Prescription medications are designed to be beneficial for the conditions they are meant to treat. Stimulants such as Adderall and Vyvanse are intended to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, when those prescriptions are overused or misused, that can lead to a substance use disorder. Focused on treating stimulant use disorder, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for Adderall, Vyvanse, and more can be the answer you need when you realize you need help.
Stimulants are a category of drugs that stimulate or activate the central nervous system and are commonly referred to as “uppers.” A number of drugs fall into this category, including crack and powder cocaine, methamphetamine, caffeine, and prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Vyvanse.
In 2015, almost 4.3 million Americans over the age of 12 had used a stimulant drug illegally in the past month. Cocaine was the most commonly used, followed by the non-medical use of prescription stimulants. It is estimated that two million of these individuals met criteria for a stimulant use disorder in the past year.
Motivations for use can vary from person to person and can include increased energy, euphoria, wakefulness, focus and attention, performance-enhancement, productivity, increased confidence, self-medication, increased sexual desire and longevity, pleasure, social acceptance, stigma suppression or management, decreased inhibition, weight loss, and appetite suppression.
Adderall and Vyvanse
Adderall was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 and Vyvanse in 2007. They are both amphetamines, a type of stimulant medication that stimulates the nervous system and increase the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain. The drugs work in slightly different ways, though.
Vyvanse is less likely to be abused than Adderall, because the body needs to break Vyvanse down before it can start to work. With amphetamines, there is also a concern about the potential for misuse to get a sense of euphoria — in other words, to get high. Unlike other stimulants, Vyvanse can’t be injected or inhaled to get high. This may help to make it less likely than Adderall to be misused.
Stimulant Use Disorder
Misuse of prescription stimulants can lead to a substance use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases. Long-term use of stimulants, even as prescribed by a doctor, can cause you to develop a tolerance, which means that you need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects. A stimulant use disorder develops when continued use of the drug causes issues, such as health problems and failure to meet your responsibilities at work, school, or home.
When people overdose on a prescription stimulant, they most commonly experience several different symptoms, including restlessness, tremors, overactive reflexes, rapid breathing, confusion, aggression, hallucinations, panic states, abnormally increased fever, muscle pains and weakness. They also may have heart problems, including an irregular heartbeat leading to a heart attack, nerve problems that can lead to a seizure, abnormally high or low blood pressure, and circulation failure. Stomach issues may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In addition, an overdose can result in convulsions, coma, and fatal poisoning.
When you realize you have a stimulant use disorder and have been overusing or misusing prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Vyvanse, you might decide to stop using the drug. However, if you suddenly stop using the medication without professional supervision, you can experience withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms include severe tiredness, sleep problems, mental changes, or mood changes such as depression. The longer you have used the stimulant and the higher the doses that you have ingested, the more likely you are to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
A combination of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and therapy can successfully treat stimulant use disorder and can help sustain your recovery from the addiction. MAT for Adderall, Vyvanse, and more is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.
MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy. MAT also includes support services that address the needs of most patients. The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery and the ability to live a self-directed life. MAT does not simply substitute one drug for another, but rather uses medications appropriately to relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in your body.
Get the Help You Need with Medication Assisted Treatment
Calming Goat’s team of board-certified physicians is ready to help you move forward toward a successful recovery from stimulant use disorder. We provide you with well-researched, proven treatment methods paired with the appropriate medication and active engagement in therapeutic programs. Our approach will result in improved physical and mental health for you.
We focus on healing your whole person – mind, body, and spirit. We provide the types of medication assisted treatment you need, through a blend of medications and therapies, so you can experience true healing. Call (424) 376-3444 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.