Tuesday September 2nd 2014

Adderall withdrawal treatment

Is Adderall detox safe?

Yes, Adderall withdrawal is safe and rather routine. In fact, stimulant withdrawal from medications like Adderall is not usually associated with medical complications or problems. Plus, there is usually no intense discomfort experienced during withdrawal. Instead, the main factor during Adderall withdrawal is time.

The most effective way to treat stimulant withdrawal involves time. Brief medical supervision can help as you stop taking Adderall (especially if you were taking high doses over time). But once you establish a period of abstinence from Adderall, things get easier. Adderall withdrawal timelines will vary by person, dosage and frequency of use, but usually last from a couple of days (acute symptoms of a “crash”) to a few weeks/months. In fact, stimulants like Adderall are notorious for the duration and re-appearance of withdrawal symptoms after time. Delayed withdrawal is common, especially after heavy and chronic Adderall use.

Acute Adderall withdrawal treatments

If you are being treated for withdrawal symptoms for Adderall and plan to enter a treatment center following detox, there are a few things that you can expect. First, as you stop taking Adderall, supervisors will want to be sure that you are no longer taking it and/or they want to know if other drugs are in your system. So, they will initiate a blood test or urinalysis schedule.  Then, you may undergo a few evaluations to address other possible issues. This is because treatment of stimulant abuse requires a comprehensive assessment of your psychological, medical, forensic and drug use history. Doctors are looking for other medical conditions that are often present in stimulant users:

  1. psychiatric disorders
  2. stimulant-associated compulsive sexual behavior

Immediate crisis situations will be addressed and you will be educated on what is happening in your body. Often, people who detox from Adderall need large meals and are often confrontational, aggressive or violent.  Also, euphoric recall is often present during acute and intermediate withdrawal time frames, so be aware that you will need to learn how to cope with cravings during withdrawal and detox.

Intermediate Adderall withdrawal treatment

The most effective way to treat Adderall withdrawal involves establishing a period of abstinence from the drug. This is why intensive outpatient treatment is recommended to help you stop taking Adderall. During this time, specialists will help you avoid cue-induced cravings and other drugs. But as stimulant withdrawal symptoms wane, you should seek an active rehabilitative approach that combines substance abuse treatment with support, education, and changes in lifestyle.

Medications for Adderall withdrawal

  1. Antidepressants
  2. Neuroleptics
  3. New medications developed for stimulant withdrawal (clinical trials only)

Currently, scientists have not developed medicines for treating stimulant withdrawal, as they have for opiate withdrawal (methadone, clonidine or buprenorphine).  Although no medications are currently proven to be effective for stimulant withdrawal, researchers are investigating the possible clincial results of bupropion, which has helped people stop smoking. And a study in Thailand found mirtazapine helpful for reducing symptoms associated with amphetamine withdrawal.

Nonetheless, doctors do try to treat some of the symptoms of Adderall withdrawal using complementary therapies. For example, symptoms of insomnia and may be treated with diphenhydramine 50 to 100 mg, trazodone 75 to 200 mg, or hydroxyzine 25 to 50 mg at bedtime. And antidepressants often help too. Why?

Because the risk of a profound dysphoria (depression, negative thoughts and feelings) is present in people coming off stimulants. This may include suicidal ideas or attempts. In fact, the period of depression experienced by amphetamine users is more prolonged and may be more intense than even cocaine users. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be prescribed for the depression that often accompanies amphetamine withdrawal. Furthermore, pharmacological intervention may be necessary during stimulant-induced drug states. For example, neuroleptics can help control stimulant-induced psychosis or delirium.

Tips for Adderall withdrawal

Do you have any experience withdrawing from Adderall? Leave your tips here. Also, your questions and comments are welcomed below. We would love to hear from you!

