Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment

In 2021, 3.7 million people in the United States reported misusing prescription stimulant medications within the past year.1 Of those, 3.2 million misused amphetamine medications like Adderall.1Adderall and other prescription stimulant misuse can lead to a number of negative health outcomes, including dependence and continued problematic substance use which could lead to addiction.2

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you cut back or stop using a substance is a sign of dependence.2 Experiencing Adderall withdrawal symptoms, though not necessarily dangerous, is often very uncomfortable and unpleasant.3,6 So uncomfortable that people often return to using Adderall in order to avoid them.3,6 

We’ll discuss Adderall misuse, including risks, withdrawal, and how to get help if you or a loved one is struggling with dependence on or addiction to Adderall.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication that is approved for the treatment of attention.2 It is a stimulant that increases the activity of the central nervous system, which can help people with ADHD to better regulate attention. behavior and impulses.4

Adderall Side Effects

Common side effects from Adderall include:2

  • Headache.
  • Stomach ache.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Weight loss.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Nervousness.
  • Mood swings.
  • Dizziness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Rapid heartbeat.

Risks of Adderall Misuse

Misuse of prescription stimulant medications such as Adderall, particularly at high doses, can lead to adverse health outcomes and dependence.7

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Adderall withdrawal symptoms occur when someone’s body has adapted to the regular presence of Adderall, and therefore, requires it to function normally.5

 Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:2,6

  • Dysphoric mood.
  • Fatigue.
  • Vivid, unpleasant dreams.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Psychomotor retardation or agitation.
  • Agitation and irritability.
  • Depression.
  • Hypersomnia.
  • Muscle aches.

Adderall Addiction

Adderall is sometimes misused as a study drug by high school and college students9 or to increase cognitive abilities in older individuals.7 Still others may misuse Adderall to offset the negative effects of other substances, like opioids or alcohol.8 Beyond experiencing acute side effects and dependence, those misusing Adderall are at greater risk of psychiatric dysfunction, illness, and an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with a substance use disorder than non-Adderall misusers. This could manifest itself as an Adderall addiction or an addiction to other substances, such as alcohol, opioids, or marijuana.

Addiction is a chronic condition characterized by the continued compulsive use of a substance despite the clinically significant harm it causes to someone’s life or well-being.10 Adderall addiction and other substance use disorders can have a devastating impact on someone’s health, career, and relationships.

Adderall Addiction Treatment

Adderall withdrawal can be challenging, as symptoms can cause significant discomfort in the form of depression, anhedonia, and craving.3,6 While there are no FDA-approved medications for stimulant withdrawal, professional management of  withdrawal symptoms may benefit you from the perspective of safety and comfort and can also lay a firm foundation for starting your recovery. Medical detox may be beneficial if you are also struggling with misuse of other drugs as well, such as opioids, sedatives (e.g, benzodiazepines), or alcohol.6

Treatment for Adderall addiction and other substance use disorders can involve a combination of proven interventions, including:3,11

  • Behavioral therapy. Different types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and motivational interviewing (MI), are common in addiction treatment in rehab.
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment. Many people who struggle with addiction also have one or more underlying mental health disorders.3,13 Research shows that treating the addiction and mental health issues simultaneously is more effective than treating them separately.13
  • Recovery groups. Peer support is a vital part of addiction recovery. Regular meetings of 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), as well as non-12-step alternatives like SMART Recovery can help patients build a sense of community and provide beneficial social support.11
  • Addiction education. Gaining insight into addiction, trigger recognition, and relapse prevention skills, are vital components of the recovery process.11

If you or someone you love is struggling with Adderall misuse or addiction, help is available. At our Orange County, CA rehab we use evidence-based addiction-focused treatment modalities to help people get on the road to recovery.

Contact our knowledgeable, compassionate, and helpful admissions navigators at 24/7 to learn more about our treatment hospital and levels of care. Our navigators can also help you through the rehab admissions process and answer any questions you may have, such as using insurance coverage for rehab, other ways to pay for addiction treatment, or what to expect when you get here.

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