Is Vyvanse Addictive?

Severe ADHD is frequently treated with prescription amphetamines, one such being Vyvanse (chemical name lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, also prescribed for narcolepsy and binge-eating disorder). The medication comes in pill form, formulated to improve concentration.

Prescription Drug Abuse

A problem common to most prescription drugs is that a number of patients become dissatisfied with the original prescription for not delivering everything they’d hoped for: not working “fast enough” or “thoroughly enough,” or losing some of its original effect over time. When that happens, people may decide (without their doctor’s permission or knowledge) to begin crushing pills and “snorting” the powder, or by dissolving the pills and injecting the solution.

These alternate channels do produce faster and more intense results. They also produce highly undesirable side effects:

  • “Snorting” can damage the nasal membranes and respiratory system.
  • Injecting scars the skin, bruises the veins, and (if the needle is not properly sterilized) spreads disease.
  • Either approach encourages stronger and more frequent doses, which is often a fast route to physical tolerance, dependence, and ultimately addiction.

How Does Vyvanse Work?

One advantage of Vyvanse is that it eliminates the option of snorting or injecting for stronger effect. Vyvanse is a “prodrug,” meaning that its active ingredients are released only in reaction with gastrointestinal enzymes, i.e., when the medication is taken orally and enters the digestive system.

Introduced into the body by any other channel, Vyvanse remains an inert substance with little or no perceptible effect. Hence it was the first medication to receive FDA approval for being labeled “abuse resistant.”

Vyvanse Misuse: Still a Concern

Unfortunately, while the prodrug design may prevent snorting or injection, it can’t block the channel most misusers start with: taking more pills than prescribed. A larger oral dose may not produce much of a “rush,” but it will have a stronger effect, which is good enough for someone whose main goal is to get extra amphetamine for working longer or losing weight. While individual doctors can deny prescriptions or refills in an effort to limit someone’s Vyvanse supply, many people just go to additional doctors, forge prescriptions, or even request prescriptions for nonexistent ADHD. Or they switch to other amphetamines that are amenable to snorting and injecting.

It’s also worth noting that some people do attempt to snort Vyvanse—if only to confirm that getting a “high” that way is impossible—and this in itself can hurt the nose and respiratory organs. Sometimes, especially if someone experiences a “placebo-effect” high and develops the habit of regular Vyvanse snorting, introducing a foreign substance into the body can trigger vertigo, motor tics, facial swelling, vision problems, or even heart trouble.

What to Do?

The common-sense way to avoid these dangers is to take Vyvanse (if you take it at all) strictly according to prescription—and, if dissatisfied with the results, to get advice from your doctor before doing anything else. However, don’t berate yourself if you’ve already slipped into misuse. These things happen, and getting down on yourself will only make it harder to find your footing again.

In addition to coming clean with your prescribing doctor about any Vyvanse misuse, see an addiction medicine specialist if:

  • You’ve even considered trying to snort or inject the drug, or obtain any Vyvanse through covert means
  • You’re tempted to try other amphetamines because Vyvanse isn’t “doing the job” anymore
  • You’ve tried to cut back on your Vyvanse use, but always seem to give in to temptation
  • You’ve ever had symptoms of amphetamine overdose or withdrawal.

Whether it starts with a Vyvanse prescription or something else, amphetamine addiction needn’t be a life sentence—but it’s rarely something anyone can beat alone, especially while simultaneously battling ADHD or another co-occurring disorder. Get professional help, and hold on to hope for the future. Recovery is always an option!

Find Help at PACE Recovery

If you’re a young man who’s used prescription medications outside of medical instructions, and is now struggling with compulsive dependence on those medications, PACE Recovery can help. We understand your unique needs, and we’ll show you how to take your life back.

Our motto is “Positive Attitude Changes Everything.” Contact us for more information or to request an appointment.

Does Adderall Cause Depression?

Adderall and ADHD Treatment

Adderall is a prescription stimulant commonly used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Adderall entered the prescription drug market in 1996 and quickly became commonplace in ADHD treatment discussions. This stimulant is designed to address the symptoms of ADHD, including inattentiveness, hyperactive behavior, restlessness, among others. In order to receive a prescription for Adderall, a formal diagnosis must first be made, which usually requires both testing and recording of behaviors from teachers, parents, and professionals who have interacted with the patient. Only after the necessary diagnosis and documentation is complete will a medical professional prescribe this medication. 

