Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Adderall is prescribed by doctors to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall is made up of two main ingredients, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Both these ingredients are central nervous systems stimulants that impact a person’s brain chemistry and nerves. Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine in the body, which increases brain activity and creates a calming effect.

Common side effects that can occur when taking Adderall are stomach pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, mood changes, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, headache, dizziness, sleep issues, and a dry mouth. More serious side effects include, indications of a heart problem, such as chest pain or difficulty breathing, indications of psychosis, such as hallucinations, indications of circulation problems, such as numbness, feeling cold, or skin color changes, seizure, muscle twitches, or vision changes. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Adderall Withdrawal

According to a recent study, around 6.6 percent or 16 million Americans use prescription stimulants, such as Adderall. Of those who use prescription stimulants, 2.1 percent or 5 million people misused or abused prescription stimulants at least once and 0.2 percent or 0.4 million had a prescription stimulant use disorder. The study also found that over half of people who misused prescription stimulants, such as Adderall did so in an effort to enhance their cognitive abilities.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that people who do not have ADHD or narcolepsy and take Adderall, actually overload their brain with dopamine. This creates a dopamine overload, resulting in a disruption in a person’s brain communication and euphoric feelings.  Additionally, it can increase blood pressure and heart rate, increase breathing, decrease blood flow, increase blood sugar, and open-up breathing passages. Even though these feelings might feel good initially, taking Adderall can result in increased body temperature, lowered appetite and difficulty sleeping, feelings of paranoia and hostility, as well as increasing an individual’s risk for addiction.

Addiction to Adderall is a compulsive desire to use the medication despite harmful consequences. It is often characterized by an inability to stop using the drug, failure to meet work, school, or family demands, dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal. When a person becomes addicted and dependent on a medication, such as Adderall they can experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to reduce their dose or abruptly quit the medication.

Adderall Withdrawal Timeline

According to a study published in Brain Communications, withdrawal from stimulants such as amphetamine and dexamphetamine (Adderall) typically occurs in 3 phases. These phases include crash, withdrawal, and extinction. Therefore, if you are planning on stopping your Adderall medication, consult your doctor first. Abruptly stopping Adderall can result in a crash.

Crash

The crash phase starts when stimulants wear off. This phase can last for several days to about a week. Adderall crash symptoms typically include fatigue, flat affect, increased sleep, reduced cravings, and severe depression with or without suicidal thoughts.

Withdrawal

The half-life of amphetamines is 9 to 11 hours. Therefore, the withdrawal phase typically starts 2 to 4 days after a person abruptly stops taking the medication. During this phase Adderall withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, nausea, anxiety, headaches, decreased concentration, increased appetite, agitation, sleep disturbances, tremors, aches and pains, depressed mood, impatired social functioning, strong cravings, lack of energy, vivid dreams, and relapse.

Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal are typically not medically dangerous. However, depressive symptoms that include suicidal ideation or behaviors can happen and are the most serious problems seen during Adderall withdrawal.

A person who is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, will notice that they will slowly decrease over the next 2 to 4 weeks. Although, some symptoms tend to continue into the extinction phase.

Extinction

The extinction phase is sometimes referred to as protracted withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal is characterized by symptoms like changes in mood and energy levels, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, fatigue, lack of energy, cravings and difficulty sleeping. Protracted withdrawal symptoms can start 4 to 6 weeks and can last for 6 to 12 months.

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Adderall Withdrawal Tips

Everyone will experience a different quitting Adderall timeline depending on their dosage as well as their frequency and duration of use. Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal can cause a person to return to regular drug use. According to a study published in 2009 in Cochrane Database Systems Review, there are no medications that have been found to reduce symptoms of Adderall withdrawal. This means that you need to find things that work for you to ease your withdrawal symptoms and work through them.

A few Adderall withdrawal tips you can try to work through your withdrawal symptoms are to eat nutritious foods and get regular exercise. A person is more likely to relapse if they have poor eating habits. Additionally, make sure you are getting enough rest, reduce your caffeine intake, stop smoking, seek help from counselors or support groups, and take vitamins and mineral supplements.

Additionally, according to a study published by the World Health Organization, people who are withdrawing from stimulants, such as Adderall should drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day. Multivitamin supplements that contain B and C vitamins are also recommended. This helps make sure their body has all the nutrients and liquids it needs to flush out the drug and experience a healthy recovery.

How to Get Off Adderall

The best way to get off Adderall is with the help of your family physician or at a rehab clinic. The first step in stopping Adderall is detoxification. During a detox, a person who is addicted to Adderall will decrease their dose under the supervision of a medical professional to help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Typically, treatment for drug addiction includes a combination of medications and behavioral therapies. However, there are currently no medications that can be used to treat Adderall withdrawal.

Therefore, the best way to treat an Adderall addiction is with behavioral therapies. The most common and effective behavioral therapies used are cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management. Cognitive-behavioral therapy alters the expectations a person has about their drug-use as well as their behaviors. It has been proven to be effective in managing a person’s triggers and stress. Contingency management uses rewards for positive behaviors. For example, offering a coin for a person who remains

Stopping Adderall

If you or a loved one is suffering from an Adderall addiction finding, a high-quality rehabilitation center can help. As Adderall withdrawal symptoms leave a person’s body, individuals are best treated with an active rehabilitation approach. An active rehabilitation approach combines entry into a substance abuse treatment center with support, education, and lifestyle changes. At a rehabilitation clinic individuals can receive behavioral therapy that has been proven effective in treating Adderall addiction.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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