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Adderall and Psychosis

March 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Adderall, Psychosis

Adderall and Psychosis

Adderall and Psychosis

“Between 2000 and 2005, the FDA identified nearly 1,000 cases of psychosis or mania — particularly hallucinations — linked to drugs like Adderall and in 2007 it directed drug companies to inform patients of adverse psychiatric symptoms.”

Adderall is a prescription medication that is most commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Adderall is a stimulant and has a high risk of abuse and addiction. Adderall is a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall can cause some pretty several severe side effects that are not limited to loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, sleep disorders and shakiness. Adderall should only be used in accordance with a prescription from a doctor by the person who it is prescribed to.

Adderall is a stimulant and can result in what is known as stimulant psychosis. A psychosis is better known as having false beliefs that are not based on reality especially in the form of unfounded fears and suspicions. Psychosis can also result in disorganized thought and speech as well as hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there. Disordered thinking is another common sign of a psychosis.

The symptoms of stimulant psychosis vary depending on the person but more often than not they include hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorders and in extreme cases catatonia. Physical symptoms of Adderall and psychosis are:

  • aggression
  • arrhythmia
  • dilated pupils
  • hypertension
  • hyperthermia
  • nausea
  • rapid breathing
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • sleep deprivation
  • tremor
  • vomiting

Adderall and Psychosis can be extremely dangerous because Adderall is most commonly prescribed to and used by young people. These young people can range from college students to kids in elementary school. The amount of Adderall needed to produce a psychosis or psychiatric symptoms in children is as low as 2mg and the typical dose of Adderall is 2.5-40mg daily. And an estimated 1 in 5 college students has abused Adderall. For those that need Adderall the effects of the drug are very helpful but this isn’t the case for those who don’t need Adderall such as college students who are abusing the drug. In a patient without ADHD, the amygdala the part of the brain that controls emotions and aggression can become overactive from stimulants like Adderall, and this causes increased dopamine levels. Studies at UCLA show that those who use amphetamines have higher rates of aggression, psychosis and suicide, according to Schultz. “It tricks the brain that it doesn’t need to make dopamine, and dopamine is the only chemical in the brain that once it is damaged, you never get it back,” said Schultz. “That results in severe depressions and mood dysregulation.”

Adderall and psychosis is just now making its way to the forefront of the media and people are just now hearing about it. Adderall unfortunately is too easily prescribed and too easily abused especially by college students who have little knowledge of the long term damaging effects of the drug. Adderall can end up affecting the brain for the rest of an individual’s life or end it depending on the severity of a psychosis.

Sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/adderall-psychosis-suicide-college-students-abuse-study-drug/story?id=12066619

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/289973-overview

 

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