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Table of Contents
- What is Vyvanse and What Does it Treat?
- The Side Effects of Vyvanse
- How do People Abuse Vyvanse?
- How do People Get Addicted to Vyvanse?
- Signs of Vyvanse Addiction
- What are the Long-Term Effects of Abusing Vyvanse?
- Mixing Vyvanse With Other Drugs Interactions and Warnings
- Getting Treatment for Vyvanse Addiction
- Learn More About Vyvanse Addiction and Drug Interaction
Vyvanse can be a useful medication for those who need it. People who take it appropriately, according to their doctors’ instructions have found it to be very effective. But all too often, people abuse it, and when they do, there is a chance of getting addicted to it.
We want to help people understand Vyvanse addiction as well as what can happen if this medication is mixed with other drugs. People need to know the dangers and where to turn for help.
What is Vyvanse and What Does it Treat?
Vyvanse – which is also sold under the generic name, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a medication that treats ADHD symptoms in adults. This medication is a prescription stimulant drug. It has been shown to increase attention span for as long as 14 hours, beginning just two hours after taking a dose.
Most people take this medication in the form of a chewable tablet or a capsule, by mouth, just once a day, in the morning. It is also possible to open the capsule and add the contents to a drink, such as orange juice or water.
Vyvanse should only be taken by people who have a valid prescription from a doctor. This medication should never be shared with anyone, and taking it without a prescription can be dangerous. It can lead to abuse and eventually even addiction.
The Side Effects of Vyvanse
Almost every drug has some type of side effects, even when it is not being abused, and is taken according to doctor’s instructions. Vyvanse is no different, and some of the more common side effects can include:
- Weight loss
- Feelings of irritability
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Changes in mood
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Stomach pain
- Decreased appetite
- A jittery feeling
People who take Vyvanse regularly often talk about the “crash” they experience as the effects of the drug wear off as the day goes on. Some of the above side effects will persist as long as a person is taking this medication. But some will subside as the person gets used to it.
There are also some more serious side effects that can occur when taking Vyvanse, even in normal doses. They include:
- Cardiovascular issues, such as an increase in blood pressure or a fast heart rate. In rare cases, heart attacks and strokes have been reported.
- Chest pain when a person is exercising.
- Fainting spells.
- A sudden, severe pain or tightness in the chest.
- Problems with blood circulation in the fingers and toes.
- Psychosis, mania or other mental health conditions.
- Serotonin syndrome.
How do People Abuse Vyvanse?
People typically abuse Vyvanse in one of two ways. They either take higher doses of the drug in order to get high, or they will crush the tablets or empty the capsules for the purpose of snorting the powder.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that snorting prescription stimulants will produce a much faster high. This is because the effects of the drug can hit the bloodstream much more quickly than simply swallowing the pills.
Snorting Vyvanse causes the brain’s dopamine levels to increase much faster than if the person swallows the pills. As a result, the body becomes vulnerable to many other problems, such as:
- Blurred vision
- Heart failure
- Swelling in the tongue, lips, face and mouth
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Uncontrollable shaking and/or tremors
- A feeling of numbness all over the body
How do People Get Addicted to Vyvanse?
People typically get addicted to Vyvanse by repeatedly abusing this drug. An addiction is not something that will happen right away. It takes a little time for it to form. It is also possible for a person to get addicted to it if they take it appropriately as well.
Vyvanse has a direct impact on the amount of dopamine the brain releases. Excessive amounts of dopamine in the brain are what cause the high feeling. Everyone experiences this chemical every day, and it is usually released when people are happy. But someone who is abusing Vyvanse will eventually not be able to create dopamine without the drug.
Once a person is addicted to Vyvanse, they will need to continue using this drug just to feel like their normal selves. But it is possible to get off it and have the brain’s dopamine levels return to normal. It just takes treatment and time for that to occur.
Signs of Vyvanse Addiction
It is not always easy to tell if a loved one is addicted to a prescription medication like Vyvanse. Also, people who are addicted will often live their lives in denial. They have convinced themselves that they can stop using this drug anytime they choose to. Eventually, they may realize that they are wrong about that.
It can help to know what some of the signs of Vyvanse addiction are. They can include:
- Feeling the need to compulsively seek out this drug and use it.
- Continuing to use this drug even when there are negative consequences, side effects, or if it is causing serious health issues.
- Attempting to cut down or stop the use of this medication without success.
- Using Vyvanse only in secret and becoming isolated from loved ones.
- Not taking care of one’s responsibilities at home, school or work.
- Finding that eventually, more of the drug is needed in order to experience the same effects.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Abusing Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is generally considered to be safe for people to take long-term as long as they are following their doctors’ instructions. But if they are abusing this drug, its long-term effects can be very serious.
