Adderall Withdrawal & Treatment

Adderall (dextroamphetamine/amphetamine) is a prescription stimulant approved to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While prescription stimulants like Adderall can be helpful for those who need them, they are also widely diverted and abused.1,2

Between 2020 and 2021, an estimated 3.2 million Americans aged 12 and older reported misusing Adderall or other prescription amphetamines.3

People who misuse Adderall regularly for extended periods of time may experience withdrawal if they suddenly stop or reduce their use.1,4 Read on to learn more about the withdrawal syndrome associated with Adderall, potential Adderall withdrawal symptoms, and how to get help for an Adderall addiction.

Adderall Dependence

Adderall withdrawal results from dependence. Dependence is a physiological adaptation of the body to a substance, wherein the body becomes so used to the drug being present in its system that when the individual cuts back on their use or quits, withdrawal symptoms emerge. In other words, a person feels like they need this drug to function normally.5

The medication guide for Adderall warns that CNS stimulants, including Adderall, have a high potential for abuse and dependence.1

Dependence and addiction are not the same thing. But with significant levels of physiological dependence, a person may continue compulsive drug use to avoid unwanted withdrawal symptoms, which can ultimately lead to addiction.5

Additionally, physiological dependence is one of the 11 criteria doctors consider when diagnosing a stimulant use disorder.6

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal syndrome associated with Adderall and other prescription stimulants is characterized by a set of symptoms that arise when a person suddenly stops or reduces their use of the drug.1

Adderall withdrawal symptoms may include:1,4,7

  • Depressed mood.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sleep problems, such as sleeping too much (hypersomnia) or sleeping too little (insomnia).
  • Vivid, unpleasant dreams.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Slowdown of mental and physical activity (e.g., trouble concentrating).
  • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability.

Research also shows that prescription stimulant withdrawal can cause vomiting, headaches (including migraines), and light sensitivity.7

Generally speaking, withdrawal from prescription stimulants is less physically distressing and medically intensive than the withdrawal syndromes associated with opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol.8

Adderall Addiction Help

Rather than stopping Adderall cold turkey, talk to your doctor about the most appropriate way to quit or reduce your use. And if you or a loved one is struggling with Adderall addiction, professional treatment can help.

Treatment for stimulant use disorders typically involves a combination of behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM).7

CM is an evidence-based approach that gives rewards—vouchers and even cash—to patients who meet certain treatment goals, such as staying drug-free. Alternatively, these rewards are withheld if a patient fails to meet their goals.4,7

CM is the only approach with significant research supporting its effectiveness in the treatment of stimulant use disorders.7

However, limited research also suggests that activities like physical exercise and meditation can be helpful in managing stimulant addiction and may lead to better treatment outcomes.7

There are currently no medications approved to treat stimulant addiction or stimulant withdrawal.7

Find Recovery at Desert Hope

At Desert Hope, we offer different types of addiction treatment and personalized treatment plans designed to meet the individual needs of each patient.

Research suggests that people with stimulant use disorders commonly use other licit and illicit substances and often have at least one other co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression, ADHD, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).7,9

Polysubstance use and pre-existing mental health conditions can make the treatment process more complex.7 Our inpatient rehab in Las Vegas specializes in the treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders for patients who may be battling more than one condition at the same time.

To learn more about our programs, paying for rehab, or using insurance to pay for rehab, call us at . Our admissions navigators are available around the clock to answer questions, , and help you start treatment today.

Quitting Adderall can be hard. Know that you are not alone, and the path to recovery is waiting for you at Desert Hope.


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