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Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last?

Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts) is a psychostimulant drug that is used primarily to treat ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) as well as narcolepsy. It is also used to treat conditions such as: chronic fatigue and in some cases is used as an antidepressant augmentation strategy. With this particular drug, there is high potential for dependency and thus it is quite often abused and used for off-label purposes – it is considered a “Schedule II” substance in the United States.

Many college students take Adderall as a “smart drug” to help them cram for a test and improve academic performance. Others take this drug recreationally for a boosted mood and to “get high.” Although many people have concerns about taking Adderall, it is one of the most studied and well documented drugs on the market. It has been in the pharmaceutical industry for a long time and generally is pretty well-tolerated.

There are no documented negative long term effects associated with this drug if used for its intended purpose. Despite the fact that many consider this drug a lifesaver for treating symptoms of ADHD, many people that take it end up eventually going through a withdrawal period. The withdrawal period can be difficult to cope with if you do not know what to expect. Most people experience a major “crash” which is accompanied by feelings of fatigue, concentration problems, and mood swings.

Factors that influence Adderall withdrawal include

There are various factors that influence a person’s withdrawal from Adderall. These include things like: how long the person took the drug, the frequency at which it was taken, the dosage, tolerance, and whether the individual withdrew “cold turkey” or via gradual taper. Individual physiology, social support, and environmental factors are also thought to play a role in expediting recovery.

1. Time Span

How long did you take Adderall? Was it over a period of a few months or have you been on the drug for years? Individuals that have been on it for years likely have a greater tolerance and dependence upon this drug for everyday functioning in comparison to people who have been on it for a month or two. In general, the longer you are on amphetamines, the more difficult the withdrawal is thought to be.

2. Frequency

How often did you take Adderall? Was it on a daily basis? Was it a few times a day? Most people take a dose that is therapeutic, but some people abuse this drug and are on such a high dose, that they remain strung out and “high” all the time. People that abuse the drug and take it with greater frequency are going to have more difficulties coping without it.

3. Dosage (5 mg – 60 mg) + Subtype

Dosage: The dose of the drug can play a role in determining the severity of withdrawal symptoms. When you are on a higher dose, your brain is essentially using up more dopamine. Some would argue that consistently using the drug at higher doses could end up lowering dopamine levels in the long term so that they are below the “baseline” level at which you started the medication. Although this is up for debate, people that are taking high doses tend to have a tougher time stopping the drug – especially if they are using it for things other than treating ADHD. Most people take between 5 mg and 60 mg to treat their ADHD, but some find a dose higher than 60 mg to be effective.

Subtype: There are two types of Adderall that people take: IR (immediate release) and XR (extended release). The immediate release is effective for a short duration of time, while the extended release version works for a longer “extended” period of time. It is thought that if you are simply taking the IR on an “as-needed” basis, the withdrawal shouldn’t be as debilitating because there are intervals at which you do not take the drug. Someone who takes the XR version every day without major drug-free intervals may have a more difficult time coming off of Adderall.

4. Tolerance

It is pretty easy to build up a tolerance to the amphetamine class of drugs – Adderall is no different. For some people when they take the drug, they feel euphoric for the first few days or weeks, but this feeling fades. If you are using the drug for other than its primary intention – to treat ADHD, you may try to continuously increase the dose to chase the “high” that you enjoy.

Individuals that are simply treating their attention-deficit symptoms usually are able to stay at a particular dose without chasing a “high.” Although not everyone develops a tolerance to this drug, many people do – which is why they take “holidays” or stop taking the drug for a certain period of time to reset their tolerance.

5. Cold turkey vs. Tapering

Despite the fact that there are many people that quit Adderall at high doses “cold turkey” with no reported effects, there are others that really struggle. It is never recommended to quit “cold turkey” because there is really no need. If you suddenly stop taking Adderall from a high dose without gradually tapering off of the drug, you may experience extreme depression, paranoia, and schizophrenia-like symptoms.

There are also some major health risks associated with stopping “cold turkey” including: seizures, cardiac arrest, and psychosis. Take the time to work with a professional and conduct a gradual taper. By gradually “weaning” off of the drug, it is thought that you can minimize most of the withdrawal symptoms.

6. Physiology

Believe it or not, there are individuals that have taken Adderall for their ADHD for years at a pretty high dose (every single day) and they experience zero withdrawal symptoms. There are others who experience such a crushing withdrawal that they have a difficult time quitting the drug. There are others who experience symptoms for a short duration, but eventually return to their normal state of functioning.

