ClickCease How to Quit Using Adderall - Granite Recovery Centers

How to Quit Using Adderall

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: August 27th, 2021


James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Adderall is a stimulant medication that’s most commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD. It’s also sometimes prescribed for narcolepsy as an effective treatment method. While it has many legitimate benefits, many people abuse Adderall as a study aid since it boosts energy and prevents you from getting tired. This has led to a significant increase in recreational use of Adderall.

Quitting Adderall is possible, but you should be connected to a physician and a proper treatment program to ensure that you can achieve sustainable abstinence.

Doctor-Assisted Tapering

You may believe that you can quit Adderall cold turkey and be fine. What you may not realize is that there are uncomfortable and significant withdrawal side effects associated with quitting Adderall. We will touch on the exact withdrawal symptoms in the next section, but we at Granite Recovery Centers always recommend seeing a physician in conjunction with your Adderall detox.

A physician will be able to taper you off Adderall so that the withdrawal symptoms are relatively minor and monitored. Adderall increases dopamine in the brain and can cause significant biochemical changes if taken in increasingly higher amounts. This leads to addiction and dependence on the increased dopamine. A doctor will be able to safely reduce this through scheduled medication dosages that slowly reduce how much dopamine is in your system.

While your case is unique, most medical detox programs take several weeks to several months before Adderall is safely removed from your body. This depends on how much Adderall you’re taking, how long you’ve been taking it, and your reaction to the reduced amount of dopamine.

To ensure the safest and most effective medical detox, we suggest being upfront with your physician about your use. Some people are tempted to say that they use less than they really do or to hide withdrawal symptoms. A doctor is there to help you and can only do so if they know the reality of the situation. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.

Remember that this only takes care of the chemical needs in your body. We suggest connecting with us for a recovery program that can ensure a supportive recovery network. Many people find it difficult after detox because the substance is out of their body, but their behaviors may still cause cravings when they feel stressed, tired, lacking focus, and so on. That’s why therapy is so necessary. It targets your behaviors to help with sustained abstinence.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Many people associate the word “withdrawal” with street drugs like heroin and cocaine, but the truth is that many substances and medications cause withdrawal symptoms as well. This is especially true if you try to quit cold turkey without any support. In the case of Adderall, this is a stimulant that increases dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine is a chemical associated with feeling good and happy. It is naturally released after eating a satisfying meal, working out, or doing anything else that makes you feel good. It’s the brain saying, “this is good, keep doing this.” Adderall significantly increases dopamine in the brain, and stopping it all at once can shock the system. You suddenly go from too much dopamine to not nearly enough. Natural levels of dopamine don’t register in your system anymore, which leads to mood changes and many other physical withdrawal symptoms.

While each case is different, there are some common withdrawal symptoms from Adderall. Typical Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Changes in appetite, either more or less
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches and tremors
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • No motivation
  • Suicidal thoughts

These are only some of the possible withdrawal symptoms from Adderall. Medical detox will help to either reduce the severity or completely avoid the symptoms, depending on your case. The more severe the addiction, the more a doctor must be involved in your treatment in order for you to safely detox from Adderall.

Full Treatment Regimen

You may think that doctor-assisted tapering is all it takes to quit using Adderall, but this is rarely the case. An effective treatment regimen only includes tapering and detox as a part of the program. As with any substance use treatment, you will likely be tempted to use Adderall or other substances as you are going through the process.

In many ways, this is natural. Your body has become accustomed to increased amounts of dopamine. Your body will want to achieve the dopamine amount it is used to, and this can only be done with unnatural means of taking stimulants like Adderall. That’s why addiction can be so tough.

At the same time, there are many available treatment methods that can help with your situation. Be sure to speak with our recovery center in order for us to create an individualized plan for you. The treatment plan will address your specific needs so that you get the care you need to help quit using Adderall.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The need for dual diagnosis treatment programs has increased in recent years. Dual diagnosis is a term that refers to anyone with substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental illness like depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. This term refers to any combination of substance use and mental illness.

This treatment methodology works to effectively treat both Adderall addiction and any present mental illness simultaneously. This philosophy is typically infused into common treatment methods such as intensive outpatient, outpatient, inpatient, and other treatment types.

