How to Detox from Adderall

Withdrawals, Symptoms and Effects

How to Detox from Adderall

Adderall is a prescription medication that is actually a type of amphetamine. It is used most commonly to treat ADHD, and, less often, narcolepsy. Adderall works by stimulating dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. In people with narcolepsy, this has a stimulating effect, and for those with ADHD, this has a kind of calming effect. (For recreational users, it has a more classical amphetamine effect, simply producing the high of an “upper.”)

Adderall is classified by the government as a Schedule II drug. This means it is recognized for its accepted medical uses but requires serious monitoring because it has a high potential for dependence and abuse. Legitimate medical uses aside, recreational use of Adderall can cause serious problems. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about half of all emergency room visits related to amphetamines in 2010 were caused by nonmedical Adderall use.

If you or someone you care about identify with two or more of these symptoms of Adderall abuse, it’s time to think about detoxing from Adderall:

  • You focus on quitting Adderall a lot, or have failed in your attempts to quit
  • You consume more Adderall than you want to, or more than your doctor prescribes for you
  • You neglect responsibilities at school work, or home to use Adderall
  • You spend lots of time using Adderall or trying to get it
  • You use Adderall when it’s dangerous or even life-threatening, like when you’re working on a hazardous job or driving
  • You notice that using Adderall makes you sick, but you don’t stop
  • You notice that you need more Adderall to get the same effect
  • You give up activities you used to love to use Adderall
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop using Adderall

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Use?

Adderall is often misused by people with prescriptions for it or abused by people who don’t have prescriptions at all. Many people abuse Adderall to study more effectively, gain more energy, lose weight, or just to get high. If you think someone you care about may be abusing Adderall, know what to look for:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Dizziness
  • “Doctor shopping,” or seeing multiple doctors to get prescriptions
  • Euphoria
  • Increased attentiveness and energy
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased sociability
  • Intranasal effects, such as nosebleeds or sniffling
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Marked weight loss
  • Nervousness
  • Noticeable changes in behavior, especially hostility, intense anger, or paranoia
  • Psychomotor agitation (repetitive movements without any purpose)
  • Signs of intravenous drug use, such as abscesses, puncture marks, track lines, or cellulitis

Being able to spot these symptoms and signs can ensure you’re ready to help someone with Adderall abuse.

What are the Risks and Effects of Adderall Abuse?

Although many people believe that prescription drugs are safe to use whether or not you have a prescription, this is simply false. Abusing Adderall carries serious mental and physical health risks with it. In fact, the longer you abuse Adderall, the greater your risk of experiencing major and even life-threatening consequences. Some of the long-term consequences of Adderall abuse include:

  • Abnormal dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmission
  • Anger and aggression leading to antisocial or oppositional and defiant behaviors
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Blockage of blood vessels
  • Cardiovascular complications, including heart attack
  • Dependence, which means you get withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit or even cut back
  • Depression
  • Erratic or dangerous behaviors due to paranoia
  • Intranasal consequences, like perforated septum
  • Intravenous consequences, such as HIV, hepatitis, heart lining infection, tetanus, or tuberculosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Severe mood swings
  • Stroke
  • Tolerance, making you need more and more just to get the same high, which also increases all of the other risks

It’s important to get help for Adderall addiction. Don’t try to go it alone.

Is Adderall Addictive?

Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance, and the drug is tightly regulated due to its high potential for abuse and dependencies. Research indicates that college students are twice as likely to misuse Adderall in comparison to all others. Other research shows that college students who abused Adderall were more likely than others to abuse marijuana, cocaine, prescription painkillers, and prescription tranquilizers.

What is Adderall Withdrawal?

Adderall withdrawal affects people who take frequent high doses of Adderall for an extended period of time. It occurs when the body tries to function without Adderall.

People who consume large doses of Adderall for a prolonged period risk becoming physically dependent on the drug. This results in an Adderall tolerance that makes it difficult for a person to use the drug to achieve the same effects as before.

People dealing with Adderall tolerance may require larger and more frequent doses to get their desired results. This increases the risk of an Adderall overdose.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Physiological and psychological dependence are major risks for Adderall users. If you’re dependent on Adderall, when you quit you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. The severity of those symptoms and the length of the detox period vary from person to person, but for anyone they can include one to three weeks of:

  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety, nervousness, or panic
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Dysphoria, or a general feeling of unhappiness
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired social functioning
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritability and/or other mood disturbances
  • Vivid or unpleasant dreams and nightmares.
  • Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation

Going through withdrawal is no time to be alone with your thoughts at home. Get professional help to manage this stage in the long road toward recovery.

Adderall Detox Timeline

Completely detoxing from Adderall can take at least five days and up to three weeks. How long it will take for you and what your symptoms will be like depends on several things:

  • Average dose when you quit—detox can take longer for those who took more Adderall
  • How long you took Adderall—the longer you were using, the more severe and lasting your withdrawal symptoms can be
  • Your genetic makeup—although those other factors are very important, to some extent, your own body’s genes and makeup determines what your recovery is like, independent of other factors

It is most common to relapse and start using Adderall again within the first 4 weeks after quitting. That’s why it is so important to decide where and how you will be detoxing from Adderall throughout the most important parts of this timeline and what you will do immediately afterward.

Prolonged Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

There are two types of Adderall: regular and XR (extended release). The duration of withdrawal varies based on the type of Adderall that a person uses.

Regular Adderall is an instant-release drug, and its effects usually last up to six hours. The drug starts working right away, and its effects wear off after several hours.

Adderall XR in intended for prolonged use. It builds up and remains in the body longer than regular Adderall. This means Adderall XR withdrawal may require extra time in comparison to regular Adderall withdrawal.

What Adderall Treatment Programs are Available?

There is no surefire solution to quitting Adderall, but many treatment options are available. Common Adderall treatment options include:

  • Inpatient or Residential Rehab Center: Offers support from a therapist and other addiction professionals.
  • Outpatient Rehab Center: Provides similar treatment services to those available from an inpatient rehab center; however, an outpatient program requires a patient to stay at the rehab center 24 hours a day.
  • Group Counseling: Provides peer support for recovery.
  • Individual Therapy: May include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and other personalized therapy. Individual therapy is commonly conducted weekly and may be used in conjunction with group therapy programs.
  • 12-Step Treatment Programs: Provide a 12-step process to help treat Adderall addiction and provide a clear path for recovery. Common 12-step treatment programs include Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Tips to Help Someone You Know Quit Adderall

If someone you know is struggling to quit Adderall, there are many things you can do to help. Some of the best ways to help someone who is trying to quit Adderall include:

  • Remain calm. Avoid blame, anger, and frustration that otherwise put additional pressure on someone who is trying to quit Adderall.
  • Seek professional help. Work with addiction professionals who understand Adderall addiction and the challenges associated with treating it.  
  • Consider an intervention. Consult with an intervention professional who can help you set up an intervention.
  • Practice self-care. Understand that you do not have control over someone else’s thoughts and feelings. But if you take care of yourself, you will always be ready to support someone who is dealing with an Adderall addiction.

Finding an Adderall Treatment Program

Adderall withdrawal and recovery are no picnic. Don’t let this drug’s prescription status fool you; quitting is very difficult. You will need an Adderall treatment program that can support your mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety just as strongly as your physical needs. At Clear Sky Recovery, you will enjoy the complete package of professionally assisted Adderall detox in a stunning setting medically designed to aid in your recovery. Reach out today to learn more about why Clear Sky offers you something you can’t get anywhere else.

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