Your individual physiology will play a huge role in your ability to withdraw from this particular drug. Most people that have ADHD and non-addictive personalities tend to have a relatively easy time quitting Adderall. People that have addictive personalities and that take Adderall for its non-intended purposes are thought to have a more difficult time coping with the withdrawal symptoms.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Everyone’s experience regarding Adderall withdrawal is going to be different. Therefore it is impossible to say that you will experience all of the symptoms listed below. These are merely a collective of all the “common” symptoms that have been reported upon withdrawal. Keep these in mind as you go through with your withdrawal process.

  • Anger: Many people experience extreme anger when they quit taking Adderall. This drug helps people keep their cool and maintain self-control by stimulating activity in the frontal lobes. When people quit the drug, they do not have the same level of self-control and are prone to bouts of anger.
  • Anxiety: The anxiety that you experience when quitting Adderall may be pretty extreme. Some actually take Adderall for anxiety disorders because it can help treat them. A lot of people notice that they are extremely anxious and nervous for no reason when they come off of this drug. That’s because dopamine can play a role in helping regulate anxiety-responses in the brain.
  • Appetite changes: Most people notice that when they quit Adderall, they have an increased appetite. You may become very hungry and start eating significantly more than you did on the drug. This is because amphetamines naturally curb our hunger – coming off of them may lead you to feeling very hungry.
  • Can’t concentrate: All of a sudden you can’t concentrate and your ADHD is way worse than before you took the medication. This is because you took a drug which may have used up some of your dopamine stores. It may take awhile before your natural levels of concentration return to normal, but your dopamine will eventually restore itself.
  • Cravings: Some people experience pretty intense cravings for Adderall within the first couple weeks of quitting. This drug is addictive to some people and the cravings can be tough to cope with – especially if you were taking Adderall for non-medical purposes. Know that these cravings will gradually diminish.
  • Crying spells: There are cases of individuals that become so depressed that they start crying for no reason. If you experience crying spells because you feel so depressed, take a second to realize that it is mostly due to the fact that your brain is trying to restore homeostatic activity and replenish its neurotransmitters.
  • Depression: One very common symptom that people experience when they quit Adderall is that of depression. The depression may be more extreme than you have ever experienced in your life. This is thought to be a result of having lowered levels of dopamine in the brain. Additionally some people become depressed because they no longer have the energy, quick-wit, and mental spark that Adderall provided. Certain individuals actually take Adderall for treatment-resistant depression because it works so well. It is natural to feel depressed when you stop this medication.
  • Dizziness: A common withdrawal symptom is that of dizziness. You may feel dizzy when you first quit, but this usually goes away within a few days. If you are feeling especially dizzy, you may want to conduct a more gradual taper.
  • Fatigue: Adderall gives most people plenty of energy to complete tasks and function at peak performance. When you take the drug away, many people become extremely fatigued and unable to get out of bed. This may seem similar to “chronic fatigue” but usually this subsides within a few weeks. Even if the fatigue lasts a few months, just know that you’ll eventually restore your natural energy levels.
  • Foggy thinking: It is very normal to experience “foggy” thinking or “brain fog” when coming off of this medication. This is accompanied by feeling physically lazy and lethargic so it makes for a tough combo to deal with.
  • Headaches: It is common for people to experience headaches when they quit this drug. Some people report migraines, but usually the headaches are relatively minor. If they are really bothersome, make sure you buy some headache relief.
  • Irritability: Most people report feeling a little bit irritable and grumpy when they first quit. If you find yourself snapping or getting excessively antisocial, try to recognize that it’s part of withdrawal.
  • Laziness: Most people report that they become lazy slugs when they first quit Adderall. This is because they are no longer receiving stimulation from the drug. Their body and brain is trying to get used to functioning without the drug. You may feel extremely lazy and little tasks around the house may seem like a huge deal.
  • Mood swings: There is no telling what your mood may be when you quit this drug. One minute you may feel good about the way withdrawal is going, the next you may feel extremely depressed. The mood swings that you experience should die down after a few weeks.
  • Nausea: Some people experience nausea to an extreme. They may end up vomiting as well if it becomes too powerful.
  • Panic attacks: As was already mentioned, a person may experience debilitating anxiety for awhile when they quit this drug. This may lead to a person experiencing major panic attacks at uncontrollable times. In order to cope with any “panic” work on relaxing yourself naturally with deep breathing and plenty of exercise.
  • Psychosis: There is evidence that abrupt discontinuation of amphetamines can yield psychotic symptoms. This is a result of dopamine receptors being abnormally stimulated. Amphetamine withdrawal psychosis will gradually subside, but may be difficult to deal with. Recognize that you are not crazy or becoming schizophrenic – it is a withdrawal sypmtom.
  • Sleep changes: It is obvious that most people are going to sleep for longer periods of time when they first quit the drug. This is because they have no energy and desire to stay awake throughout the day. The body and brain are trying to reset themselves without energy and stimulation from the drug. Your sleep cycle may be thrown off for a period of time, but it will eventually normalize.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Many people become suicidal when they stop Adderall. Although it is undocumented and unreported, the depression can become very difficult for certain individuals to deal with. Many people think that the depression that they are experience upon quitting is permanent – so they become suicidal. If you are suicidal, try to view your situation from the perspective that it is merely a withdrawal symptom – you will eventually feel better. If you are having a tough time coping, get yourself into a professional therapist.
  • Tiredness: Many people have a difficult time coping with the extreme tiredness that they experience when first quitting Adderall. It may persist for days and you may feel like sleeping all the time. Do your best to push through this “tiredness” to stay productive, but also make sure you are getting plenty of sleep at night – sleep at proper times helps restore your brain.
  • Vivid dreams: Many people report having “crazy” dreams and/or extremely vivid dreams. No you are not possessed by a demon, you are going through withdrawal.
  • Weight gain: Some people pack on some weight after they quit Adderall. This is because their appetite comes back in full swing and their metabolism slows down to their natural baseline.