Reference sources: SAMHSA TIP 33: Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders
Detoxification and substance abuse treatment: physical detoxification services for withdrawal from specific substances
The Search for Medications to Treat Stimulant Dependence

Treatment of acute intoxication and withdrawal from drugs of abuse from VA [dot] gov

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23 Responses to “Adderall withdrawal treatment
Dee
6:25 pm October 1st, 2011

Hello,
I am going to be dead within the year if I don’t think of something. Please help me…
I have struggled with severe recurrent depression and various addictions my whole life.
 I’ve worked in Drug courts, owned a Tx center, graduated in Psych and addiction, and I’ve fine tuned the “doctor shopping” habit to a point that I don’t even know when I’m manipulating anymore. 
Point is: I have been at best, passively suicidal up to writing letters and watching the train go by, fantasizing about jumping in front of it. Or the exact placement of a .45 firearm to the brain regions to ensure success … 
I was like this before the adderall, but the adderall has destroyed what life I did have left over the last 3 years.
 I have 3 doctors prescribing 60mg daily and that’s often not enough (easy math)- a lot of adderall…. (100-200mg per 24 hrs approximately),
 I’ve participated in 12 steps intermittently since I was 16. I’m 33. I have a very negative and distrustful view toward psychiatry/psychology/12 steps/etc. For secondary reasons… 
With this in mind, I do not realistically see any possibility of successfully detoxing and/or recovering from the adderall addiction – even if I entertained the idea of long-term residential Tx (I won’t- I’ve done it too many times- a dozen or more long-term for a variety of reasons -depressive/borderline/polysubst./etc. Etc. 
Treatment isn’t enough and I can promise that the only thing keeping me from taking my life (and no “passive attempt”) – is the Adderall maintenance (and light-to-moderate benzodiazepine use – .5-1.5mg per day (alprazolam or lorazepam)). 
I have absolutely no desire to live for any reason at all now or in the future. 
Basically, i’m waiting for my dad to die so he wont know.  SSRI’s don’t work for me. Mood stabilizers don’t work. 
Anti-convulsant/anti-psychotic/tricyclics/whatever- don’t work.
  If I take away the Adderall, I don’t see how I’d survive even MORE severe depressive symptoms..??  A lot of factors are at play here (my dad is dying soon, grandmother is dying, counselor did some.. Unethical, best friend left, both cats are dead “best friend” passively killed one by neglecting to feed them when I was in treatment two years ago…- I dont trust ANYONE- not my family/friends/no god, nothing like that), blah, blah, blah.), but I am throwing this out there because I have nothing to Lose- 
I don’t believe anyone out there can truly empathize with many of my potential hurdles, (but I’d love to be proven wrong)…. 
Again, I have nothing to lose. I don’t expect a solution- a viable one at least. But, I thought I’d give it one more shot. 

Anyone care to SUGGEST SOMETHING?? Anything? I’ll become a Hindu if I thought it would help. Its too complicated for that, and religion suggestions won’t  be seriously considered- unless You’re REALLY persuasive…!

—If I had the means, I’ve even considered ECT – but my dad’s cancer treatments plus ECT would be impossible (considering I have no friends to help out, I’d need a family member for that to work for transportation/expense/etc.). 
— ???

Thanks for your time… DAH (desperate)
.

Serious
10:59 am October 2nd, 2011

Drink a good dose of traditional Ayahuasca with a Shaman. Trust me. It will help you. I hope you get better. Life is beautiful

Shelly
5:17 pm October 2nd, 2011

Dear Dee,
Sometimes the best you can do is the best you can do. Are you seeing an addictionologist, a person who specializes in the disease of addiction? There’s no magic pill, no magic step (other than forgiveness). We all do the best we can each day, some days better than others. I understand your hurdles – my dad died, my beloved step-father is dying, my 14 year old dog (who was like a child since I’m childless) just died, I cannot find a job, money is hard to come by. I fake it the best I can, and most days I find moments of happiness, clarity and yes, the love of God. I was molested by a trusted relative. I’ve been in rehab three times. I’m on suboxone which has helped/cured my opiate addiction – 6 years free of opiates. Reach out to others, there are people who are going through many of the same obstacles you face. Everyone suffers their own hell, just different levels of it. We all have our cross to bear. Believe me, I have a hard time just getting out of bed in the morning. I continue to manipulate my mood with soma and Red Bulls. Just know you’re not alone in your misery. My heart absolutely breaks for you regarding your cat not being fed. That is “almost” unforgivable, but forgive because it wasn’t done in malice and you will never get better harboring resentment and unforgiveness. I haven’t offered answers, but want you to know you are not alone in your situation. My prayers are with you and your Dad. Please reach out – you sound very smart (most addicts are!), and you will be able to find the resources to help with your situation. Most of all, don’t give up. I wish with all my heart I could hand you a magic pill to make it better. It doesn’t exist.

