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Are Stimulants Addictive and How Long Does it Take?

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Will stimulants make you more efficient and productive? Maybe. But they definitely have the power to make you an addict.


You can be physically dependent on stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin without being addicted. Much like prescription painkillers, it’s a question of how they’re taken.

If taken for conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy and if taken exactly as prescribed by a doctor, these medications can be safe and effective. Yes, you will be physically dependent on them, but you will not be addicted.

The trouble begins—and it can happen quickly—when these drugs are taken for non-medical reasons. For example, to get high, to study better or to lose weight. Even worse is when pills are crushed, snorted or injected.

Have you ever heard of a parent taking their child’s Ritalin? It’s not because mom or dad has ADHD. It’s because Ritalin and Adderall are considered Schedule 2 controlled substances and, when used improperly, can deliver a high that rivals that of cocaine.

Once you start taking a prescription drug for illegitimate uses, all bets are off. Addiction can occur rapidly—and without warning.

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Signs of Addiction to Adderall and Ritalin

You’ll know you’re physically dependent on stimulants when you stop taking them and experience physical withdrawal symptoms like body aches, insomnia, fatigue and oversleeping.

True addiction symptoms include a compulsion to use the drug, even when there are negative consequences. In other words, a loss of control over your use of stimulants.

The really scary part is that you’ll need stimulants just to function normally. They’ll no longer give you the boost or perceived mental edge that they used to.

Stimulant Recovery at The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver with expertise in treating stimulant addiction. We do that by not just addressing the addiction, but by addressing the whole person, including mind, body and spirit. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our Adderall and Ritalin addiction treatment program.

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