My Experience Taking Adderall

I was prescribed Adderall to help with slowed cognition. I took a computerized test and honestly tried my best to do as well as I could on the testing. My psychiatrist noted that certain aspects of the test were normal, while others appeared to be slower than average. In one area I was pretty significantly slower than I should be and therefore he discussed Adderall. I was prescribed this medication to help with the slowed cognition that I was experiencing as a result of depression.

I was instructed to take it daily for maximum benefit, but I have since found that taking it “as needed” works better for me. In my experience, I typically use the lowest dose that I can get away with for maximum benefit. In other words, I use a dose that gives me therapeutic benefit without taking any more than is necessary for me. I have found that lower (than recommended) doses actually are quite effective if you don’t have much of a tolerance.

I have noted that I experience what is commonly referred to as an “Adderall Crash.” I have highlighted what you may experience when you initially stop taking this medication as well as what you can do about it. Just know that the “crash” eventually goes away and the extreme fatigue and foggy thinking will go away.

How long does Adderall withdrawal last?

The amount of time that it takes you to withdraw from Adderall will vary depending on your situation. If you are taking the drug “as-needed” to help treat ADHD symptoms, you may not even notice a withdrawal. If you have built up a tolerance to the drug and are using it for purposes other than ADHD, you may experience a more debilitating withdrawal. At the end of the day, the withdrawal timeline will be different for everyone.

If you were taking a relatively high dose for an extended period of time, it is likely that you are going to experience some withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms may be intense for a few days or a few weeks, but may last a few months. Some individuals have reported that it took them nearly a full year to fully “recover” psychologically from Adderall withdrawal. A good rule of thumb to follow is a withdrawal period of 90 days.

Most people will be feeling better within the first 3 months of functioning without the drug. If you take the time to properly taper down your dose, the withdrawal should be even easier for you. In the meantime, your goal should be to manage life to the best of your ability and force yourself to engage in healthy activities to rebuild your dopamine stores. When you stop using Adderall, some hypothesize that your dopamine levels are lower than before you started the drug.

Even if your dopamine stores are “lower” like some hypothesize, it’s not anything to freak out over – you will recover in time. If you have had a crazy experience with Adderall withdrawal or would just like to share how coming off this drug felt for you, please do so in the comments section below. It is nice to get a variety of perspectives on how withdrawal felt, how long it lasted, and what works to help ease various withdrawal symptoms.

If you are starting your own withdrawal, try not to read too in-depth into other people’s experiences and just focus on what you can do to speed up recovery.  Oh and if you are looking for some alternative treatment options, you may want to check out the article I wrote called “10 Best Adderall Alternatives.”

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{ 222 comments… add one }
  • Masterkushm July 23, 2016, 8:22 am

    I’m not prescribed adderall nor do I have ADHD, but during my freshmen year of college I started taking the stuff. Now I didn’t overly abuse it during the fall semester and took it only about once every 3 weeks for a test or an essay that was due. During the spring semester is where things started getting a little out control.

    This is where I started taking magic mushrooms and a lot more adderall; maybe about 60 mg every two weeks, which isn’t a lot to say. By the end of the semester during finals week I took an 20mg adderall and the day after tripped on 1.7 grams of shrooms (I took way more than this too during my other trips). I meditated on the shrooms and had the craziest trip of my life and it wasn’t a bad trip either.

    The following day I felt very out of it as if I was disconnected from reality, trouble concentrating, didn’t sleep, brain was fogged up. Two days later I took another generic 20mg IR adderall. it’s been two and a half months and I don’t feel any better, I haven’t taken any adderall since then. Now I have chronic insomnia and extreme anxiety and other symptoms listed above.

