Adderall withdrawal will usually begin within 24 hours of your last use, with acute withdrawal lasting for 3 to 5 days. Withdrawal is more or less complete within 1 to 2 months.
To maximize your chances of a successful detox and addiction recovery, always talk to an addiction treatment professional before you suddenly stop use of Adderall. A doctor should supervise your withdrawal process to help minimize discomfort and ensure success.
Adderall Abuse: When Do You Have a Problem?
As it’s a prescription drug, any misuse of Adderall is problematic. While the drug has legitimate medical use, it can also cause serious heart issues if overused and especially if misused.
Furthermore, Adderall can cause dependency and addiction, which can make quitting use more difficult. If you acknowledge that you need to stop taking Adderall and struggle to do so, you likely have a serious enough problem that you need to talk with an addiction professional.
Key Facts About Adderall Detox
Here are some key things to keep in mind regarding detox from Adderall:
- The difficulty of detox is usually going to depend on how much Adderall you were taking before trying to quit, with more use usually causing a greater level of dependency.
- When detoxing, don’t misuse other drugs, especially stimulants, in an attempt to reduce your cravings for Adderall. This can potentially cause further problems and is likely to also interfere with your detox from Adderall.
- Never substitute one dextroamphetamine and amphetamine product (which includes Adderall) with another without first talking to your doctor. These medications don’t translate 1:1, even at similar doses.
- While research is ongoing, there aren’t any proven effective medication-assisted treatments to help patients through Adderall withdrawal and other types of stimulant withdrawal.
Detox Timeline for Adderall
Adderall is a stimulant. Assuming a person has taken enough to develop a physical dependency (which is normal for Adderall misuse and even some legitimate use), they will begin to develop acute withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of last using their medication.
This initial crash, called acute withdrawal, will last for about 3 to 5 days. The patient will then experience a longer period of withdrawal for several days to multiple weeks. Withdrawal will usually cease completely within 1 to 2 months.
At this point, a patient could be considered to have completely detoxed. Although they may still feel compelled to misuse drugs and need addiction counseling and related treatments to help channel those feelings in healthier ways, they will no longer have Adderall in their system, and their body should have had enough time to adjust to its absence.
Is Detoxing From Adderall Dangerous?
Detoxing from Adderall isn’t typically dangerous. However, a patient can develop psychosis in cases of severe withdrawal, which can cause them to experience delusions, hallucinations, severe confusion, and extreme mood swings.
People in this state are a danger to themselves and others, and this occurrence should be considered a medical emergency. Although this is a rare withdrawal symptom, it is serious enough to warrant talking to a medical professional before detoxing.
What Are the Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawal?
Adderall withdrawal is characterized first by a period of acute withdrawal, during which a patient will begin to experience the following:
- Prolonged sleeping
- Muscle aches
- Depressed mood
- Drug cravings
After this, a patient may experience a longer period of the following symptoms:
- General lethargy
- Increased levels of anxiety
- Mood swings and mood instability
- Erratic sleep patterns
- Strong drug cravings
Why Is Detox Necessary for Recovery?
In order to recover from Adderall dependence, the only way forward is to allow the body to readjust to the absence of Adderall. If you’re concerned about this process, remember that getting help from addiction treatment professionals can make it much easier.
Tips to Help Detox From Adderall
Again, talk to an addiction treatment professional first. These professionals know about drug dependency and the best ways to help people overcome it. In addition to medical support, they will provide psychological support, helping you to safely make it through the withdrawal process.
A cold-turkey is usually not recommended. Never stop taking Adderall suddenly without talking to your doctor, particularly if you take it for medical reasons.
Here are some additional trips to help you detox from Adderall:
- Tell a few loved ones about your detox. You can then call them if you need support throughout this process.
- Stay hydrated, and eat nutritious foods. When you are taking care of your body with these steps, you’ll feel better throughout detox.
- Get plenty of sleep. This is the time when your body repairs itself, and sleep should be prioritized during detox.
- Move. Gentle exercise, such as walking or yoga, can help you to feel good, and it can distract you from uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if they arise.
How to Detox From Adderall
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to detox from Adderall. Here are some of the commonly used approaches:
Generally, this is a good option for people who are using Adderall that has been prescribed by a legitimate doctor. It can also be beneficial for people who have been using Adderall illegitimately for a sustained period.
With gradually lowered doses, your body will have the chance to slowly adjust to less Adderall. Eventually, you’ll fully discontinue use when you are fully detoxed.
With the help of a doctor, this tapering approach helps to reduce or even eliminate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
When you detox in outpatient treatment, you still have guidance and support throughout the process, but this help isn’t necessarily available around the clock. You’ll visit a treatment center for daytime sessions, but you’ll live at home or in another environment, such as a sober living home.
Another option is to stay at a detox center or similar addiction treatment provider for temporary inpatient care. You will stay at the facility for the duration of the more severe withdrawal symptoms. Treatment professionals can keep you comfortable and provide any additional care if problems occur.
Relapse is the least likely with inpatient detox since you simply won’t have access to substances of misuse in this setting.
Note About Self-Detox
Detoxing on your own usually isn’t a good idea. Even if you fully intend to stop misusing Adderall, detox is challenging. Support can make the difference between success and relapse.
What to Look for in a Detox Center
While hard data is limited on detox from stimulants, it’s clear from anecdotal evidence that going to detox centers and similar treatment facilities for your detox journey produces a greater chance of recovery compared to at-home detox.
When looking at detox centers, consider whether they are using evidence-based medicine. Be wary of any treatment center that seems to overpromise. Be very wary of claims that “guarantee” recovery, as these types of claims simply aren’t possible to make, even if a facility is excellent and can provide top-quality care.
Read patient reviews. Many companies have reviews on their sites, but you can also check for reviews in other sources, as companies obviously have an incentive to only show good reviews on their website.
If possible, find a provider that has experience treating stimulant addiction specifically. This can help make sure that they can target their care plan to your specific needs and that the people treating you will know what to expect.
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Risk of Psychosis in Illicit Amphetamine Users: A 10 year Retrospective Cohort Study. (February 2022). Evidence-Based Mental Health.
Dependence, Withdrawal and Rebound of CNS Drugs: An Update and Regulatory Considerations for New Drugs Development. (October 2019). Brain Communications.