Friday October 31st 2014

Adderall withdrawal

If you’re getting ready for or going through Adderall withdrawal, you’ll want to know what to expect. Here we review the major concerns for someone coming off physical dependence on Adderall, what’s normal and what’s not. Please feel free to ask your questions about Adderall effects and withdrawal if we do not cover your topic of concern here. We welcome all questions and feedback, and will respond to your questions personally!

Is Adderall withdrawal dangerous?

No, Adderall withdrawal is not dangerous. Instead, Adderall withdrawal is fairly routine and is not usually accompanied by dangerous complications. Again, stimulant withdrawal usually does not involve medical danger or intense discomfort.

What causes Adderall withdrawal?

When you take excessive amounts of Adderall or frequent, high doses of Adderall, over time the central nervous system (CNS) self-adjusts to the constant presence of amphetamines in the body. Stimulants can increase levels of dopamine in the brain a rapid and highly amplified manner disrupting normal communication between brain cells. The nervous system compensates for this chemical hyperactivity by depressing normal function and nerve cell communication. This is why when you stop taking Adderall, and amphetamine levels suddenly lowers, the brain remains in a hypoactive, or depressed, state, causing Adderall withdrawal until the brain reaches a point of homeostasis and mood and energy levels return to normal.

Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal

Stimulants are associated with withdrawal symptoms that are distinctly different from those seen with opioid, alcohol, and sedative dependence. And during any detox process, you can develop complications as you withdraw from a drug. However, normal symptoms of Adderall withdrawals include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • drug craving
  • fatigue
  • hypersomnia (or insomnia)
  • increased appetite
  • irritability
  • paranoia
  • poor concentration
  • slow reflexes

Duration of withdrawal from Adderall

Adderall withdrawal can be acute, intermediate and long term. Adderall withdrawal duration will depend upon the dosage, frequency and total time that you’ve been taking the drug, as well as individual medical and health factors. However, in general, most symptoms of Adderall withdrawal resolve several days to weeks after you take your last Adderall pill. In fact, stimulants can be found in urine for 1 to 12 days, depending on how often they were taken. And one characteristic of stimulant withdrawal is delayed withdrawal, where symptoms reappear again weeks or months after acute detox. So, full recovery from a protracted term of Adderall withdrawal may take a few months to complete.

Treatment for Adderall withdrawal

Most often, no treatment other than support is needed for the initial phase of stimulant withdrawal. However, if you are experiencing acute intoxication or overdose from taking too much Adderall, you may need emergency treatment. And other withdrawal symptoms require immediate medical attention. But most of the time during detoxification you can withdraw safely from physical dependence on Adderall in a controlled environment with the help of an inpatient or outpatient detox facility.

Doctors can treat specific symptoms related to Adderall withdrawal using medications, but no medications have been designed YET to help ease general symptoms of stimulant withdrawal. Researchers are currently investigating drugs to help with the treatment of generalized withdrawal symptoms such as adrenergic agonists and calcium channel blockers. These medications, however, are not used in medical practice for Adderall withdrawal, but are being tested in clinical trials. Some medications can address symptoms related to Adderall withdrawal such as:

Paranoid psychosis – Haloperidol and thioridazine are the drugs of choice for treating people with symptoms of paranoid psychosis.

Depression – Doctors prescribe an antidepressant such as desipramine or fluoxetine to address depressive symptoms related to Adderall withdrawal. Therapies generally continue for three to six months after last dose. Depression or mood disorders should be treated because people can start abusing drugs to self treat mental illness.

Panic attacks – Doctors prescribe an antidepressant or a benzodiazepine to treat symptoms related to panic attack.

Finally, during the detoxification or withdrawal period, symptoms of abuse or psychological dependence may emerge. If you are addicted to Adderall, experts recommend residential treatment programs to monitor and address possible delayed withdrawal symptoms and behaviors. Rehabs uses behavior modification techniques, counseling, peer support and after care programs to address drug addiction.

Adderall withdrawal questions

Got any questions about Adderall withdrawal? Please ask them below.

Reference sources: Diagnosis and treatment of drug abuse in family practice
Detoxification and substance abuse treatment: physical detoxification services for withdrawal from specific substances
Medline Plus topic on drug dependence

Photo credit: kaneda99

Leave a Reply

61 Responses to “Adderall withdrawal
Lily
9:36 pm August 31st, 2011

I have been taking 30mg of adder all for a year now. Back in March I started to have extreme fatigue in the afternoon I thought it was my thyroid since I have hashimoto’s disease. After bloodwork was done I found that my thyroid was normal but my white blood cell (WBC) count was low (3.5). I started quest to find out why my WBC count was low hoping it would lead to answers about why my fatigue was so bad. I thought there must be soemthing physically wrong with me, and I still do. Two weeks ago my general practitioner suggested I stop taking adderall. I stopped that day. I was in bed for the first 3 days, my skin felt like it was crawling and I was very irritable. Things started getting somewhat better, but I don’t know what to think. I am still tired and can spend entire days in bed and I feel really depressed. It has been two weeks and I am loosing hope. I don’t know if I am really ill or if it is just adderall withdrawal. my general practitioner doesn’t think there is anything physically wrong with me. I don’t know what to do or where to find out.

