Alongside drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, Vyvanse is one of the prescription drugs used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It helps ease ADHD symptoms by improving focus and concentration, but as with many stimulant medications, it also produces euphoric sensations and increased energy. This makes abusing Vyvanse common, particularly among students, party goers, and for weight loss.
Prescription drugs are not free from danger, and ADHD medications can be susceptible to abuse. Chronic Vyvanse use can lead to drug addiction and withdrawal symptoms can develop when a user stops taking Vyvanse suddenly. The good news, however, is that addiction treatment is available and it is entirely possible to recover from Vyvanse abuse and addiction. With the right support from drug addiction specialists and mental health professionals, you can overcome your addiction to ADHD medications and you can achieve a life free from stimulant drugs.
What Is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is the brand name for the stimulant medication lisdexamfetamine. It is a prescription drug used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children over 6 years old, teenagers, and adults. As a stimulant medication, Vyvanse increases neural activity by speeding up the central nervous system. This can help those with ADHD as it enhances attention and focus. It also leads to an increase in energy, euphoria, and a suppressed appetite, making it susceptible to abuse. It is therefore classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that they are legal but carries a high risk of abuse and addiction.
The FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) has approved its use for the treatment of ADHD as well as binge eating disorders in adults, however, it is not recommended for weight loss.
What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition that is commonly diagnosed at a young age, but it can also be diagnosed in adults. ADHD can cause high levels of impulsive behavior and hyperactivity. Other ADHD symptoms include trouble focusing their attention, trouble sitting still for long periods, being easily distracted, interrupting people while they are talking, and being forgetful about completing tasks.
What Is Vyvanse Abuse?
Vyvanse is prone to abuse due to the effects it produces. It is particularly popular among college students and high school students as it improves focus and concentration, allowing young adults to work effectively and efficiently for hours. It is therefore known as a study drug. Other study drugs include:
Due to the way that it suppresses appetite, it is also abused for the goal of weight loss. Some people also take it recreationally due to the euphoria and increased energy, such as at parties.
People take Vyvanse either by swallowing it as Vyvanse capsules, crushing it up and snorting it, or injecting it in a liquid form. The methods of administration carry their own risks.
Abusing Vyvanse is defined as using the drug in ways that are not intended by a doctor, such as:
- Taking Vyvanse more frequently than intended by a physician
- Taking a higher dose of Vyvanse than has been prescribed
- Taking Vyvanse for longer than has been prescribed
- Taking Vyvanse with other drugs
- Taking Vyvanse with no prescription
- Snorting Vyvanse
- Injecting Vyvanse
What Are the Risks of Vyvanse Abuse and Addiction?
Vyvanse is different from other ADHD medications as it is activated in the body differently. Vyvanse is what is known as a prodrug stimulant. This is a substance that is chemically altered and needs to go through an enzymatic conversion in order to become an active drug. Due to this abuse-deterrent that has been incorporated into this stimulant medication, it is harder for people who use Vyvanse to get a rush of euphoria, making it harder to become addicted to Vyvanse. However, abusing Vyvanse and Vyvanse addiction is still possible.
Stimulant medications carry a risk of addiction and Vyvanse addiction can damage both your physical and mental health.
Abusing Vyvanse can lead to a number of health complications. The physical risks of Vyvanse abuse include:
- Nerve damage
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
- Trouble falling asleep
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Fast heart rate
- Change in libido
Some of the psychological side effects that Vyvanse abuse can lead to include:
- Mood swings
- Manic symptoms
Dangers of Snorting Vyvanse
When people abuse Vyvanse, some people choose to snort the drug as it leads to a more potent high because it hits the bloodstream faster than if it is swallowed as a pill. Snorting Vyvanse can lead to a more intense high, but with it, a host of unpleasant side effects. Some of these side effects can include:
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen tongue, face, lips, or mouth
- Feeling numb
- Blurred vision
- Heart failure
Is Vyvanse Addictive?
Vyvanse abuse can lead to Vyvanse addiction. It can lead to you building up a tolerance, which is when you need more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to dependence, where withdrawal symptoms are experienced when there is a lack of the drug in your system.
Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms can include the following:
- Excessive sleeping and fatigue
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Chest pain
- Hallucinations, paranoia, delusions
Vyvanse overdose is possible. If you are worried that you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose on stimulant drugs, call 911 immediately.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Substance abuse problems can feel difficult to escape from, but know that you are not alone and help for abuse of stimulant medications is available. There are treatment options available in order to overcome Vyvanse abuse and substance addiction. Addiction treatment begins with detox, where you are supported by a medical professional to break your physical dependence and manage your withdrawal symptoms safely.
Once your physical dependence has been overcome, you will be able to begin working on your psychological dependence. This can be overcome through talk therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Behavioral therapy is a popular choice of substance abuse and substance addiction treatment as it helps to find positive ways of managing and overcoming your substance use disorder and understanding your patterns surrounding drug abuse.
For those with co-occurring mental disorders, these too can be treated as part of an inpatient or outpatient rehab program, and you will be given an individual treatment plan in order to give you the best possible treatment.
Vyvanse is commonly abused among college and high school students, and those seeking weight loss, but it carries health risks and should only be taken by those who have been prescribed it for ADHD or severe binge eating disorder.
If you are struggling with Vyvanse abuse or Vyvanse addiction, you might feel alone, lost, and helpless. Know that you are not alone and your Vyvanse addiction can be overcome and your substance use disorder can be beaten. Here at Empowered Recovery, we believe that recovery is for life. This is why we offer a year of coaching at no extra cost, making sure that your sobriety is sustainable. We have a range of treatment plans to help with drug addiction and individually tailor for you a plan to ensure that recovery works for you. With our help, you can get over Vyvanse abuse safely and effectively.
We value confidentiality, compassion, and respect and put this at the heart of our treatment programs. We build up your self-esteem so that you feel confident and empowered to live a life free from drugs. Get in touch with our team of experts to begin your recovery journey today.