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Adderall Withdrawal

Achievement at the highest level is expected in a competitive culture, and individuals living in the United States feel immense pressure to perform this way. For this reason, many people will turn to a chemical booster to make up for their shortcomings. 

While some will turn to coffee, others will turn to something stronger like Adderall to boost their focus and energy levels. Using this prescription medication can start innocently, but it can soon cause dependence and addiction that becomes unmanageable. 

Those who abuse the medication may experience severe withdrawal symptoms once they stop using. If you are prescribed Adderall or abuse the medication, you must learn about the symptoms of withdrawal.

What Are the Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms?

When you use higher amounts of medication that a doctor prescribes, your body will become chemically dependent on it. This dependence can lead to the onset of developing an addiction. When this happens, your body requires more Adderall to reach the desired effect, which is known as tolerance. Tolerance is a sign that you must take more of a drug to achieve the same effect you had when you first started using it.

Once someone becomes dependent on Adderall, stopping use suddenly can produce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The common term is “Adderall crash.” The symptoms have the potential of pushing you right back into using Adderall, no matter how hard you try to stop alone. It would be best if you considered professional treatment to overcome an Adderall dependence. 

Common Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Memory issues
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Lack of motivation
  • Suicidal thoughts

Stimulant withdrawal is not dire when compared to benzodiazepines or alcohol, but suicidal thoughts may lead to harmful behaviors. You must get the proper treatment to ensure you are safe.

What Are the Stages in Adderall Withdrawal Timeline?

Overcoming Adderall withdrawal is possible if you get treatment. Even when you enter treatment, you must be patient as it is a meticulous process that takes time. While the timeline of withdrawal changes depending on the person, there are factors that will influence the process. Individuals who abuse high doses of Adderall likely will experience the worst withdrawals. Other factors include:

  • The dose of Adderall
  • Frequency of use
  • How long you’ve used Adderall
  • Genetics
  • Substance abuse history
  • Overall health
  • Dietary habits
  • How Adderall was used (smoking, snorting, intravenous injection)

A general timeline can unfold as follows:

Days 1-2: You may experience symptoms as early as six hours after the last dose. These might include a lack of energy, fatigue, and depression.

Days 3-5: You will experience the worst of your withdrawals during this time. The symptoms will range from moderate to severe. People who have abused large doses of Adderall can expect more intense symptoms. Headaches, fatigue, depression, nightmares, and irritability may be experienced during this time. 

Days 5-7: Symptoms should start to subside by now. While some will disappear, others may persist. Moodiness and depression are commonly experienced at this stage.

Week 2 and beyond: Once you get through the first week, the physical symptoms will be gone. There may be lingering psychological symptoms, which can be treated with medications by clinicians in detox. 

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Why Should I Detox?

Although it is not dangerous to stop using Adderall by yourself, it can still be uncomfortable. When you quit cold turkey, intense withdrawal symptoms may cause you to relapse. You must slowly taper off Adderall for the most effective results, which will occur in detox.

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

Continued treatment is encouraged for those stopping Adderall abuse. While detox is important, it will not treat the underlying causes of addiction. Speak to your clinician to determine what works best for you.

Sources

Lago, J. A., & Kosten, T. R. (1994, November). Stimulant withdrawal. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7841859

CCRN, R. N. (n.d.). Adderall crash: Timeline, tips, and remedies. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321492.php

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction

Hom, E. J. (2018, October 18). Adderall: Uses, Side Effects and Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/41013-adderall.html

O, C., & Osborn, K. (2019, November 30). How Long Does Withdrawal From Adderall Last? Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/adderall-withdrawal-symptoms-timeline-and-treatment-4177486

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