Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Adderall withdrawal can cause several debilitating side effects. Read on to learn more about symptoms and treatment options.

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Understanding Adderall

Adderall is a prescription medication, commonly known as dextroamphetamine, that is commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is a central nervous system stimulant medication belonging to a class of drugs known as amphetamines. Adderall works by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which help in improving attention, focus, and control over behavior.

For individuals with ADHD, Adderall can significantly reduce symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, leading to better performance in academic, work, and social settings. In the case of narcolepsy, it helps in reducing excessive daytime sleepiness.

Adderall Use and Misuse

Adderall is often prescribed in two forms: Adderall IR (Immediate Release) and Adderall XR (Extended Release). The former has a shorter duration of effect, typically lasting about 4-6 hours, while the latter can last up to 12 hours, providing a more steady effect throughout the day.

Despite its therapeutic benefits, Adderall is also known for its potential for abuse and dependence. It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, indicating a high potential for abuse and dependence. The misuse of Adderall, especially without a prescription or in higher than recommended doses, can lead to serious health issues, including heart problems, mental health issues, and addiction. Therefore, it is crucial for Adderall to be used strictly under medical supervision and according to the prescribed dosage.

What Is Adderall Withdrawal?

Becoming dependent or addicted to Adderall can result in severe Adderall withdrawal symptoms when drug use stops. Adderall withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable and can lead to a potential relapse before successful recovery occurs. Quitting Adderall is possible, but many people will need the assistance of a professional addiction treatment center in order to overcome this difficult first stage of recovery.

Adderall withdrawal refers to the set of physical and psychological symptoms that occur when stopping Adderall use. Like most substances that individuals become reliant upon, Adderall dependence leads to several structural changes within the brain. An addicted brain becomes accustomed to the stimulating effects of Adderall, and withdrawal from the substance may cause several uncomfortable symptoms or side effects.

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Is Adderall Withdrawal Dangerous?

While typically not life-threatening, the side effects of Adderall withdrawal can be incredibly debilitating. The biggest danger of suddenly stopping Adderall is a rapid return to active drug abuse in order to find relief from the side effects of Adderall withdrawal.

Adderall withdrawal treatment can greatly reduce this risk. People experiencing withdrawal from Adderall can benefit from several different treatments, therapies, and medications that can minimize the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Adderall withdrawal treatment can greatly reduce this risk. People experiencing withdrawal from Adderall can benefit from several different treatments, therapies, and medications that can minimize the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Common Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawal

The symptoms of Adderall withdrawal are typically opposite of the effects of Adderall itself. This means that a person may feel energized, alert, and focused while under the influence of Adderall, but during the withdrawal process, they can feel fatigued, confused, and depressed.

Other signs of Adderall withdrawal include: 1

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Adderall withdrawal headaches
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Intense cravings
  • Suicidal thoughts
Depression after stopping Adderall use is also commonly reported. Depending on the length and dosage of Adderall use, these effects can last days, weeks, or even months

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How Long Do Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Withdrawing from Adderall typically takes a few days, but entirely recovering from Adderall addiction can take months or years. Adderall is eliminated from the body in just a few days, but the brain changes that result from substance use disorders may take much longer to heal.

Adderall Withdrawal Timeline

There are three stages of withdrawal from prescription drugs and stimulants like Adderall. These include:

  • First Stage: The first stage of the Adderall withdrawal timeline is often referred to as a “crash.” Around twelve hours after the last dose, some people may feel intense depression, agitation, and drug cravings. They may even fall asleep for a dozen hours or more during this part of the withdrawal period.
  • Second Stage: The next stage of withdrawal is characterized by chronic fatigue, loss of mental energy, and decreased interest in the things around them. People in this stage may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, changes in appetite, and intense anxiety. This stage typically lasts for up to seven days. Although a person detoxing from Adderall may sleep heavily the first day or two after stopping their usage, they often develop sleep difficulties during this period and become profoundly restless.
  • Third Stage: The last stage of Adderall withdrawal can last weeks or months. Known as the post-acute withdrawal phase, this is the period where the brain begins to heal from the damage of substance abuse. Some stimulant withdrawal symptoms may heal themselves quickly during this time, whereas others will last for months. 2 

How Common Is Adderall Addiction and Abuse?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately: 3
  • 758,000 people over the age of twelve in the United States have a prescription stimulant addiction
  • Over five million people in the United States misused prescription stimulants in the last year
  • Almost two million people misused prescription stimulants in the last month
This data suggests that Adderall abuse is somewhat common in the United States, making it a valuable target for addiction treatment.

How to Determine When Someone Is Experiencing an Adderall Overdose

Overdosing on Adderall can potentially be a life-threatening event that may occur when too much Adderall is consumed at once. The Adderall overdose timeline can move quickly and often leads to fatal cardiac arrest. Some common signs and physical symptoms of Adderall overdose include: 4

  • Chest pains
  • Increased heart rate and respiration
  • Severe tremors or uncontrollable shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stroke
  • Psychosis
If you think an Adderall overdose is occurring, call 911 immediately. Emergency medical services may be able to arrive in time to save a life.

Adderall Detox & Addiction Treatment

The benefits of quitting Adderall can’t be understated, but many people will need professional help in order to overcome Adderall withdrawal effects. If you or a loved one are showing signs of Adderall withdrawal, looking for a professional addiction treatment or medical detox program can help you achieve lasting recovery and help prevent relapse.

Don’t take the risk of trying unproven Adderall withdrawal supplements or dealing with the symptoms alone. There are quality, evidence-based approaches to help people recover safely, and compassionate care can help you achieve wellness and sobriety while mitigating the negative impacts of detoxification.
Adderall Withdrawal

Inpatient Adderall Rehab

Inpatient treatment is the most intensive and effective form of addiction treatment available. These programs can help while someone is detoxing from Adderall, while also teaching them the skills for a life in recovery. Inpatient rehab centers also help people deal with any potential long-lasting mental health symptoms. At an inpatient treatment center, clients live on-site at the facility and receive intensive therapies throughout the day.

Outpatient Adderall Rehab

Outpatient treatment is another effective choice for people who don’t want to live in a residential facility. Clients at an outpatient treatment center attend treatment several days a week for several hours at a time. Outpatient addiction centers are inherently flexible and allow people to continue living in their own homes and communities.

Aftercare Treatment for Adderall Addiction

Aftercare treatment is the last stage of Adderall rehab. These programs provide lasting support and accountability while people transition back to life in the real world. After treatment, people may elect to live in a sober living community or at their previous place of residence.

Get Treatment for Adderall Addiction at Profound Recovery

When you’re ready to start the process of working toward Adderall addiction recovery and want to look into our inpatient rehab or other therapy approaches, reach out to the treatment professionals at Profound Recovery.

Our team is dedicated to helping people break free from substance use disorders and can teach you the skills needed for a lifetime of recovery. Don’t delay getting help any longer — Profound Recovery can help you beat Adderall addiction and achieve long-lasting, sustainable sobriety.

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