What to Do If You Get Addicted to Vyvanse


Vyvanse is a medication prescribed to address attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as binge eating disorders. As a central nervous system stimulant, it enhances the concentration of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This helps increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

Despite its therapeutic benefits, there is a growing concern about the potential for misuse and addiction. Like other stimulant medications, it carries a risk for dependency, primarily when used in a manner not prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Recognizing the signs of Vyvanse addiction is the first step in addressing the problem. This blog will look at those signs, the possible consequences of stimulant abuse, and the treatment options available for those struggling with Vyvanse dependency, including strategies to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively.

stimulant abuse

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a prescription medication primarily used to manage ADHD in children and adults, as well as to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorders in adults. It belongs to a class of medications known as stimulants, which are commonly used to achieve increased focus and attention in those with attention deficit disorders.

In the case of ADHD, Vyvanse helps to reduce symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and the inability to maintain focus. For binge eating disorders, it works by curbing the episodes of excessive food consumption that are not related to hunger.

How does it work in the body? Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, which is converted into the active substance dextroamphetamine in the body, specifically after it’s ingested and metabolized.

Dextroamphetamine acts on the central nervous system to enhance the effects of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters play a critical role in attention and focus and regulating behavior and mood.

By increasing their concentration in the brain, Vyvanse can help improve cognitive control and reduce the impulsivity often seen in ADHD, thereby improving the overall functioning and quality of life for those with the disorder.

However, due to its stimulant nature, this prescribed medication is subject to abuse. That said, it should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Recognizing Signs of Addiction

You must be aware of the various symptoms that may indicate misuse of the said medication. This includes the following:

Behavioral Signs of Vyvanse Misuse

  • Taking larger doses or taking it more frequently.
  • “Doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions.
  • Isolating from friends and family or neglecting social and work obligations.
  • Continuing to use Vyvanse despite the negative consequences it may cause.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors

Physical Signs of Vyvanse Misuse

  • Noticeable changes in energy levels, such as excessive hyperactivity or fatigue.
  • Significant weight loss due to decreased appetite, a common side effect of stimulants.
  • Sleep disturbances, ranging from insomnia to sleeping for extended periods.
  • Fatigue, depression, and changes in heart rhythm.

Psychological Signs of Vyvanse Misuse

  • Anxiety or irritability may escalate when the drug wears off.
  • Unusual aggression or paranoia.
  • Mood or demeanor changes often correspond with the timing of medication doses.
Vyvanse addiction
Source: Pexels.com

Dependency vs. Occasional Use

Dependency is characterized by a strong compulsion to use Vyvanse regularly and in increasing amounts to avoid withdrawal symptoms or to feel “normal.” This is distinct from occasional use, which adheres to a prescribed schedule and dosage.

Implications of Prolonged Vyvanse Misuse

The misuse of Vyvanse over a prolonged period can have far-reaching effects on an individual’s health and quality of life. The implications span mental, physical, and socio-professional aspects.

Impact on Mental Health

  • Anxiety and Paranoia: Misuse of Vyvanse can exacerbate or induce symptoms of anxiety and paranoia, contributing to a heightened state of nervousness and unwarranted distrustful thoughts.
  • Depression: The imbalance of neurotransmitters caused by stimulant abuse can lead to depression, especially as the effects of the medication wear off, leaving individuals feeling depleted and discouraged.

Physical Consequences

  • Cardiovascular Issues: Stimulants like Vyvanse can increase heart rate and blood pressure, posing significant risks to the cardiovascular system, especially when taken in higher doses than prescribed.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Vyvanse can cause disruptions in sleep patterns, leading to difficulties in falling or staying asleep, impacting overall sleep quality, and contributing to fatigue and other health issues.

Social and Professional Effects

  • Relationship Strain: Behavioral changes and mood swings associated with Vyvanse misuse can strain personal relationships, leading to social withdrawal or conflicts with friends and family.
  • Workplace Challenges: Misuse can also impact professional life, potentially affecting job performance and punctuality or leading to job loss due to decreased productivity or erratic behavior.
treatment options
Source: Roots Through Recovery

Steps to Take if You Suspect Addiction

If you suspect that you or someone you know might be developing an addiction to Vyvanse, it’s essential to take immediate action. Here are some critical steps to consider:

Consulting a Physician or Addiction Specialist

The first and most crucial step is to seek professional help. Reach out to a healthcare provider who specializes in addiction medicine or a psychiatrist familiar with treating substance abuse disorders. They can provide a confidential and accurate assessment and guide you toward the appropriate treatment.

Assessing the Level of Dependency

A professional can help determine the severity of the addiction, often through a series of diagnostic evaluations. This assessment will consider various factors, such as the dosage being taken, the frequency of misuse, and any co-occurring mental health conditions. Understanding the level of dependency is vital to creating an effective treatment plan.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment Considerations

Depending on the assessment, a physician or addiction specialist may recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment typically requires you to stay at a residential facility, providing intensive support and monitoring, which can be crucial for those with severe dependency or those who might experience intense withdrawal symptoms.

Outpatient treatment allows individuals to maintain certain aspects of their daily lives while attending regular treatment sessions. It could be suitable for those with a less severe level of addiction or have a strong support system at home.

withdrawal symptoms
Source: Pexels.com

In confronting Vyvanse addiction, recognizing the signs and understanding the implications is just the beginning. Seeking professional help, evaluating treatment options, and committing to a structured recovery plan are essential to rehabilitation. Recovery is not just about ceasing the drug but rebuilding a life where the potential for relapse is continuously managed through therapy, support systems, and aftercare.

If you or a loved one is navigating the challenges of Vyvanse addiction, remember that help is within reach. At Roots Through Recovery, we offer personalized support to guide you toward reclaiming control and embarking on a journey to a healthier, substance-free future.

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