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Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

Adderall is a powerful medication. Not taking it as prescribed or stopping it suddenly can cause withdrawal or “crash” symptoms. Read more about the different treatment options for you or your loved ones struggling with Adderall addiction.

What is Adderall Withdrawal?

A person abusing Adderall will experience withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops taking it. What does Adderall do? Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (sleep disorder) [1]. It is a stimulant that can cause euphoria when taken inappropriately. Adderall can be addictive, and its side effects can be life-threatening in some cases. One should never assume a drug is “safe” to use in any quantity or conditions simply because it’s prescribed. 

Many people without ADHD may abuse Adderall recreationally for its stimulant-associated effects of increased euphoria and energy, which also suppresses the side effects of alcohol and can lead to alcohol poisoning. In recent years, mixing Adderall and alcohol has become an increasingly popular trend among college students. Non-prescription Adderall use is so prevalent on college campuses that college students take dangerously high amounts of it to cram before an exam or stay up all night to write a paper.

The generic name for the drug in both the tablet and the capsule is amphetamine/dextroamphetamine salts. Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance. Amphetamines have been extensively abused. Tolerance, extreme psychological dependence, and severe social disability have occurred. Addiction to Adderall can cause dangerously rapid weight loss, seizures, hallucinations, and potentially-fatal heart problems. Therefore, an Adderall detox is essential to stop the damage caused by the drug before it becomes too late.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

The Adderall withdrawal symptoms can make it hard for users to stop independently. If a person is addicted to this drug quits “cold turkey,” they will experience symptoms that are the opposite of the drug’s effects. These symptoms can include loss of concentration, fatigue, and an unusually slow heartbeat.

In addition to Adderall side effects, there are also debilitating symptoms that result from the discontinuation of its use and a resulting Adderall withdrawal period:

  • Low energy
  •  Inability to focus
  •  Dry mouth
  •  Tremors
  •  Body aches
  •  Mood swings
  • Overwhelming anxiety/panic attacks
  •  Uncontrollable crying
  •  Short-term memory loss
  •  Intense cravings
  •  Depression

What is an Adderall Crash?

Someone who has been using amphetamines such as Adderall for an extended period can experience Adderall withdrawal symptoms. If a person takes significant doses of Adderall recreationally, that person has likely experienced an Adderall crash before. 

The Adderall crash is like a powerful mini withdrawal. It usually starts within several hours of the last dose and can continue for one or two days. Most Adderall users experience mental and physical exhaustion with a depressed mood.

After an Adderall binge, the user will likely be starving and sleep-deprived. He or she may eat and rest a lot to recover from the binge.

When someone quits Adderall permanently, the symptoms will resemble those of an Adderall crash initially. However, they will become less intense over time. 

If the person takes Adderall regularly, amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can appear more slowly. He or she may not notice any withdrawal symptoms until a couple of days later.

What is Adderall Comedown?

An Adderall comedown might happen when a user stops taking the stimulant and experiences unwanted withdrawal symptoms. What does an Adderall comedown feel like? Adderall comedown symptoms might include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Oversleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Achy muscles
  • Paranoia
  • Runny nose
  • Hallucinations
  • Involuntary arm/leg movements
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • An inability to focus on tasks
  • Sweating
  • Headaches

These symptoms might be more severe if an Adderall user takes a high dose of the stimulant drug or uses it for a long period. 

10 Tips on How to Comedown from Adderall

Here are ten tips on how to minimize the effects of an Adderall “crash” without outside treatment or over-the-counter medicines. Be mindful, however, that a medical detox is the safest way to come down from any drug.

1. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

When your physician ends your prescription, follow their instructions to the letter. Often, a doctor’s goal is to make the process as tolerable as possible, so it benefits you to listen. If you start having trouble, reach out before making any changes to the plan. Never take the drug without a prescription.

2. Adderall Comedown is Temporary

Remind yourself that any Adderall comedown symptoms can be temporary. Furthermore, the longer you stay away from the drug, the less intense your Adderall comedown symptoms become. 

3. Focus on Nutrition and Hydration 

Adderall comedown symptoms can have a dramatic effect on your hydration and appetite levels. Make sure to eat nutritious foods and drink lots of water. If you are experiencing any digestive distress, try to eat more small meals during the day instead of three large ones.

4. Practice Self-Care

Indulge in relaxing activities and self-care to help you manage any bad sensations you might experience. Relax in warm baths, drink herbal teas, meditate, do yoga, or participate in other rejuvenating activities.

5. Prioritize Sleep

Adderall comedown can’t sleep effect can happen. Quitting Adderall can affect your sleep quality. How to sleep on adderall comedown? Make sure your space fosters higher-quality sleep by keeping the temperature cool, blocking out light, and using a white noise machine if you need sound control. Avoid using your phone near bedtime and turn on “do not disturb” when you sleep. Moreover, try to follow a schedule. Going to bed and waking up simultaneously each day can help your body develop a rhythm.

