Adderall dependence the stage that occurs before Adderall addiction. First, a user must abuse a drug, than develop a dependency for it, and, finally, they would become addicted to it. However, not everyone who abuses a drug will become dependent, and not everyone who becomes dependent on Adderall will become addicted to Adderall. Confusing? Yes.
Dependence is when someone’s physical body requires a stimulus to operate. If the body no longer receives the stimulus, the body will give off withdraw symptoms.
Adderall addiction is when someone mentally and physically requires a stimulus, and that stimulus makes them dysfunctional, deviant and distressed. So, a person would mentally need Adderall to feel “normal” and would go to any lengths to get it, so far so that it ruins his life. He would steal from friends and family, feel terrible about his addiction, and have behaviors that are away from the norm.
Addiction is different than dependence because a dependent person can use Adderall and, instead of being dysfunctional, be highly functional. Imagine a high schooler who has trouble concentrating. He takes Adderall daily to focus and, if he stops taking Adderall, he will get withdraws and side effects. However, he has no psychological urges like an addicted person. He would also not become dysfunctional because of his habit.
Who Will Become Addicted? From what we have learned about epigenetics, one’s genetics, as well as the environment, has a large amount of say in whether one becomes addicted or not. About 80% of the code in DNA contains information for the nervous system. The other 20% contains information for all the other body parts.
Why is the nervous system and, in particular, neurons so heavily described in DNA? Well, it is believed that, from evolution, our evolutionary advantage was our brains. And, because of this advantage, nature has made it the most important part.
One’s DNA contains the code on how the reward circuit of their brain will be made. If someone has the code for a reward circuit that is low on inhibition, they are more likely to be wild and mischievous. A wild and mischievous person would more likely hang out with a similar group of friends–something called assorted friendships.
It is because of this that they would also try drugs together and, because of their already weak inhibition, they would also have a harder time quitting the abusive pattern. They would also have an easier time becoming addicted.
Also published on Medium.