Dee
3:42 am October 4th, 2011

@shelly,

Answers or not, you obviously took some time and emotional energy to respond to me, just a stranger. I thank you for that, it means a lot – no one has taken the time to respond to me like that before.
You didn’t have to divulge such obviously painful and personal areas of your life, but you did, I feel honored and grateful that you did that for me. :).
Congratulations on the sobriety! I’ve known people that have had positive results with suboxone and i’m happy to hear that you are one of those people! Six years is a wonderful accomplishment- I eeked out two years once, (a long time ago), so I know how hard it can be. Too bad they don’t have a Suboxone equivalent for amphetamine…! But you’re right- no magic pill. My misguided attempt to find such a pill is what has led much of my pain and consequences that comes with addiction.
My pets were also my only family as well, so I know you relate to that loss and I don’t wish that kind of sadness on anyone. My condolences.
As far as addictionology- well, I’ve kind of avoided that due to my extreme mistrust of MH professionals as well my ambivalence regarding my using.., (basically, I didn’t want to stop)!
I know that I have a LOT of issues and get overwhelmed with them all.., addiction is my ill-conceived way of “playing doctor,” and self-medicating. I cannot seem to escape the hellish cycle of trying to correct whatever emotional/psychiatric ailment plagues me, (I have had the pleasure of being labeled with almost every major type of personality/Mood disorder in existence…, so I can’t even say for certain what that part of the puzzle really is or how to even begin treating it)! The classic, “chicken-or-the-egg,” conundrum (is addiction primary or is addiction only a symptom…). Honestly, it doesn’t matter what is “primary, ” because I won’t get anywhere as long as I keep abusing prescriptions like I do. The most frustrating problem I have ever faced by a long-shot!
Well, I didn’t mean to get so wordy again. :)
In short, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts/experiences to me; just a thirty-something addict that doesn’t believe she’s worth the time of day, let alone such a kind and intimate look into someone else’s life.
I’m really touched you shared all of that with me!
I wish you only the best and please know that your kindness made my day.! Thank you! :)
Best wishes, DAH.,

Nathan
5:24 pm November 6th, 2011

A nice Ecstasy high helps me get straight and helps me look at everything in a more positive light.
If used in moderation and with responibility I believe it can help depression immensely.
Take care Dee, I wish you the best.

Dee
4:05 pm November 29th, 2011

@Nathan, if only moderation were in my vocabulary… If I started using ecstasy, my brain would be Swiss cheese in six months since I’d be doing it all the time. Thanks anyways though.

urgez
8:42 am January 27th, 2012

Dee,

clearly you have at least considered all of your options. assuming that access to medications and income are not a problem (as they usually are for most people which makes everything much worse), have you not considered, at least for the time being, cycling your adderall use? maybe on two weeks, off one during which all you should be doing is sleeping and eating (high carbs, ice cream pizza go for it). most people do not have the luxary of doing this due to job commitments. the way i see it, if these mitigating factors are NOT a problem you have some options available to you that don’t require cold-turkey approach.

i can sympathize, and im sure you know that this is true: the depression is MUCH worse ON adderall than off it. IME it’s because you’ve gotten to a point where the adderall dosage is so high that you really can’t feasibly take more but it does NOTHING. that hopelessness is worse than the “all i want to do is sleep” depression, no?

Clyde
6:06 pm February 11th, 2012

Hi Dee-
I feel for you. I am in a similar situation with the Adderall.

I just can’t get off the stuff. I had to force myself to reduce the dosage and still overtake it.

Have you looked into hormone treatments with hgh?

It has helped me avoid the really bad depression.

