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Adderall Withdrawal

When to Expect Withdrawal

Everyone who’s developed a dependence on Adderall might wish that quitting was easy. But it’s not as simple as flushing the pills down the toilet. The truth is that withdrawal from Adderall can trigger feelings of exhaustion, the inability to stay awake, and even high levels of anxiety.

Using Adderall daily for longer than a period of a few weeks or a month can cause serious difficulties in your attempts to quit the use of this medication.

What can you expect during Adderall withdrawal? When are the first effects of discomfort felt and how long do they last?  We provide answers to these questions here. Plus we have a section about how to cope with symptoms of Adderall withdrawal.

Finally, we welcome your questions in the comments section at the end. We love to hear from our readers and greatly value your feedback.
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Adderall withdrawal is not easy to accomplish alone.
A lot of people relapse during the withdrawal period.
If you need help giving up Adderall GIVE US A CALL.
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Why Does Withdrawal Occur?

Adderall is a drug that, when used regularly or in large doses, cause changes in the brain that can result in physical dependence or even psychological dependence (addiction). Physical dependence occurs as the brain’s way to continue to function. Adderall stimulates brain centers; that’s why it’s called a “stimulant”. To counteract the increased action within the central nervous system, the body triggers chemical changes that “slow down” some functions. In this way, the brain can continue working.

However, take away the Adderall from a drug-adapted brain…and the “slowing down” takes some time to even out and return to normal. Withdrawal symptoms are a sign that the body is starting to recover from the acute changes caused by Adderall (amphetamine salts) in the system. In fact, withdrawal is an expected outcome for regular users after a period of dependence when dosage is stopped or lowered significantly.

Initiation of Withdrawal

Adderall withdrawal symptoms manifest within hours to a day after last use. The severity of these symptoms usually peak within 24 hours of last use, and diminishes gradually over the span of several weeks.

Adderall withdrawal is marked by a sudden loss of appetite. During their detox, people have reported losing a lot of weight. The start of withdrawal is accompanied by feelings of nervousness and irritability. It is likely that you’ll be more sensitive and emotional as a result of the changes in the chemical imbalance. Without Adderall for the first few days you’ll probably feel a lack of focus. Additionally, you may speak slowly because it will take you some effort to gather and express coherent thoughts.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms reported by people going through Adderall withdrawal include:

  • aches and pains in the body
  • anxiety, irritability, and agitation
  • depressed mood
  • fatigue
  • hallucinations and delusions
  • headache
  • inability to concentrate
  • increased appetite
  • intense craving
  • paranoia
  • psychosis
  • rapid mood changes
  • sleepiness

Duration

The duration of Adderall withdrawal symptoms may last for one to three months. Heavy Adderall users tend to have more intense and longer duration of withdrawal symptoms compared to light users. In most cases, Adderall users who have successfully gone through detox do not have experience residual symptoms once intensive treatment has ended.

The duration of the withdrawal symptoms greatly depends on how long you’ve been taking Adderall, the dosages, and whether you are prescribed Adderall for ADHD or are using it recreationally. Those who abuse Adderall will experience a longer withdrawal period.

While for some it might take a month to fully recover, for others Adderall withdrawal symptoms may last longer. According to expert’s opinions, the physical dependence tends to correct much more quickly than psychological dependence. Psychological dependence involves mental struggles and fears such as: “I won’t be able to work/study/concentrate without Adderall.”

Finally, protracted withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) tend to take the most time to resolve. People who take Adderall over the course of years can experience some symptoms for months or years after last use. These problems usually include difficulties with sleeping and mood disorders.

How To Cope With Adderall Withdrawal?

Because craving for Adderall can be intense, experts recommend that you are medically supervised during Adderall withdrawal. Medical examinations are very important in treatment of Adderall detox. Health issues such as hypertension and heart murmurs should be assessed first before starting detox. Admission to a detox clinic or drug treatment facility (when necessary) ensures that you receive medical care and symptomatic treatment of symptoms when they occur.

Additionally, family and social support can be important during treatment of Adderall dependence. Psycho-emotional support increases the odds of successful rehabilitation. Despite the immense discomfort caused by withdrawal from Adderall use, it is not the most difficult part of the treatment.

The most difficult part of the problem may be to admit having a problem with Adderall. If this is the case, you can get help by being honest with yourself and medical staff. Full disclosure of a possible drug addiction during Adderall withdrawal can help you identify your own individual needs for rehab and facilitate assessment for treatment options that can work for you.

Adderall Withdrawal Medications

There are no specific medications approved by the FDA for managing Adderall withdrawal symptoms. However, the following drugs have been proven effective in easing the intensity of Adderall withdrawal.

  1. Benzodiazepines are given to control agitation and irritability during withdrawal. However, these medications should only be used in accordance with a doctor and taken no longer than a week.
  2. Provigil (modafinil) is prescribed to ease the symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal.
  3. Mirtazapine (Remeron) has shown effectiveness in treating amphetamine withdrawal symptoms in certain settings.

NOTE HERE: In the case that you relapse on Adderall and start taking amphetamine salts again while taking antidepressants, you might experience a condition called “serotonin syndrome” which should be treated immediately.

Your Questions

We hope to have provided you with some basic information on Adderall withdrawal here. However, if you still have something that you’d like to ask or add regarding the withdrawal or Adderall addiction treatment process, we welcome you to post your feedback in the comments section at the end of the page.

We appreciate your questions and try to respond to all legitimate inquiries with a personal and prompt response. In the case we don’t know the answer to a question, we will gladly refer you to professionals who can help.

Reference Sources: Medline Plus: Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine
NCBI: Treatment for amphetamine withdrawal
NCBI: Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings
The Department Of Health: The amphetamine withdrawal syndrome

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