Sunday September 25th 2016

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Adderall withdrawal: How long does it last?

Consult your doctor before you stop taking Adderall

Before we begin a discussion about how long it takes to withdraw from Adderall, we first need to mention the need for medical supervision if you want to stop taking Adderall. Firstly, withdrawal from Adderall can occur even for people who take amphetamines as prescribed. Secondly, people show varying degrees and symptoms of Adderall withdrawal after chronic use of stimulants. Even if you are taking Adderall as prescribed, you need to check in with your doctor before you stop dosing.

Withdrawal from Adderall occurs in phases

The clinical withdrawal period from stimulants like Adderall can be thought of as a sequence of phases beginning with “crash” and ending with long-term withdrawal. Withdrawal from Adderall lasts different times for different people, depending upon the dosage amount and frequency of use. And stimulant withdrawal is not usually associated with medical complications. Nonetheless, it is important to know that you may experience long-term residual effects of Adderall weeks or months after your last dose.

1. Crash – The “Crash” phase of withdrawal occurs anywhere from 9 – 14 hours after last dose in people who binge on Adderall. A crash occurs after an episode of high dosage intake over several hours or days. During the initial phase of a crash, symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, depressive dysphoria and a need for sleep immediately follow the end of the binge, when body feels the effects of the half life of Adderall , and Adderall levels decrease. It is common for people to sleep 24-26 hours during a crash, and most report no cravings for Adderall during this phase.

2. Intermediate withdrawal phase – The intermediate withdrawal phase from Adderall can last from several days to weeks after you take your last Adderall pill. During this phase, your body starts to normalize after physical dependences. Taking Adderall repeatedly over a period of time causes changes in the body as well as the brain so that withdrawal is actually the time when the body adapts to the drug’s absence. Frequent symptoms that people report during this time include:

  • changes in sleep patterns
  • decreased mental energy
  • decreased physical energy
  • cravings for Adderall
  • fatigue
  • inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia)
  • paranoia
  • slow reflexes
  • suicidal thinking

After mood and energy dysfunction passes, cravings or urges for the stimulant often return. And be advised that, in children, withdrawal from Adderall can result in previous disruptive behaviors for which Adderall was originally prescribed (ADD & ADHD symptoms) within a couple of days of last dosing.

3. Long term withdrawal phase – During this phase of Adderall withdrawal, a more natural baseline affective state returns. However, what is characteristic of this phase is that cravings and urges to take Adderall continue to recur after months to years of abstinence, often triggered by environmental cues.

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Treatment for Adderall withdrawal

The most effective means for treating stimulant withdrawal is TIME. After you establish a period of abstinence from Adderall, symptoms dissipate. In the meantime, supportive therapies and treatment of mood symptoms may help lessen the effects of Adderall withdrawal. Although no medication has been developed for treating stimulant withdrawal, antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can be prescribed for the depres

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