Angie
9:39 pm September 16th, 2011

Ugh… Get back on your meds! I promise!

down2earth
1:50 am December 28th, 2011

You have to fight it. I just recently got off a 3 year addiction of 30 mg a day and lay in bed tired with nothing on my mind but confusion and anxious thoughts trying to explain this terrible state where my brain feels like how a party looks at the end of the night..i just feel like i was dooped, this stuff is highly addictive makes life wonderful ( i mean how else can school work feel this great) so its like you stop trying to be happy and let the pill steer the ship well the pill is gone now and you have to relearn how to steer and be a functioning human being again…the best way i feel is to challenge the fatigue fueled through rage that i got myself addicted in something that effects my energy levels that i took for granted…anyway im on my 5th day no adderall and feel binaural beats, weed, humor, exercise in the face of no energy for the greater good of recovery, and loving what you do (it may be hard to find because so much of your motivation/personality may have been driven by the pill) anyway im taking it day by day trying t fight these terrible withdrawals because i know overcoming this ish is possible and its only up to me to achieve this anyway feel free to email me(digitallyheard at yahoo) if you are having difficulties in your struggle and maybe we can help/support each other through this slow motion confusion

Karma Rose
5:00 am January 14th, 2012

I started taking adderall a few months ago to treat my severe clinical depression.

In the beginning I felt like it was my miracle drug, I felt happy for the first time in years and I could function, not to mention all the energy I had that I hadn’t had in years.

This past month, I began abusing adderall I was taking 60mg at least 5 times throughout the day breaking the pills in halfs. I felt like I needed the drug to get through the day, especially when I began feeling depresssed again due to my unipolar disorder.

Just today, I finally realized how bad i’ve been feeling and treating others and it scared me. So I began reading on Adderall addiction and symptoms. And that’s when I was truly Horrified.

I was experiencing severe depression and thinking irrational suicidal thoughts, I had no control over my anger, wish I’ve never had a problem with before taking adderall. I was becoming agressive and I even hit my mother in the leg for no reason, I felt like I wanted to make her feel depressed and push her to her limit. I told her horrible things like I’m gonna jump off the roof, I feel like you don’t care about me at all. I had no control over my anger or my depression.

After reading the adderall side effects and abuse information. I’m going to detox starting tomorrow morning and Please pray for me that I am able to be strong and succeed at this.

I successfully quit cigarettes one year ago and I know with the Lord on my side I can and will do this.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone going through Adderall withdrawal.

Paula
2:59 pm January 18th, 2012

I have started to go off of my adderall after 10 years on it. I feel aweful today and hope that I can get my personality back. Please pray for me. I don’t want to abuse it anymore.

Brit
6:12 am February 6th, 2012

I was prescribed adderall March 2011, and stopped october 2011. Never will I take this drug again. I was ill the whole month of January. I have been hospitalized 3 times and the doctors can only tell me I am having panic attacks. Withdrawal for me includes vertigo, trickle sensations in my forehead, inflamed throat and mouth, horrible I mean the worst anxiety attacks of my life, unable to drink alcohol, unable to be in rooms with crowds of people, this has really put my life on hold. I will pray for everyone on here requesting it, please do the same for me.

penny vaughn
8:00 am March 2nd, 2012

the dr gave theses to my mom at 73 for energy,should she not take theses,she has all kinds of health proublems.At 4 20mg aday,im afraid shes going to have another stroke.looking for advice

12:01 pm March 2nd, 2012

Hello Penny. Yes, you are right to question your mother’s prescription.

The increased use of amphetamines as maintenance medications in adults leads to a number of different side effects. Adderall has a longer elimination half-life in adults compared with children or adolescents and is often prescribed in the larger dosages and treatment durations. Not only is misuse possible (which can lead to addiction) but the potential for adverse effects of cumulative amphetamine administration is real.

I’d suggest that you either speak directly with your doctor about your concerns and if you get resistance, seek a SECOND OPINION. Doctors swear an oath to serve the public good. If your mother’s doctor is not open to listening to your concerns, I suggest that you get another doctor.

amanda
12:20 am June 6th, 2012

Hi my stories a little different. My husbamd is the one addicted to adderrall. He has used it for close to two years, he worse being the past 8 or 9 months. He has not had any for 3 days and us is violent, we go turoguh this atleast 1 time per month. Yes he has been physically violent, tude me down, slammed my head against the wall, held me down by my throat shoved me. He has busted his iPhone, lamps, tables, yet… I am not an addict so I don’t understand it, I also AK not sure how to best be there for him. Honestly I am terrified, I have shut myself off from him, I have noome to talk to. Please pray for him and me. I am questioning if I should stay or leave, I am lost, confused

10:29 am June 6th, 2012

Hi Amanda. I can understand your fear and confusion. Just know that you are not at fault! You did not cause this. Physical violence is not OK and cannot be justified by addiction. So even if your husband is addicted to Adderall, he should never lose control enough to touch you.

