Is Adderall Detox Painful?
August 25, 2022
Adderall is a prescription drug often used in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The drug is composed of amphetamines. That may remind you of methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, which is an illegal substance. While the chemical compositions of both drugs are a bit similar, Adderall is FDA-approved, while the many versions of meth are not.
Adderall is typically effective against narcolepsy and ADHD when used as intended. However, any sort of misuse can lead to dependence and addiction. Misuse includes taking higher doses than what is prescribed and taking Adderall beyond the prescribed duration.
Some people also misuse Adderall by using it as a kind of “smart drug.” Some students use it to increase concentration and help them study better, while some professionals take it to improve their productivity at work. Although the heightened focus is a pronounced effect of Adderall, it is not meant to be taken for that purpose alone. Individuals should not use Adderall if they are not on medication for ADHD or narcolepsy.
If you happen to have an addiction to this drug, detox is one of the first steps in getting clean. Read on to find out how Adderall detox feels like.
What happens when I become addicted to Adderall?
Adderall addiction produces profound changes in your lifestyle and behaviors. The most common way to describe it is you cannot function normally without getting an Adderall fix. These accompanying behavior changes also characterize an addiction:
- Spending more time and money on taking Adderall than in other activities
- Ditching responsibilities at home, work, or school to make more time for taking the drug
- Doctor shopping (visiting different physicians to get more than one prescription for Adderall)
- Presenting to the doctor with fake symptoms to justify prescription refills
- No longer prioritizing personal hygiene and grooming
- Shunning family and friends regularly
- Hiding or isolating oneself when taking the drug
- Constant denial of the problem of addiction
Addiction can take control of your life, and it can destroy otherwise good relationships you have with family and friends.
If you recognize that you have an Adderall addiction and want to live sober again, get professional help right away. Often, the first step in recovering from addiction is Adderall detox.
What does Adderall detox do?
Adderall detox functions similarly to many other drug detox procedures. All of them have one goal in common, which is to rid your body of all traces of drugs. At the same time, detox programs are designed to keep you as safe and comfortable as possible during the process. If you develop any withdrawal symptoms, medical professionals will help you minimize them.
By the end of detox, your body should be able to function normally without the drug. You will not have the usual cravings for Adderall, and your body will not have any uncomfortable reactions to the absence of the drug. You can think more clearly and live life in a sober way.
Detox is performed in a hospital or a rehab facility. You may do it at home, though it is highly discouraged because you will not get any professional medical help at home. Having doctors and nurses close by, ready to assist you at a moment’s notice, may be necessary in case you develop medical complications during the course of detox.
The psychological stress and mood changes that may happen during detox also need to be managed well. If you detox at home, these changes may cause you to unintentionally harm your family members. You may also be prone to harming yourself. For these reasons, it is best to get professional help when detoxing from Adderall.
What does detox feel like?
When you have an addiction to Adderall and suddenly stop taking the drug, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will always follow. Also known as an Adderall crash, the symptoms may include:
- Very strong cravings for the drug
- Feeling unhappy
- Intense hunger
- Heart palpitations
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia) or sleeping too much (hypersomnia)
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
You will likely experience these symptoms when detoxing on your own at home. But in a professionally managed detox program, you have constant help in making the process as painless as possible. If you do get these withdrawal symptoms, doctors may give you medications to help you cope. These may include:
- Anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications) to counteract intense feelings of anxiety
- Sedatives to keep you calm if you become too aggressive
- Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration
Quitting Adderall cold turkey is not advisable, as it may lead to more intense depression, anxiety, and other withdrawal symptoms. To minimize these effects, doctors usually taper off your dose gradually until your body can tolerate not taking any Adderall at all.
While tapering off, you may still feel a few uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. But these will be less pronounced, and you will be able to eat, sleep, and wake up properly.
What’s next after Adderall detox?
Once detox is over, you will continue with your rehab program. The next steps consist of a range of behavioral therapies, which are aimed at helping you develop new habits to replace any drug-influenced behaviors. You may have to live inside a rehab facility if you are enrolled in an inpatient recovery program. Otherwise, you will only go to the rehab center if you have scheduled therapies for the day (outpatient rehab).
Behavioral therapies are varied, and each one has its own unique advantages. These include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapies
- Couples therapy
- Support groups
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Art therapy
Not all of these therapies are available in every rehab facility, though. In general, rehabs that charge higher rates offer more services. Also, premium rehab centers give patients access to luxury amenities like saunas, spacious rooms, and a wide variety of sports facilities.
Full recovery programs can last for a number of months. At this time, you will slowly learn to navigate life without the influence of Adderall. By the time your rehab program is done, you can live a sober lifestyle once again.