Like most drugs, ADHD medications have side effects, especially when taken in higher doses than prescribed. In many cases, understanding the risks, symptoms, and alternatives can help people avoid unwanted side effects of ADHD medications. People who have been prescribed ADHD medication are at risk of developing an increasingly high tolerance. This puts them at risk of turning to more dangerous drugs. ADHD Treatment in Portland is everything you need for a smooth recovery.
What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a mental health condition causing people to struggle with an overabundance of hyperactivity, poor impulse control, and difficulty focusing. People with ADHD often have difficulty focusing on one task or even sitting still for any length of time. It is recognized and diagnosed in both adults and in children. Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:
- Trouble focusing
- Trouble completing tasks
- Difficulty sitting or standing still
ADHD can cause problems at home, school, work, and in social settings. It is important to seek professional help if you or your child are struggling with ADHD. A mental health professional can help you manage the symptoms and develop coping mechanisms. There is no cure for ADHD, but with treatment, it is possible to manage the symptoms and live a happy and successful life.
Types of ADHD in Children and Adults
There are three categories of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominately hyperactivity-impulsive, and combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive:
People with this form of ADHD have problems focusing, finishing tasks, and following instructions.
People with this type of ADHD may fidget and have trouble sitting still. They often have poor impulse control and may interrupt others during conversation.
Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive
People with this type of ADHD have combined symptoms, including difficulty controlling impulses, trouble focusing, and trouble sitting still.
Treatment options will depend on the type of ADHD you or your child has been diagnosed with. It can also change over time. If you are concerned that your child may have started using more potent stimulants or is using high amounts of ADHD medications, it is important to seek prescription drug addiction rehab as soon as possible.
There are two types of ADHD medications: stimulants and non-stimulants. Stimulants are most prescribed and help control impulses. They boost dopamine and help people focus. Adderall, Ritalin, and Dexedrine are two types of stimulants. Non-stimulants raise norepinephrine and help keep people calmer and more focused. Strattera and Kapvay are two types of non-stimulants.
Most people with ADHD take stimulants. They are the most effective type of medication and work quickly. Stimulants can be taken in pill form or as a patch. The patch is called Daytrana and is worn on the skin. It releases medicine into the body throughout the day.
Non-stimulants are not as common, but they can be helpful for people who cannot take stimulants or who have not had success with them. People may take non-stimulants in pill form.
Both types of medications have side effects. The most common side effects are trouble sleeping and decreased appetite. Stimulants can also cause anxiety and irritability. Non-stimulants can cause dry mouth and constipation.
Long-Term Effects of ADHD Medications
Side effects of stimulants include low to no appetite, sleep disturbances, social withdrawal, and weight loss. For a rare amount of patients, there can be tics and minor growth delays. For non-stimulants, the side effects can be blood pressure drops, nausea, drowsiness, stomach pain, and tiredness.
Long term, ADHD medication has not been shown to have any major negative health effects, but it needs to be combined with instructional and behavior coaching in order to be effective. You may think about discontinuing treatment if they’ve not had symptoms for over a year, got better without a medication dosage increase, or have stayed focused even after a skipped dose.
Is ADHD Medication the Same as Meth?
While ADHD medication is safe for people who are able to follow their doctor’s instructions, a rapidly increasing tolerance is cause for concern. Stimulant medications for ADHD have similar side-effects to those of meth when used in high doses. For some, health risks include heart disease and high blood pressure, abuse and addiction, irregular heartbeat, and seizures. These heart issues may be more prevalent if you are on an amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, or dexmethylphenidate.
Misuse of ADHD medications can lead to abuse, addiction, and overdose. If you have a history of drug and substance abuse, you’re at a higher risk of misusing ADHD medications. Finding a PTSD and addiction treatment program can help you manage your ADHD drugs and any substance abuse issues that arise.
Crestview Recovery, a mental health treatment center in Portland, Oregon, can help you with ADHD treatment program questions. Call us at 866.262.0531 or come by anytime for answers or to talk with us about your ADHD medication substance abuse concerns.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.