Vyvanse is a commonly prescribed central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is FDA-approved to treat ADHD and binge eating disorder. Vyvanse has similar effects as other popular stimulants, including Adderall, Concerta and Ritalin. These drugs have all been classified as Schedule II drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), meaning that although they are beneficial therapeutic agents, they are associated with a significant risk for abuse.
Even when taken as directed, regular Vyvanse use quickly leads to tolerance (the need to continuously increase the dose in order to achieve the same level of response that was achieved initially) and dependence (physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that occur after reducing or completely stopping Vyvanse use). Dependence is incredibly uncomfortable, but people who are dependent on Vyvanse do not participate in risky behaviors to get more. However, people who have become addicted to Vyvanse are unable to manage their dependence and engage compulsive drug-seeking behaviors in spite of negative health and social ramifications. Vyvanse use disorders can be incredibly challenging to overcome alone. Many people find that participating in a residential or outpatient rehab program is the most successful way to ensure long term success in recovery.
The Problem with Study Drugs
For people with diagnosed ADHD, Vyvanse offers legitimate therapeutic benefits when used as directed. However, misuse and abuse of prescription stimulants has increased. Among the most common reasons people give for misuse of Vyvanse and other “study drugs” (e.g., Adderall, Concerta or Ritalin) is cognitive enhancement, which is defined as, “…using artificial means to optimize one’s learning and memory systems.”
There is a widespread perception that nonmedical use of study drugs improves GPAs, work quality, work output, personal lives and social adeptness. However, there is little evidence that study drug abuse actually improves GPAs among high school or college students, and similar findings have been made for children who have been diagnosed with ADHD and take medications as prescribed.
Evaluations of long term health outcomes for adults who misuse stimulants are currently underway. Preliminary data provided mixed results on whether there are significant long term adverse effects among adults, but some studies have provided convincing evidence that ADHD medications can damage brain structures that are associated with motivation and drive. In summary, study drug abuse has not been shown to significantly improve learning, memory or GPA, has several negative short-term health consequences and may permanently damage regions of the brain that produce motivation and drive. Taken together, these observations suggest that the potential negative consequences far outweigh any perceived positive outcomes associated with study drug abuse.
Vyvanse Addiction Treatment Options
Overcoming Vyvanse dependence and addiction can be challenging. By entrusting your care to rehab professionals, you can focus on recovery while getting the medical and psychological support that can be the key to a successful recovery. Vyvanse poses unique challenges that rehab facilities are equipped to deal with. Quitting “cold turkey” can set someone up for failure.
Multidisciplinary rehab programs will identify the proper tapering schedule for each client while providing emotional support and, when appropriate, pharmacological interventions that can make early days of recovery more manageable. People who participate in rehab programs are often more successful in their short and long term recovery.
Detox is the first phase of recovery, but it can be uncomfortable. Experiencing a setback in the first few days of recovery is common, especially for people who detox at home. Medically supervised detox is done under the care of professionals who can offer support and, if appropriate, pharmacotherapy to mitigate severe withdrawal symptoms.
These programs are often known as “residential rehab” programs. In many cases, clients transition out of medical detox directly into a comprehensive inpatient program that provides a safe, supportive environment and quality medical and mental health care.
Some people with mild Vyvanse use disorders begin their recovery in outpatient care, but for many people, outpatient drug treatment follows a residential program. The goal of outpatient care is to provide support and guidance as clients reorient to their lives while maintaining sobriety.
CEOs and high-level business professionals have a high rate of Vyvanse misuse and, for these people, executive rehab provides a way for them to get the help they need while maintaining the ability to fulfill work commitments including travel and meetings with clients. Executive rehab programs take privacy and confidentiality seriously and often provide luxury amenities.
Many people who use Vyvanse do so to ameliorate symptoms that may rightfully be diagnosed as depression or anxiety disorders. Rehab facilities that are equipped to evaluate whether a dual diagnosis is appropriate and provide initial pharmacological and behavioral therapies that address substance use and mental health independently can be immensely beneficial. In addition, Vyvanse and alcohol use disorders often coincide; a dual diagnosis allows them to be treated simultaneously and holistically but with attention given to the specific challenges associated with each disorder.
Types of Drug Addiction Therapy
Different types of therapy may be used during drug rehab. Two common types of therapy are:
Group therapy for drug addiction can seem intimidating at first, but many people find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in their struggle to overcome Vyvanse use disorders. Structured group therapy provides clients with an opportunity to interact with and learn from peers in a supportive and motivating environment.
