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Detox from Adderall

Detoxing from Adderall?

Are you trying to quit Adderall (amphetamine salts)? You need to be careful.  It’s possible that you will go through withdrawal from Adderall, and provoke serious or adverse side effects.   When you do withdraw from Adderall?  If you’ve been taking Adderall daily for more than a few weeks, you’ve probably developed physical dependence on Adderall. So as you detox from Adderall, you go through withdrawal and rid your body of amphetamines, which has chemically altered the central nervous system. In fact, Adderall dependency makes withdrawal a difficult process.

So, what can you expect during Adderall withdrawal treatment? Here, we review common Adderall detox symptoms, treatments, and the time it takes to complete detox from Adderall. Then, we describe ideal cases for at-home Adderall detox. Finally, we invite your questions about detox from Adderall or treatment Adderall addiction at the end. Please know that we try to answer all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt response.

Detox from Adderall symptoms

Adderall detox symptoms can be painful and uncomfortable, and it is never advisable that you quit Adderall cold turkey. Cold turkey Adderall detox can provoke serious and dangerous side effects. Instead, doctors recommend that you taper Adderall doses slowly over the period of several weeks to minimize the severity of detox from Adderall symptoms. But why do these symptoms occur at all?

After a period of chronic use, Adderall withdrawal happens during detox as a way for the body the figure out how to regain homeostasis. You see, the central nervous system adapts to the presence of amphetamine salts over time. And when Adderall is no longer in the system, the central nervous system’s adapted functions are still present, and only gradually normalize over time. As a stimulant, Adderall causes the body to over-produce depressant effects. So once you stop taking Adderall, these effects become noticable. Symptoms which can occur during detox from Adderall include:

  • abdominal pain
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • drug craving
  • dysphoria (intense dissatisfaction with life)
  • fatigue
  • increased heart rate
  • insomnia
  • mood swings
  • paranoia
  • panic
  • seizures

Detox from Adderall symptoms can be treated by a physician or on your own, depending on your preparedness and the severity of symptoms. However, it is important that you don’t take medications which are contraindicative and will react negatively in the system.  And if you’ve developed a high tolerance for Adderall, serious side effects are possible during withdrawal.  This is why Adderall detox should always be supervised by a medical professional, in either an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Adderall detox treatment

At the moment, no medication have been proven to help treatstimulant detoxification. Therefore detoxing from Adderall can be a little difficult to figure out. Below are three ways doctors approach Adderall detox treatment.

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1. Reduction in dosage

High levels of stimulants like Adderall can lead to paranoia, hostility, seizures, and depressed breathing. To avoid acute symptoms of Adderall withdrawal, a better way to detox from Adderall is to slowly decrease doses. This will help manage acute symptoms while you can identify other modalities to treat pain and discomfort as they arise. Ask your prescribing doctor for a tapering schedule and be sure that you set up regular check-ins with an MD as you detox from Adderall.

2. Antidepressants

Because Adderall can cause depression and anxiety, some physicians recommend prescribing antidepressants to treat detox from Adderall symptoms related to mood. Antidepressant therapy can be started before a reduction in dose and continued during andafter acute Adderall detox, being careful not to replace one addiction with another.

3. Behavioral management and psychotherapy

Adderall use can get out of control if it’s being abused and used to the point ofaddiction. In these cases, it is not enough to simply detox from Adderall. Follow up therapy is needed. So while Adderall leaves the body, it is important to support the mental health side of the addiction. Therapy can help maintain and support the detox process and leads to more positive outcomes.

Detoxing from Adderall time

Dose reduction is the best protocol for detoxing from Adderall. This process, however, can take several weeks to a few months depending on how the amount of doses you have been using. Cold turkey Adderall withdrawal orstopping Addearll suddenly is not recommended because of the negative effects this has on the body. In sum, detoxing from Adderall starts within the first few days after your last dose. However, Adderall detox can take weeks to months to resolve.

