Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), a medication prescribed primarily for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), has become a popular drug of abuse in recent years. Chronic Adderall abuse can lead to the development of addiction, a chronic and progressive condition that results in significant impairment in many areas of functioning and a failure to control Adderall use despite negative consequences. Once you have developed an Adderall addiction, quitting may be difficult due to emerging withdrawal symptoms and cravings for the stimulant drug. If you or someone you know is addicted to Adderall, there are specialized detox programs available to ensure your comfort and monitor your physical condition throughout the withdrawal process. Once detox is complete, it can be beneficial to transition into a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program to facilitate long-term recovery.
This article covers the following information about Adderall, withdrawal, and detox:
- Adderall withdrawal symptoms.
- The length of withdrawal syndrome.
- Persisting or protracted withdrawal.
- Adderall detoxification and treatment.
- Adderall detox medications.
- Relapse prevention.
- Find detox and treatment.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
Long-term Adderall abuse can lead to tolerance, which means that the user requires increasing doses to feel the same intoxicating effects. Over time, a physical dependence can develop, which means that the body has adapted to the presence of Adderall and requires it to feel and function normally. When a user is dependent on the stimulant and suddenly decreases or stops use, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur. These withdrawal symptoms, which include severe cravings for Adderall, can contribute to a return to Adderall use.
Although Adderall withdrawal syndrome manifests differently in different individuals, some common withdrawal symptoms may include 1:
- Disturbing dreams.
- Sleep changes: either insomnia or hypersomnia.
- Increased appetite.
- Sluggishness and slowed cognition.
- Repetitive, uncontrollable movements.
- Slowed heart rate.
- Anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure.
- Adderall cravings.
Adderall withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on several factors. Factors include the length of time of use, the amount of Adderall abused, the presence of polydrug abuse, co-occurring mental or physical health problems, and individual biology.
If you or someone you care for is suffering from an Adderall addiction, please contact our treatment support specialists. A member of our team is available to help you at all hours. Call 1-888-241-8971 to make a confidential inquiry about detox or recovery options.
Adderall Withdrawal Timelines
Acute Adderall withdrawal symptoms generally appear within a few hours to a few days after the last dose 1. These symptoms generally last 12 weeks but may be complicated by comorbid mental or physical health problems 3. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a general timeline for the onset and duration of withdrawal—the withdrawal experience will indefinitely vary across different individuals.
Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome
Protracted withdrawal symptoms are withdrawal symptoms that may persist for weeks, months, or even years following the resolution of acute Adderall withdrawal symptoms. Some people may not experience protracted withdrawal syndrome while others may have severe symptoms 3. Just as acute withdrawal may contribute to relapse, post-acute withdrawal symptoms can also play a part in the return to substance abuse. This cycle of relapsing and quitting can be difficult to escape. Formal addiction treatment programs can help to end the cycle and help patients to develop healthy coping skills.
Some potential protracted withdrawal symptoms include 3:
- Sleep disturbances.
- Persistent fatigue.
- Short-term memory impairment.
- Problems with concentration and attention.
- Decreased sex drive.
- Severe Adderall cravings.
Adderall Detoxification and Treatment
Stopping Adderall abuse on your own can be challenging. There are, fortunately, a number of different detox and substance abuse treatment options to help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms, learn to live clean and sober, and maintain long-term abstinence.
Temporarily removing yourself from your current using environment is a good way to reduce relapse risk. Detoxification is often the vital first step in the recovery process. You can receive detoxification in a short-term detox program, lasting a few days to a couple weeks. You will receive 24/7 medical and psychiatric care and support. Patients often transition into an addiction treatment program from Adderall detox once they are stabilized and the drug has cleared from their body.
Substance abuse programs or hospitals may also offer detox services as well, but it’s important that you do your research to ensure that the facility you choose does. Regardless of the setting, once detox is completed, it is important to continue your treatment efforts with the help of an Adderall addiction recovery program, where you will receive a number of different therapeutic interventions designed to help you obtain and maintain sobriety.
