Addiction And Stimulants

  • long acting stimulant use reduces risk of addiction, even to short acting stimulants
  • abuse of long acting stimulants is uncommon

Stimulants can be addicting. However, the problem is much less than one is led to believe on the internet and listening to well meaning people, even those who are supposed to be information resources.

So what is the truth?

Well, there is a small percentage of people using stimulants who are chronically tired and the extra energy they get when they first go on stimulants is very attractive. Since invariably this extra energy doesn’t last, they are ‘forced’ to take ever larger doses of stimulants trying to get back that initial feeling.

There are people who do get a buzz from stimulants, especially short acting stimulants, and once again seek higher and higher doses to keep getting the buzz. Typically this isn’t a problem with the longer lasting medications and even with things like dexedrine spansules with it’s duration of 5-8 hours this is very uncommon.

There are heroin addicts who have heard that if they mix it with stimulants, they get an even better high (and more risk of dying) atarax pris. I have not seen this in my practice.

We know that people with combined type adhd that includes restlessness and impulsivity are at dramatically more risk of addiction in general, whether to substances, activities, or just danger. When we treat their adhd, the risk of addiction goes down, not up. They smoke less, drink less, reduce gambling and don’t need to ‘live on the edge’ to enjoy life.

So, overall addiction is a much smaller problem than is often touted, and it is a problem in some adhd patients anyway and that risk is reduced with treatment.

Previous abuse of stimulants doesn’t completely block subsequent treatment with stimulants although precautions do need to be implemented. This means more frequent visits, shorter prescriptions, more supervision and checks for multiple doctors prescribing, and especially for using one of the longer forms of stimulant that is harder to abuse. Its a risk, but so to is untreated ADHD so we need to balance risk and benefit.