Vyvanse Abuse & Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. Speak with a Recovery Advocate by calling (719) 602-0914 now.

Updated 08/10/2023

Vyvanse is a brand name medication of lisdexamfetamine. Primarily used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Vyvanse is meant to be part of a larger, more comprehensive treatment plan that includes psychological and social treatments.

Vyvanse is also used to treat binge eating disorder (BED). Specifically, Vyvanse may reduce the amount of binge eating activity someone experiences. Vyvanse is a stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain. While it has therapeutic uses, Vyvanse abuse is possible.

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a prescription stimulant. It is a federally controlled substance because of the potential for misuse and dependence. When someone uses Vyvanse, it speeds up activity in their brain. If someone has ADHD, the drug can improve their levels of focus and attention. However, it can also cause a euphoric high, appetite suppression, weight loss and increased energy.

Side effects of Vyvanse, particularly when it’s used recreationally, can include raised heart rate and blood pressure. Vyvanse can also lead to increased body temperature and the constriction of blood vessels. Other side effects of Vyvanse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the upper stomach

Is Vyvanse Addictive?

Vyvanse isn’t a narcotic, but it is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States. As a Schedule II substance, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), considers it to have a high potential for misuse, addiction and dependence. Vyvanse comes with a black box warning advising of its potential for misuse and dependency. Before someone uses this stimulant, they should let their doctor know about any history of substance misuse.

Vyvanse addiction can occur because of the desirable and sometimes euphoric effects the drug can create. Someone who uses Vyvanse, particularly if they’re misusing it, may feel euphoric, focused and energetic. The positive feelings stemming from the use of Vyvanse can trigger a reward response in the brain, which plays a role in the development of addiction.

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Vyvanse?

Just how addictive is Vyvanse and how long does it take for an addiction to form? There’s not a specific answer, because every person is different. The risk of becoming addicted to Vyvanse is lower in people who use it as their doctor instructs. There is a higher risk of an addiction forming in people who:

  • Use Vyvanse without a prescription
  • Use it in ways other than what’s intended, such as snorting it or using high doses
  • Use Vyvanse only for certain effects such as weight loss or euphoria
  • Have a history of substance abuse
  • Mix Vyvanse with other drugs or substances

Signs of Vyvanse addiction vary from person to person. Because every person has unique physical characteristics and psychological conditions, the signs of addiction are not the same for everyone. Some general signs of Vyvanse addiction include:

  • Being unable to stop or reduce Vyvanse use despite attempts
  • Focusing a lot of attention on obtaining Vyvanse and using it
  • Doctor shopping for prescriptions
  • Using Vyvanse in spite of negative outcomes or effects
  • Experiencing cravings for Vyvanse
  • Developing tolerance and needing more to get the desired effects

Who is at Risk for Vyvanse Addiction?

People who misuse the drug are at a greater risk of developing an addiction. However, when considering the Vyvanse addiction potential, anyone is at risk. While the aforementioned factors put someone at a greater risk of developing an addiction, anyone can potentially misuse the drug and develop an addiction. The risk of addiction to Vyvanse is lowest in people who are prescribed to use it and carefully follow their doctor’s instructions when they take it.

Get Help for Vyvanse Addiction

Are you struggling with Vyvanse addiction? If so, help is available. Contact The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake to learn about Vyvanse detox and addiction treatment programs, what to expect and how to start treatment. Start your healthier future today.


Watson, Stephanie. “Vyvanse vs. Adderall for ADHD Symptom Control.” Healthline, October 7, 2016. Accessed March 27, 2019.

Wiley, Frieda.  “What is Vyvanse?”  Everyday Health, May 18, 2015. Accessed March 27, 2019.

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