Intensive Outpatient

Those with a moderate to severe addictions to Adderall will likely find intensive outpatient, or IOP, the most effective for their needs. This is a type of group therapy where you will meet with a qualified counselor along with other peers facing similar struggles to your own.

IOP lasts for three hours and typically occurs three times a week. This might seem long, but it ensures that you have adequate time to express your challenges, learn new coping strategies to deal with cravings, and connect with sober supports. This modality lasts an average of 12 to 16 weeks for most clients.

This is often the first type of treatment used with most clients. If you are doing well in IOP and show that you do not need this much support, then you will be able to “step down” to less frequent outpatient treatment. This is usually a one-on-one meeting with a therapist who will help with your continuing challenges.

Residential Treatment

If you are facing a severe addiction to Adderall, are using multiple substances, or find it difficult to function without Adderall, then you may find residential treatment to be more suitable for your needs. You will also find this helpful if you live with other people who use substances or if your living environment is not supportive of recovery.

Residential treatment involves temporarily living at our sober facility, where you receive 24-hour treatment. This involves meeting with therapists, attending groups, being connected with 12-step programs, and doing activities that keep your mind off cravings while reducing stress. This gives you an environment where you can focus entirely on your recovery without worrying about others or the outside world. It gives you an opportunity to be a blank slate. Instead of worrying about work and family, you can instead focus all your energy on your recovery from Adderall and any other substances.

Not only will you be surrounded by caring therapists and doctors, but you will also be with peers who are going through the same struggles that you are. This gives you an environment where you can all support each other in your recovery. Therapists will also work with you on aftercare treatment planning. This can include attending other meetings, attending IOP or outpatient therapy, or other treatment modalities depending on your situation.

Many people who have been struggling with substances for a long time find residential treatment is the only thing that truly starts their recovery journey. Tell us about your situation and treatment history so that we can see if this, IOP, or other treatment is needed for your Adderall addiction.

Self-Help Groups

There are many self-help groups available for those facing substance use disorder with Adderall or any other substance. We often recommend these groups as they give you another support network of sober peers that can help you with your challenges. Not only that, but many people connect with a sponsor in these groups. This is someone who has been through recovery and has shown sustained abstinence from substances. They will often give back by helping members with their own recovery journey.

The most common self-help groups are 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, and Narcotics Anonymous, or NA. You can usually find a group in your area that is close to your home or job. This ensures that you don’t have to travel too far in order to receive additional help with your substance battle. Many people find these groups helpful when recovering from substance use.

Many people form lasting friendships within 12-step groups, and you can help each other remain sober. Our therapists can help determine if 12-step groups would be helpful for your situation and which one would be best for you.

About Granite Recovery Centers

We have been assisting clients like yourself with substance use disorder for over 10 years. Our services have transformed the lives of those dependent on alcohol and substances like Adderall, heroin, benzos, and more. Our New Hampshire treatment centers offer numerous treatment modalities that are evidence-based and uniquely tailored to your specific needs.

Tell us about your situation and what you’re facing. We will be able to create a treatment plan specifically for you. We offer treatment at all levels, such as medical detox, individual outpatient therapy, IOP group therapy, residential therapy, and much more. Every recovery journey is different, and we respect that. We want to give you the proper treatment for your Adderall use, along with any other substances or mental disorders you may be facing.

We also help connect clients with 12-step programs for additional support. Most clients find this extremely helpful as it gives them more sober supports that they can interact with.

Regardless of your needs, we will be sure to create a treatment plan that addresses your situation and treats you with respect. We want you involved with your treatment, and we respect your decisions and input throughout the process.

Many people downplay the severity of Adderall addiction since it’s such a common medication. While it’s prescribed frequently for those with ADHD, the truth is that using this or any other stimulant excessively can lead to dependency and addiction. You will want to start with medical detox that appropriately tapers you off from Adderall while monitoring withdrawal symptoms.

We will also help with all your other Adderall treatment needs. This includes individual counseling, IOP group therapy, residential treatment if needed, and more. Contact us, and we will help you quit using Adderall.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.