6. Limit Other Stimulants

Caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants can make Adderall comedown symptoms harder to manage. They can also elevate anxiety. As a result, Adderall comedown irritability may happen, so, it’s best to avoid them. L-tyrosine for Adderall comedown may your brain create more dopamine, increasing its extracellular levels and enhancing Adderall’s effects in the process. L tyrosine for Adderall comedown is also reported to reduce some of Adderall’s side effects, such as comedown and energy crashes.

7. Take a Mental Break

Adderall comedown symptoms can make it hard to maintain focus. Choose low-focus activities over those that require deep concentration. Take time off school or work if you can, and give yourself extra time to complete tasks.

8. Get Some Exercise

Physical activity can help you push through Adderall comedown symptoms while giving you a boost of the feel-good hormone serotonin. Exercising also gives you a chance to get Vitamin D and fresh air, which can also improve your mood. Just make sure to remain hydrated and avoid overdoing it.

9. Use Your Support System

If you’re struggling, reach out to your support system. They can be an ear when you need to talk or a distraction when you want to focus on something different. Plus, you’ll know that you aren’t on this journey alone.

10. Get Treatment

If you are experiencing adderall comedown symptoms after long-term use, professional treatment can be helpful, particularly if you have become addicted. Treatment programs not only help you through withdrawal symptoms, but they also put you on the path toward long-term recovery. 

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Adderall Addiction Statistics

Stimulant prescriptions are pretty common in the United States. About 16 million U.S. adults take one of these medications, with approximately 5 million having misused a prescription at least once. More than 56% of those who misuse stimulants report doing so because they wanted the benefits of the drugs’ cognitive enhancement. People in stressful school and work environments often abuse prescription stimulants to increase productivity without realizing the drugs can be addictive.

 


2.1%

2.1% of males and 1.6% of females misuse prescription stimulants.

Source: NIDA

5.7 to 8.9

5.7 to 8.9 of males and 1.6% of females misuse prescription stimulants.

Source: NIDA

59 million or 21.4%

59 million or 21.4% of people 12 and over have used illegal or misused prescription drugs within the last year.

Source: NIDA


 

Adderall Drug Fact Sheet

Adderall

Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine is used in the treatment of ADHD; narcolepsy and belongs to the drug class CNS stimulants. Risk cannot be ruled out during pregnancy.

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine 20 mg is classified as a Schedule 2 controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).


Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Availability: Prescription only

Drug Class: CNS Stimulants

Pregnancy Category: C – risk cannot be ruled out

CSA Schedule2 – High potential for abuse

 

What are Amphetamines?


Amphetamines are stimulants that speed up the
body’s system. Some are legally prescribed and used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


What is their effect on the mind?


The effects of amphetamines are similar to cocaine, but their onset is slower, and their duration is longer.


In contrast to cocaine, which is quickly removed
from the brain and is almost completely metabolized, methamphetamine remains in the central nervous system longer, and a larger percentage of the drug remains unchanged in the body, producing prolonged stimulant effects.


Chronic abuse produces a psychosis that
resembles schizophrenia and is characterized by
paranoia, picking at the skin, preoccupation with one’s own thoughts, and auditory and visual hallucinations. Violent and erratic behavior is frequently seen among chronic users of amphetamines.

Adderall Withdrawal Timeline

First 6-36 hrs

The first signs of withdrawal can appear within the first few hours after the last dose. Many people experience the crash of stimulant withdrawal during this period, marked by intense depression and fatigue.

Days 3-5

Symptoms intensify during the first week. Intense feelings of irritability, depression, and fatigue are common. Some people also experience headaches and nightmares. This is typically the height of withdrawal intensity.

Days 5-7

Symptoms of withdrawal begin fading after about five days. Many people still feel moody and incapable of functioning normally in social settings, but they start feeling better during this time. Minor psychological symptoms, such as mild depression, may continue but are far less severe after this period.

Weeks 3-4

In some cases, people have reported feeling the effects of withdrawal from Adderall weeks after their last dose. This can happen to people with a high tolerance who have been using the drug for more than a year.

How Long Does Adderall Withdrawal Last?

The amount of time it takes to withdraw from Adderall will differ depending on the situation. If a person is taking the drug “as-needed” to help treat ADHD symptoms, he or she may not even notice a withdrawal. 

If the person has built up a tolerance to the prescription drug and is using it for purposes other than ADHD, he or she may experience a more debilitating withdrawal. The Adderall withdrawal timeline will be different for everyone.

If a person is taking a relatively high dose for an extended period of time, he or she will likely experience some withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms may be intense for a few days or weeks but may last a few months. Some people have reported that it took nearly a year to fully “recover” psychologically from Adderall withdrawal. 

Most people will feel better within the first three months of functioning without the drug. If you take the time to taper down your dose correctly, the withdrawal should be even easier. In the meantime, your goal should be to manage life to the best of your ability and force yourself to engage in healthy activities to rebuild your dopamine stores.

