Adderall Psychosis: Can Adderall Abuse Cause Psychosis?

Long-term abuse of Adderall can have many negative effects on a person’s brain and mental health, including the potential for developing psychosis. Psychosis can also be a symptom of an Adderall overdose and requires immediate medical care.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on November 11, 2022

Adderall, a type of prescription stimulant similar to Ritalin, is a popular medication used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

The drug works by raising levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the central nervous system, two neurotransmitters that are a part of the brain’s “reward system”.

The drug is generally safe when used as directed, but in rare cases, abuse of the medication can result in a person experiencing a range of effects on mental health.

One of these mental effects of Adderall abuse is a condition known as psychosis, which can lead to a number of psychotic symptoms.

Adderall abuse can result in psychosis in two ways. The first is through long-term misuse of Adderall, during which psychosis develops and worsens over time.

A person can also experience psychosis in the short term as a symptom of an Adderall overdose. This typically occurs after a very high dose of Adderall.

What Adderall-Induced Psychosis Looks Like

Adderall-induced psychosis can be scary for both the person experiencing it and those around them witnessing it.

A person in an amphetamine-induced psychosis will likely appear disoriented and confused, and unable to control their mental state or behavior.

Psychosis can also be a sign that someone is experiencing an overdose and may be in need of immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of psychosis can include:

  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • auditory or visual hallucinations
  • feelings of persecution
  • anger and aggression
  • panic attacks
  • confusion

How Adderall Psychosis Is Treated

Adderall psychosis typically begins with a period of medical detox, as it’s important to get a person sober and comfortable before they can start the next part of treatment.

After this period of detox is complete, the person will likely attend multiple forms of therapy, including individual and group therapy. Treatment may also include behavioral therapy.

Prescription drug medications can also be used for treating psychosis, some of which are the same antipsychotic medications used for treating schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.

It is important to remember that if someone is experiencing psychosis, they may be experiencing an overdose and emergency medical care should be sought.

Factors That May Influence Adderall Psychosis

Psychosis is not a common side effect of Adderall abuse, and some people are more likely to experience it than others because they have certain risk factors.

Family History

There is evidence to suggest that certain disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis can be genetic and are more likely to run in family members.

Even a person with no personal history of mental illness may be at an increased risk for psychosis when misusing or abusing Adderall.

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

A person with co-occurring mental health conditions, especially one like schizophrenia, is at a higher risk for developing psychosis while abusing drugs or substances.

Because of this, prescribing physicians will always carefully go over a person’s family history and personal history of mental illness.

Is Damage From Adderall Psychosis Reversible?

The symptoms of Adderall drug-induced psychosis will usually start to resolve as soon as a person discontinues use and successfully completes detox from all stimulant medications.

However, some symptoms can linger for weeks, months, and even years after the last dose of Adderall was taken.

Further, once a person has experienced psychosis they will also be at an increased risk for future psychotic episodes.

Can Adderall Make You Manic Or Paranoid?

Special considerations should be made when using Adderall with co-occurring bipolar disorder, a disorder characterized by alternating manic and depressive states.

Manic episodes are known to mimic the effects of Adderall use by increasing energy and alertness, so it should come as no surprise that taking Adderall can trigger a manic episode.

In addition to worsening the symptoms of bipolar disorder, Adderall is also known to cause paranoia.

Treatment Services For Adderall Addiction

Professional addiction treatment programs for Adderall addiction can not only make the withdrawal and detox period more comfortable, but they can also make relapse much less likely.

Alcohol and drug use treatment facilities can also be highly beneficial in the sense of community that they provide.

Treatment options for Adderall abuse can include:

  • medical detox
  • individual therapy
  • medication management
  • outpatient treatment
  • individualized treatment plans
  • 12-step programs
  • holistic therapy
  • aftercare support

Find Substance Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

A substance use disorder can be difficult to face, but you or your loved one do not have to go through it alone. Please give us a call at Bedrock Recovery Center.

We specialize in trauma-informed care and early recovery at our treatment center, and we can help you get started as soon as today.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  3. United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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