Vyvanse Misuse: Effects, Addiction & Treatment
Vyvanse is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD and binge eating disorder. It is under the class of stimulant medications and a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for misuse, dependence, and addiction, although not as high as many other prescription and illicit stimulants due to its “prodrug” form.2
In 2021, approximately 3.7 million people misused prescription stimulants in the past year,1 according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In this article, we’ll explain the risks of Vyvanse misuse, Vyvanse effects, and side effects, and answer the question, “Is Vyvanse addictive?”
What Is Vyvanse and What Is It Used For?
Vyvanse is the brand name for the drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate.2 Vyvanse is a prescription stimulant belonging to the drug class amphetamines.2 Prescription stimulants are generally prescribed to increase attention, energy, and alertness.3
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Vyvanse for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder (BED) in adult patients.2
Is Vyvanse Addictive?
Vyvanse has a known risk for abuse and dependence.2 People may misuse prescription stimulants, like Vyvanse, because they believe they will improve cognitive abilities, academic performance, as a study aid, or to get high. Misuse can occur by:2
- Taking more medication than is prescribed to them.
- Taking someone else’s medication,
- Taking it only to get high.
It’s worth noting that while Vyvanse does have a known risk of misuse it is also a prodrug, meaning that it is inactive until the body metabolizes it.4 This makes Vyvanse misuse difficult, particularly by snorting or injecting, as doing so would not produce euphoric effects.5 Additionally, even taking large doses orally over a short period may delay absorption, decreasing the “high” that someone misusing the drug may be looking for.5
Signs of Vyvanse Addiction
Healthcare providers may assess for the presence of the following criteria for diagnosing a stimulant use disorder, the clinical term for someone struggling with addiction to Vyvanse or other prescription stimulants.8 The Vyvanse addiction signs include:8
- Taking a larger amount of the prescription stimulant, for a longer period than originally intended.
- Trying and failing multiple times to quit or cut back on stimulant use.
- Spending a lot of time trying to obtain the stimulant, use it, or recover from its effects.
- Cravings or urges to use the stimulant.
- Using the stimulant despite it causing you to fail to fulfill your obligations at work, school, or home.
- Continuing to use the stimulant despite it causing or worsening problems in your social life.
- Giving up activities that were previously important to you at work or in your social life because of your stimulant use.
- Using stimulants in situations that are physically dangerous.
- Using stimulants despite knowing they have caused or worsened a physical or mental health problem.
Developing a tolerance for the stimulant may indicate the presence of a stimulant use disorder when accompanied by other symptoms.8 This can include both needing more of the stimulant to achieve the desired effect or experiencing a significantly reduced effect when you use the same amount.8
Effects of Vyvanse Misuse
While the effects of Vyvanse misuse can differ for everyone, it is vital to be aware of how they may present. Misusing Vyvanse can cause several effects on the brain and body. These risks can include:2
- Increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.
- Decreased appetite.
- Abdominal pain.
- Suicidal ideation.
- Homicidal ideation.
- The development of dependence, addiction, and overdose.
Vyvanse Overdose Symptoms
It is possible to overdose on Vyvanse, especially if it is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Some potential Vyvanse overdose symptoms may include:2
- Rapid respiratory rate.
- Panic states.
- Hyperpyrexia (dangerously high temperature).
- Abdominal cramps.
In severe cases, Vyvanse overdose may cause adverse cardiovascular effects, such as arrhythmias, hypertension or hypotension, and circulatory collapse.2 Severe and potentially fatal poisoning from a Vyvanse overdose may cause convulsions and coma.2
Vyvanse Addiction Treatment at River Oaks in Florida
If you are seeking treatment for Vyvanse addiction, River Oaks Treatment Center offers multiple levels of addiction treatment at our drug rehab near Tampa, Florida. Our facility offers specialized addiction and mental health treatment, including inpatient alcohol and drug rehab and medically supervised detox.
Contact our helpful admissions navigators at for more information about River Oaks today, including how to use insurance coverage for rehab, discussing other rehab payment options, and simplifying the process of rehab admissions. Start your journey to recovery today.
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