Adderall can increase dopamine levels in the brain and lead to sex addiction in order to amplify sensations or offset the effects of ADHD.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a stimulant medication for treating ADHD and sleep disorders like narcolepsy. It contains amphetamines and dextroamphetamine and helps the brain with focus and organization. It’s taken orally in pill form, with effects lasting four to six hours. When used properly, it’s helpful for medical and mental health symptoms. However, some people will abuse their prescription or buy it illegally and snort it to feel its effects quicker.
The Popularity of Adderall Among Young Adults
Adderall has medical purposes, but many young adults can start misusing it and become addicted. One survey indicates one-fourth of the college students who have been prescribed stimulants have abused their prescription with the intention of experiencing a “high.” They may take it without a prescription to have more energy or improve performance in school or sports. Adderall addiction can happen quickly and lead to unsafe behaviors like risky sexual activity, erratic behaviors, and more.
Symptoms of Adderall Addiction
Common signs and symptoms of an Adderall addiction are:
- Decreased appetite
- Talking a lot
- Memory loss
- Weight loss
- Trouble focusing
- Feeling tired
- Sleep problems
- Taking more than prescribed
- Getting the drug from other sources
- Compulsive sexual behavior
In addition to physical symptoms, some people also notice psychological issues like paranoia, anxiety, and in some cases, hallucinations.
The Connection Between Adderall and Sex Addiction
Adderall affects the brain’s cognitive abilities, including the perception of sensations and emotions. It’s also known to increase dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and reward. These effects of Adderall can cause a person to feel elevated sensations and heightened emotions, leading to a temporary increase in libido and sexual desire.
Excessive or long-term use of Adderall can lead to addiction and changes in brain function. The increased dopamine levels caused by Adderall use can desensitize the brain’s reward system, decreasing the ability to feel pleasure from natural rewards like sex.
Adderall Side Effects For Males Sexually
Adderall can cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men, which is the most common sexual side effect. According to a study, men between 18 and 57 who used Adderall were more than twice as likely to experience ED, and 29.3% of Adderall users had previously experienced ED compared to 11.9% of non-users.
However, this study was conducted on non-prescribed Adderall users, so the rate of ED may be lower for those who take it as prescribed. Other sexual side effects in men may include decreased sex drive or desire and initial increased sex drive followed by a decrease. ED can also lead to reduced sexual activity due to physical difficulties and self-consciousness.
Adderall Side Effects For Females Sexually
Adderall side effects in females include headaches, nervousness, painful periods, and decreased sex drive, which can indirectly or directly impact sex drive. Mood swings, constipation, and other effects not related to sex can also decrease sexual desire.
Research has shown that estrogen plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of stimulant medications. Estrogen affects sexual arousal, desire, and sexual bodily functions, and lower estrogen levels can reduce the efficacy of Adderall and other stimulants.
The Connection Between ADHD & Sex Drive
ADHD itself can individuals to have issues with controlling their sexual behavior and staying focused during sexual activities.
- Impulsivity is a common trait in adults with ADHD and can lead to impulsive sexual behavior, often co-occurring with sex addiction and other impulsive disorders. This impulsiveness can also result in engaging in risky sexual behaviors like unprotected sex and sex with strangers.
- Adults with ADHD may struggle with focusing and being present in the moment, which can impact their enjoyment of sexual activity. In severe cases, they may become so distracted during sexual activity that they’re unable to perform.
- Hyperactivity in ADHD can also impact a person’s sex drive and performance, leading to a high level of arousal and frantic sexual pursuit to alleviate tension.
Treating Adderall and Sex Addiction
Adderall addiction and sex addiction are separate conditions requiring different treatment approaches, but they can also co-occur in some cases. Treatment for Adderall addiction typically involves detoxification, counseling, and behavioral therapies to help individuals overcome their addiction and learn coping skills for managing cravings and triggers.
For sex addiction, treatment usually involves psychotherapy or counseling to address the underlying emotional and psychological issues contributing to the addictive behavior. Behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can also help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and avoid returning to compulsive sexual behavior.
If an individual is struggling with both Adderall addiction and sex addiction, a comprehensive treatment plan can be developed to address both issues simultaneously. This may involve a combination of therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment as appropriate for the individual’s needs.
Treat your Co-Occurring Disorders in Los Angeles, CA
Living with an Adderall addiction, sex addiction, or mental illness can be challenging. Fortunately, Launch Centers in Los Angeles is equipped to help individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders. Through counseling and therapy, we provide the tools and support to overcome these conditions and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. To learn more about our admissions process and how we can help you change your life, visit our admissions page.