Adderall Withdrawal and Detox: Timeline, What to expect
Adderall is a prescription drug that doctors usually prescribe to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While it is safe to take Adderall as your doctor prescribes, abusing the substance Adderall puts you at risk of dependence and addiction.
This blog offers information on Adderall dependence, withdrawal, and how you can safely manage withdrawal symptoms to break free from drug abuse.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is the brand name for a prescription medicine containing a mix of amphetamine salts, composed of racemic amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that work by speeding up activity in the brain. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine increase central nervous system (CNS) activity, facilitating communication between different brain areas and affecting brain functions such as focus, attention, and alertness.
You can find Adderall in immediate-release and extended-release forms. The extended-release form is most popular as it requires only one administration at the start of each day.
How Does Adderall Treat ADHD?
Scientists believe that children and adults with ADHD may have unbalanced levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters that nerve cells use to send signals to one another and other cells in the body. Unbalanced dopamine and norepinephrine levels can make it more difficult to concentrate on tasks and underlie behavioral problems.
Adderall increases the availability of these chemicals, facilitating communication in the brain. This may help people living with ADHD manage symptoms and reach their full potential.
How Do People Misuse Adderall?
It’s perfectly safe to take Adderall as your doctor prescribes. However, some people misuse Adderall by using it for recreational purposes or to try and enhance their academic performance. Adderall abuse is dangerous and puts you at risk of overdose, dependence, and Adderall addiction.
Adderall has become increasingly popular among college students as a “study drug” that students believe will help them stay up late to revise, concentrate for an extended period, and get higher grades. However, evidence suggests that taking Adderall can actually be detrimental to academic performance, leading to over double as many missed classes.
People may also combine Adderall with other substances at parties to “get high”. Mixing substances is an extremely dangerous practice that can lead to compounded effects, increasing the chance of overdose. When individuals mix alcohol (a CNS depressant) and Adderall (a CNS stimulant), some of the effects can counteract each other, causing the user to underestimate the effect of each drug. This makes it more likely that they will overdose on either substance.
What Is Adderall Dependence?
When you repeatedly take Adderall over time, your body gets used to the presence of the substance in the body and begins to adjust its own functions in response. You start to need more and more of the substance to experience the same effect and eventually become dependent on the substance to feel normal. If you suddenly stop taking the drug, you experience a series of withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts.
While individuals taking the drug according to a prescription are not necessarily at risk of developing Adderall dependence, those who abuse Adderall, especially in large doses, may do.
What Are Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms?
As a stimulant drug, Adderall withdrawal involves stimulant withdrawal symptoms – in particular, amphetamine withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous, so you should not undergo the process alone. Instead, you should seek professional medical support to guide you through the process and ensure your safety at all times.
Withdrawal from Adderall can involve both psychological and physical symptoms.
Physical Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Slowed speech and movements
- Jerky movements and twitches
- Slow heart rate
- Body aches
- Weight loss
Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Unpleasant dreams
- Drug cravings
In some cases, psychological symptoms of withdrawal can be severe, involving severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal ideations. In these cases, medical supervision is essential to help manage symptoms and ensure the individual’s safety. Severe symptoms are more likely after heavier drug use or amongst those with co-occurring disorders.
What Is the Adderall Withdrawal Timeline?
In the first 24 hours after last use, most people experience an initial “crash” that may involve feelings of irritation, anxiety, and depression. This crash is followed by a longer period of acute withdrawal symptoms lasting for around a week. During the acute period, you may feel physically and mentally exhausted and experience psychological and physical symptoms. Severe psychological symptoms may develop during the acute withdrawal period.
Symptoms that persist for more than two weeks after the last dose are known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) which can last from several months to over a year. PAWS tends to be relatively mild and psychological, often resembling symptoms of mood disorders.
What Factors Affect Adderall Withdrawal?
Several factors can affect the length and intensity of withdrawal, including:
- your history of drug abuse, including the doses you take and how long you have been taking drugs
- your metabolism
- any physical and mental co-occurring health conditions
What Is Medically-Assisted Adderall Detox?
A medically-assisted detox offers professional medical support to guide you through the detox process, helping you to manage withdrawal symptoms and Adderall cravings and ensuring your safety at all times.
Stimulant detox can be inpatient (involving 24-hour medical supervision in a specialized facility) or outpatient (involving regular check-ups with a doctor throughout the process). Medical detox programs always involve an individualized detox plan which may be adapted as you progress through the withdrawal period.
While the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends that outpatient detox may be suitable for stimulant withdrawal, those at risk of experiencing more severe symptoms may benefit from inpatient treatment. A mental health professional can help you to decide which option is suitable for you.
Adderall Addiction Treatment
While detox is usually the first stage in drug and alcohol addiction treatment, it alone is rarely sufficient for long-term recovery. Instead, it paves the way for addiction treatment approaches such as talk therapy and support groups that address the underlying causes of addiction, facilitating long-lasting and meaningful change.
Effective addiction treatment programs are individualized, typically combining a variety of treatment options to suit each client’s needs. These may include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Support groups
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Complementary therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Dual diagnosis
- Life skills development
Addiction Treatment with Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery
Brookdale is a premier addiction recovery center that is unlike any other rehab center you know. Overlooking a private lake in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, our state-of-the-art facilities are the perfect place to begin your fulfilling and vibrant recovery journey.
We endorse a “patient-first” approach to ensure that every client has everything they need to reach their recovery goals. Combining clinical excellence with exceptional and personal care, we deliver a top-tier treatment experience that draws on the forefront of addiction science. At the same time, we nurture an environment that inspires a sober life, helping clients to reconnect with their inner selves and their passions.
If you’re looking to break free from addiction and rediscover your love of life, contact us today. Brookdale is the place for you.