term effects on the brain. Some of them include:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
Stimulants work by increasing the user’s energy and concentration levels while suppressing appetite and reducing the need for sleep. Adderall stimulates the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
With time, these alterations in the brain’s dopamine activity can affect the reward center and affect the user’s ability to feel pleasure without continued Adderall use. The more of the drug taken, the more these changes take root, and the individual may develop a tolerance to the drug. This means they will need to take more Adderall in each dose to experience the desired euphoric effects.
Once the drug wears off from the person’s system, they will start experiencing cravings for the drug and withdrawal symptoms. This shows that they have become emotionally and physically dependent on Adderall. An individual’s dependence on the drug can be affected by:
- How they abuse the drug
- The amount taken
- The duration of abuse
For example, crushing the pills before snorting or injecting them makes the drug travel faster to the brain than absorption into the bloodstream through the digestive tract. This is why snorting or injecting crushed Adderall pills raises the risk of addiction or a lethal overdose. Addiction is an illness that influences every individual differently, and biological or environmental factors may also affect its development.
Users addicted to Adderall might experience fatigue, lethargy, irritability, feelings of depression, lack of motivation, reduced concentration, and insomnia when it leaves the body. People who have been abusing the drug for a long time will become emotionally withdrawn, which will be one of the most prominent side effects. This is because the brain’s natural dopamine production decreases, resulting in difficulty experiencing pleasure without the drug and low moods.
The more Adderall someone abuses, the more intense their mood swings will be once the drug leaves the body. These alterations in the brain can be addressed over time through proper support and care with sustained abstinence.
Dealing With Adderall Withdrawal
Adderall is beneficial to people with ADHD, but it also comes with undesirable side effects like those mentioned above. Depending on how long you have been taking Adderall, the side effects can start going away after a few days once you stop taking the drug. However, it could take several days for it to leave your body altogether.
Someone who has taken a lot of Adderall for an extended period may experience withdrawal symptoms once they quit. These withdrawal symptoms are easily manageable with medical support from qualified medical staff who can help you slowly taper off the drug till you no longer use it. It is not advisable to stop using Adderall suddenly if you have been on it for a long time.
You can talk to your doctor about weaning off the drug safely so they can recommend the best way to do it.