Side Effects of Stimulant Use

As is the case with any prescription medication, there are side effects that potentially come along with the daily use of a stimulant. Some of the listed side effects of stimulants, such as Adderall, include:

  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Dizziness
  • Mental health effects: depression, paranoia, anxiety

While these side effects are not all common, they can greatly impact a person’s daily life and ability to continue taking the medication. If you or someone you know are experiencing these side effects, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

Long-Term Adderall Use

For people who are on prescription stimulants, like Adderall, there is a higher likelihood of adverse effects if you are on the medication for a long period of time. Prescription stimulants are also classified as Schedule II drugs due to their addictive qualities. 

Stimulants are highly abused drugs, with over 5.1 million people misusing them in 2018. The use of prescription medications can have severe consequences such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, rapid breathing, decreased blood flow, and adverse mental health effects. 

Does Adderall Cause Depression?

For anyone taking a stimulant, such as Adderall, its addictive qualities mean it is more difficult to come off the medication, especially if it is stopped abruptly. Whether you are prescribed the medication or are misusing the substance, if you stop taking the drug without consulting with a professional, you are likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms of stimulant dependence include: 

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Depression
  • Increased sleeping and appetite
  • Muscle aches

Stimulants create a release of dopamine, and as the medication wears off, you can exhibit symptoms of depression. While Adderall does not directly cause depressive symptoms, there may be times when a person has these symptoms due to the medication wearing off throughout the day. 

Addicted to Prescription Stimulants?

ADHD treatment requires a team of specialists who understand the complexities of managing medications and symptoms to ensure you have the care you need. Medical professionals take into consideration the possible side effects when prescribing medication and will monitor you closely throughout your treatment. Because of this, it is incredibly dangerous to take a medication that is not prescribed to you. 

If you or a loved one have been misusing medications or need help managing symptoms of depression, our team at PACE Recovery Center can help. Our programs are designed specifically to help young men on their path to recovery and wellness. Contact us today to learn more.

Fentanyl Interactions

A generation or two ago, heroin was the most dangerous of commonly abused opiates and opioids. Today, that dubious honor belongs to fentanyl—a synthetic opioid with 50 times the potency of heroin, developed in 1959 but first becoming a major concern in the 2010s. As a medicine, fentanyl is used in carefully measured doses for anesthesia and pain management. As a clandestinely distributed product, it is responsible for tens of thousands of overdose deaths every year. It’s not always fentanyl alone that causes such tragedies. Many dangerous effects are due to consuming this substance with other drugs. Learn the facts about fentanyl interactions.

Alcohol and Fentanyl: Interactions

Most medical prescriptions include warnings about not combining with certain other drugs, lest the medication’s effect be diminished or dangerously magnified. Many drugs are dangerous to take at all for the duration of certain prescription periods.

Fentanyl is no exception to the rule. If you receive it as a medical prescription, your doctor and pharmacist will likely warn against certain other drugs that could trigger potentially harmful interactions.

  • Consuming fentanyl with stimulants can trigger blurry vision, extreme drowsiness, mental confusion, paranoia, and/or dangerously intense euphoria.
  • Taking fentanyl with alcohol or other depressants can magnify the opioid’s relaxant effect, causing irregular body functions, dangerously slowed breathing, or coma.
  • Methadone, an opioid used in some medication-assisted treatments for heroin and fentanyl addiction, also interferes with the effects of medical fentanyl. Plus, mixing fentanyl with other opioids may risk triggering serotonin syndrome, a dangerous and sometimes lethal condition characterized by overstimulated body functions and by shivering, sweating, diarrhea, extreme restlessness, and/or mental confusion.
  • Serotonin syndrome is also associated with certain antidepressants as well as over-the-counter supplements. (Since most supplements are not required to include detailed warning labels covering every risk, it pays to do independent research and consult your doctor before taking a supplement, especially if you are on any form of medication.)

The Perils of Unknown Substances

Worse than potential fentanyl interactions in known drug combinations, is illegally purchased street “fentanyl” that may include any number of cheaper substances added to stretch a supply. Even if inert in themselves, these substances increase the risk of overdose for users, who are never sure how much fentanyl they’re actually taking.

A more common danger, however, is purchasing “heroin” or “cocaine” without knowing that the mixture actually contains substantial amounts of fentanyl. To illegal drug vendors, adding this filler is an easy way to increase supplies at less expense for more profit. For buyers, it’s a dangerous game with life-or-death stakes:

  • Fentanyl being 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, it’s easy for users accustomed to heroin to get a lethal overdose from their “regular” amount.
  • Unknowingly taking fentanyl (a depressant) with cocaine (a stimulant) can wreak havoc on the body’s natural functions, perhaps triggering heart or respiratory failure. In addition, treatment for opioid overdose may be delayed if the presence of fentanyl is unsuspected.
  • Mixing fentanyl with methamphetamine—a stimulant that shares the characteristic of delivering considerable potency in small doses—combines two drugs with extremely high overdose potential, exponentially multiplying the risk.