I’d suggest that you seek help by calling an anonymous hotline number like 1.800.799.SAFE or checking for local hotlines near you. The trained volunteers at the other end of the line care about you, and can offer objective advice. As you talk it out, your next steps will become more clear. Please let me know if this helps, or not.

amanda
5:32 pm June 6th, 2012

Yes it does help and I will call. I want to support my husband bu tnot sure how to do this without putting myself in harms way. He is not the man i married almost 5 years ago. No one knows of this so its hard on me and as my husband says I am not normal. I grew up in a happy home, my parents are still married, I have one brother and yes I still enjoy being with my family going out to dinner, visiting etc. My parents are also the kind of parents you can call at any time for anything. I understand my husband did not grow up in a home like this, his father was abusive, etc…. but I dont understand why he hold it against me. I dont know how else to describe other than I feel the joy being sucked out of me by his constant mood swings, throwing fits, (this all has been going on since before the adderall) adderall has just made these worse. My biggest fear is he did not know how to cope with stress, disappointment, everyday life before adderall and I read somewhere where people have to learn it all over. how will that effect him if he didnt know how to beging with. I do feel alone and I am at a loss. Thank you for any and all advice

8:24 am June 7th, 2012

Hi again Amanda. I did some more reading on stimulants and found that, at high doses, stimulants can provoke violent episodes. So, it’s a CLINICAL factor of taking too much Adderall.

Do you feel that your husband is willing to stop taking Adderall or to face his psychological state? If not, it might be best if you take a leave of absence for a while. If he is ready, you can help support him. But staying while he is in active addiction is very difficult and can enable him to continue. Also, have you heard of Al-Anon? Do you know if there are any meetings in your area?

Allison
12:36 am June 25th, 2012

Sorry, my post isn’t coming at a great time since Amanda’s situation is much more dire than mine, but I’ve been on adderall for 6 years now. I got pregnant at 18, had a little girl at 19 and was determined to finish college. I got on adderall to help me through it, but for the past 3 years I’ve really noticed a change in my physiological and psycological dependence on the drug and I’ve just now gotten up enough courage to try and stop taking it. All the websites I’ve gone to to try and figure out how to do this on my own say to go to a detox facility, blah blah, but I don’t have enough money for all of that nor do I really want my family (really just my parents) to know I’m addicted. 

I’m 25, I graduated from college last December, and I still haven’t been able to find a job. I’ve been depending on the drug even more so in the past 4 months to help boost my mood since my pride and confidence has been shaken from not being able to find a job. Now, my husband and I would like to have another baby. It kills me to think of me not being able to stop taking this drug before we start trying in a couple months. I thought it would be relatively easy once I make the decision to stop and it would only be one bad week of withdrawal effects, but after reading forum after forum, I keep reading that the withdrawal effects could continue for months. I’m sorry for the life story here, but I just realized this is the first time I’ve ever put all of these thoughts together, much less written them out…. Anyway, those of you who have gone through getting off of it already, how long did you experience withdrawal symptoms?  

12:56 am June 26th, 2012

Hi Allison. Good for you! You have a lot of good things going on in your life and it sounds like you have overcome many challenges already. You can get through Adderall withdrawal, too!

Have you talked with your prescribing doctor about it yet? Doctor-patient confidentiality is definitely in place, but I think that your MD needs to know about the mood thing. It’s an early sign of a potential addiction. Ask your doctor and see what she/he says as a first step to getting off Adderall.

Renee
12:13 am July 1st, 2012

I was on 30mg and was abusing them
Horribly taking up to 80mg. I ran out for two wks
And due to my own moronic actions I paid for
It’s consequences. For the first few days I took
Ephedra 20mg which decreased the most of the
Withdrawals such as: sleeping all day, huge apetite,
Irritable, body sweats, muscles feel like heavy weights..
After 9 days I experienced horrible anxiety attacks, non stop
Sleeping, the ephedra was increasing my anxiety attacks.
I also wasnt staying up but maybe an hour, I couldnt eat,
I stayed in my room for days, tv stayed off, i could handle any
Noise or I’d flip, everything seemd ten times louder! I felt like
I wanted to die. Even the meds I was on for anxiety attacks were
Not working. My boyfriend has been very understanding and says
I’ll get thru it, hes been amazingly helpful! After 2wks I got my
Script back and I know better than to take more than my
Recommended dose. Ive been on adderall for more than 8 years now!
I dont control my meds just in case I have an impulsive thought, but
I still know its hell if I go back to repeating my old ways!
Im just now getting back to my normal self. Its been insanely
Horrific.. I lost about 30 pounds from the baad anxiety attacks caused
By the adderall withdrawals! Food tasted bland even if I tried to eat!
Towards the afternoon I still feel like Im going to have an
Attack.. I take an adavan and it takes all the attacks to
A zero! But it makes me tired and within the hour I fall asleep. So
Im glad during the middle of the day starting from early morning
I dont need it at all. My celexa should be working, but it hasnt since
I went thru withdrawals going off my adderall. Im hoping at my next appt Ill be able to take something stronger or he’ll prescribe me meds
For severe anxiety.. Adavan has helped alot.
I learned my lesson and havent thought about
Taking more than my dose!

Renee
12:21 am July 1st, 2012

My advice do not abuse them! Its hell!
If your goin off them make sure your doctor
Is aware and if he is let him know what problems
Your dealing with. They arent psychic. They should
Be able to help. If your doctor is ignoring your
Symptoms due to withdrawals and hes taken you
Off contact another physician. Make it clear whats
Going on. Doctors will not be sympethetic if hes taken
You off the meds due to abuse of them. Keep that
In mind…dont take ur meds for granted the withdrawals are
Hellish! And getting back to normal after theyve been
Out your system takes months! But weeks when getting back on them!