The HGH helps my mood and my sleep. It also increased my libido which had disappeared after my excessive and chronic adderall abuse.

The increased libido has improved my mood, helped my relationships and kept my mind off killing myself.

I wish you the best and hope you feel better.

Kim
4:28 am February 12th, 2012

Dee-
I feel for you. I have heard good things about deep brain stimulation. It is still very new. I have heard too many horror stories about ECT.
I started hormone therapy and hgh injections last year and that has helped. I finally got off the ssri’s!

Shelly
12:41 pm April 4th, 2012

Hi Dee,
How are you doing? I hope you’re doing better. Are things looking up?

jude
7:12 pm May 20th, 2012

I am not an abuser, I just lost my job, my insurance, etc. I’ve been on Adderall xr25 for a couple years and have done pretty well. I’ve experimented with 1/2 doses a couple times & it was awful, but i have looked everywhere and there is simply no money. I can’t pay $7-10 a day.
So i came here looking for options – kind of surprised at how few there seem to be that are actually within reach or serious. So it goes. I’ll look into hgh.
Hope Dee finds her way to some peace.

11:47 am May 21st, 2012

Hi Jude. Thanks for your message. I wonder if you have looked into generic Adderall if you’re using it as prescribed, and for medical reasons? You might also be able to apply for social assistance during detox…

jude
2:06 pm May 21st, 2012

I have done exhaustive research on adderall and options available. Shire, the manufacturer, also makes the generic, which has been unavailable since at least last year. Shire has NO discount program, and ALL discount programs of any kind depend on the manufacturer providing drugs for them. there are no programs anywhere that provide drugs not discounted by the manufacturer.

I found a homeopathic remedy that lists all its user reviews, good or bad. the vast majority are positive so I’m going to give it a try. none of the responses identified as abusers, most were from grateful parents, but there were plenty of adults, too.

ryan
3:14 pm June 12th, 2012

dee, i guarantee i can fix and empathize with any person no matter how far down the abyss they are. no one is probably even here anymore but i guarantee by talking soul to soul i can help anyone on earth. oddly enough, all it takes is someone who is aware and GENUINELY cares. not for the reasons of wanting to be a good person or to be loved or to be recognized or for any selfish gain; but if one can truly care about another altruistically, they can heal. it sounds simple but i’ve only met 1 person who is able to hold off their own selfish needs long enough to listen an heal.

Dan
4:10 am June 22nd, 2012

Unfortunately dependant on adderall to remain even normal. Probelm I have is I don;t take same dosage daily. Can go up mto 120 to 30 some days. Wanted to just give some symptoms I’m experiencing that maybe others can relate to, as well as give some advice that may help others(although it has yet to get me fully off adderall, it can at times reduces cravings) Symptoms-wake up every morning in pain;nausea, muscle, and nerve pain, feeling of exhaustion, adrenal burnout. extreme anger towards friends, colleagues who do not deserve to be treated like that. I DO NOt have psychosis, dillusions, hallucionations. My problems stems from I believe lack of dopamine and norepinephrine when not on adderall. When on it, they elevate and the norepinephrine may be the cause of my higher than usual BP. Stage 2 Hypertension(docotr believes once off adderall BP will be back to normal) Slight tremors in face, and hands(shakes) Some anxiety, moreso than panic attacks. Able to control panic since I know what triggers it, but anxiety I always feel when not on stimulants. Depression(not sure if it is a lack of serotonin reuptake versus an flooded Dop, and NE storages. Feel maybe I need help ijn breaking slowlyh down the enzymes in the neurotransmitters in order to eventually maintain homeostatsis. Certain herbs temporarily can relieve some pain-skullcap, passionflower, HOPS, Kratom(though wouldn’t suggest using do to the amount of alkaloids along with it possibly hitting same receptors as adderall. Benzo’s(valium specifically at 30 mg start helping as hypnotic. Helps slow brain down, calming effect. Good when mixed with skullcap extract. However, taking benzos when you have to work for me is not a good idea. Causes fatigue, leading to crave a stimulant. Monster drinks contains certian vitamins(taurine, P. Ginseng) that Temporarilu relieves cravings. However, when taking with adderall, not a good idea. Rhodiola herb has helped somewhat(extract form) yet not enought to keep me off adderall. Aniracetam is something I am going to try next as I’ve heard it is a stronig nootropic, cognitive enhancer. \
Sorry for sloppy, chaotic writing….

