Article at a Glance:
- Adderall is an addictive Schedule II controlled substance that can cause withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it.
- Slowly tapering the Adderall dose is preferable to stopping the drug cold turkey.
- Withdrawal symptoms can include agitation, sleep problems and psychosis.
- A medical detox program can help you safely stop taking the drug while treating any withdrawal symptoms that occur.
Table of Contents
Adderall Withdrawal Overview
Adderall, the brand name for amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts, is an addictive Schedule II controlled substance. If you’re thinking about getting off Adderall, you’re probably concerned about withdrawal symptoms. You’re not alone. Many people have taken this crucial first step to recovery. Although your experience will be unique, it’s helpful to mentally prepare for the experience and understand what to expect when withdrawing from amphetamine.
When your body becomes physically dependent on a drug like Adderall, it begins to expect its presence. For this reason, if you suddenly stop taking the drug, your body becomes chemically unbalanced. This can lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms that are known as withdrawal. Adderall withdrawal often starts within a day after stopping the drug and can last up to two months.
A detox plan can help you to minimize Adderall withdrawal symptoms. Detox not only helps you get off Adderall; it also treats any withdrawal symptoms that arise. This can help you stop the drug in the most comfortable way possible.
What Causes Adderall Withdrawal?
People may develop a tolerance to Adderall’s effects and a dependence on the drug. This can lead to addiction and the body relying on the drug to function properly. As the body builds a tolerance, taking larger doses of Adderall becomes increasingly likely. This may lead to harmful side effects, including overdose and death.
Once people gain dependence on the stimulant, they are more likely to experience withdrawal after a length of time without another dosage. Adderall withdrawal, also called “Adderall crash,” can occur for people even if taken as prescribed. Following a doctor’s orders can still lead to Adderall addiction, depending on the amount of time taking the stimulant and dosage.
Once the individual stops taking the medication, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. This can include physical and psychological side effects, even after a few doses, once misuse stops.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
Stimulants like Adderall heighten the function of the central nervous system, leading to increased energy, alertness and attention. When someone stops taking it, the effects can reverse. Oftentimes a person who relied on it for increased focus has more difficulty focusing once they discontinue dosage. This can lead to strong cravings for Adderall to perform necessary daily tasks, whether in a school or work setting.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Physical withdrawal from Adderall can result in the following symptoms:
- Extreme hunger
- Upset stomach
Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal from Adderall has a large psychological component, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Lack of mental clarity
- Suicidal thoughts
- Strong desire to resume taking Adderall
When a person experiences Adderall withdrawal, it is recommended to seek medical assistance to help cope with symptoms.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms
Because of the psychological component of withdrawal, medications may be used in a medical detox program to help manage emotional and behavioral issues that may arise. These can include:
- Benzodiazepines and antipsychotics to control agitation
- Blood pressure medications to lower your blood pressure and heart rate
The process for coping with Adderall withdrawal can be different for each person. Using a reputable detoxification program and tapering off the stimulant can help lessen the withdrawal effects.
Some medically supervised detox programs will help you taper off the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms in detox. By gradually decreasing the Adderall dose, withdrawal effects can be minimized until the body is completely cleansed of the stimulant.
Regardless, each person’s recovery journey is unique, and there are many factors that determine how long someone may experience withdrawal symptoms.
How Long Does Adderall Withdrawal Last?
The timeline for withdrawal will depend on the dose and how long you’ve been taking Adderall. Withdrawal symptoms may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Eating well, exercising daily and keeping to a regular sleep schedule may help. Meditation and other calming exercises may help you relax before bed and improve sleep, as will going to bed and getting up at the same time as you’re detoxing.
Even after physical symptoms such as drowsiness, trouble sleeping, and decreased hunger, psychological symptoms can persist. These include depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Early symptoms include fatigue and sluggishness. Follow-up or longer-lasting side effects include panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Up to weeks after the last dosage, people can experience cravings for Adderall and be in danger of recurring use. This is part of the reason why quick-fix rehabilitation programs often mislead those seeking help and can be detrimental to people’s safety.
There is no quick fix to Adderall dependence — addiction can be a lifelong disease if not treated with the proper care.
However long withdrawal symptoms from Adderall misuse last, tackling addiction with a medically-assisted detox program is the best choice. If you’re suffering from Adderall use disorder, seek a proper drug detoxification program immediately and begin treatment.
Although everyone’s withdrawal journey is different, doctors can sometimes predict a withdrawal timeline. A common Adderall withdrawal timeline is:
- Day 0-1: Your withdrawal symptoms are likely to start within a day of stopping the drug.
- Week 1: The first few days of withdrawal may be accompanied by feelings of sluggishness, physical fatigue, intense hunger and sleep disturbances, ranging from an inability to sleep to not being able to do anything but sleep. As your physical symptoms subside, you may experience a surge of emotional issues, including anxiety, panic attacks, irritability and an inability to feel happy. Counseling and group therapy can be beneficial at this stage, and it’s highly recommended you start attending these as soon as you’re physically able.
