Adderall is a common drug for many children and adults. The drug impacts the brain, making it easier to focus and stay alert. However, it can have adverse effects. Those who stop taking Adderall are at risk of experiencing Adderall withdrawal. Keep reading to learn more about Adderall withdrawal symptoms and how to safely stop using Adderall.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a stimulant drug commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. The medication is amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, and it works on the brain to change the levels of some natural substances. This combination acts on the central nervous system in order to stimulate chemicals in the brain. Adderall is part of drug class known as stimulants. It is approved by the FDA for therapeutic use when prescribed by a doctor.
Those who take Adderall can benefit from an increased ability to focus, pay attention, and control issues related to behavior. For some, Adderall helps them stay organized and listen better. Some people with narcolepsy may use Adderall to prevent sleep during the day.
Adderall should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. A doctor is needed to provide medication guides and usage instructions, monitor the number of refills requested, and recommend periods of time to stop taking the drug.
Adderall is potentially habit-forming and is frequently abused. If a person has existing problems with addiction or drug abuse, they may be more prone to developing an Adderall addiction. As a stimulant drug, Adderall can cause strokes, heart attacks, or issues with blood pressure.
Adderall should only be used if prescribed by a doctor. Patients should follow their doctor’s instructions when taking the medication, including dosage, frequency, and drug interactions. For example, Adderall is considered very dangerous if used in combination with an MAO inhibitor.
Many college and high school students are familiar with the name Adderall. Even those who are not prescribed the drug are aware of its existence and side effects. Despite being prescribed by doctors, Adderall is still a habit-forming drug. Keep reading to learn more about Adderall addiction, signs of abuse, and Adderall addiction treatment.
What is Adderall used for?
Adderall is most commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. As a stimulant, Adderall can increase someone’s ability to focus and pay attention to an activity. The medication can also help control problems related to behavior, improve the organization of tasks, and improve skills related to listening.
The combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine in Adderall affect the brain. The stimulant impacts the central nervous system, directly affecting chemicals and nerves that can lead to hyperactivity and impulse control.
In some cases, Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy. Adderall treats the sleep disorder by helping patients stay awake and alert during the day. While Adderall is used to help some individuals stay awake, the drug is not intended to treat tiredness or prevent sleep for individuals who do not have a sleep disorder.
What is Adderall dependence?
Adderall is potentially addicting and habit-forming. Despite being a prescribed medication, there is a risk that individuals can develop a dependence to Adderall or an addiction to the drug. Adderall can increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the central nervous system. By releasing feel good chemicals, the medication has a rewarding impact.
When taken in unprescribed doses or prolonged use of the drug can lead to a dependence on Adderall. The brain relies on Adderall in order to be alert and productive. Dependence occurs when an individual feels tired or foggy without taking Adderall.
Can you get addicted to Adderall?
Some people believe that it is impossible to form an addiction to Adderall because the medication is prescribed by a doctor. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Adderall should only be used when prescribed by a doctor, but it is still potentially habit-forming. Adderall is at a high risk for addiction and abuse.
Tolerance can be developed when taking Adderall because the drug contains amphetamine. When a tolerance to Adderall is developed, it takes more of the drug to achieve the same effect that a lower dose once provided. Building a tolerance can lead to individuals taking a higher dosage than prescribed by their doctor.
Addiction to Adderall can be present when someone experiences withdrawal when they stop taking the drug. Withdrawal symptoms, including increased appetite, decreased energy, tremors, and weight gain, occur because the body must adjust to a lack of Adderall.
How much Adderall is abuse?
Tolerance levels and Adderall dependence will vary from person to person. However, Adderall is abused when it is taken in a way not prescribed by a doctor. This can include taking a higher dose than prescribed or taking Adderall even though it is not prescribed to you. Adderall abuse encompasses any usage of the drug that is not prescribed and monitored by a doctor.
Adderall Addiction Symptoms
Long-term use of Adderall and heavy use of Adderall can produce many negative side effects. If a person abuses Adderall for a long period of time or is addicted to Adderall, they can experience a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms of Adderall addiction are sometimes opposite of the desired effects of taking the drug.
Common symptoms of heavy Adderall use include:
- Difficulties sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Lack of motivation
- Panic attacks
- Thoughts of suicide
- Mood swings
- Weight loss
- Heart disease
Because Adderall is a stimulant, it can impact the reward center in the brain over time. With extended use, Adderall can alter an individual’s ability to experience pleasure without the drug present. As tolerance builds, Adderall is taken in higher doses to produce a pleasurable effect.
Adderall abuse sends thousands of people to the emergency room each year, and an Adderall overdose is very serious. Mixing Adderall with alcohol or other drugs can cause life-threatening side effects. Signs of an Adderall overdose include vomiting, stomach pain, high fever, headaches, hallucinations, tremors, and rapid breathing.
Adderall Addiction Statistics
From 2008 to 2012, the number of prescriptions written for stimulants per year almost tripled to 16 million. More than 116,000 people were admitted to rehab for addiction to amphetamines, like Adderall, in 2012.
