I. The Basics of Adderall Rehabilitation

Adderall addiction rehabilitation begins with an orientation to the treatment facility and an initial assessment from medical professionals to formulate a treatment plan that best ensures a successful recovery for the user. After this preliminary assessment, a medically-managed detoxification period allows the substance to be cleared from the user’s body in a safe and comfortable manner.

Once detoxification is complete, the user participates in behavioral therapy and receives social support to help reinforce sobriety and change negative thoughts and patterns that are associated with Adderall addiction. After discharge, a treatment facility will commonly provide ongoing support and continuing care to assist the user in maintaining a successful recovery and preventing relapse.

Description of the Four Steps of the Rehab Process

For more information, read our guide to the rehab process

What Makes Adderall Rehabilitation Difficult?

Adderall is a Schedule II substance, which classifies it as having limited medical use and a high potential for abuse and dependency. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in its 2015 World Drug Report estimated amphetamines like Adderall to be the second-most abused substance in the world behind marijuana.

Recovery from Adderall addiction can be a difficult process because of the strong reinforcing effects of the substance on the dopamine reward system in the brain, the severe withdrawal symptoms that are associated with dependence, and lifestyle circumstances that make it difficult to abstain from the substance’s ability to heighten mood and productivity. Recovery is especially difficult for chronic, high-dose users who have built up a high tolerance to Adderall’s effects.

The Unique Struggle of Adderall Addicts
Adderall…
  • Creates strong reinforcing effects on the reward system in the brain
  • Must be taken in increasingly higher doses to feel the euphoric effects, often leading to tolerance and dependence
  • Creates severe psychological and physiological symptoms upon cessation
  • Addiction can be difficult to overcome because of stressful lifestyle circumstances

Adderall Rehabilitation Statistics

Adderall Treatment Admissions by Gender

55.9% Male
44.1% Female

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates in 2018:

  • 5,109,000 individuals twelve years of age and older – 1.9% of the population – used prescription stimulants like Adderall
  • 561,000 individuals twelve years of age and older – 0.2% – were addicted to psychotherapeutic stimulants like Adderall and in need of treatment
  • 14,000 individuals twelve years of age and older in need of treatment enrolled in a rehabilitation program for psychotherapeutic stimulant misuse

According to a 2017 SAMHSA report that charts admissions to and discharges from publicly-funded substance use treatment facilities, men are considerably more likely to seek treatment for amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse, which includes Adderall.

The gender breakdown of treatment admissions for amphetamines/methamphetamine was 55.9% male and 44.1% female. While amphetamine addiction occurs in all age groups, the most common age group admitted to a treatment facility for amphetamine and methamphetamine use was individuals aged 25 to 34, with 34 being the average age of all individuals from all age groups who are seeking rehabilitation.

Amphetamine/Methamphetamine Treatment Admissions Percentages by Age Group, 2017
Age at the Time of Treatment AdmissionPercentage of Amphetamine/Methamphetamine Treatment Admissions
12-171.30%
18-2414.30%
25 – 3441.50%
35 – 4427%
45-5412.40%
55-6412.40%
65+0.20%

II. Adderall Detoxification & Withdrawal Process

Long-term recovery for Adderall addiction involves an initial detoxification process, a period of time during which the substance is cleared from the user’s body. Adderall has a half-life of 9-14 hours, which means half of the substance is removed from the body in approximately this amount of time. The initial detoxification phase therefore typically takes three to four days, while the full withdrawal phase can last for several more weeks.

When withdrawal symptoms last longer than two weeks, they are considered post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Long-term users may experience these symptoms anywhere from two weeks to up to a year. In general, individual detoxification timelines vary depending on the dosage of the substance that was typically ingested and the history of use.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
BodyMind
Short-Term Symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • General feelings of discomfort
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Slowing of bodily movements
  • Slow heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Panic
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Decreased energy
  • Impaired focus
  • Decreased concentration
  • Decreased attention
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vivid or unpleasant dreams
Long-Term Symptoms
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Impulsivity
  • Emotional dysregulation

Dangerous withdrawal symptoms during Adderall detoxification may occur

The neurobiological changes that occur in the brain, most notably disruptions in dopamine signaling, can produce severe psychological symptoms, even after the initial detoxification period. In users who are heavily dependent on Adderall, the most severe withdrawal symptoms may occur in the first several weeks.

Adderall withdrawal can lead to psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions

Possible complications from the detoxification process include psychotic-like symptoms such as paranoia, social isolation, hallucinations, disorganized thoughts, aggression, and delusions. These symptoms may look similar to those found in schizophrenic patients

Adderall withdrawal can lead to severe depression and suicidal thoughts

In some cases, especially in the event of an abrupt cessation of the substance, severe depression with suicidal thoughts or behaviors may be present.

Adderall withdrawal can create dangerous physical complications in some users

In rare cases, physical complications may occur in either or both of the acute and prolonged withdrawal phases, including seizures, heart arrhythmia, stroke, and cardiac arrest.

Adderall Detoxification Medications

Supportive medications may be prescribed to help alleviate some of the psychological and physiological symptoms that arise during the detoxification period. Anti-anxiety or sedative medications may be used in the acute withdrawal phase to manage temporary anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and sleep disturbances. Antidepressants may be employed for post-withdrawal depression and to reduce the risk of suicidal thinking or self-harm. In rare cases, anticonvulsants may be used to manage seizures.