    Could it be possible be that the magic mushrooms magnified the adderall and put me into a state of withdrawal? I feel like I can relate to all the symptoms here. I’m afraid that I won’t ever be able to recover and be my happy normal self again. I was very happy and content with my life before and now everything just seems to be dark and bleak; as if there’s no hope for recovery.

  • Ben July 16, 2016, 1:58 am

    I have been prescribed to adderall for 16 years. I was put on the drug at age 13 and it destroyed my childhood. I refused my prescription throughout most of high school and then got back on it in college. It helped me study and keep a part time job while in college. Most of the jobs I’ve worked I would have never been able to withstand without adderall.

    I am terrified to begin this journey of detoxing from adderall because I don’t even know myself without it. I have to get off of it though because it is really destroying my personal life. It’s amazing how the things adults do to you as a child come back to haunt you when you’re an adult. The fact that I’m prescribed to adderall has hurt my chances of convincing the State to permit me to be a parent to my child.

    I’ve never been charged with any crime and have had no major personal problems while on the drug, but I can tell it’s time for me to put it in my rear view. My 60 mgs per day don’t even effect me anymore, if anything I feel just as tired and unmotivated as I did without it. I’m quitting cold turkey. I weened myself down to 50 mgs today, but tomorrow I am taking nothing and am starting the detox process.

    I’ve done this before, exercise helps. I’ll sleep for 16 hours for a couple days and then hopefully forget I was ever prescribed to the stuff.

  • Miss July 7, 2016, 9:54 pm

    I have been taking adderall since I was 19. I am now 31. I have stopped cold turkey after taking 20mg 3 times daily. For a while there I was doctor shopping and taking sometimes twice the amount. I tried quitting a few months ago and felt terrible so I went back on it. I really wish I would have just held out longer.

    This time second time around trying to quit, things are still rough, but after doing a lot of research I am sure that I will be feeling better soon. I think adderall tricks you into thinking that it helps you out more than it actually does. I’m sick of being a prisoner waiting for my next script and struggling not to take more of my monthly amount.

    I’m just done done done with this medicine. This medication caused me to drink more than I would not being on it as well as take medications such as xanax or ambien to try to make up for the sleep I wasn’t getting. Now unfortunately all I do is sleep, but it’s been about 3 weeks of not taking the medicine and for the past 2 days I actually feel like I’m starting to feel better.

    I do not feel like the need of sleeping ALL day long and have actually had enough energy to go on walks etc.. I hope this happy state isn’t just a phase. Thanks to everyone who has posted comments about their experience. Knowing that I am not alone and also not the only one struggling getting off this medication makes the process much more bearable.

    We are so much more than a stupid medication and I can’t wait to be in charge of my life running simply on my own naturally produced chemicals. Hang in there everybody!

    • Joanne May 2, 2018, 3:16 pm

      Thank you for your comments! Your story is so close to mine! I’m on 13 days cold turkey. Thank you for the inspiration to keep with it! Joanne

  • MPanther7AdderallComment7-4-16 July 5, 2016, 7:21 am

    What is happening to all those in withdrawal pain is awful, it’s wrong, it’s inhuman and nobody got to this point without “help” from your health care providers. I could go one for hours about this, but that won’t help. Perhaps these suggestions may help some. I hope so. I will leave out “niceties” here and will be rather sharp.

    Know this however, I am not in the healthcare profession. This is less than anecdotal advise, it’s my 1 opinion, based on experiences and Biochem knowledge, it’s not scientific or anything. When in withdrawal or dealing with toxic substance problems, you are in a very weak and dangerous state that very few can relate to. You are very ill, caused by the medicine, created with the most advanced biochemical and molecular biology techniques to act with precision and force upon your body’s systems.

    To bring relief and healing. Or relief alone. They work, these medicines. Very well. Maybe too well. No one anywhere can take these powerful medicines, without dependency or addiction occurring at some point. NO ONE I have ever known could STAND ALONE, against this powerful biochemical technology. You need help. Especially from someone, anyone, close to you. I hope you know such a person.

    This should bankrupt anyone, and treatment centers are… an unknown to me, so I won’t comment. Just find a friend, ally, anyone to help you. Someone needs to be your voice. A calm persistent, never give up voice. Because it may be necessary to DEMAND TREATMENT from the same person who is 1/2 responsible for your condition, and another person can be your forceful voice to make this happen.

