Adderall is one of the most widely prescribed and effective treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug has helped millions of people improve the quality of their lives.
However, Adderall is also an addictive substance that may cause an Adderall use disorder, even when taken according to prescription. In cases of Adderall addiction, a medically supervised Adderall detox is often necessary to ease withdrawal symptoms.
What Is Adderall Withdrawal?
When a person uses Adderall repeatedly, even if they are using it according to a prescription, their body becomes accustomed to its presence. Eventually, the body’s systems will no longer be able to function “normally” without the drug.
When a person detoxes from Adderall by stopping or tapering off the drug, it will take their body time to return to normal functioning. During this time, they will experience several unpleasant symptoms collectively known as withdrawal.
Adderall Detox Symptoms
Every individual and every Adderall use disorder is unique. That means that what symptoms will appear, and whether they can be treated in Adderall detox, will also be unique.
Some factors that determine what symptoms appear include the patient’s gender, age, and weight, the presence of any co-occurring addictions or mental health conditions, and the length and severity of the addiction.
However, some of the most common or serious Adderall withdrawal symptoms detox can help with include:
- Adderall cravings or urges
- Concentration difficulty
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Increased appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
Adderall Detox Timeline: How Long Does It Take to Detox Your Body From Adderall?
Many factors go into determining how long Adderall withdrawal and detox take. Some of these factors include:
- Medical and psychological characteristics of the patient
- How long the addiction lasted
- How much Adderall the patient used
- Whether Adderall was used alongside other drugs or alcohol
- The treatment policies and procedures of the detox facility
This means that how long Adderall detox will take for one person might be dramatically different from how long it would take another.
However, it is possible to put together a general Adderall detox timeline of what to expect.
Adderall Detox Timeline: 6-48 Hours After Last Dose
The first withdrawal symptoms typically begin a few hours to two days after the last dose of Adderall. Initially, these symptoms are relatively few in number and comparatively low in severity.
Many patients will experience a “crash,” commonly seen with stimulant withdrawal, that can involve physical tiredness and depression.
Adderall Detox Timeline: 3-7 Days After Last Dose
Adderall withdrawal symptoms typically worsen for between two and five days after they first appear. The symptoms will grow in number and increase in severity.
This stage is when withdrawal symptoms will be the toughest to get through for most patients, and therefore when medically supervised Adderall detox is the most critical.
Adderall Detox Timeline: 1-4 Weeks After Last Dose
Within a week or so, most patients see their symptoms decrease in severity or disappear entirely. Most patients will have seen the vast majority, if not all, of their Adderall withdrawal symptoms disappear within a month.
Adderall Detox Timeline: 1-24 Months After Last Dose
In some cases, Adderall withdrawal symptoms may persist for up to two years. These symptoms are generally mild and may not be constant, only sporadic. This situation is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
Adderall Detox at Home: Tips and Methods
WARNING: It is never advisable to stop using Adderall without first consulting your physician. In all cases, professional supervision and guidance are recommended, even if you are attempting Adderall detox at home.
In many cases, patients will not need to attend a detox facility to safely detox from Adderall (although this might be advisable or necessary in some circumstances). Instead, they can use what is known as a taper-down, or tapering-down, method under the supervision of their doctor. The taper-down method requires patients to gradually reduce their dose over time, lowering the dose at periodic intervals until the dose reaches zero.
The taper-down method gives the body and mind more time to adjust to the lack of Adderall in their systems, thus preventing or easing withdrawal symptoms.
If you plan to detox from Adderall at home, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) Valerie Puffenberger has some tips to help mitigate some of the symptoms:
- Reach out to someone to check in on you
- Increase fluid intake
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
- Manage mild aches and pains with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen
Please be advised that tapering down on Adderall should only be performed under the guidance of a physician.
Coping With Adderall Withdrawal: Medically Assisted Adderall Detox
The symptoms that accompany Adderall withdrawal can be quite unpleasant. In fact, many people who try to quit “cold turkey” return to using Adderall because of how difficult the withdrawal symptoms are to deal with.