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Side Effects of Adderall Withdrawal

When someone stops using Adderall and the dopamine flow dries up, the good feelings go with it, causing what’s known as a “crash.” Dopamine is the chemical in charge of regulating what’s known as the brain’s “pleasure centers.” This can be incredibly intense if the person misusing Adderall does not have ADHD and is not used to dealing with low dopamine.

Because Adderall use is so closely tied to the circuits that control and regulate feelings of happiness and pleasure, Adderall withdrawal symptoms are mostly psychological and mood-related. They do not include many physical symptoms often associated with withdrawal, such as nausea, vomiting, fever, or other flu-like symptoms.

Someone undergoing Adderall withdrawal can expect to experience at least some of the following common side effects of Adderall withdrawal:

  • Irritability and mood swings
  •  Depression
  •  Anxiety and panic attacks
  •  Headaches
  •  Adderall cravings
  •  Fatigue
  •  Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  •  Tremors
  •  Muscle pain
  •  Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  •  Seizures
  •  Change in appetite (one of the side effects of Adderall is appetite suppression)
Adderall addiction is a complex disease. It makes the withdrawal experience even more challenging.
Adderall addiction is a complex disease. It makes the withdrawal experience even more challenging.

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How long is Adderall detected in urine? Adderall can be detected through an immunoassay or gas chromatography test anywhere from 24 to 96 hours after your last use.
How long is Adderall detected in urine? Adderall can be detected through an immunoassay or gas chromatography test anywhere from 24 to 96 hours after your last use. 

Managing Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms 

There are no medicines currently recommended to treat stimulant withdrawal. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your discomfort. With the help of your doctor, you may want to consider the following medications:

OTC pain relievers: If you are experiencing body aches or bad headaches, consider an over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or Excedrin. 

Sleep aids: If you are having trouble staying or falling asleep, you may want to talk to your doctor about a prescription sleep aid like Ambien. You can also use an OTC antihistamine like Benadryl (not the non-drowsy kind). 

Antidepressants: If you start taking them in advance, antidepressants might help prevent lingering, post-withdrawal depression, but they have not been shown to reduce acute withdrawal symptoms. 

Anti-anxiety medications: Although these drugs are usually not recommended, especially not in the long term, they may provide some relief for the first few days of withdrawal. If you are experiencing intense irritation, aggression, or aggravation, talk to your doctor about getting a week’s worth of a long-acting benzodiazepine like clonazepam (Klonopin).

How Long is Adderall in Your System?

Adderall can be detectable in your system between twenty and ninety-six hours after last use, depending on the screening or test in most cases. Adderall is absorbed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and either deactivated by the liver or eliminated unchanged in the urine. About 20-25% of it is converted to metabolites, including benzoic and hippuric acids.

How long is Adderall detectable in urine? It depends on several factors. For instance, the rate at which the drug is eliminated from a person’s body can be affected by the pH of the person’s urine. A person with a low urine pH will tend to eliminate the drug faster, while a person with a higher pH may eliminate the drug more slowly.

Other factors that can affect how long Adderall is detected in a person’s system include:

  • How often the person took Adderall
  • What dose the person took
  • When the person last took Adderall
  • Weight
  • Liver or kidney impairment

How long is Adderall XR active in your system? The effects of Adderall last for varying amounts of time, depending on the version of the drug. The immediate-release Adderall version will last around 4­–6 hours per dose, while Adderall XR, the extended-release version, only needs to be taken once each morning.

How Long is Adderall in Urine Before It Can Be Detected?

This is the most commonly used form of testing. You are most likely to test positive for Adderall on a urine test 72-96 hours after the last use. This is the most commonly utilized drug testing method.

How Long is Adderall in Your Blood?

Adderall can be detected in the blood very quickly. However, it will only stay in the blood for up to 24 hours on average. This is the shortest detection window of all drug tests and is not the standard type of drug test ordered to test for Adderall use. Blood tests may be ordered for emergency/urgent purposes.

How Long Does Adderall Stay In Saliva?

Adderall can be detected in a saliva sample within minutes of use and for up to 48 hours.

How Long Does Adderall Stay In Hair?

Hair testing has the most extended detection of any drug testing method. Like other common drugs of abuse, Adderall can be detected in the hair for up to 90 days, or three months, after the last use.

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Adderall Addiction Treatment Options 

Many options are available to help the person stop taking Adderall and avoid serious side effects from substance abuse. Many Adderall users respond well to residential rehab programs. If you are experiencing Adderall addiction, it’s crucial first to get an accurate assessment of all the symptoms. When a mental health professional has evaluated the symptoms, it may be determined that another form of mental condition is present and needs a particular treatment. 

Medically Assisted Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated Adderall addiction withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient rehab treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

Psychotherapy 

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. Traumatic experiences can often result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

If you or a loved one are struggling with long-term drug abuse and a co-occurring mental health condition such as depression, contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up NJ can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your needs.

Talk to an addiction specialist today. They can advise you on the steps to take for a safe detox from Adderall addiction.
Talk to an addiction specialist today. They can advise you on the steps to take for a safe detox from Adderall addiction.

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