Many people associate Adderall use with high school students and younger teenagers, however the average age of people who received Adderall addiction treatment reporting that they started taking the drug at 23. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that about 6.4% of college students between 18 and 22 used Adderall in a recreational way. There was also a correlation found between binge drinking and abusing Adderall.
How many people are addicted to Adderall?
There is not a consistent statistic available on the number of people addicted to Adderall. However, more than 116,000 people sought rehabilitation treatment for amphetamine usage, which can include Adderall, in 2012.
Why do people abuse Adderall?
Adderall is often mistakenly considered a “safe” drug because a doctor prescribes it. However, it is potentially addictive and at a high risk for abuse. Adderall abuse typically begins because a person enjoys the effects of taking the drug. Increased confidence, a sense of euphoria, better concentration, and a suppressed appetite can all occur when someone takes Adderall.
Some people take a higher dose than prescribed as they develop a tolerance for Adderall. Other individuals may take Adderall without a prescription or in a way not advised by their doctor. Snorting Adderall pills, taking a higher dose, or taking someone else’s prescribed Adderall are all forms of abuse.
Common reasons people abuse Adderall include improve performance at school, help studying, and improved focus on school or work tasks. Adderall can also cause weight loss and improved physical performance, so it may be used to boost athletic ability. Some use Adderall to stay awake, and other may abuse the drug in a recreational manner.
Signs of Adderall Addiction
There are some common signs that indicate an individual is suffering from Adderall addiction. Adderall addiction can take over a person’s life, including their health, social life, and work or school. The signs of Adderall addiction will be different for each individual, but the following symptoms may be noticeable in an individual who abuses Adderall.
- An individual is overly talkative or unusually excitable.
- An individual seems to have lost their appetite.
- An individual withdrawal socially or participates in secretive behavior.
- An individual suffers from exhaustion or sleeps for long periods of time.
- Mood swings or changes are noticeable, including aggression.
- Financial troubles, trouble at work, impulsive behaviors, and decline in personal hygiene may occur.
- Work goes unfinished without using Adderall.
- A significant amount of time and money is used to obtain Adderall, use the drug, and recover from the drug.
- Normal activities or important tasks are neglected in favor of using Adderall.
- An individual suffers withdrawal symptoms if they do not take Adderall.
- An individual expresses the desire to cut back on using Adderall but is not able to do so.
- An individual continues to take Adderall despite acknowledging the harm it is causing.
Adderall Addiction Side Effects
Adderall abuse can be very dangerous and produce serious side effects. From mild discomfort to seizures, the side effects of Adderall impact each individual differently. Some of the most common side effects of Adderall abuse and addiction include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Peeling skin
What does Adderall abuse look like?
Adderall abuse may not be noticeable in the early stages. Because the drug is often prescribed by a doctor, individuals may be able to receive their regular prescription but take the drug in a way that is not advised by their doctor. If an individual does not have a prescription or runs out of their prescription, they may try to buy Adderall from others. This can lead to secretive behavior and a lot of time and money spent obtaining Adderall.
Over time, the physical and mental side effects of Adderall will become more apparent. From neglecting responsibilities to changes in mood and behavior, the major side effects of Adderall abuse can impact every aspect of a person’s life.
Adderall Addiction Treatment
Adderall addiction and abuse treatment is available at rehab centers, detox facilities, and hospitalization programs. Common approaches to Adderall addiction treatment include medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy. In addition to medically-supervised detox, these programs can help manage symptoms of withdrawal and provide the necessary support for an individual to continue their recovery after detox.
If someone taking Adderall suddenly stops using the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms can range from problems related to sleep to mood changes. Those who take large doses of Adderall or have used the medication for a prolonged period of time may be dependent on the drug. Adderall withdrawal symptoms can be more severe in these cases.
It is best to consult your physician before you stop taking Adderall because they may be able to help prevent Adderall withdrawal. By tapering the dosage and slowly lowering the amount of Adderall taken each day, your doctor can keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
Over time, people can build up a tolerance for Adderall. They may not think the medicine is benefitting them anymore. However, once they stop taking the drug, it will become difficult to function. Adderall withdrawal symptoms are almost complete opposites of the effects of the drug. Instead of the sense of euphoria and energy boost provided by Adderall, withdrawal feels like a crash.
Side Effects of Adderall Withdrawal
Adderall withdrawal can impact a person’s body and mind. Those with a higher tolerance for the drug often experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Common side effects of Adderall withdrawal include:
- Increased appetite
- Frequent nightmares
- Issues with concentration
- Stomach aches
Adderall Withdrawal Headaches
If someone suddenly stops taking Adderall, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, including headaches. Once the effects of the stimulant wear off and the drug starts to leave the body, an individual is likely to experience a crash. The severity of the headache may be heightened by other withdrawal symptoms, like achiness, stomach issues, and insomnia.
Adderall Withdrawal Effects
The effects of Adderall withdrawal are uncomfortable. Adderall is a commonly prescribed drug to help manage ADHD, but it is also used for nonmedical purposes. Those who use Adderall without proper medical supervision may experience more intense withdrawal symptoms because they are not monitoring their usage of the drug.
