Vyvanse addiction can become common among those who abuse it. As stated by the NLM, “Lisdexamfetamine [brand name Vyvanse] can be habit-forming” and should not be taken in a way differently than prescribed by a doctor. However, Vyvanse is still abused for its effects, and addiction can occur.
Highest Abuse Rate
The highest abuse rate of medications like Vyvanse is among young adults, particularly full-time college students. Adderall, Vyvanse, and other drugs are often abused by these individuals because students use them as “academic performance enhancements” (NIDA Teen). Because Vyvanse and other prescription stimulants cause a person to be able to focus, stay awake, and be alert, many students believe that they will help them perform better in school and pull all-nighters for tests and papers.
“However, studies have found that stimulants do not increase learning or thinking ability when taken by people who have not been prescribed the medication for treating ADHD.” Still, college students continue to abuse Vyvanse and other prescription stimulants.
Does Addiction Occur?
Yes. Many students looking for higher academic performance abilities or to get high at a party actually start to become addicted to the drug. Whenever anyone takes Vyvanse for a reason other than prescribed or at a higher dosage than prescribed, it counts as abuse which can lead to addiction.
The University of Miami states that “People who are uneducated about the similarities in the drugs are now asking for Vyvanse instead of Adderall because they are afraid of taking Adderall due to its side effects.” Vyvanse causes many of the same side effects and can also become addictive (just like Adderall) which means that students are not protected from these effects if they choose Vyvanse to abuse instead.
According to SAMHSA, 7,873 prescription stimulant-related emergency department visits occurred in 2004. “The most frequent reason for these ADHD stimulant medication related visits was nonmedical use (48%).” This kind of behavior is often a sign of addiction, where a person continues to abuse more and more of the drug to combat tolerance and ends up overdosing.
How Common is Vyvanse Addiction?
It is difficult to gauge for sure exactly how common addiction to Vyvanse is, but we do know that the drug is being abused and in higher amounts because many people do not understand that it causes the same problems that Adderall abuse does. Vyvanse can become an extremely addictive substance to those who abuse it, and its abuse is becoming more and more widespread.
If you know someone who abuses Vyvanse, you should watch for signs of addiction. The person might begin to act strangely, only want to spend their time with others who abuse Vyvanse, and not care about those things which had originally been important to them. Addiction replaces the voluntary act of taking drugs, and the person becomes a slave to their abuse. When someone becomes addicted to Vyvanse, they cannot stop on their own. And the issue is more common than many people realize.