The best way to avoid the symptoms of Adderall withdrawal is to undergo medically supervised Adderall detox. The Adderall detox process aims to keep patients as safe and comfortable as possible while they experience withdrawal symptoms.
The goal is to give patients the support and care they need to get through Adderall withdrawal so they can enter further treatment, such as inpatient or outpatient rehab, in the best possible state of mind.
During Adderall detox, treatment workers provide medications that alleviate or eliminate withdrawal symptoms. A significant amount of support and therapies are also part of the process. In many cases, an Adderall tapering-down method will be used, although this is not appropriate in all cases.
Preventing Adderall Relapse
Preventing Adderall relapse, or the return to using after a period of sobriety, is one of the biggest concerns of anyone in Adderall recovery. Even a small slip-up can undo years of hard work and dedication. However, there are many strategies and ways to prevent Adderall relapse:
- Have a support system – There is perhaps no more important and effective method of preventing relapse than having a support system of caring people.
- Participate in a support group – There are thousands of support groups across the country, like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) chapters, that can provide support, community, and practical guidance to those in Adderall recovery.
- Know your triggers and how to handle them – Triggers are things that motivate Adderall use and can be personal, psychological, medical, situational, or environmental. If you are aware of your triggers and know how to cope with them in a healthy and appropriate manner, you will be much less likely to relapse.
- Self-care – If you are in the best possible state you can be in physically, mentally, and spiritually, you are much less likely to relapse. Self-care can also be a method of dealing with triggers.
- Uncover and deal with the underlying roots of Adderall addiction – Addiction is a disease with many potential causes. If these underlying root causes are not dealt with, it is often hard to break free from addiction, and relapse is more likely.
Need Help Getting Off Adderall?
If you or someone you love is suffering from an Adderall use disorder, you don’t have to wait another moment to get treatment. There are thousands of Adderall treatment programs throughout the country, including those at Legacy Healing Center.
Legacy uses a holistic treatment approach that focuses on healing a patient medically, mentally, and spiritually. Clinical therapy, proper medication management, aftercare, integration of life factors, and other treatment services help patients regain and maintain their sobriety.
Call 888-534-2295 today to speak with the staff at Legacy Healing Center.
Adderall Detox FAQs
How long does the Adderall detox process take?
How long Adderall detox takes will vary significantly from person to person. Most patients will be through the worst of withdrawal within five to seven days of their last Adderall dose and will be completely through detox within a month. In most cases, medically supervised Adderall detox will end at this time. In rarer cases, PAWS symptoms may persist for up to two years, which may require some detox intervention.
Can I detox from Adderall at home?
Whether you can detox from Adderall at home depends on many factors and should only happen under the supervision of a physician. In general, Adderall use disorders that are less severe, of a shorter duration, or result from prescription use rather than illegal use are more likely to be treated by detox at home.
Adderall detox at home is most likely to be in the form of a taper-down method, in which the dose of Adderall is gradually diminished over time.
Please note that you should never attempt Adderall detox without the consultation and monitoring of your physician.
Are there any medications that can help with Adderall detox?
Several medications are used during Adderall detox to reduce or eliminate individual symptoms of Adderall withdrawal, including:
- Modafinil – Used to alleviate Adderall withdrawal symptoms.
- Benzodiazepines – Used to treat anxiety caused by Adderall withdrawal.
- Over-the-counter medications – Used to alleviate or eliminate Adderall withdrawal symptoms.
- A variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications – Used to treat co-occurring disorders that were either the original cause of the Adderall prescription or another condition.
What are some natural methods to successfully detox from Adderall?
Natural Adderall detox is somewhat controversial in the addiction field, with many advising against it. However, most experts do agree that some natural Adderall detox methods are effective, at least when combined with other detox tools. Some of the most common natural methods used in Adderall detox include:
- Herbal and traditional remedies
- Natural diet (for example, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, vitamins, and minerals)
Partnership to End Addiction. (2023, July). Prescription Stimulant Fact Sheet.
National Library of Medicine. (2019, April 15). Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine.
American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2019, September 15). Definition of Addiction.