Adderall withdrawal effects will also be more severe for those who take higher doses of the medicine or have taken it for extended periods of time. Those who suddenly stop taking the drug may experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Consulting a doctor can help prevent or minimize the effects of Adderall withdrawal by tapering the dosage.
Signs of Adderall Withdrawal
Adderall withdrawal is not difficult to recognize for those who have been prescribed the drug. If someone is taking Adderall without a prescription, they may not immediately realize that they are experiencing withdrawal. Common signs of Adderall withdrawal include irritability or agitation. Individuals will also crave the drug and feel tired. Mood swings and headaches may also be noticeable.
If you think you are experiencing Adderall withdrawal, it is important to seek medical advice quickly. Your doctor can help mitigate Adderall withdrawal symptoms and ensure your health and safety during the process.
Adderall Withdrawal Timeline
The process of withdrawal from Adderall is different for each individual. Adderall withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours of the last dose. An individual is likely to experience a crash coming off the stimulant drug within six to 36 hours of the last dose. They may also have intense depression or increased fatigue during this period.
Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal worsen throughout the first week. Between days three and five, an individual may be irritable, depressed, and fatigued. Headaches and nightmares may also be present, making it difficult to relax or sleep.
Within five to seven days of the last dose, symptoms of Adderall withdrawal will begin to fade. Individuals may still experience mood swings, and they will likely feel uncomfortable in normal settings. However, they are likely to start feeling better after the first week.
For some, the effects of Adderall withdrawal are gone within a week. Others may experience mild symptoms for multiple weeks after the last dose. If symptoms continue to persist, it is best to seek help from a doctor.
Adderall Addiction & Withdrawal Treatment
There are inpatient and outpatient options for Adderall detox, and your doctor can recommend the best course of action. Addiction treatment facilities often provide inpatient treatment for Adderall withdrawal for those with a severe addiction to the drug. They can also help those who have a difficult time stopping their usage of the medication.
Outpatient Adderall detox and withdrawal is guided by a medical professional with addiction knowledge. Those with a mild addiction or minimal health risks may be treated through outpatient treatment.
FAQs about Adderall Addiction & Withdrawal
If you or someone you know is concerned about Adderall withdrawal, it is best to seek medical help. A qualified doctor can help prevent withdrawal or minimize symptoms, while ensuring a patient is healthy.
The timeline for Adderall withdrawal is different for everyone. Withdrawal symptoms can appear within six hours of the last dose. For some, symptoms last a week. Other may experience Adderall withdrawal for several weeks.
Yes, you can withdraw from Adderall. Those who take higher doses or have used Adderall for a long time are more likely to experience severe Adderall withdrawal symptoms.
Adderall does produce withdrawal symptoms. The stimulant drug can be habit-forming, and it is possible for someone to develop a tolerance to Adderall. Once someone stops using the drug, they are likely to feel uncomfortable and out of sorts for a while due to withdrawal symptoms.
It is difficult to determine who will be impacted by Adderall withdrawal and who will not. It is necessary to consult your doctor in order to know whether Adderall withdrawal is an issue. Your doctor can recommend dosage tapering to safely wean yourself off the drug.
Coming off Adderall produces a crash, which is the opposite effect of taking the drug. Those who stop using Adderall are likely to feel tired, irritable, and have trouble concentrating. They may have difficulty sleeping and experience mood swings.
Adderall withdrawal symptoms can start within six hours of the last dose. For some, it may take a little longer for Adderall withdrawal symptoms to begin.
Safely withdrawing from Adderall requires medical supervision. By creating a tapering schedule, your doctor can control your Adderall dosage and help prevent Adderall withdrawal symptoms.
Adderall withdrawal symptoms tend to peak within a few days and last for about a week. Some may experience symptoms for a longer period of time, depending on the severity of their addiction and dose.
Your doctor can help manage Adderall withdrawal by recommending a treatment process. Withdrawal symptoms should also be addressed during the process, whether physical or psychological.
To get through Adderall withdrawal, it is important to seek support. Your doctor can provide guidance on how to withdrawal safely, and a mental health professional can address mental or emotional withdrawal symptoms. It is important to stay busy when going through Adderall withdrawal, meet with support groups, and attend counseling sessions to successfully get sober.
Medications for Adderall withdrawal symptoms should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. Some medications can help mitigate the effects of Adderall withdrawal, but they are only available through inpatient or outpatient treatment. Medication is not available for Adderall addiction or dependence, but medications can target the symptoms of withdrawal.
Adderall withdrawal typically lasts a week. For some, symptoms can extend for several weeks. The length of detox and withdrawal are different for everyone and depend on a variety of factors.
If you stop taking Adderall abruptly, you are more likely to experience Adderall withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms for Adderall are uncomfortable, including headaches, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and achiness.
If you want to stop taking Adderall, consult your physician. It is possible to safely taper an Adderall dosage to stop using the drug without withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor can create and monitor a custom tapering schedule.