Adderall is a prescription drug commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. It is a combination of two types of stimulant drugs, dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Amphetamines speed up the body’s processes and systems, and when properly prescribed, Adderall can treat both ADHD and narcolepsy.
As a central nervous system stimulant, Adderall effectively increases dopamine levels in the brain, stimulating its processes. For those with ADHD, this stimulating effect helps enhance focus and producing a calming feeling.
The use of Adderall to treat ADHD has increased in past years, leading to a surge in prescriptions and more Adderall available than ever before. This increase in availability has, in turn, made abuse of Adderall more prevalent in those with no medical necessity to take the drug. For many, the increase in dopamine creates euphoric feelings, leading some to either crush and snort Adderall pills, or even mix them with water to inject the drug directly into their bloodstream. Some individuals choose to take Adderall to focus better and think, especially those in high school or college looking to boost academic scores.
The side effects of Adderall use vary among people, but include a loss of appetite, cardiovascular symptoms, headaches, difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, and an extremely dry mouth.
Physical and Psychological Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawal
Adderall withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other heavily abused amphetamines. The severity of these symptoms differ between individuals, and rely on factors such as dosage, the length of abuse, and whether or not Adderall was prescribed for medical reasons. Adderall does not typically create a physical danger, but it does create a psychological danger. In fact, the FDA requires all labels on Adderall must warn of the “extreme psychological dependence” capabilities of the drug.
Physical symptoms of withdrawal may include:
- Increased appetite
- Low energy
Psychological symptoms of withdrawal are much more prominent and common than physical symptoms, and include:
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Memory impairment
- Insomnia and hypersomnia
- Sleep disturbances
- Extreme fatigue
- A loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
Adderall Withdrawal Effects
As Adderall works to increase focus, energy, euphoria, and concentration in those who use it, withdrawal effects are typically the opposite. When a person discontinues Adderall use, they will experience uncomfortable withdrawal effects. These effects are enhanced in those who have developed a higher tolerance for the drug.
Individuals experiencing the effects of withdrawal may experience symptoms such as:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Extreme fatigue
- Increased appetite
- Increased difficulty in concentration and focus
Adderall Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and dangerous, and can begin to show anywhere from a few hours after the last use of Adderall to days later.
1-36 Hours Without Adderall: Withdrawal signs can begin to show anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days after the last dose. Typically, an intense crash from withdrawal includes extreme fatigue and depression.
3-5 days Without Adderall: During the first week without Adderall, people will experience depression, feelings of irritability, and fatigue. Some individuals may also have nightmares and headaches. However, this week usually marks the peak of withdrawal symptoms.
5-7 Days Without Adderall: After around five days into the withdrawal, a person’s symptoms will start to fade. However, some may still be unable to fully participate in professional or social situations, as they’re still experiencing bouts of depression on a less severe level.
Adderall Detox Process
Detoxing from a drug is the process of a drug leaving a person’s body. Typically, withdrawal symptoms begin once a drug has completely left an individual’s system, and difficult symptoms may require medical supervision.
When detoxing from Adderall, most medical professionals at addiction treatment centers recommend a process that tapers a person off of the drug. By slowly limiting down doses of Adderall, the intensity of withdrawal symptoms are minimized.
Detoxing from Adderall at home or alone can pose dangerous risks for an individual’s psychological and physical well-being. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms at home can cause a relapse, as the proper support system and resources are not in place. When a person chooses to detox and withdrawal from Adderall with the help of residential inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation centers, they can better reduce their dosages while under supervised care.
If you need help detoxing from Adderall, call Futures today.