Elise
1:32 am July 1st, 2012

Reading your stories–you are all so brave–I will pray for each and everyone I read about here. I also have a husband who has been abusing adderall. Since he started taking it more than perscribed (he faked out a doctor) he started accusing me of cheating on him and terrible things all along those lines. He would say I would sneak out in the middle of the night to meet men, or let them into our home. Now he has backed off that a little but he says things like I hide my wedding ring so people can’t tell I’m married or I moved sticks in the yard to signal someone what time to meet me. It is a nightmare. I’m madly in love with him..we’ve been married for 10 years + and have 4 young children. I can’t imagine life without him but life with him right now is a living nightmare. He stopped taking it for 3 weeks and said he still felt the same mistrust for me as when he was on the adderall. He went back on it and binged for a few days…now it has been 2 days without. When do I know he really feels this way about me…I guess I’m wondering how long can I believe it is the adderall?

9:29 pm July 1st, 2012

Hi Renee. Thanks for sharing your experience and the excellent tips on going off Adderall!

Hi Elise. I’m sorry to hear of the problems that Adderall may be causing/provoking in your marriage. While extreme anxiety and paranoia can be triggered by stimulants, you need to know what’s going on with your husband while he’s drug free….for good. Abstinence from Adderall may be the only way you and he can assess what is going on with him. And you will need the help of an expert psychiatrist. I’d suggest that you contact a psychiatrist for help immediately, and seek counsel.

Elise
1:36 am July 2nd, 2012

Thank you so much for the advise. My husband is convinced his feelings and paranoia thoughts are not caused by the adderall. Do you have any suggestions on how I can convince him to see a psychiatrist with me? Thanks again so much.

9:47 pm July 3rd, 2012

Hi again, Elise. It sounds like you make need help from the doctor her/himself…because it seems like you’re going to need to schedule an intervention with your husband (who is in denial). I’d suggest that you first find a psychiatrist you can work with, and then plan an intervention together. If the situation is not this extreme, you can open up the discussion with your husband by listing your concerns for him. And asking him if he thinks he has a problem.

You may also need to be willing to set certain limits, such as, “If you do not see a psychiatrist, I will separate from/leave you.” While you are planning this it may also be helpful to seek support from an Al-Anon group.

Hannah
11:27 pm July 27th, 2012

I feel my left eye pinch and my face pinch withdrawing from Adderall. I am down to 3mgs. It is very ugly to withdrawl from Adderall. It is also a lonely place. I never took a big dose. My chemistry only required a very small dose. I wish I could take it without NA or whoever is making me feel self conscious.

1:04 am July 31st, 2012

Hi Hannah. Well, good for you. Quitting anything that we’ve been using as an emotional aid (for me right now is sugar)…is hard! And you are not alone. So use NA to help you in this hard time. Have you found anyone who is also an Adderall addict in NA?

kelly
10:59 pm August 13th, 2012

I have been on this for a year now. I only take 40 mg a day and someone stole my bottle so I am on day 2 of 10 that i have to go without…This is only day two and I feel so lathregic, could sleep all day, my muscles and extremeties feel like they way a zillion pounds! Hell !If I have to go through weeks of this i might as well stay off of it, rather than go throught this again!!

7:55 pm August 15th, 2012

Hi Kelly. Yes, I think that some people can relate with you! Coming off stimulants can provoke deep drowsiness and a need for sleep. But the effects of the acute withdrawal and the extreme fatigue should pass in a week, or so. Fatigue can linger, so it’s important to find alternatives such as exercise and diet changes to help you with energy. What does your prescribing doctor say about your case of Adderall withdrawal?

Amanda
12:57 pm August 16th, 2012

So update on situation. my husband says he is sorry for the way he has treated me and no longer wants to do that. He has stated he feels like leaving me to set me free….and to be honest sometimes it would be a relief. I do love him,but I have become someone that I dont even recognize. would it be wrong for me to say this is your last chance, that I have to see an effort to get off adderrall or I am leaving? He promises me everytime he is going to ween himself off, but for example. he buys extra every month, and this last time he stayed up for 4 days…..I am not stupid or naive, I know that that only means he was taking more than a regular dose, that is not weaning himself off. I have had it, not only cannot I not take it emotionally, but financially he his killing us. I am the only one that works. We have 3 payday loans (due to his addiction) and I am at my wits end. I am currently looking for a second job just to pay stuff off. I even took out a loan back in may to consilidate all our credit cards, etc and to have money to travel to CAlifornia with a friend. He not only spent my California money but also everything we had paid off is now maxed out again. I cannot do this anymore. I want to tell him if he wants his “party favors” he has to pay for them or like i said before if I dont see an effort on his part I am leaving. But that is hard to do and it makes me feel like a bad person. and yes he is now suffering from anxiety, paranoia, his depression has worsened (talks of suicide). any advice

Jackie
12:14 am August 18th, 2012

I just read everyone’s comments through tears in my eyes. I am the mom of a wonderful 25 year old son who is addicted to Adderall. PLEASE….ALL OF YOU…..stop this madness in your life!