Detox from Adderall at home

Can you detox from Adderall at home? Maybe. However, each case of detox from Adderall should be MEDICALLY SUPERVISED. This means that you can either seek Adderall detox in a clinic or that you tell a physician that you will be detoxing from Adderall at home. Your doctor can then advise you (based on your general health, age, Adderall use, and medical history) whether or not it’s safe to detox from Adderall at home.

If you plan to detox at home make sure you are in communication with a physician. Tell a doctor and request medical supervision, monitoring and guidance as you detox from Adderall. You will need a tapering plan and may need medical treatment should detox from Adderall become severe.

The best way to detox at home is to

1. Reduce your doses of Adderall over time.

2. Follow up with the use of antidepressants and psychotherapy.

Supporting the discomfort of coming off Adderall is important so that you don’t relapse into use again. Slowly, over time, you can get rid of the Adderall out of your system and begin to repair your body.

Detox Adderall questions

Do you still have questions about Adderall detox? Do youknow more about Adderall detox and what to expect? Do you have experience detoxing from Adderall and want to share some tips? If so, please ask any questions or share your comments below. We would love to hear from you. And we will answer questions you may have personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: Department of Mental Health in Utah: Stimulants
Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare
Drug Abuse: Treating stimulant addiction

Photo credit: FDA

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27 Responses to “Detox from Adderall
Adderall withdrawal - cold tuckey
8:36 pm April 23rd, 2014

I have a 27 year old son that has been abusing adderall for about three years. On 04/18 he was seen in emergency for heart palpatations from taking approx 170mg of adderall. He is back at home and detoxing while we try to figure out the next step. I am curious about how long it would take for someone to detox “code turkey” as he is trying to do? What are symptoms that I would be looking for if he was to start using Adderall again

5:38 am June 9th, 2014

I have been taking some form of adderall since 15. I am now 37. Been taking more than prescribed for years and years now. I do not ingest other than in pill form. I now have a family, and two small kids. I wld not say I get “high” per say. Its basically a maintenance issue at this point. Without it, functioning is near impossible. I wld love to not have to rely on it, but after over 15yrs wld my body even go back to normal? I don’t have time to b down for weeks for my girls r 5 and 6. I have tried to grit thru a day without it and there is just no way. What wld u do? Is ibogaine an option? Thanks.

8:03 am June 11th, 2014

Hi Sara. Long term use of Adderall like yours can result in physical dependence that can take weeks to resolve. However, tapering your doses down with the help of a prescribing doctor can help reduce this time and minimize withdrawal symptoms. Still, you’ll need to be able to have the energy to care for your children.

I’d suggest that you work on this issue with the help of a medical professional or a team of professionals. You’ll need emotional support as well as medical/behavioral alternatives to help you during the period of withdrawal should you choose to get of Adderall for good. An MD, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist can all help you. But you need to get educated about the process, its symptoms, and the options you have.

7:26 am July 12th, 2014

@sara: I’m in almost your same situation. In my thirties, two little kids, and Adderall is the only way I make it through the day. I’ve only been using Adderall for 2.5 years, but when I started 5mg once or twice a day was adequate and now I take 30mg and it barely gets me moving. I’ve tried stopping a couple times, mostly bc I overused, ran out at the end of the month, and was waiting to fill my next script. The first day or two is crappy, but by day three it’s over; I’m basically non-functional. Like you, if it was just me- it would be crappy, but I could probably just sleep for a week and start to climb out of this hole- But it’s not, I have two wild kids (3 & 9) and a husband who travels 3 weeks of the month for work. I already hate being dependent on a substance of any kind and I know how terrible Adderall is for people; all of these issues plague my mind every day . I have nightmares about my kids getting into them and dying. At this point, I don’t know what to do.

6:55 pm August 21st, 2014

I am currently on day three of cold turkey detox, thanks to an immediate member of my family stealing and selling it. I feel like I am dying and need some suggestions on what I could do to help?