 

For more information about withdrawal, read our guide on Adderall Addiction.

III. Treatment for Adderall Addiction

Unlike opioid addiction, widely-accepted medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically to treat addiction to Adderall or other amphetamine-type stimulants do not presently exist. Preliminary research has suggested that the stimulant modafinil and the opioid-antagonist naltrexone may reduce amphetamine cravings, but further clinical trials need to be conducted to confirm the efficacy of these pharmacological interventions.

The mainstay of treatment has proven to be behavioral therapies performed in residential and outpatient settings that address the psychological, physical, and social aspects of Adderall addiction.

Rehabilitation Settings

Within either an inpatient or outpatient setting, treatments such as detoxification services, behavioral therapies, and medication-assisted treatments are offered for varying lengths of time.

Inpatient treatment involves living full-time (including overnight) at a treatment facility for a set period of time. Outpatient treatment involves scheduled appointments at a facility in which you are free to come and go. Within each category, there are several distinctions.

Adderall Treatment Programs
SettingType of TreatmentDescriptionDurationTime Commitment
InpatientShort-Term ResidentialIntensive treatment, sometimes in a hospital setting. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify.14-30 daysHours Per Day: 24
Days Per Week: 7
Long-Term ResidentialIntensive treatment in a non-hospital setting, most often a therapeutic community with other patients. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify.3-12 monthsHours Per Day: 24
Days Per Week: 7
Partial HospitalizationIntensive treatment in a hospital setting. Patients do not stay overnight. Considered inpatient due to the hospital setting. Extensive services are provided and require a near full-time commitment every week. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify.14-30 daysHours Per Day: 6-8
Days Per Week: 5
OutpatientIntensive Day TreatmentExtensive services of an inpatient program but patients return home each day following treatment. After completion, patients often transition to less intensive counseling. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify.3-4 monthsHours Per Day: 2-4
Days Per Week: 3
CounselingBoth individual counseling and group counseling focus on short-term behavioral goals to develop coping strategies. Therapies offered are moderate. Medication-assisted treatment is not available.As long as desiredHours Per Day: 1-2
Days Per Week: 1-3
Support GroupsSelf-help groups center on maintaining abstinence after another form of treatment. Typically meet one day a week for 1-2 hours.As long as desiredHours Per Day: 1-2
Days Per Week: 1-3

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapy for substance addiction seeks to identify and manage addictive behaviors that lead to use and prevent relapse. Behavioral therapy is based on the concept that all behavior is learned, and, thus, unhealthy behavior can be changed through learning coping skills and increasing awareness of negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to substance abuse.

Behavioral Therapies for Adderall Addiction
Type of TherapyDefinition
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Further reading:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a present-oriented, structured psychotherapy that equips users with therapeutic tools and coping strategies to stop substance abuse and prevent relapse.

CBT works by teaching users to expand their awareness of the interconnected thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that lead to substance abuse. Throughout this goal-directed process, users begin to unlearn old behavioral and thought habits that lead to substance abuse and develop healthier habits and skills that promote a well-balanced, abstinent life.

Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives

Further reading:

Contingency Management (CM) is a behavioral treatment that seeks to positively reinforce abstinent behaviors, such as clean drug tests, with goal-oriented rewards, including monetary vouchers, prizes, and privileges.

CM is known to be effective as a combination or stand-alone behavioral treatment. It may encourage healthy behaviors and improve drug abstinence, treatment retention, and counseling attendance.

The Matrix Model

Further reading:

The Matrix Model is an integrative treatment approach designed to specifically treat stimulant addiction.

This treatment method includes elements of empirically-supported therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, drug education, relapse prevention, early recovery skills therapy, family and group therapies, social support groups, and 12-step facilitation therapy.

The Matrix Model delivers an intensive outpatient therapy over the course of a tightly structured sixteen-week period.

12-Step Facilitation Therapy

Further reading:

12-Step Facilitation Therapy is a community-based mutual support therapy used in outpatient settings. It helps clients to participate in support groups that follow the guidelines of 12-step self-help programs.

Through active engagement and peer support, clients learn to accept and cope with addiction, avoid triggers that may lead to relapse, and live well-balanced, sober lives.

IV. How to Find Help

Finding a Rehabilitation Center for Adderall Addiction

When looking for a rehabilitation center for Adderall addiction, finding one that provides initial detoxification services can ensure a safe and comfortable tapering process. Psychiatrists and other medical professionals on staff can help prevent complications during this period.

Rehabilitation centers that combine behavioral therapy and support groups can help to ensure a lasting recovery from Adderall addiction. Facilities that use the Matrix Model in their rehabilitation process may be the most effective, as this strategy is specifically tailored to stimulant use disorders.

In moderate or heavy users of Adderall, inpatient rehabilitation can provide a structured environment that eliminates the possibility of relapse. This option is also beneficial for individuals who have co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

Our Directory

Our directory of rehab programs includes a comprehensive list of available treatment centers and programs as provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In the directory, you will find tools to filter the programs by setting, price, and location.

V. Take Action

Adderall addiction’s high relapse rate make it one of the toughest addictions to overcome – that makes going to rehab crucial to your success. Use our directory to find a rehab near you, and learn more about what happens in rehab in our guide “The Rehabilitation Process.”

If you are researching for yourself or for a loved one, read more about the chemistry of Adderall addiction and how it affects the human body and mind.

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