I have watched my beautiful, active, intelligent son become a monster over the past year. Adderall addiction happens fast. He is now moody, aggressive, rude, angry, beligerent, and uncaring. The pain and suffering that his behavior is causing me, his dad, his grandparents, and his aunt is unbearable. He is imploding before our eyes. His life is spiraling downward.

I beg all of you who have generously told your stories here, to stop taking Adderall. Stop smoking weed. Stop screwing up your lives. Stop screwing up the lives of the people who love you. And please pray for my little boy that he has the strength and courage to do the same. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your stories which have helped me understand what my son is experiencing. Jackie

12:06 pm August 18th, 2012

Hi Amanda. You are NOT responsible for the debt your husband has created as a result of his addiction. Paying the bills will only enable him to continue.

I suggest that you seek help in two places: Al-Anon (it’s not only for loved ones of alcoholics) and a psychotherapist (http://locator.apa.org/). You need to work through and process the damage that has been done in the relationship, and then make a clear decision on whether to leave or to stay. A therapist can help guide you through this process. If you stay, you need to set and keep clear boundaries with your husband. If you leave, you need to be prepared emotionally, mentally and financially for the change.

Does this make sense?

Ashley
12:03 pm September 8th, 2012

My fiance has been on adderall for many years and I dont thinks she needs it. However, she does not feel the same way. Im not sure how many mg she takes daily but every now and then she forgets to take her meds for a couple of days. When she forgets, she gets withdrawl symptoms, then says, “See, this is why I need to take my adderral, because I get like this if I dont.”

I want her to stop, if for no reason other than its expensive, insurance doesnt cover it anymore, shes currently underemployed and I dont think she needs it. Sure, it makes it easier for her to focus and have high energy, but I dont like the idea of her being dependent on a drug to function. She says, I dont understand and her body needs it.

Am I being selfish? Is there a good approach to trying to help someone off of adderral who doesnt see it as an issue, but as a solution for how to live their life, dependent on a drug? Thanks.

12:12 pm September 9th, 2012

Hi Ashley. This is a rather difficult situation. I understand why you’d feel uncomfortable with the idea of someone that you love being dependent on any medication to live a “normal” life. But medications like Adderall can also truly help people who need them. Has your fiance been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD?

chris
9:28 pm September 18th, 2012

I stopped cold turkey abusing adderrall today when i had the biggest panic attack ever today…about 3 or 4 times a week i took it for motivational purposes to clean run errands and for work…i drink alchohol most the nights im on it to come down off it plus i got right to sleep….or if i dont have nothing to drink ill use mary jane….well i took one yesterday drank a pint last night then woke up to a wake n bake… all a sudden i felt like i couldnt breath..i was flippen out it felt like my heart was about to explode!!! Should i of went to the er? Ya that was the final draw i dont ever think u should choose adderall as your choice of drug…i will never touch one of those devil snacks again….i thought i was gonna die seriously

Marg
7:47 pm September 28th, 2012

I’ve been taking about 60mg of adderall everyday for the past 5 months. I’ve been off of it for about 20 days and i feel no withdrawl. I dont even have an urge to take it. I feel completely normal without it. Is that normal?

2:46 pm September 29th, 2012

Hi Marg. Consider yourself lucky. Stopping Adderall with no withdrawal symptoms is a great sign…and indicates that perhaps your body did not develop physical dependence on the amphetamines during use.

terra
10:18 pm October 1st, 2012

Can aderall withdrawal symptoms give u a restless body syndrome type feeling?…(feels like my legs and arms dont have much strength but they actually do-have not lost strength just feels that way-very fatigued) and how long will it last?….it seems to go away if i take adderal…thanks for your help…

2:13 pm October 2nd, 2012

Hi terra. Yes, Adderall withdrawal can cause you to feel restless and fatigued. The appearance of these symptoms is an indication that your body is physically dependent on Adderall at the moment. If you want to stop taking Adderall, be sure you consult with your prescribing doctor beforehand!

Pate
8:04 pm October 13th, 2012

I have just read many of the posts above in hopes to find help…This is my story…

I have a friend that has been abusing Adderall for two years. She is 35 years old, has a husband and two children ages 10 and 7. Due to the downward spiral that addiction causes she is no longer in the home. Her husband filed for divorce and all that she left the home/relationship with were her personal belongings and supervised visitation with her children. I do not know how much adderall she takes. I do know that she would go through her prescription in the first week. This led her to find ways to get more. Those include but are not limited to: the purchase of the drug illegally and allowing the use of her body in exchange for this drug. She is now in a relationship with a know adderall abuser and has only seen her children for about 10 hours in the past month.
What I need help with is information on how to help her. Is it too late to do an intervention? What is the success rate? At this point do I have to wait until there is an overdose or problems with the law? I have tried to communicate with her many times over the past year. She is mostly telling lies to me even though I know the truth. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

10:45 am October 15th, 2012

Hi Pate. Thanks for your question. And I can sense the real longing that you have for health and happiness for your friend.

Some states allow you to report known drug abuse. So, you might check into this. A classic “intervention” is usually done with the help for a professional drug addictions counselor and a treatment center. While this can be successful, usually the immediate families are included in the picture. Is your friend’s husband open to this?

