Adderall is an amphetamine prescription drug often prescribed to treat children, teens, and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy.
Prescription medications such as Adderall will help people control their movements and increase their ability to focus on a task. When taken as directed, Adderall can help people regain control over their behavior and lives.
Adderall drugs may come in immediate release or extended release tablets. When taken, they affect the dopamine and serotonin receptors and neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.
When misused, Adderall can be addictive, particularly among adolescents.
Over time, the body may build up a tolerance to Adderall that affects the potency of the drug and increases the risk of overdose death or dangerous side effects.
How Adderall Tolerance Builds
Adderall tolerance builds primarily when people are on larger doses of Adderall, or when Adderall is taken over a prolonged period of time.
The rate at which tolerance to amphetamines develops will vary depending on factors such as body weight, genetics, and more.
Higher Doses Of Adderall
When a person takes higher doses of Adderall than what they were prescribed, their body will become used to the higher dose of the medication and may quickly develop tolerance.
Dangerously high doses of Adderall may contribute to other health risks, such as development of addiction and overdose.
Taking Adderall Over A Long Period Of Time
When Adderall is taken over a prolonged period, the body may become adjusted to the drug and some or all of the symptoms may reappear as the Adderall tolerance sets in.
There is also evidence that taking low dose supplements of certain vitamins may also affect the potency of stimulant drugs or ADHD medications such as Adderall.
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Can Tapering Dosage Affect Adderall Tolerance?
Once a tolerance to Adderall has built up, one of the most common ways of lowering tolerance back to normal levels is a process referred to as tapering.
Tapering Adderall dosage may involve taking a break from using Adderall for days or weeks at a time, or slowly reducing the dosage of the drug in an effort to reset the brain.
How Long Does It Take For Adderall Tolerance To Wear Off?
While there’s not one standard timeframe for how long it takes for tolerance to wear off, it may vary depending on a range of factors.
Factors that affect the amount of time it takes for Adderall tolerance to wear off include body mass, genetic disposition, dosage, and more.
How Tolerance Affects Adderall Abuse
People who are highly tolerant of Adderall may start to take higher doses of the drug, or take Adderall more frequently to achieve the desired effect.
Abusing Adderall in this manner may raise the risk of negative side effects such as loss of appetite, weight loss, headaches, anxiety, or difficulty sleeping.
The severity of these symptoms will greatly depend on how much the drug is overused and other physical health issues the person may have.
Are There Risks With Adderall Tolerance?
Tolerance to stimulants such as Adderall may pose several serious risks to a person’s physical and psychological health.
These risks are largely due to the fact that tolerance contributes to misuse, which often leads to an addiction.
Health risks include:
- Adderall-induced teeth grinding
- high blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- suicidal thoughts
- blood circulation problems
- Adderall overdose
- liver or kidney disease
The long-term effects of Adderall use may also result in potentially life-threatening Adderall withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment Options For Amphetamine Addiction
If you or a loved one are in need of substance use disorder treatment for amphetamines, there are a range of options designed specifically for stimulant medications and amphetamine addiction.
Treatment options may include:
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- inpatient treatment
- outpatient treatment
- dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
- medically monitored detox
- 12-step programs
- short-term residential care
- support groups
- family therapy
Getting help for Adderall addiction is important to avoid the onset of dangerous side effects or withdrawal symptoms.
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- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Adderall And Adderall XR (amphetamines) Information
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts
- National Institute of Health (NIH) — Potential Adverse Effects of Amphetamine Treatment on Brain and Behavior: A Review
- National Institute of Health (NIH) — The pharmacology of amphetamine and methylphenidate
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)