We live in a society where many people are driven to get things done quickly and efficiently. Whether that is the student wanting to excel in academics, the athlete trying to be the best, or the career person hustling their way to the top of the corporate ladder, achievement and productivity matter.
Some people turn to Adderall to get an extra boost in focus and energy and this can become addictive and dangerous.
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Adderall is a prescription stimulant used primarily mean to treat those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, because of its ability to increase energy, focus, and good feelings, it is sometimes abused, meaning that an individual will take more than prescribed for a better effect. On the other hand, those that take Adderall, as prescribed for ADHD, are not likely to become addicted to it.
Signs of Adderall addiction or dependence include:
- Using more of the drug than prescribed to get the desired effect
- Not being able to function day to day without using the drug
- Using up a lot of money to buy it
- Continuing use despite the harmful effects
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What Are Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms?
When an individual takes more Adderall than prescribed, their body may become addicted to the drug. As such, the body will require more and more of the drug to reach the desired effect. This is known as tolerance, meaning that the person will have to take more Adderall in order to feel more energy or focus – or whatever they’re seeking to feel.
Once dependence on the drug has occurred, stopping the use of Adderall can produce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, commonly known as the “Adderall crash.” These symptoms make a person feel awful so they to go back to using Adderall. Thus, professional treatment to overcome Adderall addiction is recommended.
Common Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach cramping
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Difficulty focusing
- Increased anxiety
- Increased appetite
- Vivid and intense dreams
- Suicidal thoughts
- Memory issues
- Loss of interest in activities
- Lack of motivation
- Crying without reason
What Are the Stages in Adderall Withdrawal Timeline?
Getting through Adderall withdrawal symptoms is possible, but it will take a little bit of time. As with any drug, the withdrawal time frame can vary from person to person, depending on various factors. Those that have abused large doses of Adderall for long periods of time tend to face more severe withdrawal symptoms. Other factors include:
- How long one has been taking the drug
- The dosage of the drug
- The frequency of use
- Health of the person
- History of addiction
- Social support
- Dietary habits
- Polysubstance abuse
- Manner in which Adderall was used (smoking, injecting, snorting)
The common withdrawal timeline is as follows:
Day 1 – 2
Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as six hours after the last dose, with common symptoms being fatigue and depression.
Day 3 – 5
Symptoms are apt to peak during days three to five, with intensity ranging from mild to severe depending on the factors mentioned above. Heavy Adderall users are likely to feel more intense withdrawal symptoms over mild users. Typical symptoms felt during this stage include fatigue, depression, increased appetite, headaches, trouble concentrating, nightmares, and irritability.
Days 5 – 7
Once you hit day five, symptoms should start decreasing. Some will be completely gone. Oftentimes, it’s the psychological withdrawal symptoms that will linger, such as depression or moodiness. It’s recommended to continue seeking treatment during the duration of withdrawal symptoms, as this can help reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Week 2 and beyond
After the first week, physical symptoms should have subsided. There may be lingering psychological symptoms like sadness or cravings for several more weeks.
Why Should I Detox?
Stopping the use of Adderall can be challenging for an individual who has become addicted. As such, a medical detox is recommended, where the person will be surrounded by substance abuse professionals who can provide comprehensive care in a safe environment. The body will need to rid itself from the toxins associated with Adderall, and a supportive detox environment is the best place to do this.
Quitting Adderall cold turkey can be dangerous, as depression is the main symptom when one stops taking it abruptly. Stopping cold turkey tends to cause a person to relapse because some of the withdrawal symptoms intensify when one stops the drug abruptly. A slow tapering in dosage from the drug is recommended by substance abuse professionals so that the cognitive and psychological effects of withdrawal are limited.
What is the Next Treatment Step?
Treatment for Adderall addiction begins with a medical detox, as detox is the first step toward recovery. Most people can get through the withdrawal symptoms within about a week. Then addiction treatment continues to tend to any underlying emotional issues that may be going on. In addition, trained professionals are there to teach individuals tools that will help with lasting recovery.
Types of Treatment Programs
To undergo detox and addiction recovery treatment, there are several options to choose from, including inpatient treatment and intensive outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is where individuals pack up and live at the facility for the duration of treatment, usually between 30 and 90 days. This type of treatment is helpful for those prone to relapse or heavy Adderall users.
Intensive outpatient treatment is where individuals stay at home and attend a certain amount of sessions per week at the facility. This type of treatment works well for those who cannot reside at a treatment center or those who have a mild addiction to Adderall. The number of sessions will vary from person to person, but many agree to attend between 3 and 7 days per week, depending on their needs.
Both types of treatment provide high levels of care with unique, individualized treatment plans. Those that attend an inpatient treatment center have the advantage of being surrounded by medical professionals around-the-clock. This intensive treatment has proven quite valuable for recovery success.
A qualified therapist or case manager is available to help each person create a relapse prevention plan, as well as an aftercare plan, to foster continued growth and success once they leave the rehab. Aftercare can include support groups, continued therapy with a counselor, sober living arrangements, and more. This type of support has proven to be quite valuable for patients.
Start Your Journey to Recovery Today
Adderall addiction has become fairly common in recent years, but more and more people are recognizing and admitting the addiction. There is not such a stigma associated with this anymore. The good news is that overcoming Adderall addiction is possible when you have the right information, tools, and desire. Having professional support to help you get through the withdrawal symptoms is extremely helpful, so if you are struggling, please reach out for help today.
We’re here to help you find the most comprehensive treatment that will help you enjoy freedom from addiction and a new sense of well-being on all levels. A call to 305-563-3513 may be the first step on your road to lasting recovery.
Nall, Rachel, RN BSN CCRN. (2018, April 13). Coping With Adderall Crash. from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321492.php
WebMD. Adderall. from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63163/adderall-oral/details
WebMD. Adderall Withdrawal. from https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adderall-withdrawal#1
Hom, Elaine J. (2018, October 18). Adderall: Uses, Side Effects, And Abuse. from https://www.livescience.com/41013-adderall.html