Pate
4:09 am October 16th, 2012

Yes, all I truly want is happiness and health for she and her family. Our state law reads that if the person is not an immediate harm to themselves or others then there is no way to have her committed. Even if there were a way, state law only holds the person for 5 days (I think). That is not long enough to get past the anger of being committed and dealing with the addiction.

She is living with her parents, which is two hours from her husband and children. She is selling personal possessions to buy “food” (even though her parents are feeding her). She has been asking her husband for money. I have encouraged him to stay strong, know that he is not keeping her from food, shelter and medical care. In my opinion the more money that you give, the more fuel you are adding to the fire.

Please understand that I feel that she has unintentionally taken this path. Her family was her world. I am just trying to do all that I can to help. I do have the support of her husband and their medical insurance will cover the treatment that she desperately needs. I feel like I could get the support of her Dad and sisters. Her Mom is still not communicating with her. I am not sure how she would take her mother’s presence in an intervention setting. The problem is getting to that point. Unfortunately, the people that she is spending her time with are supporting her choices because they are living the same lifestyle.

12:37 pm October 16th, 2012

Hi Pate. Yes, environmental concerns do seem to play a part into your friend’s problems. I’d suggest that you call 1-800-662-HELP which is a national drug abuse hotline and seek information, suggestions, and options for your friend. It seems as if you are intimately involved and know the details of her life and care enough to organize a possible intervention. I’d say…pursue it! Follow your instincts. Also, consult with a licensed clinical social worker about the case. Has her husband consulted one yet? Addiction is a tricky, sticky mess and it can involve many different resources to address.

Jordan
11:14 pm December 5th, 2012

im 16 and ive been on adderall for 6 months. i take one 40mg XR per day a under doctors supervision. im not going to lie, it helped tremdously. i went from Ds and Fs to honor roll. but Amandas story above is the only story that comes close to describing how addictive this can be. after my pill wears off the smallest thing will send me into a blind rage. it turns me into a completely different person and all i feel is anger twards everthing. today was the last day i will ever take adderall. after i came home i got into a small arguement with my dad which ended with me storming up to my room and it escalated to the point where i was punching everything in sight and i finally blacked out. dont ever put your child on this pill. it wont be this bad for everyone but the risk isnt worth it.

Rosstradamus
9:04 pm December 13th, 2012

I really don’t see how doctors can prescribe this stuff(an AMPHETAMINE!!!) to little kids and old ladies!! Kids shouldn’t take prescribed drugs AT ALL until 18, unless of course it’s life-threatening, taking amps for better grades in school is NOT life-threatening!!!

Besides, Nature has already given us the best medicine in the world, that cures all kinds of ills and ailments..It’s called MARIJUANA…You guys really should try it!!!

Bobby
3:53 pm January 20th, 2013

Hi ive been taking adderal for a month now and pretty high dose 80-120mg a day… and i also took it when i was in highschool for a year…. im now 26.. and i can see why i acted the way i did before to my all the people i cared about.. now it all makes sense…. will i be okay to just stop or should i wein off a little?? ive been doing it strong for the last month…

2:39 pm January 21st, 2013

Hi Bobby. I’d suggest that you seek a referral for a tapering regimen from your prescribing doctor. Adderall can be tricky during withdrawal, and you may need the help of antidepressants for a short amount of time. Additionally, once you’re off the amphetamines, you can seek amends with your loved ones. Give it some time, and you can regain trust and respect.

carol konze
5:26 pm January 22nd, 2013

A former heroine addict, transitioned to suboxone as a treatment. However, he is on his second year of taking suboxone AND adderall. I fear this is a dangerous situation. What can you tell me about the use of these two drugs and long term use? I am a close family member.

10:46 am February 1st, 2013

Hi Carol. I think that this is a question for a pharmacist or for the methadone clinic where he’s been treated. One is a central nervous system depressant, the other a stimulant. Long term use of opioids like suboxone can impact the kidneys and liver. Researchers still don’t know what the long term effects of Adderall use may be…

starsia
2:05 pm February 4th, 2013

Adderall does have serious or life threatening withdrawl symptoms. Adderall is a prescription form of speed. When coming off a high dosage of adderall or abusive amounts people can have severe panic attacks, constricted breathing, thoughts of suicide, high irritability and many other potentially deadly symptoms. That’s why all doctors either taper a patient off the drug, put them in rehab or have them medically monitored for the first few weeks.

Please all people who have the disease of addiction do NOT stop cold turkey on your own. Any one who is taking this for any reason at all should go to a doctor and asked to be taken off for a safer drug or sent to rehab to remove all the drug from the system. ADD or ADHD can be managed by a proper diet and excise and this is medically proven. If you completely remove sugar and keep very low carb diet plus eat organic food and no preservatives or unnatural ingredients it will do a better job than the drugs.

Rachel
9:05 pm February 6th, 2013

I have been on adderall for over 10 years besides when i was pregnant, but second I could take them again I did. I get anxiety if they arn’t in my bag at all times or if i’m running low. I tried to stop few weeks ago and I slept for 4 days. The first night I was crying with stomach pains my digestive track like shut down eventually went to er. My skin felt it was crawling and I was mentally freaking out. Day 5 gave up and went back on it. I’m a size on 30 year old and I take 80mg a day and it barley does anything but keep me awake. I can take one and take a nap. With 3 kids i need it to function and don’t think i can live without but my body has paid its toll with my face picking, pimple popping, sore muscles, bad health. any advice people?

