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Vyvanse Addiction and Abuse

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Vyvanse Addiction Treatment Chattanooga, TN
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Dr. Mohsin Ali MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trained in Syracuse NY, he has worked in Tennessee for the last sixteen years.

Table of Contents

Vyvanse is a medication prescribed for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) across different age groups, including children, teens, and adults. Its intended use is to enhance focus and energy over a duration of up to twelve hours, thanks to its composition as an amphetamine salt. While Vyvanse is deemed safe for consumption under medical supervision, its potential for misuse or abuse raises concerns about dependency and addiction risks. Consequently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes Vyvanse as a Schedule II controlled substance, highlighting its importance for regulated usage.

Iris Wellness Group offers a range of Vyvanse addiction treatment programs for both teens and adults. Our comprehensive approach not only assists individuals in stopping Vyvanse use but also supports their overall mental health recovery. If you suspect a loved one is misusing Vyvanse, contact us at 423-564-6114 for help.

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse, known scientifically as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, is a CNS stimulant prescribed for ADHD and binge eating disorder in adults. Despite its medical benefits, it shares the potential for misuse and addiction common to prescription stimulants, offering temporary euphoria, alertness, and well-being that some may seek recreationally. Misuse is further motivated by false beliefs in its ability to enhance cognitive performance and aid weight loss, despite negative associations with academic achievement and serious cardiovascular risks.

Unique in its chemical structure, Vyvanse functions as a prodrug, requiring metabolic activation in the gastrointestinal tract, a feature intended to deter abuse by making snorting or injecting ineffective. This design aims to limit oral misuse by delaying absorption and euphoria, yet the effectiveness of these abuse-deterrent properties is still under evaluation. Despite this, Vyvanse’s potential for addiction and the grave risks associated with overdose necessitate caution and further research.

The misuse of Vyvanse underscores the complex challenges of managing prescription stimulant abuse. While intended to serve as a treatment for specific disorders, the drug’s abuse potential highlights the need for careful prescription practices, patient education, and ongoing research into safer pharmacological treatments. The balance between therapeutic benefit and the risk of dependence and severe health consequences remains a critical consideration for healthcare providers and patients alike.

Is Vyvanse Addictive?

Yes, Vyvanse can be addictive. A notable event occurred in 2014 when the U.S. Department of Justice imposed a $56.6 million penalty on Vyvanse’s manufacturer after research established its similar abuse potential to other amphetamines. The FDA’s 2017 updated guidelines affirm Vyvanse’s addiction risk. Misuse of this medication can lead to serious issues, such as:

  • Tolerance: Users may notice a diminishing effect of Vyvanse over time, requiring larger doses for the same effect. This growing tolerance can lead to increased consumption and more significant health risks.
  • Physical Dependence: Regular, prolonged use of Vyvanse can cause the body to rely on it for normal operation, leading to dependence. Stopping Vyvanse abruptly may result in withdrawal symptoms, indicating the body’s adjustment to its constant presence.
  • Addiction: There’s a risk of developing an addiction to Vyvanse, characterized by an overwhelming urge to use the drug despite harmful consequences. Addiction can deeply affect personal relationships, employment, and health.

Acknowledging the potential for Vyvanse abuse is crucial, and professional guidance should be sought if there’s concern over dependence or addiction. Timely and suitable treatment can greatly aid in recovery and help prevent the severe effects of misuse.

Vyvanse Side Effects

While Vyvanse is beneficial for treating ADHD and binge eating disorders, it can also cause several side effects across all age groups. For ADHD treatment in adults, children, and adolescents, and for binge eating disorder in adults, reported side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss

Furthermore, Vyvanse carries significant cardiovascular risks, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can be particularly dangerous for those with existing heart issues, potentially leading to stroke, heart attack, or sudden death. It can also trigger or worsen psychiatric conditions, causing new-onset psychotic or manic symptoms in individuals with no prior psychiatric history and intensifying symptoms in those with existing conditions. The Vyvanse warning label also notes other possible side effects, including:

  • Growth suppression in children
  • Circulation problems like peripheral vasculopathy and Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Serotonin syndrome, a serious condition resulting from excessive serotonin levels.

Vyvanse Abuse Symptoms

The misuse and abuse of Vyvanse, alongside other prescription medications, happen when they are utilized differently than how a doctor prescribes. Misuse patterns include:

  • Exceeding the prescribed dosage of Vyvanse.
  • Using Vyvanse more frequently than recommended.
  • Extending the use of Vyvanse beyond the prescribed period.
  • Combining Vyvanse with other substances.
  • Consuming Vyvanse without a medical prescription.
  • Administering Vyvanse through snorting or injection.

Reasons for Vyvanse abuse vary, encompassing:

  • Utilization as a cognitive enhancer or for academic performance improvement.
  • Appetite control for weight reduction.
  • Seeking euphoric experiences or a “high.”

Abusing Vyvanse escalates risks such as:

  • Tolerance, necessitating higher doses for the same effect.
  • Physical dependency, with the body requiring Vyvanse for normal function.
  • Addiction, marked by compulsive use despite adverse consequences.
  • The possibility of a lethal overdose if not promptly addressed.

