Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine): Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal, and Treatment
Vyvanse is the brand name for lisdexamfetamine, which is a prescription drug and a central nervous system stimulant. It is used to treat ADHD but has also been approved by the FDA to treat binge eating disorder. It is classified as a Schedule II drug by the DEA because it has the potential to be abused.
Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) works by restoring the natural balance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which increases the user’s ability to concentrate and stay focused on a given task. Vyvanse is designed to be taken orally and is available in a capsule or chewable tablet form. When used on a long-term basis, it can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Although it is a Schedule II drug, Vyvanse is less likely to be abused than other similar drugs like Adderall because it is a prodrug and its effects aren’t felt immediately. It must first be absorbed by the intestinal tract and converted to dextroamphetamine (the active form of the drug) before any effects are felt. So, if a person takes a dose of Vyvanse, he or she won’t feel its effects until an hour or two later.
According to the World Health Organization, there are no current street names or slang terms for lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), however, the following terms are slang for amphetamines:
- Pick me ups
The abuse of prescription stimulants like Vyvanse is common in the U.S. and abuse is growing. In 2017, 7,663 people died from a psychostimulant overdose, compared to 5,992 in 2016 (an increase of 30 percent). Additionally, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 4.3 million people used prescription stimulants to get high in the last month.
Prescription stimulant abuse can happen in a variety of different ways, including:
- Taking someone else’s prescription stimulant drug
- Using a prescription stimulant drug when it is not medically necessary
- Getting multiple prescriptions from several different doctors
- Taking prescription stimulants with other drugs or alcohol
- Taking larger or more frequent doses than necessary
- Crushing the pills and snorting the powder to get high
- Diluting the powder and injecting it to get high
Long-term abuse of prescription stimulants like lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) can cause dependence, addiction, and result in severe or even life-threatening side effects.
Common side effects of Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) abuse include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature
- Reduced appetite
- Muscle weakness
- Involuntary twitching
- Excessive sweating
- Chest pain
- Impaired judgment
If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), there are several signs and symptoms to watch for. Common signs of prescription drug abuse and addiction include:
- Problems sleeping
- Reduced appetite
- Hyperactive behavior
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Hostile behavior
- Excessive mood swings
- Requesting early refills
- “Losing” prescriptions
- Poor decision-making
If a person attempts to stop using Vyvanse once they are addicted or dependent, they may experience uncomfortable physical side effects called withdrawal. Common symptoms of lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) withdrawal include:
- Concentration problems
- Lack of motivation
- Mood swings
Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to deal with on your own at home. The safest and most effective way to detox from Vyvanse is to do so at a medical detox center. Medically-assisted detox provides round-the-clock medical and clinical care, to treat the uncomfortable physical and psychological side effects of withdrawal. Treatment may also involve a process called tapering, where you are gradually weaned off the Vyvanse instead of abruptly quitting. This can reduce the severity of the withdrawal side effects.
At a detox center, your treatment team can also provide personal recommendations for ongoing care if you choose to continue your addiction treatment after completing detox. These options may include residential rehab, outpatient rehab, IOP. a sober living program, or a peer monitoring program. These treatment services can help to address the underlying causes of the addictive behavior to prevent relapse.
Overall, an inpatient detox program can help prevent relapse by providing medical, clinical, and personal support, even after detox is over.
The duration and intensity of Vyvanse withdrawal will vary from person to person depending on the method they used to quit (taper or cold turkey), the typical dose and frequency of use, the method of abuse, the duration of time Vyvanse was abused, and if the Vyvanse was abused with any other drugs.
Although detox and withdrawal are different for everyone, here is an estimated Vyvanse withdrawal timeline:
|24 hours after the last dose:||Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms begin to set in.|
|3-5 days after the last dose:||Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms continue to persist, gradually decreasing in intensity over time.|
|6-7 days after the last dose:||Most withdrawal symptoms typically dissipate by this time, although some psychological symptoms may persist if they are left untreated.|
Once you have completed detox for lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) addiction, you may continue your treatment with a drug rehab program. According to the National Institue on Drug Abuse, long-term addiction treatment of 90 days or longer is recommended for people who want to sustain their sobriety and maintain positive outcomes.
Rehab programs are designed to help clients address the root causes of their addiction and learn how to live a sober life. During rehab, clients work with a team of addiction treatment professionals (many of whom are often also in recovery themselves) to achieve the following objectives:
- Maintain their sobriety
- Learn about the disease of addiction
- Implement relapse prevention strategies
- Gain the life skills necessary for a sober lifestyle
- Establish healthy relationships with sober peers and mentors
These objectives can be achieved with several different types of rehab programs, including residential programs, outpatient rehab programs, or intensive outpatient rehab programs (IOP).
There are several differences between inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. To determine which type of rehab program is best for you, it is wise to consider several different factors, such as:
- Your treatment needs
- Your financial ability
- Your history with addiction and relapse
- Your location
- Your health insurance benefits coverage
While enrolled in an inpatient drug rehab program, clients can expect to:
- Live on-site at the rehab center in gender-specific group housing
- Have immediate access to treatment professionals and medical care
- Attend educational lectures, process groups, and group counseling sessions
- Follow a structured daily routine and schedule
- Participate in family therapy during treatment
- Attend individual counseling and therapy sessions
While enrolled in an outpatient drug rehab program, clients can expect to:
- Attend weekly group meetings at a clinical location for several weeks
- Live at home while completing rehab
- Attend to other responsibilities while enrolled in rehab (attend school, work, care for children, etc.)
- Attend educational lectures
- Complete individual counseling
The cost of an inpatient or outpatient program will vary depending on several factors, like the location of the treatment center, the services offered, the amenities, and whether the facility accepts your insurance benefits. Most often, clients have several different payment options, including:
- Health insurance benefits
- Privately financed healthcare loans
- HSA funds
- Treatment scholarships
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefits
- Credit cards
- Out-of-pocket payments
Neither inpatient nor outpatient treatment is better than the other. Rather, each one caters to the different needs of recovering individuals.
Any type of drug addiction cannot be “cured” or easily overcome within a matter of days. Overcoming any type of addiction, including Vyvanse addiction, takes time, effort, and support. Fortunately, overcoming lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) addiction is possible with the right support and there are many different types of recovery support programs available to those who need them. The following programs are just a few examples of continued care options after rehab.
Sober Living Programs
A sober living program provides safe and sober gender-specific group housing. Most people who live in sober living homes have already completed detox and rehab and are actively working to maintain their sobriety.
Sober living homes also provide structured daily schedules for residents, with access to recovery support services such as:
- Education and employment assistance
- Tiered recovery programming
- Regular drug and alcohol testing
- Peer support programs
- Family support
The cost of a sober living program will vary, depending on the recovery support services offered, the amenities, and the location.
Aftercare programs are also beneficial for people in recovery. They provide continued peer support in early sobriety, which is often a challenging time. Aftercare programs are comprised of a series of group meetings that are facilitated by an addiction treatment professional. Each meeting is intended to be a safe and supportive environment where clients can feel accepted, regardless of their personal successes or failures in recovery.
Many people also use aftercare meetings as an opportunity to check-in with their peers and remain accountable to their own sobriety goals.
Overcoming lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) addiction is an ongoing process, but you can achieve full recovery with the right treatment and support. If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription stimulant abuse, call Nova Recovery Center today to find out how we can help.
- Gender-specific treatment
- Evidenced-based treatment
- 12-Step immersion
- 90-day residential treatment
- Family program
- Full continuum of care
- Insurance and private pay
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