Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

If someone who is abusing Adderall abruptly stops taking the drug, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms. Effects can include fatigue and anxiety.

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Adderall has become an increasingly popular drug of abuse in recent years. It is designed to increase attention and improve concentration, but some may abuse it for its ability to decrease appetite and cause energetic and upbeat feelings.3

If someone who is abusing Adderall abruptly stops taking the drug, he or she will likely experience Adderall withdrawal symptoms. Effects can include fatigue, depression, and disturbed sleep.3 The signs can last anywhere from several days to 1-2 weeks.1,2

To successfully navigate Adderall detox, it is important to understand the effects of amphetamine withdrawal, the timeline, and the potential medical complications.

Signs, Symptoms, and Effects

A person who has become addicted to a prescription stimulant medication such as Adderall will tend to consume the drug in larger quantities over time or will continue using Adderall for longer than originally intended. This leads the person to build both tolerance to the effects of the drug and dependence on the drug.

People with significant physiological dependence begin to require the drug to function and will experience withdrawal when Adderall is no longer used. Those going through Adderall withdrawal may show signs or experience symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up
  • Increased appetite
  • Psychomotor changes, such as uncontrollable or slowed movements
  • Vivid or unpleasant dreams
  • Depression2,3

These Adderall withdrawal effects can be quite uncomfortable, but they are usually not life-threatening. The severity of these signs will vary depending on factors such as:

  • Length of time Adderall has been used
  • Frequency of Adderall use
  • Dose of Adderall used
  • Whether Adderall was used in combination with alcohol or other drugs
  • Presence of any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Presence of mental health conditions

Post-Acute Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

If a person has been abusing Adderall for a long period of time or takes frequent doses of the drug, he or she may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms.1 In the post-acute withdrawal phase, certain signs linger for several weeks to several months.1 During this period, medical help and addiction recovery support can make the difference between relapse and a successful recovery.

Post-acute withdrawal effects include:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping1

Adderall Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal signs can show up within a few hours to several days of stopping use of the drug and may last 1-2 weeks.1,2

Your Adderall withdrawal timeline will depend on whether you are using other drugs in conjunction with Adderall. Your healthcare provider will also want to know your medical history and any pre-existing physical conditions that may contribute to more severe Adderall withdrawal symptoms.

Your healthcare provider will ask you:

  • How long you have been taking the drug?
  • How frequently you have taken it?
  • The dose you regularly took.

You may also be evaluated for other mental health conditions.

Medical Complications of Adderall Withdrawal

During withdrawal, your brain adapts to being without the drug. As this occurs, you will likely experience both physical and emotional symptoms. In some cases, both the physical and psychological symptoms can lead to medical complications. Some potential medical complications seen with Adderall withdrawal include:

  • Injuries or accidents caused by fatigue and sleepiness – People who experience fatigue or problems sleeping may find that something as simple as driving a car is a struggle.
  • Depression – Withdrawal symptoms such as depression can become dangerous, especially if you have a personal or family history of depression. During post-acute withdrawal, you may feel more easily agitated and have problems managing stress or doing complex tasks that require memory or concentration.
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions – In severe cases, depression caused by Adderall withdrawal can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

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Treatment for Adderall Withdrawal

During the withdrawal period, it is best to remain in a safe, comfortable place while your body adjusts. Many prefer to have medical help nearby in case more severe physical symptoms arise. If you attend a detox center or drug rehab facility, trained and supportive addiction treatment specialists will help you get through these difficult symptoms.