Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is frequently prescribed in an extended release tablet known as Adderall XR. A blend of amphetamine compounds, Adderall is a potent stimulant that provides users with increased energy and focus. For this reason, students and athletes often abuse the “study drug” to enhance performance. Adderall also increases dopamine levels in the brain, elevating mood when used as prescribed, but inducing euphoria when abused at high doses.

When Adderall is used as prescribed (typically once-or-twice daily doses between 5 and 30 mg), the risk of addiction is low. However many people abuse Adderall by crushing the pills and snorting them, making its effects more potent and addiction more likely. Recreational users typically consume Adderall at much higher doses than prescribed. Many heavy users of the drug experience Adderall withdrawal if they abruptly stop, leading to uncomfortable symptoms, such as insomnia and anxiety.

The Risks of Stopping Adderall Cold Turkey

Heavy Adderall users who abruptly stop taking the drug (known as “going cold turkey”) can experience painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The body becomes accustomed to the effects of Adderall when taken at high doses. Without Adderall, heavy users will have difficulty concentrating and experience fatigue and depression. Withdrawal from Adderall is not life-threatening. However, medical professionals recommend that people receive treatment at a detox or drug rehab facility when withdrawing from Adderall

Dependant users who get treatment have the best chance at successfully ending their addiction. At a drug rehab or detox facility, clients are less likely to return to use if their withdrawal symptoms are properly managed.

Adderall Is Often Abused with Alcohol

Adderall is popularly known as a “study drug,” enabling users to better focus and to stay up long hours to cram for a test. However, people also use Adderall like cocaine as a “stay awake to party” drug, leading to dangerous consequences. When combined with alcohol, Adderall can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, according to research by doctors at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York. People who abuse both Adderall and alcohol are also likely to experience a more dangerous and complicated withdrawal process. Medical professionals encourage people addicted to Adderall and alcohol to safely withdrawal from the substances at a detox or drug rehab facility.

Adderall Is Often Easy to Obtain

Adderall is most commonly used to treat ADHD. Doctors typically diagnose the disorder using a questionnaire. People looking to abuse Adderall often fake their answers on the questionnaire to make it appear that they suffer from the disorder. Partly because of this, demand for Adderall has increased in recent years. In 2012, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) granted drug companies more access to amphetamines after pharmacies reported widespread shortages of Adderall. Abuse of Adderall is especially pronounced among high school and college students. A 2015 government report found that among these students drug and alcohol use is declining overall. However, Adderall use was on the rise–the only substance to see an increase.

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Adderall Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Adderall Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

The severity of symptoms depends on how the drug was used and at what doses. The withdrawal symptoms of Adderall are primarily psychological in nature. These painful symptoms often encourage those struggling with an addiction to Adderall to return to use.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Drug cravings
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Nightmares or vivid dreams
  • Suicidal thoughts

Adderall Withdrawal Timeline

Adderall Withdrawal Timeline

First Look at Ritalin Withdrawal Schedule Timeline

The body processes Ritalin more quickly than Adderall, which has longer-lasting effects. For this reason, Ritalin’s withdrawal process is typically shorter than Adderall.

  • Days 1-3

    Adderall enhances focus and energy in users. When an addicted person stops using Adderall, the initial withdrawal symptoms generally have the opposite effect of the drug. Users experience depression, have trouble concentrating, and become fatigued.


  • Days 3-5

    The withdrawal symptoms typically peak during this time. Users may experience physical symptoms like headaches, body pain, and insomnia. However, the psychological side effects–such as depression, anxiety, and irritability–are the most pronounced. Many who have become addicted to Adderall return to use during this period, highlighting the importance of treatment to avoid relapse.


  • Days 5-7

    While most physical effects subside at this point, users can still have issues with their sleep. Psychological symptoms, such as depression and cravings for the drug, continue albeit less severe than the first three to five days.


  • After 7 Days

    Most physical and psychological symptoms subside after about week after taking Adderall. However, in the most serious cases, some users can experience Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). Symptoms include continued cravings, depression, and irritability. Continued treatment can help former users throughout this period.

