Adderall Withdrawal

Adderall Withdrawal and Addiction Treatment

In recent years, Adderall has become one of the most widely abused prescription drugs. With its powerful stimulant effects, Adderall has found favor with students and young professionals. Adderall provides a swift boost in energy and mental alertness, and reduces the need for sleep. In this article we explore this potent drug and what to expect in Adderall withdrawal and treatment.

Adderall Overview

Adderall is a prescription stimulant composed of four types of amphetamines. The drug has a legitimate pharmacological profile for treatment of attention hyperactivity deficit disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy. For these patients, Adderall provides relief from symptoms but does not cause stimulant effects.

A healthy person that misuses Adderall to improve their performance at school or work does experience stimulant effects. These include a boost of energy, euphoria, improved concentration and focus, and reduced need for sleep. Adderall is available in two formulations, regular and time released. Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance due to its high potential for abuse and addiction.

How Does Adderall Affect the Brain?

Stimulants like Adderall have a direct affect on brain chemistry. When the pleasurable sensations release a flood of dopamine, the brain records this as something worthy to experience again. This is the function of the brain’s reward center.

This wires the brain to trigger Adderall-seeking behaviors when the person encounters a need for more energy in their daily routine. Soon, they aren’t able to face their workload without the help of the drug. With repeated use of Adderall over time, dependence and addiction take root.

Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Addiction

Adderall can be abused in many ways. Someone may first take the drug in tablet form, but then begin to develop a higher tolerance to its effects. This may lead the person to start crushing the pills and snorting it for a more powerful high.

It is also common to drink alcohol while taking Adderall. This combination is dangerous, as each substance lessens the effects of the other. Masking the effects of alcohol, a depressant, with the stimulant, or masking the stimulant with alcohol can cause an overdose.

There are several telltale signs of Adderall abuse and addiction. These include:

  • Euphoria
  • Nervousness
  • Manic mood states
  • Extra energy
  • More social than usual
  • A marked loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Angry or hostile behavior
  • Brain fog
  • Jittery
  • Exhaustion
  • Being overly talkative
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Financial problems
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased sleep
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Nosebleeds
  • Frequent headaches
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Maybe you recognize several of the symptoms in yourself. If so, it is advised to seek out professional support to overcome the Adderall dependency.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

While it might be tempting to decide one day to quit taking Adderall, this can be risky for someone with a dependency on the drug. Stopping Adderall cold turkey will most likely result in a failed attempt, as the withdrawal symptoms cause you to return to the drug.

There is a distinction between Adderall dependency and addiction. Dependence means that over long-term use the body has adapted to the drug being in the system. Addiction is when the person cannot control the Adderall use, despite the negative consequences it is causing.

Whether dependent or addicted, a supervised detox program will monitor and manage your withdrawal symptoms from start to finish. This provides the best chances for completing the detox and starting the rehab program.

It can be helpful to have some awareness of what to expect in Adderall withdrawal. This way, when the symptoms emerge you are somewhat prepared for it. Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme hunger
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased appetite
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Intense fatigue
  • Mental fog
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Adderall Detox and Withdrawal Timeline

The length of time it takes to clear Adderall from the system depends on how severe the substance use disorder is. Adderall withdrawal is not as harsh as it is for other substances, but the depression can cause suicidal thoughts. It is the risk of suicide that is most concerning, and why the detox should take place under supervision.

Amphetamine withdrawal is usually completed in about one week. This timeline can be longer for someone with a long-term Adderall addiction.

Adderall detox and withdrawal takes place in three phases:

Phase 1: Early symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms begin to surface within twelve hours of the last Adderall dose. During this initial stage of detox, which lasts 1-3 days, symptoms will be fairly mild. The person feels very tired, yet has trouble falling asleep. Symptoms of depression are common.

Phase 2: Peak symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms reach their peak on days 3-5 before they start to subside. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, headaches, nightmares, and severe depression.

Phase 3: Subsiding symptoms. During days 5-7 you will see the physical symptoms slowly decline, but psychological symptoms continue. These include panic attacks, anxiety, and irritability. 

In week two, even though detox has been completed, it is common to experience drug cravings, depression, and fatigue. Although these symptoms will slowly dissipate, the cravings can pose a risk of relapse.

Adderall Addiction Treatment

After the detox has been completed, it is time for rehab. There are two options for rehab – either outpatient or inpatient. An outpatient treatment setting provides about nine hours of therapy per week, and lasts about three months. This option allows the person to remain living at home and the flexibility to attend work or school.

For someone with a more severe Adderall addiction, or with a polysubstance use disorder, an inpatient rehab is best. The inpatient programs provide 24-hour support within a structured setting.

Treatment includes:

  • Individual talk therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • 12-step or similar recovery group
  • Addiction education
  • Life skills classes
  • Relaxation techniques to reduce stress

A comprehensive Adderall withdrawal and rehab program can help you overcome the need for this stimulant drug and live a substance free life.

Bodhi Addiction Treatment and Wellness for Adderall Addiction

Bodhi Addiction Treatment and Wellness provides addiction counseling and guidance for those struggling with Adderall. For learn more about our Adderall recovery services, please reach out to us today at (877) 328-1968