    Healthcare doesn’t have an approved way to help you. A true dedicated healer will try. Adderall is nasty. It is an AMPHETAMINE. Where you told this? And it’s not an ordinary stimulant. It’s closer to methamphetamine than many other stimulants. That’s “crystal-meth” the street drug, in a crude impure form. Were you told this? If I was in your human body right now, withdrawing from Adderall, this is what I would try to do;

    1. Calm your nervous system down. You need a benzodiazepine. NO CLONAZEPAM, NO XANAX, milder Valium will do and comes in much lower doses. 1 mg Xanax is close to 20 mg Valium. You might need only 5 mg of Valium, maybe 10 mg, or less. This should help you relax a little, maybe you will sleep better, which is crucial. NEVER EVER TAKE THESE CHEMICAL ENSLAVERS FOR MORE than 3 WEEKS!!! Take a week or more off.

    Then you may take them again, but try not to. Please! Benzodiazepines, the strong ones, are the among the very worst things to withdraw from, few people actually make it unscathed. Especially after taking “benzos” for a month – 1.5 month straight or more. Some doctors have patients on them for years. It’s horrific. Irresponsible and actionable. After 4 weeks a person has a high chance of being Severely ADDICTED. (My humble opinion… experienced opinion, just so you know).

    2. Your friend will need to make sure you eat ok and get up and around everyday. Keep moving, any way you can when you are not in bed. Go lay down when your tired and rest. But then get up and please, please, walk, sit then stand, turn, twist, swim, move your arms, legs, whatever… Just move your precious body all the time… it helps a lot, MORE THAN ANYTHING YOU DO… MOVE, because being motionless is step 1 toward paralysis, and the end of life.

    3. Try to get ONE of these prescribed, MODAFINIL, 50 to 100 mg twice daily, or METHYLPHENIDATE, at the lowest mg per day that helps you. This second one is Ritalin, and I don’t know which is least dangerous to you. Modafinil has a very long half life and it keeps people awake. And alert. And focused. Astronauts, military pilots, other military on long missions use this “intellectual – stimulant.” Always a down side… Modafinil will turn long term users into zero-empathy, machine-like, detached, unloving, logical, extremely focused, unemotional, detached, minimal need for sleep, and non-Creative creatures.

    Hence the military. Hence Attorneys. Hence Politicians. Hence Ivy–Leaguers, intellectuals, wealthy and insatiable people, pilots everywhere, and wanna-smart asses. And DOCTORS. Find 3 practicing physicians. 1 of them is one Modafinil. Another takes it a few times a month. The third doctor knows what it does and won’t touch it. 75% of medical students (might) take it everyday. Some future Pharmacists in college take it all the time.

    But it was CREATED IN A LABORATORY TO TREAT SLEEPY LAB MICE… AND SOLDIERS, AND PILOTS, AND NUCLEAR LAUNCH TECHNICIANS… A MILITARY LAB. (I maybe wrong, this could all be false… ). The pills may give you some relief and bridge the time needed, by you and your body, to adjust to a non-adderall state. Your friend needs to just be there for you, help you eat well. Important… doctor or and friend will need to LET YOU CONTROL the medications and THE HARD PART WILL BE HOW YOU CONTROL USING THE MEDICATION AT THE LOWEST LEVEL THAT BRINGS RELIEF.

    You will need to taper off the new meds eventually and that is why YOU MUST, take as little as possible. But YOU must control the amount, NOT HEALTHCARE providers who are 1/2 responsible for your Adderall problem. That’s my quick opinion, as if I were you… but I don’t know much about you, or your situation…. DO NOT DO ANY OF THIS WITHOUT THE HELP OF A TRUE HEALTHCARE PROVIDER, that understands these things much better than I.

    You must be important to this person. Your life is important. As important as any other human anywhere. Some say that withdrawal is part “mental” and part “physical.” It’s nonsense. It’s all the same human flesh, it’s you. The mental and physical are all one in the same. Know this. Don’t make the mistake, of thinking you are important to the pill makers and pushers.

    You do matter to them, but not in a good way. Go to a trusted website or maybe a REAL PRINTED BOOK! And look at Adderall and its chemical structure… Then look at methamphetamine. Read about them. Ask your Doc to explain the difference. First easy step in Pharm-biochemistry :: > the general 3-D shape and size of the molecule is crucial, for the human nerve receptor to accept it.

    Then the subtle changes in the small “reactive” sections of the molecule make it a strong sucker. Agonist/antagonists… They find the natural molecules on the nerve, then they KICK THEM OUT, and then THEY TAKE THE PLACE OF YOUR NATURAL molecules. Really. It happens. When you read that “…. (paraphrased) We don’t know how this stuff works exactly…” That is BULLSH#T. And those in the industry know this.