2:48 am June 23rd, 2012

Hi Dan. It sounds like you’ve been through the wringer. I wish you the best in trying to find something that works for you. Are you interested in stopping Adderall totally? OR is this something that you’re not ready to do?

Dan
6:10 pm July 12th, 2012

Subconsciously, I’m begging to get off adderall. My heart, my emotions are craving to get off, yet my mind is begging to continue to be fed:( It is worse than getting off suboxone for me because of the fact I have a very strong impulsivity towards drugs like adderall that elevate mood. It helped me get off Suboxone. While it may have helped in getting off sub which I was on for so long, just exchanged one drug to another. I’m scared because I am someone who is very analytical, and continues daily to have these intursive thoughts about how the hell I am able to get off this. Why couldn’t there be any anti-craving agents(though some medications such Nuvigil, Provugil while prescribed for narcolepsey did actually help me with fatigue and cravings for a few days. However the side effects were too much for me, hence here I am once again back on adderall. It is depressing because I know I am a better person than I was before going on suboxone in that it has enabled me to truly cope with what triggers certain things such as panic and anxiety. In my early 20′s after having my first panic attack and not knowing what it was, I was able to slowly train my mind in recognizing triggers that cause it. Hence, now I never get them because I am aware of what they are. Sometimes it’s a learning process. For me, I’ve learned many things about myself which I’m grateful for. In a twisted way, being an addict is something that has made me more aware of the man I am now. It seems outright ridiculous, but if anything is to come out of this, it’s that I feel eventually with time, I wil be strong enough to conquer my demons. I know many of you will too, and the reality is everyone of us, who has been through any addiction, current or past, understands the tremendous consequences it takes on our lives. Sometimes doctors can’t relate to that, and only go by their clinical understanding. I hope one day, there will be more research done on the brain, neurotransmitters, the various receptors and understanding not just how to cure addictoin, but other serious diseases like Parkinsons, Schizophrenia, Cancer, and many others I need help, and I can’t relate to the doctors that I’ve seen because there philosophy is that stimulant abuse is more psychological than anything else. However, sometimes for some people, the psychological withdrawals of drugs can be worse or just as severe as the physical ones. Everyday I live life to the fullest I can. Yet, everyday, I’m wishing that I will be not just the person I was, but even moreso, a better one than I have become throughout the difficult times I have been through the past years.

12:06 am July 13th, 2012

Hi Dan. I can totally relate to this: “…being an addict is something that has made me more aware of the man I am now.” Indeed, awareness and getting in control of an addiction is an act of mastery, which requires deep commitment and self-knowledge. I can totally feel you and reciprocate this feeling.

If something is nagging you from the inside, it might be time to face it. The thing is…you don’t need to do it alone! Check out SMART Recovery, 12 step groups or Rational Recovery. Each address the psycho-emotional issues that cause the mental cravings, and each suggest ways to deal. Also, check out this article about “Coping with cravings and urges”

http://alcohol.addictionblog.org/coping-with-urges-and-cravings/

Please also feel free to continue the dialogue here. I will be happy to support you in your quest.

jude
12:23 am July 13th, 2012

I stopped when the last scrip ran out cause I have no insurance. after two weeks the inability to get the world to stop spinning I decided to just get a new scrip & pay what it took- I wasn’t gonna be able to keep track of stuff or write good resumes if I couldnt think, so saving money was not gonna help.
I’m not as good as I was before, but I am getting things done. I had forgotten how awful it was before I looked at the possibility of ADD. For folks like me, the mind doesn’t speed up, the world slows down.

But pain is pain, and I was feeling for folks whose relationship is addictive rather than prescriptive. I know I am dependent, and when going without made me crazy, the label and the diagnosis dint help.

