Ritalin and Adderall are two stimulant drugs that are commonly prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as the sleep disorder, narcolepsy.
Effects on the Body
Both work by increasing certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which play an important role in regulating an individual’s concentration, drive, and energy. Ritalin is faster to take effect, but Adderall lasts longer (https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adderall-vs-ritalin#drug-interactions).
Ritalin and Adderall Uses
Both can be addictive and habit-forming, as their stimulant qualities can lead to brief feelings of euphoria when taken in large amounts. Others, such as students, may abuse Adderall in hopes that it will help them concentrate – a worrying trend that has resulted in an increase in associated emergency room visits.
Symptoms of Addiction to Ritalin and Adderall
Regardless of the reason one abuses Ritalin or Adderall, the dangers of addiction remain the same. Healthline notes that high doses of Ritalin can lead to:
- seizures (in extreme cases)
Similarly, high doses of Adderall can lead to:
These side effects should not be ignored. Anyone who has developed a dependence on these drugs should seek the help and guidance of a medical professional in reducing or eliminating their use.
Medical Detox for Ritalin and Adderall
With severe cases of Ritalin or Adderall abuse, medically-supervised detoxification can be the best course of action. Medical professionals can monitor the patient for Ritalin or Adderall withdrawal symptoms, help ease the withdrawal process, and provide a safe environment where the individual may recover without risk of relapse.
Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline for Ritalin or Adderall
Withdrawal symptoms of both Ritalin and Adderall can include, along with the “crash” that accompanies sudden disuse of the drug after high amounts of use:
- sleep issues
- intense cravings
- suicidal ideation
Symptoms of Ritalin or Adderall withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the patient’s history and amount of use.
First 1-3 Days
Symptoms of exhaustion and depression may start.
First 7-10 Days
Symptoms associated with an Adderall or Ritalin “crash”, such
as paranoia and mood swings.
First 1-3 Months
Longer term symptoms are possible after this initial withdrawal period, such as fatigue or cravings. Medical News Today notes that most people notice their mood and general functioning improve after 1 to 3 months, though individual cases vary.
Coping Strategies for Ritalin/Adderall Withdrawal
A professional medical detox program is typically recommended for coping with Ritalin/Adderall withdrawal. An effective program will use the following coping elements to make your detox as manageable as possible:
- A healthy, quiet, and distraction-free environment.
- Regular exercise and a nutritious diet
- Use of holistic and calming activities (yoga, meditation)
- Avoiding stress
- Avoidance of other stimulants, such as caffeine
Ritalin Detox and Addiction Recovery
When trying to beat a dependence on stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, it is important to follow up medical detoxification with a dedicated addiction recovery plan.
This can teach the individual healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for taking better care of one’s physical and mental health without resorting to dependence and abuse of substances, like Ritalin or Adderall.
Granite Recovery Centers in New Hampshire offers a number of treatment programs based on a combination of 12-step work and other clinical modalities. The caring, professional staff at Granite Recovery Centers will focus on your or your loved one’s individual needs and history to tailor a recovery plan that leads to a healthy, productive, and drug-free future.