    While you are looking for Adderall, check out Modafinil (Provigil). It went off patent… and a new “better” thing was patented. “Nuvigil (sp)” or something. Look it up. They added atoms to Modafinil. And the new stuff is stronger acting (according to a few people… nothing scientific…). And they DON’T KNOW EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS, IT JUST DOES?”

    Then why do low level biochemists with a mere BS degree, like me, know?? I stopped doing chemistry 16 years ago. But I can still read. These drugs… They work. Perfectly as designed. Very very very well. They are chemically “exquisite and elegant.” And nuclear re-entry war heads are engineeringly “exquisite and elegant.” But they are horrific as well. All have unknown and unintended consequences.

    Why do so many good people need them? And why are they so addicting? Please, take as little of this stuff as you can. Please. Right now, you all need to take care of just You! Until you get better. Allow yourself to look at all the great wonderful things, not the other worthless information everywhere. Get Away From This Internet! …Get healthy. It may take a while.

    Give yourself lots of time. Just my opinions here, and I am only 1 person of 7 + billion, so all this isn’t a fact or near factual, to anyone… but it is to me. When healed, try to find those who need an ally or a friend as they face these same problems. Peace be with you. I hope this might give someone a better approach. Please never ever give up.

  • Bell June 19, 2016, 1:10 am

    I started taking the medication five years ago, currently I was on 40 to 50 mg of IR a day but was noticing that lately my mood was very unstable, I had no motivation or energy to do anything and this was on the medication. I had been wanting to wing off the medication for a while now but never found the appropriate time. However I flew out of the country for business and ended up staying longer than expected, I ran out of medication and the country in which I am in does not allow me to fill my prescription here.

    This will be my third day off the medication and so far I have not experienced any withdraw symptoms, and if I have, they have been so minimal that they do not bother me. After reading several things online I was horrified that I would go through a life crushing withdraw so I prepared as much as possible, I ordered and have been taking L-theanine, L-tyrosine, Rhodiola, vitamin d, and two teaspoons of pure raw organic bee pollen. This combination has really helped me out to the point I am surprised I have been handling not having the medication so well.

    I also have tried keeping myself busy because that is what I was use to on the medication and that has also helped. I create a long list of everything I need to get done the next day even if it’s something minimal, like brush teeth or walk the dog. I noticed it really gives me satisfaction when I cross each thing I accomplish out from the list. I hope this helps. Good luck.

  • Isaiah June 18, 2016, 8:33 am

    I’m starting to get worried. I have posted here before about a year ago. I have been off of Adderall for a year and 5 months now. Have no idea why, but I’m STILL having after effects. Random bouts of depression, and most of all, I can literally feel the brain chemicals finding their way back. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like there’s a bunch of pins and needles walking around in my brain (kinda like how you would feel when coming down from Molly/Ecstasy.)

    It also feels like there’s a bubble forming inside my brain as well….has anyone else been experiencing this at all? What gets me the most is that I didn’t even consistently take this medication every day until 3 years ago (June 2013). That’s when I started working. Before that I would only take it if I had to study for a test.

    So basically I was taking it every day for about a year and a half until I finally went to rehab to get my shit together…and that was in Jan 2015. I really don’t know what to think right now. I’m scared it might be a tumor…these effects don’t last this long…do they? From the research I’ve done meth takes 2 years to recover from but they’re not the same drug… idk what to do.

    It also doesn’t help at all that one of my psychiatrists (I have 2) says that it shouldn’t be Adderall affecting me if it’s been a year. The other one believe me, though. I could just be overthinking it, but still. :/

    • Miss July 9, 2016, 9:58 am

      Oh dear, I would definitely get blood work done and get a referral from one of your psychiatrists to see another specialist. In my opinion, you are correct, it’s not the adderall making you feel this way. However, it’s important to get to the bottom of why you are experiencing the symptoms you are having. I don’t mean to scare you but the pain you are feeling is not normal at all.

      I’ve been taking adderall on and off for the last 11 years and haven’t ever experienced what you are describing, besides having bouts of depression which is very common due to your dopamine levels trying to get back on track. Great job on going to rehab and putting your life together! Get to a specialist ASAP tho!

      Nip what you are experiencing in the bud. Blood work and results from other tests such as an MRI/PET scans etc. will be able to rule things out. Good luck!

  • David June 12, 2016, 10:47 pm

    I started stimulant medications at 15 with 36mg concerta. This (quite quickly) became 54mg daily. Then 54mg daily + 5mg methylphenidate tabs. Later depressive side effects set in and I switched to Vyvanse. Then Vyvanse + 10mg adderall PRN. This story went on until I was 21.

    Now I’m on week 2.5 of withdrawal (cold turkey) and the symptoms are very real. Depression, crying, anxiety, the occasional bout of psychosis, suicidal thoughts, fatigue. I was relieved to know others have gone through the same.