12:31 am July 13th, 2012

Hi Jude. Using Adderall for medical reasons and the paradoxical way that this stimulants slow down an ADD or ADHD brain is phenomenal. I think it’s wonderful that people can use Adderall and benefit from its therapeutic action. Thanks for sharing your perspective! It’s important.

Dan
3:35 pm November 20th, 2012

I just thought about what someone mentioned regarding Naltrexone, and I have to agree that because of it’s effect on the mesolimbic system, where dopamine and dopaminergic drugs bind and interact with opiod drugs/mu binding receptors, Naltrexone could and should be used off label aside from post suboxone. Naltrexone it would seem by blocking all endorphins(yes, even foods like chocolate wouldn’t taste great, would reduce cravings for food, acting on same arena as many stimulants act on(VTA). However, unlike taking a pain killer while on Naltrexone, amphetamines wouldn’t cause WD symptoms. Naltrexone instead, decrease impulsivity, and cravings for amphetamine salts. it’s these kinds of academic research that our medical field is ignorant of the positive effects of drugs like Naltrexone, hesistant to prescribe since off label usage and do not want to take chance of being sued, or look down upon anything prescribed that correlates with addicts(sad unfortunate reality:(. However, there is more research being done on Naltrexone used for many other disorders(HIV, cancer, fibromyalgia,etc..) Naltrexone by binding acting as an antagonist, not allowing natural endorphines to bind, be created, would trick the brain into thinking it needs to create new natural endorphins. Thus, those who have gotten off of drug dependency after long term use or suffering from other non-drug related disorders could benefit greatly from use of Naltrexone. It would essentially create new endorphines within the serotonergic and dopaminergic areas in the mesolimbic areas. Perhaps, for those with high BP from long term use of amphetamines can use clonidine and naltrexone in combo. reduces impulsivity to use drug of choice, and by same token, actually heals receptors, and creates new endorphines.

Peter P.
12:26 am May 9th, 2013

Hi Dee, you obviously have the will to survive which is natural and real, never under estimate the power of the human will to survive it is most important asset and no one can take it away, it free and effective. You are a survivor. Do not let the desire to feed your addiction confuse you. The will to survive is there, the addition is there both living side by side. Your challenge is to kick the addition (I will call the addiction F&*k Head – FH). How do you kick FH’s ass? FH appears to be stronger that you, but it is an illusion created by the FH messing with your head. In order to see correctly you must inferred with FH’s effect on your Habits developed by FH during the course of your addiction. It has been proven you cannot erase old habits from the brain, but you can intro new habits more predominant, and that is the solution; a radical introduction of new habits driven by your natural will to survive. What has always held true, is this, if you have a problem that seems so big you cannot see your way around it, as sure way to make the problem insignificant to have a much bigger problem. What can this new problem be, that will kick FH’s ass? One idea may be to learn some basic survival skills, get dropped off in the wilderness 90 days from anything, with rations to feed yourself daily and let your natual survival skills take your through. FH’s influence your courage to do this, but don’t let him fool you, you have the courage, and the will, set yourself free, and do user your will to survive to set yourself free, if the woods is not your thing, then think of any other radical new habits. Never be discouraged you are surviving and you will continue to do so, with or without FH. FH is nothing but a punk ass, and I know you can kick it out of him.

Dan
3:53 pm May 9th, 2013

Read recently, although one never knows what will come out of this that glial cells have more of an important role in helping with amphetamine dependency. There is a Japanese asthma medication called Ibulast could be hopefully in the works in being used as a therapeutic agent for those suffering to get off this horrific dependency. Apparently Ibulast works with glial cells in the CNS. Seems this medication somehow through it’s mechanism would decrease cravings for stimulants, and even thought there is suboxone, methadone that works well for those to stave off cravings for opioids, this particular drug could also have an impact on helping with opioid addiction in a more “natural” way.
For me, getting off Adderall was extremely tough, both mentally and physically exhausting. It is time that our society treats stimulants addiction/dependence seriously. I hope that this is a start in understanding how to understand the mechanisms behind treating stimulant addiction.

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