Treatment for Adderall Abuse & Eating Disorders

Struggling with an eating disorder and a co-occurring substance abuse problem can cause you to feel overwhelmed and defeated, but at Center for Hope of the Sierras, we do not want you feel this way. We want to show you that the struggles you are facing do not define who you are. This stumbling block in your life can be successfully overcome, and we want to help you take your first steps toward your healthy new future.

Adderall abuse is one type of substance abuse problem that can impact the lives of those suffering from an eating disorder. Adderall abuse refers to a pattern of behavior in which people use the drug for reasons that are not medical in nature. As a stimulant prescription medication, Adderall increases energy, heightens alertness, and enhances one’s ability to focus.

Adderall also acts as an appetite suppressant, causing it to be an appealing drug to people who strive to lose weight. For this reason, it is not uncommon for people who suffer from eating disorders to find this drug to be an alluring means of losing weight and controlling appetite. Sadly, Adderall is a highly addictive substance and, once that addiction has developed, it can be extremely difficult for people to stop using it without professional help.

At Center for Hope of the Sierras, we want to be the source of that help. We are one of the few treatment centers in the country that offer truly integrative treatment for eating disorders and co-occurring substance abuse. We recognize how difficult it can be to overcome an addiction to Adderall while simultaneously battling the symptoms of eating disorder, and we want to help you develop the confidence you need to defeat these issues successfully.

Keeping the sensitive nature of these co-occurring disorders in mind, we have devised specialized programming that is designed to meet the specific and unique needs of individuals who require assistance in overcoming these two conditions. Our staff wants to guide you, support you, and encourage you as you begin on your healing journey.

get confidential help now: 775.204.0680 Email Us


According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), research has been provided stating that nearly 50% of people who struggle with an eating disorder also abuse drugs and/or alcohol. While specific statistics regarding the prevalence of Adderall abuse among those suffering from eating disorders is lacking, the abuse of Adderall in general has been on the rise.

College students are believed to be especially susceptible to the abuse of this substance and, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 6.4% of those students between the ages of 18 and 22 reportedly abuse Adderall. Women between the ages of 20 and 44 are a second population believed to be highly affected the rate of Adderall abuse as it has been cited that, within the past decade, Adderall abuse among this demographic has increased by a shocking 264%.

Causes and Risk Factors for Adderall Abuse among Those Suffering from Eating Disorders

The causes and risk factors behind why some individuals develop an addiction to substances like Adderall are said to be rooted in both genetic and environmental factors, as well as various other risk factors, which are described briefly in the following:

Genetic: Genetics play an important role in determining a person’s vulnerability to developing an addiction to drugs like Adderall. Research indicates that when people have family members who abuse substances, they are more likely to abuse substances at some point in their lives as well. This also holds true for people who are simultaneously battling eating disorders and co-occurring substance abuse concerns. When individuals have family members who struggle with these comorbid disorders, they also are more vulnerable to suffering from them.

Environment: The environment in which a person is immersed can also have a monumental impact on his or her vulnerability to developing an addiction to substances like Adderall. For example, when individuals are surrounded by others who abuse the substance, they are more likely to view it as an acceptable behavior and therefore engage in it as well. Additionally, individuals who are exposed to an environment that consists of much chaos and stress are more likely to abuse this particular type of substance as they desire a means of achieving enhanced motivation and energy. Furthermore, being placed in an environment where thinness is valued can lead some to come to abuse this substance in an attempt to suppress their appetites.

Risk Factors:

  • Personal history of eating disorders or other types of mental illness
  • Personal history of abusing other types of substances
  • Family history of mental illness or substance abuse
  • Exposure to Adderall abuse
  • Being in a highly stressful environment

Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Abuse among Those Suffering from Eating Disorders

The signs and symptoms that may be displayed by people who abuse Adderall will vary from person to person, but generally include the following:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Bursts of excessive energy
  • Visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions
  • No longer eating as much as one used to
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid speech

Physical symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shakes / tremors
  • Increased body temperature

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Paranoia
  • Having the ability to hyperfocus or having difficulty maintaining focus at all
  • Poor judgment

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Extreme agitation
  • Drastic mood swings
  • Episodes of mania
  • Increased feelings of irritability
  • Excessive anxiety
If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Effects of Adderall Abuse among Those Suffering from Eating Disorders

Should you continue to suffer from symptoms of an eating disorder and the compulsion to abuse Adderall, there are, sadly, a number of negative effects that may arise. Examples of such effects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Destroyed relationships
  • Academic or occupational failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Delusions
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Malnutrition

Co-Occurring Disorders

Due to the appetite suppression properties that are elicited by the use of Adderall, the abuse of this substance frequently occurs alongside eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, or other related conditions. However, there are additional disorders that can also co-occur alongside an Adderall addiction, including:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Other substance use disorders

Types of Treatment Offered at Center for Hope of the Sierras

Since 2003, we at Center for Hope of the Sierras have been dedicated to providing caring and compassionate treatment to adolescents and adults who are battling eating disorders. In addition to being a world-class eating disorder treatment center, our knowledgeable staff members are fully trained and qualified to treat an array of other co-occurring conditions, including an addiction to Adderall.

Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Center for Hope offers residential treatment for female adolescents and adults, ages 16 and older, and outpatient treatment for male and female adolescents and adults, ages 14 and older. If you are battling an addiction to Adderall in addition to struggling to overcome symptoms of an eating disorder, the highly skilled staff at Center for Hope can provide individualized treatment that is tailored to meet your specific needs.

Nestled in a quiet neighborhood and surrounded by lush lawns and gorgeous trees, Center for Hope provides residential treatment in a beautiful, country-style home that sets the stage for a serene place to begin the healing process. In this cozy and comfortable setting, you will be provided with the opportunity to work with supportive staff members who dedicate themselves to creating a welcoming environment that is truly conducive to healing and lasting recovery. In keeping with our mission to meet individualized needs, we are also pleased to be one of very few eating disorder residential treatment programs that are able to accommodate clients who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, as well as clients with celiac disease.

Additionally, at Center for Hope, we incorporate a philosophy of intuitive eating into our treatment programming, and it is our goal to have you leave treatment being a mindful eater. As part of this philosophy, we will strive to help you get rid of the diet mentality so that you can embrace how food helps fuel your body, while also gaining an understanding of how maintaining appropriate nutrition can help you respect your body and honor your health. We have found that, by adhering to this philosophy, you can develop a greater sense of self-confidence as you successfully overcome the eating disorder symptoms that are plaguing you.

When you participate in residential programming at Center for Hope in order to address an eating disorder and co-occurring addiction to Adderall, you may engage in the following therapeutic interventions:

Medication management: If you are suffering from a co-occurring mental health condition in addition to an eating disorder and Adderall abuse problem, you may benefit from the implementation of certain psychotropic medications into your overall treatment plan. The use of any medication, however, is always determined on a case-by-case basis. You will have the opportunity to meet with a psychiatrist once a week, and registered nurses are available to handle all medication management services.

Individual therapy: You will meet with your primary therapist for individual therapy sessions three times each week. These one-to-one sessions are designed to be a time for you to process through your experience in treatment, while also discussing any concerns that you have or any distresses that are plaguing you in a private, confidential setting.

Group therapy: One of the core components of treatment at Center for Hope is group therapy. Led by therapists and social workers, you will participate in two to three groups each day, Monday through Friday. The specific types of groups and the topics discussed in those groups will vary but may include the following:

  • Body image
  • Family systems
  • Life skills
  • Mindful eating
  • Music and art appreciation
  • Recovery maintenance
  • Anxiety management
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • ACT
  • DBT
  • Process group

Experiential therapy: In order to offer a well-rounded approach to treatment, you will be provided with multiple opportunities every week to engage in experiential therapies. These therapies are designed to expand upon the more traditional therapies offered and may include the following:

  • Equine therapy (offered on a weekly basis)
  • Cooking class
  • Massage
  • Yoga (offered 1-2 times each week)
  • Reiki
  • Music appreciation
  • Creative expressions

In addition to the previously mentioned therapeutic interventions, if you who are struggling with co-occurring substance abuse concerns, including an addiction to Adderall, you may also be transported to 12-Step meetings three to five times per week during your stay in Center for Hope’s residential program.

Recognizing that comprehensive treatment does not end when residential treatment is complete, Center for Hope of the Sierras is pleased to offer a full continuum of outpatient treatment services. Including both a partial hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient program, these outpatient services are designed to ensure that you receive the support you need to continue on your recovery journey. Therapists will collaborate with you during your stay in the residential program to make sure that you are comfortable with the transition process as you move into your next level of care. Additionally, Center for Hope’s aftercare coordinator will check in with you in consistent intervals for up to six months following your discharge.

If you are suffering from an eating disorder, while also fighting an addiction to Adderall, look no further than Center for Hope of the Sierras. Our dedicated staff will work with you every step of the way as you make successful strides towards healing. Here, you will receive compassionate care in a supportive environment that will help you jump-start on the path to lasting recovery.

get confidential help now: 775.204.0680 Email Us