What is Adderall Withdrawal?
Adderall withdrawal is different for everyone. Your withdrawal experience will depend on several factors, including the nature of your Adderall use. If you have a stimulant use disorder (Adderall addiction), then there will be additional issues to contend with in the weeks following your last dose.
The initial withdrawal syndrome can be severe. Withdrawal may affect your ability to function normally and fulfill your responsibilities at home, school, and work. Adderall effects increase the activity of two neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in your brain: norepinephrine and dopamine.
Dopamine is responsible for activating your brain’s reward system. Norepinephrine is responsible for boosting your alertness, focus, and cognitive functions. Both play a role in mood regulation. During long-term Adderall use or Adderall addiction, your brain gets used to the increased activity of these neurotransmitters. Withdrawal symptoms occur because your brain is experiencing what it believes to be low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.
It’s no wonder that the hallmark of Adderall withdrawal effects is depression. Depression from Adderall withdrawal is temporary, typically continuing for about one week after your last dose. In some people, however, depression can linger for weeks or months.
Adderall is an addictive prescription stimulant with effects similar to Meth. Because of its potency and accessibility, the risk of Adderall addiction and abuse is high. Although not everyone who uses Adderall will develop an addiction, people regularly taking Adderall at unprescribed doses are at an elevated risk of becoming addicted.
Over time, those habitually using Adderall develop a tolerance to the drug and are unable to function normally without it. Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system (CNS). Norepinephrine affects how the brain responds to events, particularly how it pays attention and the speed with which it reacts to outside stimuli. Dopamine, the body’s “feel-good” chemical, creates a rewarding effect. Although dopamine occurs naturally, drugs like Adderall produce unnaturally high levels of it. This can cause users to come back for more.
The brain of an addicted person is dependent on Adderall to stimulate alertness and productivity. Without Adderall, addicted people often feel tired and mentally foggy. These are symptoms of Adderall withdrawal, a strong sign of an addiction.
Common signs of an Adderall addiction include:
- Spending a lot of time and money getting, using, and recovering from the drug
- Being unable to feel alert without the drug
- Neglecting other activities in favor of using Adderall
- Suffering withdrawal symptoms when not using Adderall
- Needing larger doses to feel the drug’s effects
- Wanting to cut down on use but not having the ability to do so
- Taking the drug despite knowledge of the harm it’s causing
- Not being able to finish work without Adderall
No one intends to become addicted to Adderall. Usually, the problem starts as a way of increasing productivity on a stressful day at work or studying for an important test. Some people even fake the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to get their own prescription for the drug.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
Adderall addiction or overusing the drug, then stopping abruptly may also cause symptoms of withdrawal, such as:
- Feeling uneasy
- Sleep problems, whether insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep) or sleeping too much
- Anxiety and irritability
- Panic Attacks
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Suicidal thoughts
Severe depression is a lot different than just feeling sad. You may experience any of the following:
- Feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities that normally please you, such as sex or exercise
- Extreme irritability or frustration
- A complete lack of energy or excessive tiredness
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feelings of anxiety
- Feeling like you’re moving, thinking, or talking slower than usual
- Intense self-criticism or a sense of worthlessness
- Feelings of guilt and regret
- Eating too much or too little
- Problems thinking, focusing, or making plans
- Unusual aches and pains
- Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
Adderall Withdrawal Timeline
If you take large, nontherapeutic doses of Adderall or go on Adderall binges (consecutive days of large doses), then you have probably experienced an Adderall crash before. The Adderall crash is like an intense mini-withdrawal. It typically begins within several hours of your last dose and can continue for one or two days. Most people experience physical and mental exhaustion along with a markedly depressed mood.
After an Adderall binge, you are likely to be sleep-deprived and starving. You may eat and sleep a lot while you recuperate. When you quit Adderall for good, your symptoms will resemble those of an Adderall crash in the beginning, but they will become less intense over time.