1:54 pm February 9th, 2013

Hi Rachel. That sounds like you’ve got a lot on your hands. Doctors can sometimes prescribe antidepressants for a while after you come off Adderall. But you may need to make some lifestyle changes in order to get more energy. What does your prescribing doctor recommend?

john
11:11 pm March 2nd, 2013

I do take Adderall off and on take for like 4 days and lay off about a week and do them again one thing that gets me through the withdrawal is methadone, I go to the dr and get the meth….. for pain so I always have it on hand and it seems too work. any feedback would be great

Michael
10:05 pm June 25th, 2013

I’ve been taking adderall on and off for about three years now. At the end here, I was taking as much as 100 mg a day, and was still able to fall asleep promptly at 10 PM or so. I was able to accomplish all sorts of things and had greater confidence in my abilities, perhaps more than was warranted. I am a professor at a prestigious university and I felt that the adderall helped me compete.

However, I was never able to take just the prescribed dosage and was getting a lot of extra adderall from a friend. I even resorted to selling some of it in order to afford my own extras. My long-term partner, a woman, has been very concerned about my adderall usage.

I ran out a few days ago, and am going through withdrawal. Even though I can get a script from my doctor and probably fill it within a few days, I’ve decided to go off of it for good. I am now suffering from hypersomnia and some depression. The depression is always accompanied for me by a metallic taste in my mouth.

I am really worried that this withdrawal will last forever and thus I am worried that I will be tempted to go back on it when I get another script. I don’t think I can endure months of this. I hope and pray that these symptoms lift soon. Luckily I don’t have to work right now (I’m off in the summer), but I feel less capable and stupider and also like I’m losing time and failing. Any thoughts and/or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

Dariel E. Sewell
7:30 am August 17th, 2013

Recently my daughter had a very severe Bi-Polar incident resulting in confinement in a facility in Bandung, Indonesia. There she was diagnosed as Bi-Polar with Megalomania. She has been on Adderall for many months. The doctor removed her from Adderall and began giving her 10 mg Zyprexa. She is going through Adderall withdrawal with classic symptoms. I am wondering what effect the Zyprexa has on the Adderall withdrawal.
She has gone from extremely aggressive and insulting and not sleeping to now being more mellow and sleeping abnormally long hours.
Is the Zyprexa the answer?

5:09 am August 19th, 2013

Hi Dariel. I think that your question is best addressed to a psychiatrist or pharmacist who both know medications and their use in mental health issues better than us here at Addiction Blog. Search for a specialist and schedule a review of her case. I will you and your daughter all the best in healing and recovery.

Skip
9:42 pm September 20th, 2013

I was on Adderall for 6 years then Vyvance 70mg for the past 4. I quite cold turkey nearly 3 months ago. Unlike most posts i have no anger issues, however I am depressed, tired and overall lazy. Its hard to do simple tasks and i’ve also lost interest in things, when i’m home i don’t even know what to do with myself. Anyway my question is how much longer will this last.

enna yenned
6:59 pm December 6th, 2013

After 5 years of Adderall at 20 mgs 4 times/day, my 26 yr old daughter has developed tolerance, and is now abusing it at an unknown higher dose. The effect has been a delusional parasitosis, a serious psychodermatological (skin) disorder. We have been to dermatologists, infectious disease specialists and the psychiatrist who prescribed the Adderall, all to no avail. She alone sees insects crawling out of her skin and is attempting to extract them causing wounds.She refuses to link her symptoms to the Adderall, and becomes furiously angry with me at that suggestion. This has become a battlefield. She is unable to function on any social or academic level. She is living with me now.. Her psychiatrist recommends lowering the dose but continues to prescribe it. It is being abused.
He does not live with the rage, the delusions and the paranoia. Nor does he love her like her family does. We are at our wits end. The most frustrating issue is her blind refusal to see that Adderall is in any way involved in what is going on with her. She is of age so we cannot make decisions for her. She is not imminently a danger to herself or others at this time.I would deeply appreciate some guidance from some experienced voices.

9:16 am December 12th, 2013

Hello enna. I feel for you. This is a very difficult situation. First, have you tried determining the AMOUNT she’s taking via drug testing? Then, I’d suggest you seek a second opinion from an addictions specialist in a treatment center or another psychiatrist. Follow your gut instincts. And seek help for yourself from a psychotherapist/counselor in family addiction therapy…or through Al-Anon or Narc-Anon. You are not alone, but you need support and guidance during this time.

Erin
8:20 pm May 5th, 2014

I take 20-30 mg of extended realease adderall at the moment because ive recently started using the pill. Ive realized it works wonders with my academics and work but i ran out a few days later. Now i feel fatigued ,irritable, and exhausted. Should i stop using it now before its too late? And i dont use adderall chronically either and neither am i prescribed to it. Should i get help? I fear this is the start of something very bad down the road too if i dont stop.

