What Is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic behavioral disorder. While it is commonly affiliated with children, the disorder affects many adults, too. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around eight million America adults suffer from ADHD. As of 2011, roughly 6.4 million children were affected by it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
The first case of ADHD was mentioned in 1902, but awareness didn’t come until the 1990s and 2000s. Subsequently, this caused a surge in the number of diagnoses. Some people believe over-diagnosis is actually occurring, but proving this is nearly impossible.
There are genetic ties to this disorder. Everyday Health notes parents with ADHD have a 50 percent chance of producing offspring with the disorder. Males are around three times as likely to have ADHD as females, per Kids Health.
In the past, ADHD and attention deficit disorder were separate afflictions. Now it is recognized as one disorder with different subtypes. Some people have the hyperactive-impulsive type, while others suffer from inattentive type. Combined type ADHD mixes both of these types into a melting pot of symptoms commonly seen in both types.
Symptoms of the hyperactive-impulsive type include:
- Struggling to wait one’s turn in a conversation before speaking
- Difficulty sitting or standing still
- Excessive talking
Those with inattentive type typically suffer from:
- Being easily distracted
- Shifting from one task to the next without finishing the first
- Becoming easily bored
- Difficulty following instructions
- Commonly making careless mistakes
- Frequent daydreaming
What Is Desoxyn?
Desoxyn is the brand name for methamphetamine hydrochloride. The Food and Drug Administration approved it for the treatment of ADHD in 2010. The central nervous system stimulant calms the symptoms associated with all three types of the disorder.
It is thought that the exact effects occur via an increase in the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine being sent between neurons. In turn, the individual is able to focus better on tasks at hand. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control reports around 16,000 prescriptions were filled for Desoxyn in 2012.
Desoxyn is considered to be even more addictive than Adderall — a well-recognized stimulant that is known for its abuse potential as well as its ability to treat ADHD. Thus, Desoxyn is rarely prescribed without first trying Adderall and other suitable options. If other drugs don’t work, Desoxyn may be an option, but physicians are still wary of prescribing it, and it is quite costly.
Signs that point to Desoxyn abuse include:
- Twitching and spasms of the limbs
- Aggressive mood
- Elevated heart rate
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Muscular pain
- Swelling of the extremities
- Nausea and vomiting
- Depressed mood
- Panic attacks
In severe cases, overdose, dehydration, symptoms of psychosis and damage to the kidneys may occur.
Who’s Doing It?
ADHD may be more common among substance abusers in general. The 122-129.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports ADHD is present in about a quarter of all adult addicts and substance abusers who are seeking treatment.
Teenagers are at specific risk of abuse of prescription pills. They are the most likely demographic to believe that a drug is safer merely because doctors prescribe it to patients in need. Furthermore, 14 percent of 12 to 17 year olds report being offered prescription drugs at some point in their lives, and 39 percent of those 14 to 20 years old say it’s simple to obtain these drugs online, per the Office of National Drug Control Policy. According to the Journal of Addictive Behavior, 11.9 million people aged 12 and older have used methamphetamine without a medical need for it.
Individuals whose parents were substance abusers are already predisposed to a greater risk of developing such a disorder themselves. Add to that the increased risk of developing ADHD in children whose mothers engaged in substance abuse while pregnant, and the likelihood of both disorders occurring alongside one another is prominent. One London Journal of Primary Care study notes that children whose mothers used or abused alcohol while pregnant were 2.33 times more likely to develop ADHD compared to children who weren’t exposed to alcohol prenatally.
Not surprisingly, Desoxyn is also approved for the treatment of obesity. This is due to its effect on suppressing the appetite. Individuals who use the drug for this purpose should only do so under strict supervision by an experienced physician and, even then, dependency can form.
It is believed that having co-occurring mental health disorders may make you more likely to engage in drug or alcohol abuse. Likewise, people with ADHD may be more likely to have another disorder present. PsychCentral notes this likelihood is increasingly common among women with ADHD, who often have other disorders that impact their moods, such as dysphoria and alcoholism. Abuse of drugs like Desoxyn is common among ADHD sufferers to begin with due to the likelihood that they are legitimately prescribed these drugs.
Dealing with ADHD can be tough enough on its own. Few who suffer from it will have complete success in eliminating all symptoms with any drug remedy. Desoxyn requires a dosing schedule that will likely need to be increased the longer the individual is using it due to tolerance developing, which can occur in as little as a few weeks’ time. It is during this span of time that many end up dependent on this drug. They may be abusing it purposefully to get high, or they might just feel withdrawal setting in when they don’t take it and don’t feel they can function without the drug.
Either way, a combination of detox and comprehensive treatment is the best way to break free of an addiction to Desoxyn,
and follow-up treatment is the best way to make sure you stay clean. The typical treatment plan consists of supervised detox, since withdrawing from potent methamphetamines like Desoxyn can produce potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include extreme exhaustion, dermatoses and mood swings. Some addicts will qualify for treatment using specific stimulants as replacement medications for Desoxyn during the withdrawal period, much like methadone or buprenorphine replaces illicit opioids in heroin addicts during treatment.
If you’re ready to fully address your mental health and substance abuse issues, we’re here to help. Call now.
Further Reading About Desoxyn & ADHD
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton