Substance Use

Adderall Detox: How to Detox Safely

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Detoxing from Adderall is a key guide for individuals looking to step back from the use of Adderall, especially if it has been used outside prescribed guidelines or in higher doses. Adderall, a medication primarily used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, can be habit-forming when misused, leading to physical dependence. (1)

The process of detoxification marks the first step towards recovery, aiming to rid the body of the drug while managing withdrawal symptoms safely and effectively. This journey requires careful planning under medical supervision to mitigate risks associated with withdrawal and ensure a supportive transition toward healing.

By understanding how to detox safely from Adderall—including potential challenges one might face—individuals are better equipped with knowledge and resources that pave the way for successful recovery efforts from drug abuse grounded in health and well-being.

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What is an Adderall Detox?

Adderall detox should only be attempted under the careful supervision of a healthcare professional. (2)

What you can expect during and after the Adderall detox process includes:

  1. Setting up a weaning schedule and treatment plan.
  2. Seeking an emotional support “buddy” — typically a mental healthcare provider — while you’re in medical detox.
  3. Keep yourself busy with activities to train your focus away from Adderall cravings.
  4. Create — and stick to — a healthy routine that includes proper eating, sleeping, and exercise routines, and continue any medications you’ve been prescribed or suggested supplements.
  5. Don’t miss any individual therapy or family therapy sessions, and make sure you attend all assigned support groups, group therapy sessions, and aftercare check-ins according to your treatment program.

How Long Will an Adderall Detox Last?

Below is a rough Adderall withdrawal timeline for how long an Adderall detox will last.

  • The first 6-24 hours after your last dose is when Adderall withdrawal symptoms typically surface, such as depression or fatigue.
  • During days 3-5, your symptoms will peak, resulting in increased feelings of irritability, depression, and fatigue. Side effects like headaches, nightmares, and poor sleep may appear.
  • By day five, Adderall withdrawal symptoms can start to fade. However, many people are still moody and irritable. 
  • Withdrawal symptoms may continue into weeks 3-4, particularly those who have been using higher doses of Adderall for over a year.

Acute Adderall withdrawal symptoms subside in a week or two. However, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) may also develop in some users over a period of time. (3)

This syndrome can create symptoms that include:

  • Ongoing anxiety
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Cravings
  • Mood changes
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sleep difficulties

This timeline differs for each person, which is why it is vital to engage in individualized treatment, especially if you are concerned about an underlying mental health condition.

How to Detox from Adderall Detox Safely

Adderall is a medication for individuals with symptoms of ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This stimulant medication has also been proven useful in the treatment of narcolepsy. This prescription drug is effective, but it also has addictive qualities if taken in high doses. (4)

If you or a loved one has been struggling with Adderall addiction, you may be looking into Adderall detox or treatment options.

An Adderall detox at a rehab program or addiction center is necessary because quitting this stimulant without weaning could cause unpleasant or dangerous withdrawal side effects. (5)

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms During an Adderall Detox?

Beginning Adderall detox on your own can be dangerous.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms and Adderall crash symptoms include: (6)

  • Inability to sleep
  • Appetite changes
  • Lethargy
  • Easily upset
  • Sadness and depression
  • Changes in mood
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Muscle stiffness and aches

How Long Do the Symptoms Last?

The duration and severity of Adderall withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s dosage, duration of use, and overall health. While some people may experience milder symptoms that resolve relatively quickly, others may have more severe or prolonged withdrawal experiences, where medical advice should be sought out. (7)

Here’s a general overview of the timeline for Adderall withdrawal symptoms:

  1. Initial Crash (24-72 hours)
    • In the first few days after discontinuing Adderall, individuals may experience a crash as the drug begins to leave their system.
    • Symptoms during this phase may include fatigue, increased appetite, depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
  2. Acute Withdrawal (1-2 weeks)
    • During the acute withdrawal phase, symptoms may peak in intensity and duration.
    • Common symptoms include intense cravings for Adderall, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness), and low energy levels.
    • Some individuals may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  3. Subacute Withdrawal (2-4 weeks)
    • As the acute withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, individuals may still experience lingering effects.
    • Symptoms during this phase may include persistent fatigue, mood disturbances, and continued cravings for Adderall.
    • Some individuals may also experience difficulty with concentration, memory, and overall cognitive function.
  4. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) (Months to Years)
    • In some cases, individuals may experience a prolonged period of withdrawal symptoms known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). (8)
    • PAWS symptoms can persist for several months or even years after discontinuing Adderall.
    • Common PAWS symptoms include intermittent cravings, mood swings, anxiety, depression, and difficulties with memory and concentration.

It’s important to note that the duration and severity of Adderall withdrawal symptoms can vary widely from person to person.

Factors such as individual physiology, dosage, duration of use, and psychological factors can all influence the withdrawal experience, especially when psychological symptoms are present.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone stops taking Adderall after prolonged use, their body needs time to adjust to functioning without it.

This adjustment period can bring about various withdrawal symptoms, similar to that of drug abuse, such as: 

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Physical discomfort like headaches

To navigate through these challenging times more comfortably:

  • Medical Supervision: Speaking with medical professionals at a treatment centeris key. Healthcare professionals can offer guidance on gradually reducing the dose of Adderall instead of stopping abruptly (“cold turkey”), minimizing the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Support Networks: Treatment centers that include friends, family members, or support groups for individuals undergoing similar experiences provide emotional backing, which plays a significant role in recovery.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Engaging in regular exercise helps boost mood and overall well-being; maintaining a balanced diet supports physical health while ensuring adequate rest aids with fatigue and sleep issues.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices can alleviate some mental distress associated with withdrawal, helping focus the mind toward positive outcomes during this transition phase. These techniques can help when tapering off Adderall and can help the central nervous system.

What Types of Treatment Are Used During an Adderall Detox?

An Adderall detox program may include any number of the following therapies, either inpatient or outpatient: (9)

  1. Medication Management: Medication management involves the use of medications to address withdrawal symptoms, manage cravings, and support the individual’s overall recovery process. While there are no specific medications approved for treating Adderall withdrawal, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or sleep disturbances that commonly occur during withdrawal. These medications may include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or sleep aids. Additionally, medications such as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists may be used to manage stimulant withdrawal symptoms. (10)
  2. Psychiatric Evaluation: A mental health professional conducts a psychiatric evaluation to assess the individual’s mental health status, identify any co-occurring psychiatric disorders or conditions, and develop an appropriate treatment plan. This evaluation helps determine if the individual requires additional psychiatric support or medication management during the detox process.
  3. Individual Therapy: Individual therapy involves one-on-one counseling sessions between the individual and a licensed therapist or counselor. During these sessions, the individual can explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to Adderall use, addiction treatment, withdrawal, and recovery. Therapists may use various therapeutic approaches, such as motivational interviewing, psychoeducation, and cognitive-behavioral techniques, to help the individual develop coping skills, increase self-awareness, and address underlying issues contributing to substance use.
  4. Group Therapy: Group therapy involves therapeutic sessions led by a trained facilitator and attended by multiple individuals who are experiencing similar challenges with substance use. Group sessions may focus on topics such as relapse prevention, coping strategies, interpersonal skills, and recovery-related education. Group therapy fosters a sense of community, reduces feelings of isolation, and promotes accountability and peer support.
  5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapeutic approach that focuses on identifying and modifying maladaptive thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that contribute to substance use and other problems. In the context of an Adderall detox program, CBT can help individuals recognize and challenge distorted thinking patterns, develop healthier coping skills, and learn effective strategies for managing cravings, triggers, and stressors. CBT is often used both in individual therapy sessions and group settings.
  6. Nutrition: Nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting the body’s recovery during detoxification from Adderall and other substances. A balanced and nutritious diet provides essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support overall health, promote healing, and replenish depleted nutrients. Healthcare providers may offer nutritional counseling and education to individuals in detox programs, helping them make healthier food choices, establish regular eating habits, and address any nutritional deficiencies or imbalances.
  7. Meditation and Breathwork: Meditation and breathwork techniques are mindfulness-based practices that can help individuals manage stress, reduce anxiety, and cultivate greater self-awareness during the detox process. Meditation and breathwork can be incorporated into individual therapy sessions, group sessions, or offered as standalone practices within an Adderall detox program.

Can You Detox from Adderall at Home or Not?

Due to the complicated Adderall withdrawal symptoms, it is not advised to attempt an Adderall detox at home. While most stimulant withdrawal symptoms are not entirely life-threatening, they can be highly uncomfortable or lead to serious life-threatening risks in some cases. (11)

Having the support you need at an inpatient Adderall detox and treatment program is crucial if you are seeking long-term sobriety.

If you are prescribed Adderall by your doctor, you can speak with them about gradually lowering your dose. If you are abusing your medication or mixing it with other substances, being honest with your doctor is critically important. Starting substance abuse treatment is key, especially if symptoms of withdrawal are occurring with lower doses.

How to Find an Adderall Detox Center Near Me

Adderall detox is your first step towards a full recovery from addiction. Zinnia Health has locations nationwide and is one of the top Adderall detox centers.

If you are looking for the nearest location to you, Zinnia Health has a list of local detox facilities and addresses on our website. You can also contact us through our 24/7 hotline.

Don’t delay getting help. We know it may seem terrifying to take that first step, but an Adderall detox center has the staff, care, and resources to see you through this challenging time.

Adderall addiction is an uphill battle if you try to wage the war on your own. At Zinnia Health, our caring and compassionate recovery specialists can be your battle partners and help you take the first step towards getting clean and beginning your life of sobriety anew. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (855) 430-9439 if you’re concerned about your Adderall use or that of a loved one.


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(855) 430-9439
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