Adderall Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline & Detox
Last Updated: November 1, 2023
Adderall, the brand name for amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts, is an addictive Schedule II controlled substance. It is mainly prescribed for the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Unfortunately, Adderall has the potential for abuse.
When someone uses Adderall, particularly if they don’t have ADHD or use it without a prescription, it can cause a euphoric high. This euphoria is the result of excessive dopamine and other neurotransmitters being released into the central nervous system, leading to addiction and physical dependence. The longer someone abuses Adderall, the more likely dependence will form. This means that if a person decides to stop Adderall, they may go into withdrawal.
Physical dependence means that your body has gotten used to having Adderall in your system and needs the drug to feel normal. This means that if you suddenly cut back or stop taking Adderall, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
Adderall withdrawal symptoms can be both mental and physical and may include:
- Vivid, unpleasant dreams
- Sleep changes
- Increased appetite
- Slowed cognition
- Physical difficulties
However, other, more severe withdrawal effects are possible. Someone who takes a high dose of Adderall may be more likely to experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms like:
- Disordered thoughts
Adderall Withdrawal Timeline
The timeframe for Adderall withdrawal can vary depending on the person and the dose of Adderall they take. However, in general, a typical Adderall detox timeline is:
- Within one day after the last dose: start of withdrawal symptoms
- Within one to three days after the last dose: continued withdrawal symptoms
- Within three to five days after the last dose: improvement in withdrawal symptoms
However, withdrawal is unlikely to be completely finished after the five-day mark. Many people experience some protracted withdrawal symptoms after stopping stimulants like Adderall. In protracted withdrawal, you may have psychological withdrawal symptoms that last for several weeks or months.
Adderall Withdrawal FAQs
Does Adderall cause post-acute withdrawals?
Stimulants like Adderall are known to cause post-acute withdrawals, also known as protracted withdrawal. Unfortunately, there is little data available about protracted withdrawal specific to Adderall.
How long does Adderall withdrawal last?
Right after you quit Adderall, the acute phase of Adderall withdrawal can last up to five days. However, a longer, protracted Adderall withdrawal phase can last for weeks or months. During this phase, lingering withdrawal symptoms are often psychological.
Is Adderall withdrawal dangerous?
Adderall withdrawal can be very dangerous, especially if a person has severe psychological withdrawal symptoms like psychosis or hallucinations. A person who becomes psychotic during Adderall withdrawal can pose a big risk to themselves or others. For this reason, it is best to only withdraw from Adderall while under medical supervision so that withdrawal symptoms can be easily identified and treated.
Can you die from Adderall withdrawal?
It is possible to die — although indirectly — from Adderall withdrawal. A person who has severe psychological withdrawal symptoms like psychosis can pose a major danger to themselves or others and might harm themselves on purpose or by accident.
Stopping Adderall Cold Turkey
If you are physically dependent on Adderall, stopping cold turkey is not recommended. This is because your body is used to the presence of Adderall, and suddenly stopping can trigger withdrawal symptoms, which may be severe in some cases.
How to Quit Adderall
If you take Adderall, it is important to consult with your doctor before stopping, as they may be able to more slowly and safely taper you off the medication. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a medically supervised detox program where you can detox from Adderall while under 24/7 medical care to quickly address any withdrawal symptoms that arise.
How to Taper off Adderall
To avoid withdrawal symptoms from stopping Adderall, your doctor may recommend a taper, or a slow decrease of Adderall use over a period of time. Generally, a person is weaned off Adderall over a period of weeks to months. However, the specific taper regimen varies greatly from person to person. This is because the goal of a taper is to prevent withdrawal symptoms. As such, if a person starts to experience Adderall withdrawal during a taper, the taper can be stopped or slowed to allow their body to adjust. In addition, if you are on a high dose of Adderall, you will likely need a longer time to taper off the drug than someone on a lower dose.
In Adderall detox, your body slowly rids itself of Adderall in its system while under medical supervision. By detoxing off Adderall while under round-the-clock medical care, any withdrawal symptoms you experience can be treated as they occur. This leads to a safer withdrawal because dangerous withdrawal symptoms like psychosis can be treated before they escalate.
If medically appropriate, your doctor may prescribe medications in a medical detox program to help manage psychological withdrawal symptoms. These may include:
- Benzodiazepines or antipsychotics to control agitation
- Blood pressure medications to lower blood pressure and heart rate
Medical Detox for Adderall Withdrawal
Orlando Recovery Center, just outside downtown Orlando on the banks of Lake Ellenor, is a 93-bed inpatient medical detox and rehab facility to help you get off — and stay off — Adderall. Our medical team are experts in helping to ease you off Adderall, cleansing your system of the drug while maintaining your comfort.
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