    I’m very aware of my psychological issues. It’s not uncontrolled, but it’s a hell. It’s hell to hate yourself, and I struggle daily to find reasons to love myself and have confidence. I’ve started psychotherapy for the first time in years because I’m concerned with my mental health.

    I wanted to be on these pills, but I realize it’s not my fault. I was just a different learner, and I’m wicked smart. I needed to indulge my creative side, but for so long anxiety and low self esteem pushed me to conform to others’ expectations.

    Don’t conform. Be who you are. Amphetamine withdrawals are real and have tested my mental limits. I never expected that it would happen to me in such a way, but the symptoms and side effects grow worse over time. Some days I just want peace; hopefully it won’t be long till I find it. This drug can break you down from the inside.

  • Julia June 9, 2016, 12:18 am

    I’m so happy I found this beautiful webpage. I took adderall every day from Jan 2010 to April 2016. I started on a low dose my freshman year if college then was up to taking 15 mg twice a day. Towards the end I was tapering off, taking about 7.5 or 15 mg a day. Within the 1st week of quitting, I had a panic attack so bad I went to an urgent care.

    When I realized it was just anxiety, it was easier to cope with. It’s now been 4 weeks of no adderall. Each day the anxiety gets better. I’m also very depressed and foggy. I’m currently having horrific headaches and ringing in my ears as well as blurry vision. I don’t know if that’s withdrawal related for not, my ENT has ordered an MRI so we will see.

    It takes me much longer to do simple tasks and completing a report for work is truly an accomplishment. What’s worked for me is aromatherapy (stress relief candles and lotions) and long walks. I have good days and bad days. I wish more than anything that I had never gone on this drug but I truly suffer from ADHD.

    I’m strong in my faith and praying helps immeasurably. My hope for a full recovery is my anchor. I’m so glad I’m not alone. Stay strong my friends…don’t let a drug control your life!

  • Mike May 20, 2016, 5:30 pm

    13 years on Adderall XR, dependent for about 10 of them and prescribed max dosage (60mg xr/ daily) for the last 3. I def was abusing it and had to stop for I was taking around 90mg a day and going cold turkey one week out of the month to let my body recover. Today is my 26th day of going cold turkey.

    Withdrawing has been difficult and although the crying spells have subsided I remain almost completely unmotivated. I keep telling myself it’s better to be off the stuff and I’ve already gone almost a month with out adderall (as well as cigarettes/ alcohol) then why stop the purge now. Not easy but totally worth the withdrawal.

    • Melanie May 26, 2016, 5:07 pm

      Thanks Mike! You give me hope.

  • Rachel May 19, 2016, 9:42 pm

    I am on my first week quitting adderall xr 30 mg which I have been taking for a year now. I was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago and started on 20 mg and upped to 30 – 5 months ago. It was a lifesaver for me and after having a dose increase I noticed my typical anxiety and anger responses had stopped and I was a much calmer, easier person to deal with. I chose to stop because I had decided to stop hormonal birth control and during that period, I broke out with cystic acne all over my torso and some on my face.

    Assuming it was hormonal I was put on new bc pills and antibiotics to clear it up along with topical treatments but to no avail. I realized it may be indirectly caused by the adderall as I read has happened to some other people. The first couple of days I didn’t notice any symptoms. I felt fine. In fact my acne began to start clearing or at least it seems to be clearing. The last couple of days have been rough though as I have become increasingly sleepy, cranky and headachey.

    I’ve been waking up angry/cranky at my significant other whether he has done something or not. Our relationship had gotten rocky because of my ADHD but had become very healthy once my prescription was increased. Although my overall understanding of myself and mental health is much better since going on adderall allowed me to better reflect on myself, I’m worried that being off it I won’t be able to maintain my “good” behavior off the drug. I’m a much happier person while on it. However the acne is so painful I’m not sure what to do.

    • Kennedy May 20, 2016, 2:59 pm

      Rachel, I am currently going through the exact same withdrawal and having the exact same problem. I have been on 30mg for six months and take it everyday. I have been hardly wanting to get out of bed and have been fighting with my boyfriend all week. It’s hard to explain to others the way this withdrawal makes you feel.

      I have been taking 10mg and I find that when I drink coffee with it I seem to feel less anxious and upset. My doctor told me it may take up to two weeks to feel better, but if after that long I still don’t feel right I am going to go back up to 30mg.

  • Aiden May 13, 2016, 6:20 pm

    I was prescribed Adderall at a very early age (13). I used to spit them into the snow bank outside my house because I hated taking them. Once spring came, my mother found about 160 pills laying in the grass. After that she no longer made me take them. It wasn’t until 7 years later I got back on the Adderall.