7:00 pm August 24th, 2014

Never quit cold turkey! I learn my lesson the hard way. I had uncontrollable shaking/sleeping excessively-3 days w/o medication.
Alway’s consult your doctor before stopping the medication.

4:09 pm October 20th, 2014

I am addicted to adderall and Ritalin. I binge, going through 60 adderall within a 3 day period. With Ritalin it’s sometimes 135 within 4 to 5 days. I detox at home and the symptoms are hard to deal with. My question is what long term damage am I doing to my body? It’s gets difficult to breathe something while taking the medicine and while detoxing. Should I be concerned? My heart flatters when I’m not detoxing anymore.

12:39 pm October 27th, 2014

Hi Shannon. By bingeing on Ritalin over the course of days without sleep, can put you into a coma-like state of heavy sleeping. Withdrawal puts you in risk of psychotic episodes and heart problems. Ambien binging has similar effects. During that 3 day period when you are taking Adderall, you don’t sleep or get rest, which is followed by a “binge crash” and then sleeps extensively for a number of days following the insomnia. It probably won’t cause long-term serious damage, BUT you need to quit doing it, or it might.

Heather marie
5:33 am November 1st, 2014

I have been trying to withdrawal for adderall but my blood pressure is throw the roof, and im having seizures, am i safe to do this on my own at home or am i in danger? how long will i have the seizures and high blood pressure. can someone help me !!!! Im so scared this will kill me.

3:29 pm November 3rd, 2014

i have been taking high doses of adder all for a few months and I can’t go to a detox what can I do?

2:18 pm November 6th, 2014

Hello Heather marie. Please read about “How to withdraw from Adderall” on this link: It will prevent from hurting yourself through the withdrawal.

8:58 pm November 23rd, 2014

I’ve been on adderall for almost 4 years. I am recovering from heroin and cocaine. I never messed with oral speed but did shoot them years ago when Precludin was available. I did it for 3 years and can’t remember going through the detox from Preludin being as hard as Adderall. I’m currently stopping the Adderall by tapering down slowly. I was on 30mg. 3 times a day. I am now I’m taking one half of a 30mg which would be 15 mg. I’m on two antidepressants and Klonipin. I still have depression and fatigue. My antidepressants are high in miligrams. If I wasn’t on the antidepressants, I’d probably would get so depressed that I would want to just die. But, that is something I would never do. I’ve been dealing with depression so long that I know when Im feeling like killing myself, that I can get help through my doctor. I pray that any one going through this detox, that you are successful with the detox. Godspeed

9:33 am December 24th, 2014

I’ve been prescribed adderall for over 10 years. A week from yesterday I stopped taking it. It was a planned vacation that coincided with a late delivery of my meds (still waiting on it). It’s been a week and my withdrawal symptoms have changed over time. At first I would only get out of bed to eat and use the bathroom and experienced nausea and that withdrawal feeling we all know. Next I was just a couch potato and food vaccuum still with nausea. Now I can get out of bed without a problem, have a large appetite, can’t fall asleep or sleep through the night, have no motivation, extremely hard to focus, moody, craving my adderall, anti-social, and feeling overwhelmed with everything I have to do and grappling with how to accomplish it without my medicine. I rock myself, flex muscles, or move my body to try and get myself to sleep. I feel disorganized, angry, helpless, and very much so like an addict.

I would not recommend going cold turkey unless you absolutely had to as I did. After 10 years of taking a daily XR it became a part of my identity and helped me through school and through the day. I feel that I pwey entire academic career to adderall. The struggle of withdrawal from adderall is physical, mental, and emotional.

6:00 pm December 30th, 2014

I am now off of adderall for 3 weeks. I was all ready on antidepressants. It took a while for the antidepressants to be able to help. The adderall took over the antidepressants, for about 2 weeks. I am still having depression, but I’m not having any other symptoms of withdrawals. How long does the depression from adderall take? I can function, but I still feel the mentally depression.

