Adderall is the trade name of amphetamine, a stimulant of the central nervous system. Adderall is most commonly prescribed to treat ADHD, and is commonly abused by students as a study aide. Unfortunately, quitting Adderall can be difficult and painful, even if it is take as prescribed. Many people end up in a treatment center for addiction for amphetamine, as it truly is an addictive drug. It’s closely related to methamphetamine, another commonly abuse stimulant.
Although many people take amphetamine as prescribed by a doctor, a fair amount of people take it illegally and recreationally. According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey, 7.7% of twelfth graders have used amphetamine without a prescription in the previous year. College students are also significantly more likely to abuse amphetamine than people of the same age but not in college.
Use, Abuse, and Effects
Adderall is most often prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. When people with ADHD take amphetamine, it boosts the dopamine in their brains and helps them to concentrate. However, if you don’t suffer from ADHD you may be left feeling uncomfortable, jittery, and nauseous when taking amphetamine. It’s often abused for its stimulant properties, which can help individuals concentrate more in the short-term and stay awake longer.
There are many risks of using study drugs that make it simply not worth it. Although an increase in focus and concentration may help someone study more effectively in the short term, long-term effects of amphetamine use are a bit scary. Amphetamine is fairly addictive, and many people end up getting addicted without intending to.
Immediate effects of Adderall consumption may include:
- Decreased appetite
- Wakefulness and energy
- Increased focus
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Trouble sleeping
Possible side effects of long-term Adderall use include:
- Irregular heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac arrest
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
Using amphetamine for extended periods of time can be incredibly dangerous on the body. We are also likely to fall into depressed and irritable states when using this drug for longer periods of time.
Like many other drugs, Adderall can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. There are definitely worse drug withdrawals in general, but Adderall withdrawal is certainly no fun. When you take Adderall, your brain becomes accustomed to working with the drug in your system. When you remove it, the brain and body may respond with a variety of symptoms.
Common symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal are:
- Cravings for more amphetamine
- Hunger and “munchies”
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Extreme fatigue
- Irritability and anger
- Suicidal ideation
With proper help, these symptoms can be managed and minimized. Withdrawal symptoms tend to peak after just a couple days, then they slowly go away. Getting through this period without using again is crucial. Many people return to amphetamine use because of the discomfort of withdrawal. It may feel at times like Adderall is the only thing that will make you feel normal again, but this gets the process of addiction started once again.
Reasons to Quit Adderall
We are not suggesting that everyone taking amphetamine should quit it right now. In fact, many people benefit from Adderall and use it to carry themselves through their lives. However, many people are also abusing Adderall and have fallen victim to an addiction. Like other stimulants, amphetamine is habit-forming and you can can get addicted to it. This is probably one of the biggest reasons to quit abusing amphetamine.
Furthermore, prolonged Adderall use is unhealthy for the body. The change in the cardiovascular system can be uncomfortable, dangerous, and lethal in extreme cases. Many people want to quit amphetamine because they wish to take better care of their bodies. In some cases, people end up at the doctor because of their amphetamine addiction and need to quit to save their lives.
Tips for Quitting Adderall
There are many things you can do to quit Adderall. The best suggestion really is to get help from medical professionals, as they will be able to help you through the process and give you the best chance at staying clean off it. There are detox programs, medications, and doctors who can help you in your journey to recovery. We often try to do it by ourselves because we think we can do it, but your chances at recovery are much higher if you get help.
One of our other favorite tips we can offer is to remember that quitting Adderall isn’t the end goal. There is more to life than just quitting. Often we think of quitting a drug and just have that goal in mind. Try to remember that once you quit amphetamine your live will open up. When we free ourselves from an addiction, we’re able to find new things we love, engage with friends in a new way, and build a new life for ourselves.
As far as pragmatism goes, you may benefit from finding a source of energy. One of the most difficult parts about quitting Adderall is the lack of energy and focus. Find something to give you healthy energy. Thinks like coffee and energy drinks may give you energy, but you may also try eating in a healthy way. Get your fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, and do your best to get a good night’s sleep.
You also may find yourself distracted and having difficulty concentrating. Try to investigate how to focus without amphetamine. Maybe this means leaving your phone behind when working or studying. Maybe it means doing one single task at a time. As you learn new ways to focus, you won’t miss the amphetamine. You can find a healthy way to focus and get stuff done without the crash created by Adderall.
Our final suggestion is to supplement in holistic treatments. There are many essential oils for addiction that can be beneficial, teas like kava and ginger, and methods like acupuncture. See if there are some alternative medicine options that may benefit you and help ease withdrawal symptoms. Often, these natural remedies are the healthiest kind, and can help us take care of ourselves.
Life After Adderall Abuse
As we mentioned before, it’s important to know that there is life after Adderall addiction. We may think we won’t have much of a chance at studying, getting things done, or staying up late. The truth is that you can always find different ways to function. When I got clean myself, I told myself I would give it a year. If after a year I didn’t feel better, I could return to using. What I found after the first year of recovery was that I had absolutely no desire to use again.
This is possible for you as well. We can learn to live without any stimulants or other drugs and build a new life for ourselves. Getting clean off Adderall is a beautiful opportunity to create a new life, learn to interact with the world in a new way, and take care of ourselves. We encourage you to reach out to appropriate medical professionals if you have been abusing amphetamine.