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.
Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms
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. Antidepressants may be employed for post-withdrawal depression and to reduce the risk of suicidal thinking or self-harm.
Although there’s no FDA approved medication for assisting in stimulant detox, there are other drugs that can help with the symptoms, including sleep aids (e.g. trazodone, mirtazapine, hydroxyzine), which can help with insomnia, and antipsychotics, which can treat psychosis (hallucinations and paranoia).
For more information about withdrawal, read our guide on Adderall Addiction.