Search For A Cure
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What Causes Ritalin/Adderall Abuse?
Addiction to stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin occurs when repeated exposure to the drug changes the brain’s response to neurotransmitters. With frequent drug use over time, communication between nerve cells is hindered when the drug isn’t present, causing the user to feel unwell whenever he or she stops taking the drug. The situation causes the user to seek out more of the drug to keep the good feelings in place and to head off withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the people who become addicted to stimulants are those who have misused their own prescription drugs. Many people, however, develop a dependence on the drugs when they use them entirely recreationally. A variety of risk factors make certain individuals more likely than others to develop a substance abuse problem. These risk factors include:
- Family history. People who have close relatives who have suffered from drug addiction are more likely to develop an addiction themselves.
- Abuse of other substances. Stimulant abuse often occurs in conjunction with the abuse of other drugs or alcohol.
- Use in childhood or adolescence. The earlier in life that stimulants are first abused, the more likely the user is to develop an addiction.
- Mental illness. Drugs are often used as a coping tool by people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental illnesses. This can be especially problematic in the case of prescription stimulants, because their abuse can worsen the symptoms of some mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder.
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