There are many forms of behavioral therapy that rehab programs use. Among the most common are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI). The goal of CBT is to identify negative or self-defeating thoughts and behaviors and modify them so they become neutral or even positive. MI is a client-driven form of therapy that gives people the opportunity to identify reasons they misuse Vyvanse and why quitting is important to them.
Duration of Vyvanse Rehab
Most people who seek treatment for Vyvanse use disorders can expect to spend somewhere between several weeks to several months or more undergoing residential and outpatient care. People with mild to moderate dependence may spend just a couple of weeks in residential care before progressing to a few months of outpatient treatment. People facing severe addiction may spend 90 days or more in a residential program before transitioning to intensive outpatient care that may last for several months.
Life After Rehab
People who have had long-term success in recovery know that sobriety is a lifelong commitment that requires constant maintenance. Quality rehab facilities provide aftercare programs which allow clients to maintain close relationships with rehab facilitators, therapists, mentors and peers. Aftercare programs provide individual and group therapy, case management, relapse prevention therapy and educational opportunities. In addition, many aftercare programs introduce clients to new hobbies and activities that can help them replace old habits with new, healthy ones. Aftercare is a place where supportive social networks can be made, and many people find lifelong friendships in aftercare.
Importance of Vyvanse Rehab
Vyvanse has unique challenges that can be especially difficult for someone to face on their own. For example, many people who try to taper Vyvanse without professional advice find that they are unable to find the right taper rate, which puts them at risk for relapse. Rehab programs have experienced staff who know how to address these challenges. In addition, rehab therapy gives people tools and techniques that they can use to avoid triggers and successfully deal with stressful situations without falling back on Vyvanse. For most people, the odds of successfully overcoming dependence or addiction and maintaining long term sobriety is substantially increased by participating in rehab.
Rehab Success Rates
Precise statistics describing rehab success rates are inherently difficult to determine, but overwhelming data and anecdotal reports show that rehab programs provide greater short- and long-term success in recovery.
One study that evaluated three long-term (six month) residential rehab programs for women found that women who completed at least three months of the program had significantly greater success in achieving one-year of sobriety following rehab compared to women who dropped out of their programs before 30 days: 51-52% of women who dropped out maintained sobriety for one year, while 76-78% of women who completed their programs maintained sobriety at the one year point.
How Much Does Rehab Cost?
Rehab costs vary quite a bit depending on the location, quality of care and access to medical services, but general estimates can be made: Detox typically costs between $1,500 and $2,500; a 30-day residential program can cost anywhere from a few thousand to well over $25,000; a 30-day outpatient program may cost between $1,000 and $10,000 for 30 days, depending on the intensity of the program. Other fees may include admission, incidental medical costs and enrollment in aftercare.
Does Insurance Cover Rehab?
Rehab without insurance is possible. Rehab can be expensive, but there are ways to mitigate the cost. Most insurance policies (including Medicaid) cover some or all of the cost of rehab. Many states offer rehab programs that are free or nearly free to people who qualify. Private rehab centers may offer grants or scholarships, and many rehab programs offer sliding fee scales to accommodate clients from all income levels. Some people have had success using creative ways to fundraise, including GoFundMe and Kickstarter.
Key Points to Understanding Vyvanse Treatment and Rehab
Keep the following key points in mind regarding Vyvanse treatment and rehab:
- Vyvanse can quickly cause tolerance and dependence, even when taken as directed
- Many people have the most success in recovery by participating in a program that begins with a detox period and a residential stay, followed by an outpatient program and aftercare
- Look for a program with a multidisciplinary team that can evaluate whether a dual diagnosis is appropriate and offer treatment for coincidental disorders, including mental health disorders and polysubstance abuse
- Rehab can be expensive, but many insurers (including Medicaid) will cover some of the cost. For people without insurance, state-run rehab programs exist that can offer low cost or free rehab to people who qualify.
- Overcoming Vyvanse use disorders can be challenging. By entrusting your care to a quality rehab facility, you will maximize your you odds of short and long term success.
Contact The Recovery Village Palm Beach to speak with a representative about how professional addiction treatment can help you. Take the first step toward a healthier future, call now.
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Currie, Janet; Stabile, Mark; Jones, Lauren. “Do Stimulant Medications Improve Educational and Behavioral Outcomes for Children with ADHD?” Journal of Health Economics, September 2014. Accessed August 20, 2019.
DrugAbuse.gov. “Prescription Stimulants.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, June 2018. Accessed August 20, 2019.
Greenfield, Lawrence; et al. “Effectiveness of Long-Term Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for Women: Findings from Three National Studies.” The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2004. Accessed August 20, 2019.