Over the past few decades, the misuse of prescription drugs has become a significant issue in our society. Every year, it seems like more people are falling victim to the dark rabbit hole of addictive substances.
One of the worst offenders is Adderall. This is a stimulant drug that doctors commonly prescribe to patients who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The medication helps these people focus and lead regular lives. Yet, if an individual doesn’t have ADHD and takes Adderall, the effect of the drug is a little different.
It’ll cause a sense of euphoria and give you a massive boost in energy. That’s why many people use this medication recreationally.
However, with prolonged use, Adderall can be incredibly addictive. The drug will cause changes in your brain chemistry that aren’t easy to shake.
The only way out of this rabbit hole is a full Adderall detox. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about flushing the medication out of your system.
Table of Contents
- Adderall Addiction Overview
- Understanding Adderall Detoxification
- Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
- Adderall Detox Timeline
- Managing Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
- Wrapping Up
Adderall Addiction Overview
Before we jump into how to overcome an Adderall addiction, it’s crucial that you understand how the drug affects your body. That way, you know what to expect during the detoxification process.
First up, Adderall is an addictive Schedule II controlled substance. Its main components are a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
These are both central nervous stimulants that can boost dopamine and norepinephrine levels in your body. This, in turn, will lead to improved focus and reduced impulsivity.
That’s why doctors usually prescribe this medication to people who are struggling with ADHD. Adderall will calm them down and allow them to control the symptoms of their condition.
However, if you don’t have ADHD, the medication will have different effects.
Since Adderall increases the production of dopamine, it can cause euphoria. On top of that, the drug can give the user a massive surge of energy.
This high can be incredibly addictive. So, as soon as the effects of the medication wear off, the user will want to take another pill.
Sadly, with extended use, your body will develop a dependence on Adderall. That’s because your brain will stop producing dopamine on its own.
This means your body will crave the medication to feel normal. On top of that, users will quickly build a tolerance to the drug.
So they’ll need to take a higher dose of Adderall to feel the same euphoria.
That’s the start of a vicious cycle that’ll be tough to stop. The only way to break out of this loop is to flush the Adderall out of your system.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. The Adderall detoxification process can be lengthy and quite challenging.
Types of Adderall
The type of Adderall an addict consumes can affect the withdrawal process. So, to help you gauge how long the detox will take, let’s dive into the varieties of the drug.
There are two main types of the medication that doctors usually prescribe. The first and most common is Adderall IR.
IR stands for instant release, so as you can imagine, this version of the drug is fast-acting. You’ll start to feel the effect of the drug shortly after taking it and it’ll last for about five to eight hours.
This means that your body can break down the medication rapidly.
Moving on, there’s Adderall XR or extended release. As The name suggests, this version offers lasting effects.
Typically, it can stay in your system anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. It’ll take a long while for your body to digest the drug and eliminate it.
Because of that, it’s ideal for around-the-clock use. However, since your body can’t break down Adderall XR rapidly, the substance will build up in your system.
This will complicate the detox process and make it last longer.
Understanding Adderall Detoxification
To overcome an Adderall addiction, you have to go through a thorough detoxification program. This will consist of clearing out the drug from your body and managing the withdrawal symptoms.
The first step is to flush the Adderall out of your system. From the outside, this may seem like an easy process.
All you have to do is stop taking the medication. Yet, it’s never a good idea to quit an addictive drug cold turkey.
That’s because eliminating Adderall suddenly will cause a sharp drop in your dopamine levels. This can wreak havoc on your mental health.
It’ll lead to depressive episodes, and in some severe cases, it may cause suicidal thoughts.
For that reason, it’s best practice to reduce your daily Adderall intake slowly. You have to gradually lower your dosage until there are no traces of the drug left in your body.
Besides that, if an addict takes a relatively high dose of Adderall over a prolonged period of time, they may experience psychological symptoms of withdrawal.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
When an individual stops taking Adderall after an extended period, they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. Typically, the effects of the drug will reverse, leading to mental health disorders.
For instance, as you wean yourself off the medication, you may notice that it’s more difficult to focus and your energy levels are plummeting.
This is due to the extensive alteration of your central nervous system caused by Adderall.
Aside from affecting your mental state, Adderall withdrawal can lead to many other adverse effects. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Increased appetite
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Stomach cramps
- Blurry vision
- Elevated heart rate
Most former Adderall addicts describe the experience as a mental fog. They talk about how they felt like their brain was processing information much slower than normal.
Without the drug in their system, it was tough to gather and express coherent thoughts. Plus, it may take a long period for them to regain any type of mental clarity.
While the effects of Adderall withdrawal can be difficult to work through, they don’t last forever.
Adderall Detox Timeline
Now that you understand what the Adderall detox process entails, we can take a look at the withdrawal timeline.
In this section, we’ll show you a rough estimate of how long it’ll take for you to flush the medication out of your system. Plus, we’ll cover what you can expect to experience during this period.
