Adderall is the brand name for a drug made from dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The medication stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) to enhance attention span and decrease hyperactivity. It is typically prescribed for treating narcolepsy or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Suddenly quitting Adderall may result in a crash with undesirable withdrawal symptoms such as sluggishness, depression, and problems sleeping.
Since the drug is a stimulant, Adderall works by boosting concentration and energy levels. However, many people also take it without a medical prescription to help them with school or work. Once the individual stops taking the drug, regardless of whether they have a prescription, the surge of energy goes down. Instead, the person starts feeling depressed, tired, and exhausted. After several days, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as intense cravings, mood swings, and an increased appetite, which can go on for up to three months. However, most people might start to improve after a few weeks. Typical Adderall symptoms to expect during detox include:
- Wanting to isolate
- Lost interest in hobbies
- Feeling despair or worthlessness
- Sleep disruptions
- Trouble focusing
- Intense irritability or frustration
When medical providers prescribe Adderall or other CNS stimulant medication, they often start with a low dose and gradually increase it until it starts working as desired. This helps the patient treat their condition with the lowest possible dose and reduces the likelihood of developing withdrawal when they are off the drug. Taking the medication regularly at the same time, often during morning hours, may also help to decrease withdrawal. Taking Adderall later during the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
Not all people on Adderall will experience withdrawal after quitting using the drug. Tapering off the medication gradually under medical supervision can help one avoid this as a whole. People who take higher doses of Adderall or abuse the drug tend to experience more intense withdrawal symptoms.
How to Manage Adderall Crash/Withdrawal
Individuals experiencing Adderall withdrawal symptoms should seek medical assistance because they are highly likely to relapse in the initial days after stopping the drug. The medical professional may want to monitor you as you detox from Adderall to check for any indication of suicidal thoughts or depression. The doctor might prescribe antidepressants for people suffering from severe depression.
There are no specific medications to treat Adderall withdrawal, so you will have to manage the symptoms accordingly. The duration of withdrawal depends on how long you have been using Adderall and the dosage. The symptoms can go on for a few days to weeks.
Here are a few ways to alleviate the symptoms of an Adderall crash:
Heed the Doctor’s Recommendations
Once your medical provider terminates your Adderall prescription, make sure you follow whatever instructions they give you exactly. The doctor is there to ensure the detox process is bearable for you, so follow any advice they give you. If you experience any problems, speak to your doctor before altering the prescription plan, and never take Adderall without getting a prescription for it first.
Individuals who are detoxing from Adderall after using it for a long time or suffering from addiction can benefit from professional treatment programs. These programs can help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms and give you the necessary assistance and resources for lasting recovery.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
Detoxing from Adderall can significantly affect your hydration and appetite levels. This is why it is essential to eat healthy foods and take lots of water during this period. If you have any digestive problems, try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three huge meals.
Engage in Self-Care Practices
Treat yourself to self-care and relaxing activities to help you deal with any uncomfortable Adderall withdrawal symptoms you may be going through. Do some yoga, meditate, take a warm bath, or indulge in other calming activities.
Let Your Sleep Take Priority
Quitting Adderall can influence your quality of sleep. You can remedy this by ensuring your sleeping space promotes better sleep by minimizing light, keeping it cool, and controlling the sound with a white noise machine. Try not to use your phone when you go to bed and keep it silent when sleeping. It also helps to follow a sleep schedule by sleeping and waking up at the same time daily. This is an efficient way to help the body establish a rhythm.
Avoid Taking other Stimulants
Other stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine can make it harder to deal with the symptoms of Adderall withdrawal and trigger one’s anxiety. This is why it is better to avoid using them, especially right before bed.
Give Your Mind A Break
When you are detoxing from Adderall, it can be challenging to keep focused since the drug is a stimulant and alters your brain chemistry during withdrawal. If possible, try to go for low-focus activities instead of any that require high-focus levels. If you can, try taking time off school or work and allow yourself more time to accomplish tasks.
A little bit of exercise can be highly effective for managing withdrawal symptoms while increasing serotonin levels in the body, making you feel good. Exercise also allows you to get vitamin D and fresh air in the process, thus helping to improve your mood. Just ensure you don’t push yourself too hard and keep hydrated.
Have A Support System
If the withdrawal process is too challenging for you, connect with your support system. This will help you remember that you are not alone in your journey. They can be a pleasant distraction and offer a listening ear when you need them.
Remember that Adderall withdrawal symptoms are usually temporary, and the longer you don’t take the drug, the weaker the symptoms become. Just stay the course, and you will be well on your way to recovery.