If you are not coming off an Adderall binge or you take your Adderall on a regular, daily schedule, then withdrawal symptoms can appear more slowly. You may not notice any symptoms until a couple of days go by. Adderall withdrawal typically lasts from three days to several weeks, but you may have lingering psychological symptoms and cravings.
Unlike other withdrawal syndromes, Adderall withdrawal is not associated with any dangerous medical problems. The primary risk is that your depressed mood will escalate to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
How Long Does Adderall Withdrawal Last?
Signs of withdrawal usually show up a day or two after you stop taking it. They may last a few days to several weeks — it’s different for everyone. If you’ve taken the drug for a long time, your body and brain may have started to depend on it. The more often you took it, the harder it can be to stop. A few other things can affect how long your symptoms last and how bad they are:
- Your genes
- Your health history, especially mental health
- Your family’s history of addiction
Adderall is a brand name for the combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It’s a prescription drug used principally to treat ADHD or narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness). The medication adjusts certain naturally occurring chemicals in your brain by enhancing the effects of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. However, the combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine can be habit-forming and may cause Adderall addiction and Adderall withdrawal.
Dextroamphetamine/amphetamine belongs to a class of drugs known as central nervous system stimulants. The Drug Enforcement Administration/Food and Drug Administration classifies these medications as schedule II drugs with high potential for abuse in the United States.
Immediate-release and sustained-release amphetamine medications are FDA-approved to treat ADHD and narcolepsy in both adult and pediatric populations. Non-FDA-approved clinical uses for dextroamphetamine/amphetamine include cerebrovascular accidents.
Overdose Symptoms Of Adderall
It is very possible for a person suffering from Adderall Addiction to overdose from it, overall, with prescription stimulants, it is always possible for someone with an addiction problem to overdose. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the piece ‘Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts’, when people overdose on a prescription stimulant, they most commonly experience several different symptoms, including restlessness, tremors, overactive reflexes, rapid breathing, confusion, aggression, hallucinations, panic states, abnormally increased fever, muscle pains, and weakness.
They also may have heart problems, including an irregular heartbeat leading to a heart attack, nerve problems that can lead to a seizure, abnormally high or low blood pressure, and circulation failure. Stomach issues may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In addition, an overdose can result in convulsions, coma, and fatal poisoning.
In case of overdose, if the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services. A person can overdose on prescription stimulants such as Adderall. An overdose happens when the person uses enough of the drug to produce a life-threatening reaction or death.
Symptoms Of Adderall Addiction Overdose Include:
- Aggressive behavior
- Feelings of panic
- Hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- Fast breathing
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- Dark red or cola-colored urine
- Muscle weakness or aching
- Tiredness or weakness
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Blurred vision
- Upset stomach
- Coma (loss of consciousness for some time)
Adderall Withdrawal Detox
There are no approved medications to help treat an Adderall addiction. Instead, treatment is focused on supervising a person as they go through a detox process. Withdrawal from stimulants like Adderall can be extremely uncomfortable and stressful for the body. The doctor will refer the person to an outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation center or detox facility.
During rehab, doctors will help the person through the withdrawal process and make it easier to manage any withdrawal symptoms. It’s not recommended that someone quit Adderall cold turkey. Instead, the doctor will slowly lower the dosage under medical supervision. This is called tapering.
In general, the steps for treating an Adderall addiction include the following steps:
- Enroll in a supervised detox or rehab program
- Get a medical evaluation and assessment
- Taper Adderall under medical supervision
- Manage withdrawal symptoms
- Undergo psychotherapy or behavioral therapy
- Develop a plan for aftercare. This can include attending ongoing individual and group psychotherapy conducted by licensed therapists.
Doctors and therapists at We Level Up dual diagnosis rehab Washington center will help you understand how to live your life without the drug. They can help you find new, healthy coping skills to live your best life.
Reclaim your life from Adderall withdrawal with Dual Diagnosis Rehab Washington
Adderall addiction can become a chronic disease that may cause major health and social problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up dual diagnosis rehab Washington center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from Adderall withdrawal with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.