2:59 pm December 31st, 2014

Hello Deborah. Check in with your prescribing doctor or a pharmacist about common duration of mood disorders after Adderall withdrawal; depending on duration of use, dosage, and frequency, mood disorders take a few months to stabilize after coming stimulants like Adderall. Best of luck to you!

7:04 am May 18th, 2015

I’m 27 and I’ve let adderall take over my life I’m about to lose my relationship and everything over the situation I won’t to stop I love my boyfriend with all my heart and I want to love my my self again help please I want my life back

1:57 pm May 22nd, 2015

Hi Heather. Nothing is completely lost, and you can use your wish for Adderall-free life as a motivation to quit. Ask for professional medical help; your first point of contact can be your doctor who can either instruct you on how to safely detox and manage withdrawal symptoms, or refer you to a detox clinic or treatment facility in your area. You will need to work on you recovery with dedication, but I bet the end result is completely worth walking the road. Good luck!

7:41 am May 27th, 2015

I have been taking adderall for more than 7yrs Am I An Addict YES Do I Want To Stop YES. I Have Went Threw Withdraws Only because i had no choice I Ran Out AndThe Suffering was Incredible I Would Suffer threw 2or3days And I I Cared Was Knowing in the back of my mind I Wld Not Be With out it on the 4th day Thats All I Cared But Now With All My Heart More Than Anything i want This To End And Starting Tomarrow I Will Be Out Of Them For Another 4days But this time i Dont want Ever Put Another One In My Mouth I Know What I Want As A Person But The Addiction Takes Hold Is There Anything That Is Made To Flush ,Detox Or Cleansing. that will speed this pregatory We Are Living In And Be Our Normal Selfs Again I Still Remember Myself When I Was Happy I Want To Be That Way Again Please. HELP

11:35 pm June 2nd, 2015

I have been taking adderall on/off for the last 4 years. At the moment I am not personally prescribed adderall, because of a decision I made about 2 years ago with my doctor to stop taking it, due to negative side effects. My husband however has more intense ADD than myself and is prescribed it monthly. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed during crazy work weeks, and my husband will let me use some of his medication. (He usually finds that he is prescribed more than he needs, so he gives me small amounts that help me get thru stressful times.) I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I am addicted, just more dependent on the drug. My doses are small, usually between 5-15mg. Naturally I am built more skinny & petite, and have found in the past that taking more than 15mg is too much, and affects me greatly. This year has been so busy for me, and I have found that I have been taking adderall more consistently. For the last month alone, I have taken it almost every day (due to work stress/etc) and have built a tolerance to the drug, which has made me want to increase the dosage. I have been experiencing lots of the negative side effects that comes with taking adderall, (mostly slight depression and fatigue when I come off of it) and I am looking to stop using the drug entirely. I worry that I am becoming too frequent with the usage, and am on my way to become an adderall user that I know I don’t need to be. I know I am capable of functioning properly without the drug, but it’s very hard to dig yourself out of that hole once you are in it. However I recognize the early signs (since I have been there once before) and want to take steps to prevent it. While I know that seeking professional medical attention is the recommended route for these situations, I am looking for an alternative, at-home detox to help me come back from this month long “binge” I have been experiencing. I don’t feel that I am in any kind of danger zone right now, I just want to find a natural way of preventing it. Any recommendations as far as supplements, dietary intakes, etc? I have been looking into Vitamin B6, or 5-HTP to help with my serotonin levels. But any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

4:23 pm June 12th, 2015

Hi Susie. Good luck with finally giving up the medication for good. You sound strong and determined and I’m sure you can make it. When you stop regular use, your organism needs to learn how to live without the Addreall again. So, your brain’s chemistry needs to get back to balance, your body needs to go back to homeostasis, and these are all processes that take time. I strongly advise you to seek doctor’s help to create a tapering schedule and slowly decrease doses over time. Also, medical management can help reduce withdrawal symptoms. If you go cold turkey and without any professional assistance, you have a great chance to not be able to withstand the detox process again.

