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What Is Adderall Detox?
Adderall is a prescription Amphetamine that is used to treat symptoms of ADHD/ADD and, not as frequently, narcolepsy. It comes in both an immediate release and extended release form. People have begun to abuse Adderall for its invigorating effects, such as enhanced alertness and productivity. It is particularly abused by college-aged students who purchase the drug illegally for both scholastic and recreational purposes. Adderall is a highly addictive Stimulant, and recreational use can quickly turn into a full-blown addiction which often requires Adderall detox to overcome. Researchers have found that the main component of Adderall, Dextroamphetamine, functions in a manner similar to Cocaine.
The first step in overcoming an Adderall addiction is detox, or detoxification. Adderall detox is used to rid the body of the drug so that the user can proceed to the next stage of addiction treatment. Adderall detox should never be done alone without the presence of a medical professional, as the effects of withdrawal can be extremely dangerous. In addition to experiencing debilitating withdrawal symptoms, the symptoms that Adderall was originally prescribed to treat in the user often return during detox. This makes the process of detoxification especially difficult, but getting treatment should not be prolonged; symptoms of withdrawal can intensify the longer the drug is abused.
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The Process Of Adderall Detox
It is never recommended that an addicted user try to quit Adderall “cold turkey” (abruptly quitting usage after prolonged, consistent use), as this causes the most severe of Adderall withdrawal symptoms. Adderall is extremely addictive, and there is a high risk of returning to drug use within the first few days after stopping the medication. Safely detoxing from Adderall requires medical supervision, as doctors can mitigate symptoms of withdrawal, and tapered medication disuse.
Tapering off Adderall includes progressively reducing the dose of the drug over the course of a few weeks until use eventually stops completely. This reduces a user’s physical dependence on the drug and lessens the extremity of withdrawal. The tapering off method is the best approach in treating Adderall addiction; it can also lead to a lengthy period of withdrawal, although the effects of withdrawal are reduced.
Symptoms of withdrawal typically appear within the first few hours of discontinued use but can also develop up to a day or two later in cases of less severe abuse. When someone quits taking Adderall, their dopamine and serotonin levels drop, and their minds and bodies have to adjust to these changes. Because of this new chemical imbalance, many people experience negative psychological effects while going through Adderall withdrawal.
Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal include:
- Panic attacks
- Stomach aches and/or cramping
- Intense hunger
Those undergoing Adderall detox should be regularly monitored, as compromised mental and/or physical health in conjunction with the effects of withdrawal may require hospitalization or a dual diagnosis program. For example, some doctors will prescribe Antidepressants to help manage depression and suicidal thoughts that may occur during Adderall withdrawal. Sleep aids such as Valium or Xanax may additionally be prescribed to reduce effects of insomnia.
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In an attempt to fight the effects of withdrawal, some people return to Adderall use and take excessive amounts in an effort to counteract the “Downer” feelings that they experience. This strategy is extremely dangerous and counterproductive as it may lead to overdose and further debilitating effects, including:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Aggressive behavior
The impact of an Adderall overdose can be severe. One user, who struggled with addiction to both alcohol and Adderall, described her overdose experience as “the worst feeling I’d ever had,” going on to say that “I remember being absolutely furious and utterly hopeless.”
Treatment of Adderall overdose can even necessitate a medically induced coma; patients can suffer from weakness and infection as a result of this drastic step being taken. An Adderall dose high enough to result in overdose is also likely neurotoxic to the user; as a result of the impact of the substance, the brain may have difficulty processing dopamine and the user may find they’re unable to feel pleasure.
What Are My Options For Adderall Detox?
Adderall withdrawal is not the same for everyone, and treatment varies based on the social and health problems specific to an individual’s Adderall abuse. There are currently no approved medications to treat Adderall addiction or withdrawal, but a recovering individual may choose to attend either inpatient or outpatient treatment to receive the help that they need. If you or a loved one is struggling with an Adderall addiction, contact a dedicated treatment provider today.
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