In addition to the risk of addiction and dependence, some of the long-term effects of Vyvanse may include:
- Forming a tolerance to the drug – When abusing a drug like Vyvanse, the body can form a tolerance to it very quickly. This means that it takes more of it in order to get the same type of high. Tolerance is progressive and before long, people can end up taking doses that are extremely dangerous.
- Problems with the cardiovascular system – Stimulant drugs like Vyvanse have been known to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, this can lead to serious heart issues, such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and an abnormal heartbeat.
- Liver problems – Long-term liver damage has been known to occur in people who continually abuse Vyvanse. They may begin to notice fatigue, itching, confusion and a yellow tint to their skin and eyes.
- Kidney problems – The kidneys’ job is to create urine and remove waste from the blood. But taking too much Vyvanse can cause the drug to build up in the kidneys and lead to serious damage, including kidney failure.
- Mental health conditions – Abusing stimulants like Vyvanse has been known to cause serious mental health issues, such as psychosis. Schizophrenia-like symptoms that include delusions, mood changes and hallucinations have also been reported.
- Lung issues – Some stimulants have fillers in them which have been known to prevent blood flow in the lungs. Snorting Vyvanse can lead to pulmonary hypertension.
Mixing Vyvanse With Other Drugs – Interactions and Warnings
Vyvanse is a medication that should be used with extreme caution. It needs to be taken according to the doctor’s instructions and it should not be mixed with other drugs. Doing so can lead to serious consequences.
There are several drugs that should never be mixed with Vyvanse. The include the following.
The drug manufacturer does not specifically mention that people should not drink alcohol while using Vyvanse. But studies have shown that there are risks involved with combining the two drugs.
Combining amphetamine and alcohol can raise blood pressure levels and increase the heart’s activity. This results in an increased risk of heart problems, which are already a concern when taking Vyvanse.
Also, Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant drug. When it is taken with alcohol, it can actually hide the effects of being under the influence. People may end up drinking more than they should, without feeling any of the effects of the alcohol. This increases the risk of alcohol poisoning.
As we mentioned previously, the longer a person abuses Vyvanse, the more likely it is that they will form a drug tolerance to it. Sometimes people will add additional stimulant drugs into the mix in order to get better results.
Drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and other prescription drugs like Adderall should never be mixed with Vyvanse. Doing so could be much too taxing on the heart and result in a heart attack, stroke, or even death.
In recent years, it has become very common for people to mix two different types of drugs together. Doing so, they claim, can offset the negative effects of each of the drugs. It should come as no surprise that a lot of people are combining Vyvanse with marijuana.
Marijuana may reduce any feelings of agitation or irritability that can come with abusing Vyvanse. And Vyvanse may help people feel less tired and less cognitively impaired when abusing marijuana. But even though they may seem like the perfect pair, there are serious risks involved with using them together.
Both Vyvanse and marijuana can lead to serious medical problems when used individually. But together, users may experience an increased or racing heart rate and possible cardiovascular problems. Marijuana may mask many of the effects of Vyvanse, which can cause people to take much more of the drug than they should.
Getting Treatment for Vyvanse Addiction
It is important for people who are addicted to Vyvanse – as well as any other drug – to get professional help. Treatment has been shown to be the most effective way to get off prescription medications like Vyvanse; especially when people have been knowingly abusing them.
This addiction has a physical side and a psychological side. Both need to be treated, and doing so means that the person will have the best chance of recovering long-term.
The purpose of drug detox is to address the withdrawal symptoms that will occur when stopping the use of Vyvanse. When a person stops this drug, they may experience what is known as a Vyvanse crash, and the symptoms can include:
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Problems sleeping
- Excessive fatigue
- Feeling depressed
- Feeling irritable
- A shaky feeling
- Symptoms of anxiety
- Mood swings
A combination of medical detox and holistic detox is often recommended for people who are recovering from Vyvanse addiction. Additional treatments may be recommended if the individual is also addicted to other drugs, such as alcohol.
It is also necessary to determine what led to the addiction so the root cause can be treated. Drug rehab makes this possible, and the best drug rehabilitation programs also offer treatment for co-occurring disorders.
Many people with Vyvanse addictions are actually self-medicating the symptoms of ADHD. They do not have a prescription and they either buy the pills online or from friends. Going to drug rehab can address their symptoms the right way and get them the appropriate type of care.
Learn More About Vyvanse Addiction and Drug Interactions – Help is Available for Recovery!
At SpringBoard Recovery, we know how easy it can be to get addicted to drugs like Vyvanse. People often perceive them to be safe because they are prescribed by doctors. But what they do not realize is that abusing them can be incredibly dangerous. Fortunately, we offer treatment that can help.
Our outpatient addiction treatment program has been able to help many people who struggled with Vyvanse addiction. We also provide sober living for anyone who needs a healthier living situation in order to recover.
Would you like to know more about Vyvanse addiction and possible drug interactions? Do you have questions about going to treatment? We can help. Please contact us today.