Adderall addiction started among athletes who were looking for ways to boost their performance. As the advantages of taking Adderall became known, many others sought to use the drug to help their performance in their own careers. Individuals with high stress jobs began taking Adderall to help them keep up with the demands of their careers without respecting the dangers that addiction represented. Now, there are thousands of Americans struggling with Adderall addiction.
Adderall and the Problem of Workplace Addiction
Adderall is a highly addictive stimulant and, as such, it can only be obtained legally as a prescription from a doctor. While the regulations concerning Adderall were established to circumvent the problem of addiction and abuse, it hasn’t helped. In 2012, there were over 16 million prescriptions written for Adderall and that number is over three times greater than the prescriptions written for the drug in 2008.
While the prescriptions may seek to limit Adderall addiction or abuse, patients often begin by deviating from the prescribed doses. They begin taking higher doses at more frequent intervals, requiring refills sooner than recommended. When doctors refuse to write the refills, those patients turn towards criminal drug dealers to obtain their supply. This trend has led to a spike in amphetamine addicts in recovery programs. In 2012, there 116,000 people admitted to treatment centers for Adderall and amphetamine addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Abuse in the Workplace
Many people turn to Adderall to boost their efficiency, having learned that the drug helps to boost concentration and productivity. However, those benefits are short–lived and, as the addiction develops, the individual needs to use the drug just to be able to function at their jobs or in their lives.
As they build up a tolerance, people using Adderall will have to take more of the drug just to achieve that same level of focus. They often don’t realize that the drug is creating other changes to their personality, behavior, and emotions. When they take Adderall to improve workplace performance, some of these characteristics can help identify those using the drug:
- Overly talkative
- Loss of appetite
- Easily excitable
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Money troubles caused by the expense of the drug
- Aggressive or irritable personality
- Sleeping more than usual
- Acting secretively
Over time, the addiction to Adderall can cause serious mental health problems. This is because the drug causes physical changes to the brain. Those changes cause illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, to develop and can also cause permanent or long-lasting behavioral changes. As a result of these changes, some common side effects or symptoms of Adderall addiction include:
- A loss of appetite
- Sexual performance dysfunctions or disorders
Stopping Adderall Abuse in the Workplace
While the problem of Adderall abuse is little known to many in the workplace, employers and managers need to educate themselves. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of abuse and addiction to Adderall and similar drugs. While it may boost performance and focus in the beginning, it isn’t a sustainable situation. Eventually, the employee will burn out, which will harm the individual and have a negative impact on the workplace.
While the problem of Adderall abuse may begin in the workplace, that same environment may also hold the key to a solution. By helping employees to live healthier lives, managers and supervisors can help their workers boost their productivity naturally. Promoting a lifestyle that incorporates physical activity and healthy eating habits into the workplace environment can lead to happier, healthier, and more energetic employees. Instead of the temporary boost they may gain from using Adderall, employees can maximize their performance through natural means.
It may be time to pay attention to just how much responsibility we place on individuals in college and in the workforce. Overworked individuals will too often turn to drugs to keep up instead of admitting that it’s too much of a burden. If we can shift to a society more concerned with healthier levels of productivity, the need for drug abuse may be eliminated.