24 Hours Without Adderall
The first day without Adderall can be a little challenging. About six to nine hours after your last dose, the effects of the drug will begin to fade away.
At this point, most addicts will feel the “Adderall crash.” One of the earliest signs of this is irritability.
The individual will find it hard to focus on any tasks and they experience mood swings. They may throw a tantrum or become increasingly confrontational.
Plus, their cravings for Adderall will skyrocket.
Moving on, about 14 to 18 hours after the last dose, the physical symptoms will manifest. This can be anything from simple headaches to brain-splitting migraines.
Besides that, some people will get spasms or shaky limbs.
On top of that, they may experience an increase in appetite. They’ll try to fill the void left by Adderall with snacks and fatty foods.
By the end of the first day, most of the symptoms that show up aren’t debilitating. They’ll just leave the addict feeling incredibly uncomfortable.
To ensure the addict doesn’t hurt themselves during this period, it’s best for them to enroll in an inpatient treatment facility.
36 Hours Without Adderall
After 36 hours without Adderall, the withdrawal symptoms will intensify. At this point, the addict’s body has been starved of dopamine for over a day.
That’s when the psychological symptoms will flare up.
The person with a substance use disorder will have more frequent mood swings that are difficult to ignore. In addition, the first signs of depression will manifest.
Many former addicts say that they had trouble getting out of bed and completing regular daily tasks like taking out the trash.
Plus, the mental fogginess will set in. It’ll be exceptionally difficult for the drug abuser to focus on a simple conversation.
Other than that, the physical symptoms may also worsen. Addicts will experience intense fatigue and muscle aches.
48 to 120 Hours Without Adderall
Unfortunately, it takes a long while for Adderall to exit your system. So, even after 48 hours without the drug, there will still be traces left in your body.
That means the detox process isn’t complete.
As the first few days of withdrawal go by, the depression and fatigue will escalate, causing a whole host of issues.
For starters, the addict will go through insomnia. The severe discomfort they feel may prevent them from being able to go to sleep.
They’ll spend hours tossing and turning in bed without dozing off. On top of that, when they do manage to sleep, they’ll experience nightmares, or unpleasant dreams, that prevent them from getting any rest.
This will give the person with a drug abuse disorder a lot of time to think. While this is usually a good thing, in this case, it can be destructive.
As the addict lies sleepless in bed, they’ll replay traumatic events in their mind. Not only will that increase fatigue, but it’ll also drive them into a deeper depression.
That’s when the substance abuser is at their most vulnerable. All their defense mechanisms aren’t functioning as they should and they feel like they have no control over their body.
Because of that, they may experience suicidal thoughts.
This is typically the toughest period of withdrawal. That means as soon as you get past the first five days without Adderall, the detox process should get easier.
144 to 168 Hours Without Adderall
By this point, the Adderall should be out of your system. That’s when the symptoms of withdrawal will begin to fade.
Although, this will happen gradually.
The severe mood swings will slowly subside and the addict will start to regain control over their mental state. This should help with the insomnia.
About seven days after the last Adderall dose, the substance abuser should be able to get a good night’s sleep.
However, there will be some lingering symptoms during this period. For instance, many former Adderall users complained that they still had trouble forming coherent thoughts.
Sadly, that’ll prevent them from functioning normally in social settings.
Plus, they may experience minor psychological symptoms like mild depression. This should be far less intense than anything they went through during the first few days of withdrawal.
Two to Three Weeks Without Adderall
Once the first week of withdrawal passes, the detox process should become much more manageable. Even though the addict will experience some symptoms, they should be easy to deal with.
That means they can start getting over their chemical dependency and rebuild their lives.
Yet, there’s one symptom that’ll never completely disappear. No matter how long they’ve been off Adderall, most former addicts will experience cravings.
While they’re much less severe than before, the urge to take Adderall again won’t fade. That’s why programs like sober living homes and support group therapy are exceptionally crucial.
However, this timeline can change based on a few factors. For starters, if an individual is taking an exceptionally high dose of the addictive substance, the symptoms of withdrawal may show up a lot sooner than expected.
Besides that, the type of Adderall you’re taking will play a major role.
Managing Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
You have to remember that Adderall detox isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Each person suffering with addiction will need a specific treatment plan that’s tailored to their condition.
Because of that, it’s not a good idea to attempt the withdrawal process on your own. You should contact a medical professional and ask for guidance.
That’s when Live Free Recovery Services can come in handy. We offer detoxification programs with different levels of care to anyone trying to overcome chemical dependency.
Adderall is a prescription medication that’s meant to treat disorders like ADHD. However, if you don’t struggle with this condition, the drug can cause a sensation of euphoria that’s highly addictive.
That’s why there are countless Adderall detox facilities around the country. If you’re battling with this addiction, reach out to Live Free Recovery Services today to get the help you need.
Published on: 2023-11-22
Updated on: 2023-12-20