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Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawal

After the initial diagnosis of ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, your provider may prescribe Adderall for treatment, and Adderall withdrawal is not even a consideration. Adderall was designed to improve focus and concentration for those with ADHD. Adderall boosts dopamine levels in the brain to address the lack of focus and attention. With the focus being alleviating adverse symptoms, providers have little time to discuss possible withdrawal complications. 

Time is of the essence in the medical profession. But unfortunately, time means money, and precautionary instructions take a backseat. Providers’ time is being stretched to include as many patients as possible. Adderall withdrawal isn’t generally discussed during initial visits. 

Education concerning the adjustment of dopamine levels and the dangers of disruptions of brain chemistry is essential. Additional time for education could lead to a better understanding of what could happen in changing dosage levels. Medication is designed to help, not hinder. Making the distinction early on, the dangers of misuse of Adderall may eliminate the possibility of experiencing Adderall withdrawal. 

Adderall Addiction Can Be Accidental

Adderall addiction can occur accidentally, without any intention of misuse. Stimulants address the adverse symptoms of ADHD that lead to frustration and problems with everyday life. However, within the scope of the drug’s ability to increase energy, focus, concentration, and well-being, the tendency that a little more might be better does happen. Unintentional increases in dosage could lead to Adderall withdrawal if the dosage fluctuates. 

In other cases, the feelings of focus, energy, and well-being are well-known aspects of Adderall, and people who are not prescribed Adderall by a doctor seek it out. Unfortunately, the addictive properties of Adderall can lead to addiction very quickly without intent. Users may just be looking for help with school or their occupational focus. Upon stopping use, Adderall withdrawal can present, causing additional problems for the user. 

Signs of Adderall Addiction

  • Continued increasing dosage when prescribed Adderall by a provider
  • Development of an inability to function without using the drug
  • Spending money to get more Adderall than prescribed by a physician
  • Continuing to use Adderall throughout any adverse effects that present

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

When tolerance develops from taking more Adderall than prescribed regularly, the body reflects the need for more drugs to reach the desired effect. Tolerance is the primary determinant of addiction. Users are excited about the effects of the drug without considering the effects the drug has on brain chemistry. Adderall withdrawal symptoms occur because of the drug’s effects on dopamine levels in the brain. 

Once tolerance develops, the body is dependent on the drug to function. Uncomfortable Adderall withdrawal symptoms can cause the individual to use the drug to avoid discomfort. Once addiction is established, professional treatment is advised to manage the detox from the drug. Once a lesser dosage is attempted, or use stops, physical and psychological complications could occur. 

The following Adderall withdrawal signs and symptoms could occur with misuse or addiction to Adderall:

  • Nausea, stomach pains, cramps, and vomiting
  • Fluctuations in mood
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Extreme irritability
  • Difficulties with normal eating and sleeping habits
  • Fatigue and lack of motivation
  • Crying without reason
  • Focus issues
  • Vividly intense dreams
  • Problems with memory
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • No interest in previously attractive activities

Adderall Withdrawal Timeline

The determining factors for the Adderall withdrawal timeline depend upon individual determinations. For example, age, gender, length of usage, dosage levels, and physical health are significant factors in how long it will take to detox from Adderall. In addition, genetic factors and a family history of addiction are complications that could determine the timeline. Other mental health disruptions can also affect the length of withdrawal from Adderall. 

Significant factors that affect the length of Adderall withdrawal can include any of the following:

  • Length of usage
  • Dosage amounts
  • Frequency of usage
  • The physical and mental health of the user
  • Genetic and family history of addiction
  • Social support system
  • Diet or nutrition habits of the user
  • Use of any other substances while taking Adderall
  • Method of Adderall use, smoking, injecting, snorting, or pills

The typical Adderall withdrawal timeline in days, weeks, or months differs for each user. Therefore, managing Adderall withdrawal is also a determining factor as to the length of withdrawal symptoms. In addition, professional treatment protocols vary from center to center. Therefore, deciding on managing Adderall withdrawal is a personal and professional decision after a proper assessment and evaluation. 

The typical withdrawal timeline is as follows:

  • Days One and Two: Adderall withdrawal symptoms typically begin six hours after the last dosage of Adderall. Initial symptoms generally present with extreme fatigue and depression.
  • Days Three to Five: During this timeframe, the peak of withdrawal symptoms typically occurs. Individual factors affect the intensity of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Heavily addicted users will feel the most extreme symptoms. Fatigue, depression, appetite increase, headache, difficulties focusing, nightmares, and irritability are normal. 
  • Days Five to Seven: Soon after day five, Adderall withdrawal symptoms typically decrease with intensity. Some symptoms will disappear. Psychological withdrawal symptoms can extend. Depression and moodiness are likely to continue, but you can address those symptoms with treatment that includes therapy.
  • Week two and beyond: After the first week of Adderall withdrawal, the physical symptoms typically subside. To prevent relapse, further treatment through therapy can avoid disruptions in sobriety. Sadness, craving for Adderall, and depression can last for an extended period. 

Those who experience Adderall addiction due to misuse or overuse after a prescription for Adderall for ADHD may need to continue therapy and find a new treatment option. The treatment team, physician, and individual need to work closely together to avoid further addiction complications. Prevention of relapse is always a concern. Therefore, continued therapy is advisable for best-case results.

Find Help for Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms in Tennessee

If you or a loved one is experiencing an addiction to Adderall and have concerns about the withdrawal symptoms, Tennessee Valley Recovery can address them. Our experienced and professionally designed treatment programs for detox from Adderall have been proven successful. In addition, our intake specialists can run an assessment and evaluation to get you started on a recovery journey. Contact us today to begin your recovery journey!