Rick
7:40 pm June 9th, 2014

I have been on Adderall for three years now and am on my 3rd detox. Detoxing is the worst. The fatigue, drowsiness, and depression are at times unbearable. I’m a college student in the health sciences so I understand the basics of how my neurochemistry is being affected by going on and of the drug. The first time I took Adderall it was amazing; I was able to focus and get things done, and had a more positive outlook on life. Eventually this effect got slightly smaller and smaller. I went from 10mg to 15mg to 20mgXR which is my cap; I refuse to ever take a higher dose. Its unfortunate some of the withdrawal symptoms, Im hearing from some of you.
A major problem is that doctors are prescribing this drug to people who don’t have ADHD/ADD and this can have a major impact on personality & Mood due to imbalances is noradrenaline and dopamine, which are associated, with aggression(fight or flight), attention & focus, and motivation respectively. It is imperative that you guys get off the drug. Coffee does help dealing with stimulant withdrawal and fatigue. I’m not necessarily addicted to adder all, but I am very aware of the fact that its much more difficult to function well with out it, I can skip days without it easily; I have been off it for weeks. My insurance ran out and this is part of the reason for this detox. I just finished my undergraduate studies and am wondering if I should ditch Adderall completely, but I am now in the process of looking for a job and I don’t know if this would be the most rational thing to do.

I am also concerned that I won’t be as productive/sharp when I get a job. I guess Ill run a coffee experiment and see how that goes; Im only 23; I know eventually Ill have to quit Adderall forever as it is bad for the cardiovascular system and the neurochemical facilities of the brain; Im curious what what age range Adderall becomes dangerous to use chronically/daliy, I would think <40. O well, time will tell, for the meantime I have to suffer a few days a week in my pajamas, sleeping 10hr a day when I ONLY NEED 7 and waking up feeling terrible; like I have awoken from a coma.

Adi
3:01 am June 13th, 2014

I started to take adderal since the beginning of last year since i heard wonders in how it helps you to stay focus and makes you lose weight. At the beginning it work wonders but the long side term effects are begin to show up:

I m always tired , i lost the appetite, i dont have any motivation at all and i my grades went really low compared to my grades before taking adderall. I cant focus in my engineering classes anymore . Im constantly worried about trivial things and i have alot of anxiety. My head and my ears are constantly hurting and Im very slow in doing things. It loks like i was high because i feel like its numbing me . I also went through a lot of family problems which worsened my situation and caused me more paranoia and depression
Since today im going to quit adderal because my eengineering career might got to the ruin if i dont stop this. I want to be the same person i was. same girl with high grades and many dreams to achieve!!!!

PRAY FOR ME GUYS

John
8:44 pm June 21st, 2014

Hello,
I am no stranger to detoxing off of addictive substances. I have spent thousands of dollars on drug rehabilitation centers. I was successful in getting off opiates. I have/had nearly 7 years clean. I went to this M.D. because I was having symptoms of depression coupled with rageful outbursts. The M.D. diagnosed me with ADD in about 15 minutes. He said it would help with my rage as it was escalating. ( authorities were being called)
M.D. was aware of my past substance abuse and all the rest of it. (Dual Diagnosis)
M.D. hands it out like candy and often takes my left over pills.. I am angry at myself for allowing myself to slip down the slope again. I have been taking 30mg for 7 months (orally) I did increase to 45mg for about 2 weeks I couldn’t handle it. So went down to 30mg. I am no longer rageful but completely out of it. I do not like what this medication is doing. At first I felt lifted up, productive, inspired…and then it turned like all substances do.. Now frozen, paranoid, weird.
Sorry to drone on but I cant do treatment again.
Is it necessary or is it more comfortable to titrate off Adderall? ( or by tapering am I just prolonging the misery?) Roughly how long is it going to be hard( the rough patch)? I know you cannot give definite answers… so just a give me idea what I am looking at.
Thank you for your time,
JI

8:44 am June 24th, 2014

Hello John. Yes, it is more comfortable to taper off doses before totally eliminating Adderall from the system. You can expect possible mood swings, upset sleeping cycles, headaches, and/or increased appetite for roughly a couple of weeks after initial cessation. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can be prescribed for the depression that often accompanies amphetamine withdrawal. More here:

http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Portals/0/Medical/PrescriptionDrugs/StimulantsAndRelatedAgents.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64116/

Search for “amphetamine” in the documents

Deloris
11:26 am July 8th, 2014

I have been on adderall for about 5 months now. I ran out of pills Sunday and have noticed a little agitation. I believe I need to go ahead and get off of the medication. I don’t like taking pills. It was working great to start with however lately I still get very tired in the afternoon and if I take another per prescribed by my doctor it doesn’t seem to really help. I just lost my mom 5/1/2014 after taking care of her since August 2012 when my dad died. I have lost several family members in the last 2 years including my youngest brother. I realize it is the circle of life and we don’t know how much time we have. I have to learn to deal with it. My prayers are all with you. Please keep me in yours. God Bless

Ryan
4:29 am July 12th, 2014

I am onto day three without it. I haven’t gone more than a few days of my adult life without some kind of chemical in my body, from nicotine to adderall, marijuana and otherwise. I have yelled at the person I care most about and have been acting like an asshole. It is a miracle drug but I am slowly realizing that I need to make myself happy, not take something that feigns happiness. I still wish I could smoke a bowl right now…

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