What Is Vyvanse Addiction?

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When used correctly, Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is a medication that can help to manage ADHD symptoms. This drug acts as a stimulant, increasing the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine in the brain. This effect can help to boost focus and attentiveness while helping to reduce impulsive behaviors. 

However, these outcomes are the exact reason Vyvanse is often misused for recreational purposes. The stimulating properties of this drug make it attractive for improving performance at work and school. Vyvanse is also used to manage binge eating disorders—an effect that has encouraged its abuse by people looking to lose weight.

Like any medication, when used in excess, Vyvanse can be dangerous to your overall well-being. In extreme cases, an overdose of this stimulant can be fatal. To understand the severity of this dependency, this guide will look at the signs of Vyvanse addiction, the consequences of this habit, and proper care channels to manage this condition.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Symptoms of Vyvanse Addiction

To manage ADHD and binge eating disorder, Vyvanse is available in 10mg to 70mg doses. It is recommended that this drug be taken once a dayin a measure prescribed by a health professional.

Because there’s a high risk of abusing and depending on this medication, Vyvanse is a Schedule II federally classified drug. While this drug can help to enhance focus and concentration—a person that relies on Vyvanse for daily functioning, to the point of forming a habit, will find that they may display the following symptoms:

  • An unusually high level of energy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Profuse sweating without any likely cause
  • Rebound or crash effect when medication wears off
  • Poor sleeping habits at night
  • Unease
  • A lack of coordination
  • Body shakes
  • Skin redness
  • Abdominal pains
  • An unusually inflated sense of self
  • A noticeable change in personality
  • Mood swings

These symptoms can be apparent in people who frequently misuse this drug. Vyvanse can also be misused by snorting it or injecting it into the body. Vyvanse can be misused even in people for whom it has been prescribed if it is taken in excess of the amount specified.

Consequences of Vyvanse Addiction

While the side effects of this medication can start off as mild, these developments can cause serious harm to physical and mental well-being.

Effects of abusing Vyvanse include:

  • Decreased appetite or changes in metabolism
  • Worsened anxiety and panic attacks
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Weight increase or decrease
  • Profuse sweating
  • Emotionally charged outbursts
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Brain damage

Those close to a person that misuses Vyvanse may observe a change in behavior. A person with an addiction to Vyvanse will find it difficult to maintain relationships or a stable job. This can lead to financial or legal problems. 

A person with a Vyvanse dependency may also find it difficult to function on a daily basis without it. This can increase the chances of an overdose.

Signs of a Vyvanse Overdose

If large amounts of Vyvanse are consumed, or otherwise abused, this can have very serious consequences on your well-being. In particular, an overdose can occur which can have life-threatening effects.

The symptoms of Vyvanse overdose include:

  • Panicking
  • Confusion
  • A high fever
  • Delusions
  • Unease
  • Quick breaths
  • Aggressiveness
  • High fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Extreme blood pressure levels
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Seizure
  • Coma

In very serious cases, a Vyvanse overdose can lead to complications that affect kidney health, encourage liver damage, and may even lead to a decline in mental functioning. There is also the danger of death when Vyvanse is abused excessively.

What to Do If You've Overdosed on Vyvanse

A Vyvanse overdose can be an alarming event to witness. Proper medical care must be immediately called for once symptoms are noticed.

Because this medication is a stimulant, there is a reduced risk of an overdose being fatal. The risk of death from and overdose of Vyvanse is much greater when it is combined with other drugs.

When a person appears to be experiencing a Vyvanse overdose, symptoms may call for the following measures:

  • Restraint to prevent personal harm, or harm to others 
  • Sedatives or seizure medication to manage the episode
  • Activated charcoal to slow the body’s absorption of Vyvanse

Ultimately, medical assistance should be given as soon as possible when an overdose is suspected.

Treatment Options for Vyvanse Addiction

Addiction can be incredibly hard to live through, not just for the person directly affected but also for friends and family members who might watch a loved one deal with it. There are different options to manage this condition and increase the chances of a return to normal life.

Addiction Treatment Centers

Addiction treatment centers are a popular measure to help people overcome the seeking and using of drugs.

In some instances, treatment centers may be gender- (such as female only) or age-specific (teenage only), to provide these groups with the level of care they need.

Medication

Certain drugs are useful for managing the withdrawal symptoms of Vyvanse addiction. These include medications that can stabilize neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin.

These drugs can help to provide relief from withdrawal effects and may help to prevent a relapse.  

Behavioral Therapies

Therapy is another sought-after treatment option for managing substance use disorders. Through methods like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), patients can learn more positive attitudes and behavior patterns concerning drug use. 

This treatment method may also teach healthier ways to cope with daily life, and challenges that may encourage drug use as an escape.

A Word From Verywell

If you or a loved one is managing an addiction, it can be a painful experience to live through. Developing a Vyvanse dependency can cause a drastic shift in personality, motivation, and well-being—changes that can affect life and relationships with others.

Addiction is manageable through measures that can be tailored to individual needs. Seeking help should never be considered a sign of weakness, and is one of the most important steps to take when managing a dependency.

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8 Sources
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