There are a number of treatment options you can choose when you decide you are ready for to quit abusing Adderall. These options include:
- Inpatient treatment: These residential programs require that you live at the treatment facility for the duration of the program, which can last anywhere from 28 to 90 days, and sometimes longer if needed. Individual programs may have slightly different philosophies concerning recovery but most inpatient programs offer a combination of services, such as thorough intake interviewing and medical examination, individual therapy, group counseling, access to medical and mental health care services, and relapse prevention classes.
- Partial hospitalization (PHP): These outpatient programs are day programs that require a commitment of several hours per day for five days a week. Medications may be distributed at this type of program if necessary.
- Intensive outpatient (IOP): These outpatient programs are similar to PHP. Patients typically attend treatment at the facility 3-5 days a week for a few hours each day, but medications cannot be distributed.
- 12-step programs: Fellowship programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), may be a viable option or adjunct to other forms of treatment for those who benefit from the support and guidance offered by peers in recovery and a sponsor.
- Luxury treatment: These programs are upscale inpatient facilities that offer luxurious amenities such as beachfront views, massage therapy, spa treatments, or gourmet meals.
- Executive treatment: These programs are geared toward working professionals who want to continue working while recovering from an Adderall addiction. Workrooms, phones, and high-speed internet are among the amenities available.
- Holistic treatment: These programs combine traditional treatment modalities, such as psychotherapy, with complementary interventions designed to heal the whole person. These interventions may include creative arts therapy, yoga, meditation, or acupuncture.
- Population-specific programs: Some treatment programs cater to specific groups such as teens, veterans, men-only, women-only, or the LGBT population.
Please call our helpline to learn more about our recovery programs. Our treatment advisors will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning addiction treatment. Call 1-888-241-8971 today.
Medications Used in Detox
Currently, there are no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of stimulant withdrawal. Some doctors may prescribe medications to treat specific withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. Some research is being conducted on the efficacy of certain medications to treat Adderall withdrawal. For example, Modafinil is a stimulant medication that may improve upon attention span and cognition in those withdrawing from amphetamines 4.
As one nears program completion, aftercare planning is initiated. A treatment staff member will develop a plan of care and support that will help you stay on track with your recovery. A detailed plan of ongoing treatment and support is essential to reduce the likelihood of relapse. There are many different types of aftercare programs, some of which people may attend for life. Examples include:
- Sober living homes: These drug-free environments provide you with a structured living situation outside of a treatment facility. You are often required to follow house rules, such as abiding by curfew or doing chores. Sobriety is strictly enforced by regular drug tests.
- 12-step programs: Many people attend 12-step meetings regularly to help reinforce and cement their hard-earned sobriety.
- Non-12-step programs: There are secular alternatives to recovery. These support groups include SMART Recovery and Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) and utilize an evidence-based approach to recovery.
- Individual therapy: Meeting with a therapist on a regular basis provides you with the opportunity to build upon the coping skills you learned in rehab and develop new ones.
- Group counseling: Facilitated by a mental health or addiction specialist, group counseling sessions allow patients to practice sober social skills and learn from others in recovery.
Find Detox and Treatment
It’s never too late to seek help for an Adderall addiction. Call our helpline at 1-888-241-8971 to speak to a treatment representative about various detox and addiction treatment options.
- American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (5th Edition). Arlington, VA. American Psychiatric Publishing.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (2014). Drug Facts-Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines.
- US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2010). Protracted Withdrawal. Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory, Volume 9 (Issue 1), page 1.
- Baicy, K., & London, E. D. (2007). Corticolimbic dysregulation and chronic methamphetamine abuse. Addiction, 102(Suppl 1), 5–15.
- PubMed Health, National Library of Medicine (2009). Treatment for Amphetamine Withdrawal.