Whether you are prescribed Adderall because you have ADHD or take it without a prescription, Adderall withdrawals may occur. Adderall (the brand name for the drug amphetamine-dextroamphetamine) is a prescription stimulant to help you focus and concentrate. It boosts dopamine chemical levels in the brain, which is critical for focus and attention.

When you stop taking Adderall, dopamine levels drop and force your brain to adjust to the change. If this drug is taken as instructed, it reduces the possibility of experiencing any Adderall withdrawals. Using this drug too often or taking too much increases the likelihood of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

At Healthy Life Recovery, our San Diego drug rehab knows that developing an Adderall addiction is not uncommon. This drug can be abused by students, professionals, athletes, and people with eating disorders. When Adderall is abused for long periods of time, it can become difficult to quit. For some people, Adderall withdrawals can be too overwhelming to quit on their own and should seek help at our treatment facility.

adderall withdrawals

Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawals

Adderall withdrawal symptoms are not the same thing as side effects. Symptoms appear after you stop using the drug, while side effects occur while you’re on the drug. 

These symptoms are also the complete opposite of the drug’s effects. When one is taking Adderall as prescribed, it increases concentration, euphoria, and energy. After stopping Adderall cold turkey, a crash will likely occur with the reversal of these effects. The more dependent on the drug a person is, the more severe withdrawal they will face.

If you have taken Adderall or abused the drug, you can experience one or more of these symptoms after you stop taking it:

  • Depression, irritability, or other changes in mood
  • Trouble sleeping, insomnia, and oversleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches or cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Increased appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts

In some cases, symptoms of Adderall withdrawals can make you feel drunk, intoxicated, or hungover. Although this usually happens when people do not take the medication as prescribed.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

There is no specific treatment for Adderall withdrawal. If you wish to stop taking the drug, speaking with the doctor is the safest way to quit. Your doctor will most likely lower your dose before having you stop taking it completely.

Prescription or not, physical withdrawal symptoms can typically be managed at your own home. If you start to feel any psychological symptoms like severe depression or suicidal thoughts, treatment centers such as Healthy Life Recovery can help. Therapy, counseling, and medication, such as antidepressants, may help.

adderall withdrawals

Preventing Withdrawal

Adderall should be taken as prescribed by a doctor and for a short period of time. Just because you use the drug as prescribed, there is still no guarantee you won’t experience withdrawal symptoms. The risk of experiencing these symptoms are less likely if you:

  • Take as instructed by a doctor
  • Receive regular checkups while taking it
  • Talk to your doctor about lowering your dose before stopping

Long-Term Treatment

Long-term treatment for Adderall withdrawal all depends on the nature and circumstance of the drug use. For instance, if you take the drug exactly as prescribed, there most likely will not be a need for any long-term treatment. However, if you have been abusing or misusing this amphetamine for some time, professional medical advice and treatment may be needed. San Diego Adderall rehab can be extremely beneficial for a long-term treatment plan.

All drugs that can lead to addiction affect dopamine levels in some way. This is because stimulants have an effect on dopamine receptors, which is the brain’s reward system. When this reward system is affected, your mind has trouble resisting cravings for these drugs. 

Behavioral therapy is the leading treatment for long-term amphetamine addiction treatment. The two types of behavioral therapy that have been proven effective are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM).

adderall withdrawals

Adderall vs. Adderall XR

There are two different forms of Adderall, instant and extended or time-release (XR). Regular Adderall is instant and can last for up to six hours. Adderall XR is taken for long-lasting effects for the entire day. 

The length of withdrawal symptoms varies between the two forms. Regular Adderall works immediately and leaves the body quicker. In comparison, Adderall XR builds up in the body and stays in the body longer. A person who takes regular Adderall will show withdrawal symptoms sooner than a person who has taken Adderall XR. Furthermore, time-release Adderall withdrawals might last weeks longer due to the body taking longer to detox.

Recovering From an Adderall Addiction

Abusing Adderall and taking it as prescribed can both cause withdrawals when you stop taking it. Quitting Adderall can be challenging, but withdrawal symptoms are rarely dangerous. It can still be hard to accomplish alone, with cravings so intense that it may lead to a relapse. 

If you or a loved one need help with Adderall abuse, call us today. Our Adderall rehab in San Diego offers the support and structure you need to bear these symptoms. Our professional care team provides individualized treatment, which can include behavioral therapy. We want your withdrawal period to go as smooth as possible, so you can reach mental wellness and cut Adderall out for good.

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