In This Article
What is Adderall Withdrawal?
Adderall dependence can happen to anyone who has been using the drug for an extended period. Dependence can also occur in those who take it as directed.
When you become physically dependent on Adderall, you will experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping use.
Adderall addiction is a complex disease. It makes the withdrawal experience even more challenging.
Adderall misuse is most common among people ages 18 to 25.2 Many Adderall users take the drug because they believe it will make them more intelligent or efficient at studying.
Some people take Adderall to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as prescribed by a doctor. Others obtain Adderall illicitly or intentionally misuse it.3
Unlike other withdrawal syndromes, Adderall withdrawal is not linked to any dangerous medical problems. The main risk is that your depressed mood can develop into suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
What is an Adderall Crash?
Anyone who has been using amphetamines for an extended period can experience withdrawal symptoms.
If you take significant, non-therapeutic doses of Adderall, you have likely experienced an Adderall crash before.
The Adderall crash is like a strong, mini withdrawal. It usually begins within several hours of your last dose and can persist for one or two days. Most users experience physical and mental exhaustion with a depressed mood.
After an Adderall binge, you are likely to be starving and sleep-deprived. You may eat and rest a lot as you recover from the binge.
When you quit Adderall permanently, your symptoms will resemble those of an Adderall crash initially. However, they will become less intense over time.
If you take Adderall on a regular schedule, amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can appear more slowly. You may not notice any withdrawal symptoms until a couple of days later.
What are the Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawal?
The symptoms of Adderall withdrawal are essentially the opposite of the drug’s effects.
The Adderall ‘crash’ leads to a reversal of these effects.
Those who have a higher tolerance for Adderall have a more severe amphetamine withdrawal.
Common symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Intense depression
- Trouble falling asleep and other sleep disturbances
- Increased appetite
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Body aches
- Suicidal thoughts
Adderall Withdrawal Timeline
Here is a common timeline of the Adderall withdrawal period.
Days one to three
Some of the first withdrawal symptoms include:
- Trouble falling asleep
Days four to seven
After the first symptoms subside, another wave of withdrawal symptoms may appear.
Adderall users may start to feel:
- The struggle to concentrate
- Sleep disturbances
Sleep will likely begin to return to normal for most people. But it can continue to fluctuate at this part of the Adderall detox. You may experience:
- Extreme fatigue
- Severe depression
- Drug cravings
Week three and onwards
The amphetamine withdrawal symptoms should have subsided by week three.
However, there is a possibility that some symptoms could persist. This is especially if you have a high Adderall tolerance and have been using the drug for an extended period.
Some long-term Adderall withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Drug cravings
- Mood swings
Typically, a person will return to normal functioning one to three months after they stop taking Adderall.
How Long Does Adderall Withdrawal Last?
Adderall withdrawal symptoms are typically not experienced until a few days after stopping Adderall use.
Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal usually last up to one week. This depends on how long the individual was abusing the drug.
Someone may take Adderall for an extended period and stop using it suddenly. In this case, they may experience long-term withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms can be experienced for a few weeks to a month or longer. Many people experience lingering psychological symptoms and Adderall cravings.
Tips For Managing Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
There are no medicines currently recommended to treat stimulant withdrawal. However, there are some tips available to reduce discomfort during the detox.
You may want to consider anti-anxiety medications to provide relief for the first few days of withdrawal. This should be under a doctor’s supervision and advice.
If you experience the following:
- Intense irritation,
Speak with your doctor about obtaining a week’s worth of a long-acting benzodiazepine. For example, clonazepam (Klonopin).
If you experience bad headaches or body aches, an over-the-counter painkiller may help.
If you have difficulties falling or staying asleep, speak with your doctor. They may prescribe a sleeping pill like Ambien. You can also take an over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl.
If you are concerned about developing intense depression, consider taking antidepressants in advance. They may help you avoid lingering, post-withdrawal depression.
You can also ask someone you trust to check in on you from time to time during the Adderall detox.
You may also decide to take time off from your daily obligations and responsibilities. Give yourself some time to rest and recover by taking time off work, school, and studying.
You can also avoid a relapse by throwing away your stash or telling your supplier to cut you off.
It is also essential to drink plenty of fluids and consume healthy meals during the Adderall detox process. Be sure to replenish your body with vitamins and electrolytes.
Consider preparing for a depressed mood by surrounding yourself with things that give you joy or peace. For example, eating your favorite foods or watching a movie you love.
Finally, exercising can promote the release of natural feel-good neurotransmitters.
How to Safely Detox From Adderall
Adderall is typically considered safe for home withdrawal. Some other drugs, like alcohol and benzodiazepines, have complex withdrawal syndromes. However, amphetamine withdrawal is unlikely to trigger severe medical issues.
The problem with stimulant withdrawal resulting from Adderall addiction is that it is unpredictable. It is challenging to know in advance whether you will experience severe depression or extreme agitation.
It is best to speak with a doctor about your plans to quit Adderall. Your doctor may be able to provide you with short and long-term support.
The main risk of experiencing Adderall withdrawal alone is that you may experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Even if you have no history of depression or suicidal thoughts, it is still a risk.
Adderall leads to severe effects on your brain chemistry. It is challenging to predict how your moods may change.
If you think you are at risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors from Adderall detox, it may be best to detox at a rehab center with medical supervision.
Speak with an addiction specialist today. They can advise you on the following steps to take for a safe detox from amphetamine addiction.