How to Avoid Dangerous Fentanyl Interactions

For most people, avoiding illegal drugs, and taking any prescription drugs according to instructions, is adequate protection from the danger of fentanyl interactions. If someone is actually addicted to this substance or another drug, however, “just stopping” can be impossible or dangerous.

If you have any suspicion that the use of a drug—prescription or otherwise—is getting out of control, seek medical treatment sooner rather than later. The best time to stop addiction is as soon as possible, before it can do irreparable harm through its interactions with body, brain, and quality of life. 

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment for Men

At PACE Recovery, we provide individualized care and therapy to help our clients recover from addiction to fentanyl and other opiates. (We treat other substance use disorders and mental illnesses as well.) Our program is geared to the specific needs and pressures of the male perspective, making PACE an ideal recovery environment for men who struggle with opening up and facing their weaknesses.

Our motto is “Positive Attitudes Change Everything.” Contact us today to get started on changing your life for the better.

What is the Difference Between Hydrocodone and Oxycodone?

Prescription drugs can provide much-needed support for those recovering from surgery, but in the long term, these substances are incredibly dangerous. Hydrocodone and oxycodone are often prescribed for the treatment of pain, but to the one taking the medication, it can be difficult to know the difference between these drugs.

Knowing the difference between these medications can aid in conversations with doctors, treatment teams, and family members for those who are struggling with addiction. Let’s take a look at the potential effects taking these medications can have.


Hydrocodone is the second most frequently encountered opioid in drug evidence, and this has been the case since 2009. Used as both a cough suppressant and to treat moderate to severe pain, this drug is the most frequently prescribed opioid in the United States. As this prescription became more accessible, its addictive qualities and side effects have become more evident.

Hydrocodone has been reported to have a euphoric effect. This can create an increased risk of dependence and addiction. Hydrocodone is often misused in combination with alcohol to elevate the effects of the drug, and illicit use affects all age groups, including school-age children. Restrictions on this drug have helped to lessen the number of individuals who take hydrocodone, but it is reported that 4.7 million people over the age of 12 misused the drug in 2020.

Hydrocodone is most commonly found in tablets in the illicit drug market, but it also appears in capsules and liquid form. Drugs that contain hydrocodone are tracked by the federal government to help prevent illicit use, and researchers credit the decrease in illicit hydrocodone use partially to this monitoring system. Hydrocodone is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it has been identified as having a high potential for abuse. 


Oxycodone is often known for its highly addictive qualities and the rapid escalation of abuse of this drug after it entered the market. OxyContin is the most common brand name of oxycodone that has appeared in street forms. Much like hydrocodone, oxycodone is prescribed to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. Oxycodone is a controlled-release drug, meaning that it is designed to aid in pain management throughout the day and effects should be seen for longer periods of time.

Side effects of oxycodone, such as euphoria, sedation, and respiratory depression, make it a drug that is often misused. This abuse can lead to dependence on the drug and an increased tolerance. Since the 1960’s, the misuse of Oxycodone has been a continuing problem in the United States. It has often been used by heroin users as a way to address symptoms of withdrawal. While there has been a decrease in misuse in the last few years, illicit use of oxycodone is still a vast problem amongst those aged 12 or older, with 3.2 million people misusing the drug in 2020.

This drug is often obtained through forged prescriptions, professional diversion, “doctor shopping,” and robberies of nursing homes and pharmacies. Oxycodone is also a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it has highly addictive qualities.

Differences Between Hydrocodone and Oxycodone

Hydrocodone and oxycodone have many similar qualities, but the side effects of each of these drugs is where the main differences lie. Hydrocodone more commonly elicits a side effect of tiredness, and oxycodone often produces constipation and some drowsiness. Depending on what type of release the tablet is (instant release or time release), the effects of the drug on a person will vary. It is more common for opioid users to use oxycodone to achieve a high because it has more easily abused forms of the medication, and it is one of the most common street drugs.

There Is Hope For Addiction

Whether you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to opioids, there is hope and healing available to you at PACE Recovery. Contact us today to discuss our treatment model designed specifically for men.

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