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, this page will help you mentally prepare for the experience, and understand what to expect when withdrawing from amphetamine.
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How Long Do Withdrawal Symptoms 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.
- Day 1-3 – 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.
- Day 4-7 – 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.
- Week 2 – At this point, and any time after, cravings can be a serious issue, and can result in a relapse.
- Week 3 and Beyond – Dealing with co-occurring disorders like depression can become a struggle after the initial detox. Addressing these things in counseling and finding alternative ways to create feelings of happiness are imperative to ongoing success.
Physical withdrawal from Adderall can result in the following symptoms:
- Extreme hunger
- Upset stomach
Withdrawal from Adderall has a large psychological component, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Lack of mental clarity
- Suicidal thoughts
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. Doctors often prescribe antidepressants to help manage feelings of depression or reduce thoughts of self-harm or suicide associated with withdrawal.
In addition, because anxiety is often an issue, anti-anxiety drugs or other mood-stabilizing agents may be prescribed to help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, mood swings, panic attacks or nervousness that may arise during detox.
Because sleep is often an issue during withdrawal, medication may also be prescribed to assist with sleep during withdrawal and detox.
What Causes Adderall Withdrawal?
Adderall is a stimulant. Coming down from stimulant use usually results in feelings of fatigue, along with sleep issues. Stopping Adderall use abruptly can cause a crash. Adderall boosts the effects of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Because it can be habit-forming, quitting can be very difficult, and relapse is a serious issue.
Karila, Laurent, et al. “Pharmacological Approaches to Methamphetamine Dependence: A Focused Review.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, February 2010. Accessed August 2, 2020.
Pietrangelo, Ann. “Coping with the Comedown: Managing Adderall Crash.” Healthline, February 4, 2019. Accessed Aug 2, 2020.
World Health Organization. “4. Withdrawal Management.” Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings, 2009. Accessed August 2, 2020.
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