2:16 pm June 27th, 2015

Can you use clonidine to detox

12:41 pm June 29th, 2015

Hi Diane. Yes, Clonidine can help treat a wide range of withdrawal of withdrawal symptoms, but first consult your doctor or pharmacist about how to take it, how much and for how long.

10:14 pm September 6th, 2015

I am 57 years old and have recently met a very sweet 28 year old young lady who gets Adderall from 2 different medical sources. I am not positive of the amounts as I met her in the process of “rescuing” her from a dangerous situation with a former childhood friend of my son’s when I realized that he was in active addiction of crack again. If I am not mistaken, a psychiatrist prescribes her either 2 or 3 20mg extended release capsules. The other is like a Mental Health facility and they prescribe her 2 x 30 mg instant release Adderalls. That makes for a total of 120 mg per day. She currently has none. She is disabled and her father is her “Payee”. Being disabled myself, I know that receives statements from her Medicare Part D drug coverage plan. Obviously he hasn’t opened them. He is totally against her taking ANY.
Isn’t this a dangerous amount? She is NOT currently under the care of even a Primary Care Physician. I am MORE than willing to help her detox in my home or to call either one of the prescribing Drs. or even her Dad. She WON’T hate me for it. The problem is that she DOES have some type of underlying condition for which the Adderall was originally prescribed. I don’t what to do about that WITHOUT befriending her Dad and seeking him as an allie.
Question: Is 120 mg of Adderall way too much to be prescribed?
Question: Is she currently in any danger being at day 4 without ANY Adderall?

2:57 pm September 7th, 2015

Hello Laura. Thank you for your concern and post. Adults might take anywhere from 5 mg to 60 mg of Adderall per day. Usually, this is taken as several pills throughout the day. While, 70 mg in one day is considered the maximum safe does, although this is generally not prescribed. She may not be at risk of overdose, but such frequent and high doses of Adderall can damage her organs and health. Also, abruptly stopping all doses leads to an onset of withdrawal symptoms that need to be medically managed. I’d suggest she needs professional help to completely stop or start using normal therapeutic doses.

11:13 pm October 24th, 2015

Wow. I am finding this thread interesting. I am 41. I had been diagnosed with sleep apnea, put on adderral 2 years ago but never took the full amount on a regular basis (10 mg three times a day). I sometimes would take holidays and reduce it and feel like crud.

I have new doctors that are treating my sleep apnea and possible narcolepsy. I am on nuvigil now but don’t feel the full effects. I am not sure if its because I have further reduced the dose to 5mg twice a day. My doctor only suggested removing the morning dose but the other two were left at my discretion. I could take 10 or 5 so I opted for 5. I don’t want to go back to 10mg. I am still tired a lot and I am curious if its because my body had been adjusted to a higher dose. Again I started in July 2013 and only changed treatment in the past month (september 2015).

I am getting a CPAP but both the specialist and doctor aren’t sure how effective it will be since my sleep study showed apnea on my back. I sleep on my side and that was NOT determined to be apnea. I didn’t snore, oxygen went up, had 2 micro wakes per hour on the side. Since I have ear ringing, sleeping on my side is normal. I always prefer the side. So the question is, why do I still fall asleep at work? Have the issue of fading while driving (at times, have to tap things or not get on the highway) When I yawn or stretch, I fall to my knees.

Nuvigil can help me read a book easily. I can concentrate on homework (college later in life), and able to listen to people without losing focus. I can’t stay awake though. I want to run to my car at lunch and nap for 15 minutes. I haven’t but I want to. Could the tapering of Adderral be negating the benefits of nuvigil? Should I give it another month?

4:17 am April 25th, 2016

i myself am researching the best way that I may detox from prolonged and high dose of Adderall. I need an informed individual that cantell me , hey, i did it ny mysrlf. Just tell me how?!!!

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