Signs and Symptoms of Vyvanse Addiction

Recognizing the signs of Vyvanse addiction is crucial, as this stimulant medication can lead to misuse and addiction. Vyvanse abuse manifests through several physical, emotional, and behavioral indicators.

Physical and psychological signs of Vyvanse addiction include:

  • Dilated pupils, aggression, paranoia, and hallucinations.
  • Emotional instability, insomnia, unusually high confidence, and heightened energy.
  • Rapid speech, excessive sweating, poor decision-making, and nausea.
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.

Behavioral signs of Vyvanse addiction include:

  • Inability to limit Vyvanse use and continued consumption despite adverse effects on relationships and health.
  • Neglect of responsibilities in favor of drug use.
  • Consuming the drug in larger quantities or for longer periods than intended.
  • Significant time spent acquiring, using, and recovering from Vyvanse.
  • Intense cravings and risky use, including driving while under the influence.
  • Tolerance development, requiring more of the drug to achieve previous effects.

Severe risks associated with high doses include hyperthermia, arrhythmias, seizures, heart failure, and potentially fatal outcomes, especially in individuals with heart issues.

Signs of Teen Vyvanse Addiction

When teens use Vyvanse without a prescription or misuse a prescribed dose, it signals addiction or dependence. The 2017 Monitoring the Future survey revealed that approximately 1.5% of high school students reported using Vyvanse. Many parents might overlook the potential for addiction, given Vyvanse’s prescribed purpose to enhance focus and academic performance. Yet, Vyvanse can be overused, with individuals resorting to crushing tablets or emptying capsules for snorting or injecting, intensifying its effects. Recognizing Vyvanse abuse in teens involves observing a mix of physical and behavioral changes, including:

  • Persistent craving and consumption of Vyvanse
  • Increased secrecy and withdrawal from family
  • Diminishing interest in relationships
  • Risk-taking to obtain and use Vyvanse
  • Consuming higher doses for desired effects
  • Continued use despite adverse consequences
  • Inability to cease Vyvanse use
  • Withdrawal from school and extracurricular activities

These indicators highlight the need for vigilance and potential intervention to address Vyvanse misuse among teens.

Is Vyvanse a controlled substance?

Yes, Vyvanse falls under the Schedule II category of controlled substances, reflecting its high potential for abuse and the possibility of leading to psychological or physical dependence.

How Long Does Vyvanse last?

Vyvanse’s duration of action is designed for all-day coverage, offering up to 14 hours of effectiveness in adults when taken according to prescription guidelines.

Dangers of Snorting Vyvanse

Snorting Vyvanse, seeking an intensified effect, bypasses its intended oral administration, leading to rapid bloodstream absorption. While this method may produce a heightened euphoria, it also introduces severe side effects, posing significant health risks. Adverse reactions from snorting Vyvanse may include:

  • Fainting and uncontrollable tremors.
  • Chest discomfort and difficulty breathing.
  • Seizures indicating neurological distress.
  • Allergic reactions, evident from hives and swelling of the face, tongue, or lips.
  • Numbness, a potentially alarming neurological symptom.
  • Vision impairment and potential heart failure, indicating critical cardiovascular stress.

These side effects underscore the dangers associated with the misuse of Vyvanse, especially through insufflation, emphasizing the need for caution and adherence to prescribed methods of intake.

Vyvanse Overdose

Overdosing on Vyvanse, much like other prescription stimulants, is a serious risk. Symptoms of a Vyvanse overdose can encompass:

  • Confusion and panic
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Rapid breathing and heart arrhythmias
  • Increased reflex actions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Uncontrollable restlessness and shaking
  • Seizures

Furthermore, a stimulant overdose may cause cardiac issues leading to a heart attack, fluctuations in blood pressure, severe circulatory issues, neurological complications culminating in seizures, along with gastrointestinal distress including nausea and vomiting. Without prompt intervention, an overdose can result in convulsions, cardiac failure, and potentially fatal outcomes.

Experiencing an overdose requires immediate medical attention. In the event of a suspected overdose, it’s crucial to dial 911 right away and stay with the individual until emergency services arrive.

Get Help for Vyvanse Addiction in Chattanooga, TN

Ready to overcome Vyvanse addiction in Chattanooga, TN? Iris Wellness Group stands by to support your journey from the initial detox to full recovery and beyond. Our outpatient rehab fosters an environment conducive to addressing the psychological facets of stimulant addiction. A tailored treatment plan awaits you, incorporating individual and group therapy, family counseling, psychotherapeutic approaches, holistic practices, and medication-assisted therapy. Upon completion, you’ll be armed with effective relapse prevention strategies and continuous therapeutic support.

Recovery from Vyvanse addiction, especially when managing ADHD symptoms simultaneously, may seem daunting, but it is achievable with the right support and resources. Addiction specialists are equipped to provide comprehensive care that facilitates a safe withdrawal process and fosters long-term wellness. With professional guidance, individuals can emerge stronger, healthier, and ready to embrace a fulfilling life ahead. Ready to reclaim your life from addiction? Call Iris Wellness Group today at 423-564-6114 or fill out our online form and commit to recovery with us.

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