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Medically Reviewed

Do I Need Detox for Adderall Addiction?

- 4 sections

Medically Verified: July 28, 2021

Medical Reviewer:

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Adderall is a stimulant drug that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Doctors often prescribe it to treat the symptoms of ADHD. The chemicals in Adderall affect chemicals in the brain and regulate things like impulse control and hyperactivity. Many people take it recreationally to aid in athletic performance, to help them focus during studying, as an appetite suppressant, or for its euphoria-producing effects. Adderall is one of the most commonly used drugs on college campuses and among young people in the United States. Recent research showed that about 6% of college students used Adderall weekly, most often without a prescription.[1]

Adderall is a highly addictive drug. While it is more common for people to become addicted after taking Adderall as prescribed, anyone can become addicted to it after taking it for any purpose. Adderall use changes people’s brain and most people find it incredibly difficult to quit using it on their own. It is also easy to get Adderall. In the last 20 years, Adderall prescriptions have increased rapidly. In 2010, there were 18 million prescriptions for Adderall in the United States, making it widely available to people who want access to it.[2]

Once Adderall addiction develops, people who stop taking the drug may experience withdrawal symptoms. However, Adderall withdrawal is generally not life-threatening, but detox is recommended. Understanding what Adderall detox is like and how it is treated can help you make informed choices about getting the treatment you need to overcome addiction.


Recognizing the Signs of Adderall Addiction

You might have an idea about what addiction looks like from seeing it portrayed in movies or on TV. However, addiction often looks different in real life. Recognizing Adderall addiction early can help you get the help you need sooner. The sooner you start addiction treatment, the better chance you will have of overcoming your addiction and having a lifelong recovery.

Some common signs of addiction include:

  • Using Adderall without a prescription
  • Needing to take more Adderall to get the same effect
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about how to get more Adderall or when you can use it next
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit or reduce your Adderall use
  • Continuing to take Adderall despite having negative consequences
  • Lying about or hiding your Adderall use

Addiction can start slowly and build quickly. It can happen to people who start out taking the medication as prescribed and to people to have only used Adderall recreationally. If you show any of these signs of addiction, it is important that you seek detox and treatment as soon as possible.

What is Adderal Withdrawal Like?

During the detoxification process, the body naturally rids itself of toxins, including drugs and alcohol. While this process is natural, people in detox can experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms as their body adjusts to the absence of drugs or alcohol.

There are two kinds of Adderall available: regular Adderall and Adderall XR. A dose of Adderall generally stays in your system for about six hours. Adderall XR works differently. It builds up in your body over time and the effects can last longer.[1] Similarly, withdrawal from the two different versions of Adderall can be very different. While people who take Adderall may experience withdrawal symptoms sooner, their total withdrawal period may be shorter than people who take Adderall XR. For those taking Adderall XR, the withdrawal period may take several weeks.

Symptoms of withdrawal from Adderall may begin as soon as six hours after taking your last dose, but will almost certainly start in the first 36 hours. Symptoms peak between the third and fifth day of withdrawal and can include:[3]

adderall withdrawal symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep and appetite

Symptoms of withdrawal can linger for up to a month, especially if you have been using Adderall for a year or more. The safest way to detox from Adderall is to do is a medically assisted detox program.

What Happens in an Adderall Detox Program?

While people may not often experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms during Adderall detox, many people struggle to have a complete detox because of how uncomfortable they feel. People in treatment for Adderall addiction often start out with medically supervised detox to ensure that they can have a complete, comfortable withdrawal from the drug.

During medically supervised detox, you will receive support and supervision from a team of medical and addiction specialists. For some people, this may mean receiving medications to help keep them comfortable, holistic treatments to support healing, and emotional support. Adderall detox programs allow people to distance themselves from their triggers and the substance itself, which allows them to avoid an early relapse.

Find an Adderall Detox in Charlotte, North Carolina Today

If you or someone you love require treatment for Adderall addiction, you are not alone, and detox is the first step. Reach out to the staff at Charlotte North Carolina Detox for more information about our addiction treatment and recovery programs.

You do not have to live with addiction. With the right support and treatment, anyone can overcome their addiction and learn how to live a healthy, fulfilling life. Don’t wait another day for life-changing prescription drug treatment. Call today to begin your recovery.