- Month 1: At this point, and any time after, cravings can be a serious issue and can result in a relapse. You may also experience sluggishness, anxiety, emotional changes and erratic sleep.
- Month 2: Your withdrawal symptoms may begin to subside at this point.
How To Detox From Adderall
Upon making the choice to recover from Adderall dependence, you or a loved one has already overcome an obstacle. The next hurdles are the withdrawal symptoms. However, these can be withstood, and a life free of substance misuse is attainable. An efficient detoxification program at an accredited rehab facility can help along the way.
What Is Adderall Detox?
Detoxification involves removing the drug from the body, and the detox process can be different for each patient. There is no one perfect solution to substance use disorder or Adderall dependence. That’s why it’s best not to attempt at-home detoxification, which can be harmful and lead to setbacks and increased dependence on Adderall.
Quitting Adderall Cold Turkey
Many people ask whether stopping Adderall “cold turkey” is a good detoxification strategy. This involves no longer taking any dosage of the drug after consistent use. People who choose this recovery route may experience the potential for the most severe Adderall withdrawal symptoms like psychosis — often with no medical support present.
For these reasons, the cold turkey approach is not recommended as a safe detoxification strategy.
There are numerous reputable, safe medical detoxification centers throughout the country where people can safely detox from Adderall while under medical care. The Recovery Village has multiple facilities in each region of the United States and provides clients with a safe environment, taper medications when deemed necessary by medical professionals, and 24-hour medical supervision.
What To Expect During the Detoxification Process
Safely detoxing from Adderall requires medical supervision, which can include medications to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Depending on what is medically appropriate, many doctors will prescribe antidepressants to help manage depression and suicidal thoughts.
Patients might also receive anti-anxiety drugs to help with mood swings, anxiety and stress during the detox stage. This assistance during Adderall detox can help patients cleanse their bodies of the drug safely and in a supportive manner with the guidance of medical professionals.
Before beginning detoxification at The Recovery Village, a team of clinical experts will determine the treatment necessary based on varying factors. The screening and testing can include:
- Blood tests
- Co-occurring disorders assessments
- Medical, psychological and social evaluation
- Risk assessment
All of these can help you and your medical team choose the best direction to take in your recovery. Making sure a detoxification process fits your individual needs is vital to a successful substance-free existence.
Adderall Rehabilitation Options
Calling our helpline is one of the first steps toward recovery. This valuable resource can connect those suffering from substance use disorder and their loved ones to comprehensive treatment options. The Recovery Village’s 24-hour hotline is toll-free and provides confidential guidance for those going through withdrawal or seeking to begin rehabilitation.
If you or your loved one is ready to move forward in recovery, comprehensive Adderall treatment options are available throughout the United States. Whether you choose a center close to home or out of state, there are various factors to consider when selecting a facility, including:
- Feedback from past and present clients and their family
- The available levels of care
- Treatment for each person’s biological, social and psychological needs
- The estimated length of time of each program
- Whether or not taper medications are used as a detoxification strategy
- If programs can be altered for an individual’s needs
The Recovery Village’s centers offer clients and families a wide range of treatment options to help set the framework for a successful recovery. Services vary at each facility, but the different substance misuse treatment options available include:
- Inpatient residential
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient
- Outpatient rehab
- Aftercare and sober housing
Co-occurring disorders such as mental health issues or eating disorders often coincide with Adderall dependency. Depending on the facility, different treatment options for eating disorders include:
- Inpatient residential
- Intensive outpatient
- Partial hospitalization
- Aftercare and sober housing
Mental health is an important part of the rehabilitation process. The Recovery Village realizes how common co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression, are for people suffering from addiction. Because of the connection between these struggles, we offer mental health treatment at each of its facilities through individual therapy, 12-step group therapy and family therapy.
At all of our centers, patients can endure the Adderall withdrawal and detoxification symptoms with the peace of mind that comes with personalized counseling and round-the-clock medical care. At The Recovery Village, we understand that substance use disorder can be a lifelong challenge. Here, each patient can build the necessary skills to continue their recovery long after detoxification ends.
Treatment Center Locations
If you or someone you love is seeking Adderall rehabilitation, The Recovery Village has facilities and resources across the country. Once it’s determined which kind of treatment is needed, you must look into payment options and whether you’re willing to travel.
The Recovery Village’s network includes centers in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Washington, providing a full continuum of care to each part of the country. If you’re seeking treatment in a different area or another kind of substance misuse rehabilitation program, The Recovery Village can help you locate a program near your current residence.
Pietrangelo, Ann. “Coping with the Comedown: Managing Adderall Crash.” Healthline, February 4, 2019. Accessed February 21, 2021.
World Health Organization. “Withdrawal Management.” Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings, 2009. Accessed February 21, 2021.
Farzam, Khashayar; Faizy, Rubina M.; Saadabad, Abdolreza. “Stimulants.” StatPearls, November 27, 2020. Accessed February 21, 2021.
Martin, Dustin; Le, Jacqueline K. “Amphetamine.” StatPearls, August 28, 2020. Accessed February 21, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Adderall.” April 1, 2020. Accessed February 21, 2021.
- Medical Disclaimer
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.