What is the Link Between Adderall Abuse and Eating Disorders?

Understanding the Link Between Adderall Abuse and Eating Disorders

The brand name Adderell, is a combination of two substances known as dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults.1 It is a central nervous system stimulant that works by changing certain hormone levels in the brain.2 Let’s look at the connection between Adderall abuse and eating disorders.

Adderall Abuse Signs

Adderall abuse causes its users to feel more alert and energetic. It also results in an increase in dopamine in the brain, which can lead to feelings of euphoria. Over time, this stimulant will take larger amounts to feel the same effect. As you increase your dose of this medication, you may find that you need more to be able to function.3

Some signs that you or a loved one may be suffering from Adderall abuse includes:3

  1. Going to multiple doctors for medication
  2. Isolation from family and friends
  3. Increased anxiety
  4. Poor grooming
  5. Difficulty sleeping
  6. Memory problems
  7. Decreased appetite
  8. Weight loss

Risks of Adderall Prescription Misuse

Long-term use of Adderall can lead to dependence. Once someone becomes dependent on Adderall, it can be difficult to stop using it. In fact, this medication can be just as addictive as cocaine or heroin.4

It is possible to overdose on Adderall. Taking too much can result in serious, life-threatening side effects, including the following:1

  1. Dizziness
  2. Slowed speech
  3. Changes in vision
  4. Rapid heartbeat
  5. Pain, weakness, or tingling of hands or feet
  6. Hallucinating
  7. Seizures

You can have withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking Adderall. People who are withdrawing typically have intense cravings for the medication, which can make it hard to stay off of it.

Adderall withdrawal can also include many physical symptoms, including mood swings, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, headaches, and even hallucinations.3

If you or a loved one develops any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.

The Connection Between Adderall Prescription Abuse and Eating Disorders

Those with eating disorders are at higher risk for Adderall misuse. This class of medications often results in decreased appetite and weight loss.5 When someone is desperate to lose weight, they may resort to using Adderall or other amphetamine-containing medications.

While this can be very dangerous, someone suffering from an eating disorder may feel like the benefit of changing their size outweighs the serious, potentially life-threatening risks of prescription misuse. This is one reason why treatment is essential for those struggling with an eating disorder and substance use.

Treatment for Adderall Abuse and Eating Disorders

Aster Springs offers a comfortable, home-like atmosphere for you to work on your recovery. When you arrive, you will be matched with a therapist who can help you identify the root cause of your eating disorder and learn new coping skills. To get started, find the location nearest you.


  1. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601234.html
  2. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=aff45863-ffe1-4d4f-8acf-c7081512a6c0#section-1
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000792.htm
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7138250
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4904716

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