Adderall Detox and Treatment

Treating Adderall Withdrawal

How to Safely Withdrawal from Adderall

The safest way to detox from Adderall is to gradually reduce the dose, a process known as a taper. People who have become addicted to Adderall and abruptly stop using the drug experience painful withdrawal symptoms. At a detox or treatment center, medical professionals can supervise the taper, allowing users to safely withdrawal and prevent a relapse. It’s important that people addicted to Adderall are honest about the amount and duration of their drug use so medical professionals can properly implement the taper.

People often abuse Adderall along with other substances, particularly alcohol. This further complicates the withdrawal process.Withdrawing from alcohol without medical help can be deadly. Users can suffer life-threatening seizures and other complications. Medical professionals encourage people addicted to both alcohol and Adderall to seek treatment at a detox or drug rehab facility.

Continue Treatment after Detox

Heavy Adderall use can result in Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). Former users can battle depression and continue drug cravings in the weeks after their last use. People suffering from PAWS have a better chance at long-term success if they attend an inpatient or outpatient drug treatment program.There, clients often receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to put clients on the path to long-term recovery.

Need Help Finding Treatment in Your Area? Drug Treatment Center Finder Can Help

Drug Treatment Center Finder has a database filled with drug rehabs in all 50 states. We can help you find a drug treatment center in your area. If you have questions on withdrawal detox and treatment, call our 24-hour hotline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will walk you through the addiction treatment process.

Adderall Withdrawal FAQs

Ritalin Withdrawal Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is Adderall addictive?

    Adderall is an effective treatment for people with ADHD. If used at the proper doses by people suffering from ADHD, Adderall has a low risk of addiction. However, if Adderall is taken at high doses by people without ADHD, the drug can be very addictive. The DEA classifies Adderall as a Schedule II medication. Cocaine is listed under the same designation.


  • Can stopping Adderall cold turkey lead to death?

    Adderall withdrawal is a difficult and uncomfortable–but not life-threatening–process. A medically supervised detox from Adderall ensures that an addicted user does not relapse during the painful withdrawal period. However, those suffering from an addiction to both Adderall and alcohol, which is common, can experience potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms. People who withdrawal from alcohol and Adderall without medical help risk of having a fatal seizure. A detox or drug rehab facility is the safest place to withdrawal from Adderall and other substances.


  • Does Adderall make you smarter?

    Adderall does not improve cognitive abilities. The drug increases focus and energy, which can enable people to study longer or do more research than they normally would. Many people addicted to Adderall do not stop using for fear of losing an advantage or becoming “dumber.” People who stop using Adderall possess the same level of intelligence they had while taking the drug. Studying may take longer, but users do not become “dumber.”


  • How long do Adderall withdrawal symptoms last?

    Adderall withdrawal symptoms–including insomnia, depression and body pain–peak about 3 to 5 days after a user’s last dose. And some symptoms can persist for up to a week.


  • What’s the difference between Adderall and Ritalin?

    Both Adderall and Ritalin are prescription drugs used to treat ADHD. They are chemically similar, but users have reported that Adderall has fewer side effects. Adderall is also longer lasting. Because of their euphoric effects at high doses, both have the potential for abuse and addiction.


  • Are there home remedies to detox from Adderall?

    Don’t be fooled by information on home remedies for Adderall withdrawal. The most effective way to withdrawal from Adderall and beat an addiction to the drug is to get treatment at detox or drug rehab facility. Under medical supervision, clients are less likely to return to use during the uncomfortable withdrawal process.


  • What’s the best way to get off Adderall?

    The best way to get off Adderall is to seek professional drug treatment and have a medical team supervise your withdrawal process. If you need help finding a drug rehab in your area, Drug Treatment Center Finder can help you begin your journey toward recovery. Call our 24-hour hotline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will be available to answer any questions you may have about Adderall addiction and the right treatment methods to pursue.


Adderall Statistics

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60 percent of people who misused Adderall were between ages of 18 to 25, according to a study conducted from 2006 to 2011

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11 percent of children age 7 to 17 were diagnosed with ADHD in 2011. The number of diagnoses rose 5 percent each year between 2003 and 2011.

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About 42 percent of high school seniors surveyed in a government 2015 report said amphetamines like Adderall were easy to obtain.