Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Abuse in Your Spouse

When your spouse exhibits signs of Adderall abuse and addiction, it’s time to take notice and consider the options for integrated addiction treatment. Under the shadow of addiction, their compulsive behaviors affect your life too, and you can commit to supporting them as they embrace treatment and untangle the underlying pain and knots of addiction.

Why might it be difficult to tell when someone so close to you is using a substance compulsively?

It may be because, by now, they feel more complete and capable when they’re on the drug than not. It may be because it’s just a lot easier to believe that it’s not true or because the path of intervention and recovery also seems like a daunting one.

When you pick up on the symptoms and signs of Adderall abuse in your spouse, you’re doing right by both of you when you take the potential consequences very seriously.

Continued misuse of the drug can mean powerful damage to their physical and mental health, your relationship, their career, and the list goes on with all that is at stake in their life. But, at any moment, you can help them to turn a corner and break free from the grip of addiction.

The Symptoms and Signs of Adderall Addiction

Adderall is a prescription stimulant used primarily to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, but it is also sometimes prescribed for sleep disorders and depression—under the close supervision of a medical professional. When used as it is intended, a client’s Adderall dosage, treatment progress, and any side effects are monitored by a clinician. A doctor can ensure that the individual’s condition is changing for the better, and they can make any adjustments in a controlled and timely manner for the best recovery outcomes. But Adderall and other stimulants can be addictive, and those who develop dependencies can come up against significant challenges and even serious dangers as addiction turns their lives upside down.

Whether your spouse originally had a personal prescription for Adderall or not, if their substance use has turned into abuse, here are some of the tell-tale symptoms and signs you might recognize:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Unusual talkativeness
  • Headaches
  • A hoarse voice
  • Digestive problems, including diarrhea and constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Insomnia and other changes in sleep habits
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Social withdrawal
  • Secretiveness

Even more serious signs of Adderall abuse and addiction include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High body temperature
  • Chest pain
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Manic behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Convulsions
  • Unexplained skin irritation
  • Altered vision
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Adderall side effects and symptoms of addiction can be very serious, and if your spouse continues to abuse the drug, they’re likely in danger of real physical and mental decline. As the brain adapts to and takes for granted the presence of the drug, your partner requires more of it to experience the positive effects—which can potentially lead to an overdose. Over time, brain function suffers and can lead to other serious mental health issues such as depression. And the physical side effects and stress can take a severe toll on the body.

As threatening as active Adderall abuse is, withdrawal can also be very dangerous because the brain has come to depend on the drug. When they stop taking Adderall, dopamine levels drop, and a person can reach critical levels of anxiety, depression, insomnia, psychosis, thoughts of suicide, and physical distress. But professional treatment for Adderall addiction—typically through a 30-day or 90-day program—can guide clients through safe detox, gradual rejuvenation, and the development of coping strategies so they can steer clear of substances and deal with stressors and triggers in more constructive ways.

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Treatment Options

It may be a fine line between occasional abuse of the drug and Adderall addiction, but it is not a line you want to risk ignoring. In a residential addiction treatment center, medically-supervised detox is the first step on the road to recovery. Clients have all the clinical, psychological, and lifestyle support they need to taper their Adderall dosages and minimize withdrawal symptoms along the way. Most importantly, medical detox is safe because doctors can monitor a client’s progress and intervene proactively at the sign of any discomfort or more serious risks of detox. Especially if your spouse has been using Adderall in high doses and/or abusing the drug for a long period of time, a medically-supervised detox program is highly recommended.

Once your spouse has stopped using Adderall and completes a period of detox, a comprehensive treatment program introduces a range of therapies and supportive activities. This type of program will help them integrate constructive strategies for dealing with life’s stress and triggers without resorting to substances. Some of the treatments and activities you can expect include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

As a psychotherapy approach, cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, guides a client to recognize their triggers and negative behavioral patterns and to discover ways to gain control over their substance cravings.

12-Step Groups

As just a part of the path to long-term recovery from substance abuse, 12-step groups support the process of getting sober and staying sober. The powerful motivating factor is peer support as clients navigate the complex challenges of their substance use disorders. And these support groups are widely available after your partner completes residential treatment, so they can stay tapped into the empowering community resource.

Family Behavior Therapy

In a respectful and structured way, family involvement can be incredibly helpful for a client during their treatment stay. Comprehensive family programs explore how substance use disorders can become family disorders. Together, you can learn how to recognize codependent patterns, set and maintain boundaries, and heal family-system wounds as each individual takes responsibility for their part in the whole.

Healthy Daily Habits

Residential Adderall treatment considers and treats the whole person. Clients will feel refreshed in private, luxurious accommodations and nourished by healthy gourmet meals. Their daily schedules will be rounded out with holistic and experiential therapy opportunities, including empowering activities such as exercise and meditation that they can continue to integrate into regular life following their treatment.


How You Can Help Your Spouse Embrace Recovery

Other significant negative results of Adderall addiction include faltering performance at work, in relationships, and even in personal care and regular life tasks. Your spouse might lose control of regular routines that they would otherwise take for granted. But the chance to regain control is not far away when they can accept help. The sooner they can connect with professional medical and psychological support, the sooner they can regain physical, mental, emotional, and life balance.

As you offer your spouse encouragement to give Adderall addiction treatment a try, remember to also listen openly and compassionately. Keep in mind that there may be underlying pain that is leading them to self-medicate with Adderall or other substances. Moving forward in recovery will not simply be about leaving the substance behind; it will also be about facing their internal challenges head-on. It is a difficult but undeniably rewarding journey because it will bring them back to the life they truly want.

Alta Mira is a residential addiction treatment center treating drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Bay Area programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.