Vyvanse, also known by its generic name lisdexamphetamine, exists as one of the newest ADHD treatment medications on the market. Like most other ADHD treatment medications, Vyvanse belongs to the prescription amphetamines class of drugs.
Prescription amphetamines as a group are classified as controlled substances with most falling in the Schedule II class of narcotic drugs. Likewise, the potential for Vyvanse abuse and addiction runs considerably high, according to the University of Arizona.
The health effects from Vyvanse abuse can take any number of forms as this drug works by altering essential chemical processes in the brain. The longer a person engages in Vyvanse abuse the greater the risk of developing serious health problems.
Vyvanse’s Mechanism of Action
As an ADHD treatment, Vyvanse’s effects work to control symptoms of ADHD caused by neurotransmitter chemical imbalances in the brain. For someone not affected by ADHD, Vyvanse’s effects can actually cause chemical imbalances to develop.
Vyvanse works by increasing dopamine chemical levels in the brain and thereby speeding up central nervous system functions, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine. As dopamine plays a part in regulating most every physical and psychological process in the body, Vyvanse abuse practices can impact a person’s health at a fundamental level.
When taken for prescription purposes, the risk of Vyvanse abuse remains fairly low. When taken for recreational purposes, Vyvanse can wreak havoc within the brain’s delicate chemical make-up.
With each dose of Vyvanse, brain cells secrete abnormally high levels of neurotransmitter chemicals. Over time, it takes larger dosage amounts to produce the desired effects of the drug as brain cells lose their ability to function at a normal capacity. Before long, the brain becomes unable to perform necessary functions without the drug’s effects.
As a central nervous system stimulant, Vyvanse effects speed up the body’s cardiovascular functions in more ways than one –
- Elevates the heart rate
- Constricts blood vessel passageways
- Increases blood pressure
In effect, the heart beats faster as blood vessels narrow causing blood pressure levels to increase. For someone who engages in Vyvanse abuse on a daily basis, these combined effects can cause damage to the heart muscle and blood vessel linings, which greatly increases the potential for stroke and heart attack.
The psychological effects of Vyvanse abuse pose the greatest risk in terms of developing an addiction habit. Vyvanse essentially reconfigures the inner workings of the brain as chemical imbalances take over.
Users start to think and behave in uncharacteristic ways that reap destruction in most every area of their lives. More oftentimes than not, long-time users develop full-blown psychological disorders, some of which include –
- Panic attacks
- Psychotic-type traits, such as paranoia and hallucinations
Considering how Vyvanse alters bodily function as a whole, people with certain medical or psychological conditions stand to experience serious health consequences when abusing this drug. Conditions most vulnerable to the drug’s effects include –
- Heart problems
- Bipolar disorder
- Depression disorders
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
Even in cases where a person has no pre-existing medical concerns, long-term Vyvanse abuse greatly compromises normal bodily functions to the point where serious medical conditions can result from ongoing drug use.