    I was gaining weight in the army and I was worried I was going to fail my weigh ins. So I went to the doc and got prescribed. I continued taking it for 7 years until I decided to get off of it and I did it cold turkey. I was in very good physical shape so that definitely helped with the withdrawal and it was bad but not that bad.

    I was off for about a year and I gained over 70 lbs in that year. Fearing I was on my way to being obese I got back on the Adderall. I have been taking it for over a year now and I want to stop because I’m getting old (29) and I know there is a reason I was spitting them out as a teenager and the reason is that it changes you as a person. I might not ever be the same because of this drug.

    I remember when I gained that 70 lbs in a year. I remember feeling so lazy and irritable the entire year. It felt like I was withdrawing every day… for a year. Shame on these doctors and drug companies pushing these stimulants on our youth. You see it everywhere, they knew we would need it for life once we got on it.

    So they got us through the schools saying I had to take it because I couldn’t sit still. I was a 13 year old boy! I wanted to play! Now I don’t want to play or run or do anything without my stupid ungodly pill.

    • Melanie May 26, 2016, 5:12 pm

      Isn’t that crazy! Take it to calm down in youth while leads to not being able to function naturally as an adult without it.

  • Joy April 23, 2016, 9:55 pm

    I was on this type of drug for over 10 years. First, Adderall… then Vyvanse. I’ve been off of them for 9 months now and I am still exhausted and it’s hard to accomplish my daily responsibilities. It’s truly a horrible feeling. Every day, I look for ways to help myself during this period.

    I’m taking a ton of natural supplements now, which are helping to some extent, but the exhaustion is extreme. Now I understand that these drugs severely impacted my Adrenals over the 10 years and I am working to repair that system over the long-term.

  • Mania April 19, 2016, 11:05 am

    I took Adderall 30mg IR for 4 years 10 mgs 3x’s a day. For the first 2 years it was great but then it really just stopped working (each pill would work for about 1.5 hours.) I also found that my short term memory was really terrible. I decided to quit cold turkey one day. I was tired of having to take so many pills during the day to function and realized I could not live the rest of my life being a slave to this drug.

    I knew the withdrawal would be difficult and actually took time off from work – I still have not returned to work. It’s been nearly 3 months. I essentially slept for 2.5 months. I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone. I really regret that I ever started taking this medication. My main withdrawal symptoms have been sleeping all the time, lack of motivation, and the worst is just a total lack of interest or drive to do anything.

    I feel like I’ve wasted 3 months of my life doing nothing trying to recover from this drug, oh and also the terrible depression and anxiety, even though I’m already on an SSRI and have been for decades. The lack of energy/interest in life comes and goes in waves. After 1.5 months I seemed to slightly recover to barely normal where I would walk 5 miles a day.

    But after 2 months I was back in bed constantly, days where I would not leave my house. It’s really terrible. In retrospect, I think taking time off from work was not a good thing as you need structure to actually get you out of bed and force you on your way to be active. UGH. It’s terrible. I can’t wait to feel normal again and go back to my pre-Adderall self even though I was not focused and all over the place. I would take that any day over the days that I feel now.

    • Joy April 23, 2016, 9:56 pm

      I understand what you’re going through… see my comments below.

  • Dale April 11, 2016, 5:00 pm

    I was taking Adderall for 20 years. I was up to 20mg immediate release and 30mg XR a day. It’s been 2.5 months and I feel like it’s getting worse rather than better. At first I noticed the anger thing, not that I’m carrying around a baseball bat or anything but things I might normally bite my tongue over are evoking angry responses.

    I have been sleeping like crazy and wake up tired and extremely depressed. The depression and lack of motivation wasn’t bad at first but it’s epic now. I told myself I would try to last 6 months. I also have suicidal thoughts which I have never experienced before either. Reading your article made me feel a lot better, as you say several times that the symptoms should pass. Thank You!! Dale

  • Sponge Bob March 22, 2016, 12:28 pm

    When I first took adderall, I took 15mg on Saturday and 15mg on Sunday. Instant release, one dose. This was to work on my projects and get a lot done. I did not take Adderall during the week. I found that Mon-Wed I had a harder time concentrating but by Thursday I got back to normal.

  • talita March 16, 2016, 7:37 am

    Honestly, this is the best and worse drug ever. It helped me a lot in the beginning. Now, I struggle to deal with the simple instruction of “taking the normal dose”, which has made my life pretty hard. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t choose to take it.

  • Morgan March 14, 2016, 4:54 am

    I took 30mgs of adderall for about 7 years, started in college after failing my first round of exams my doctor suggested it. It was a great help to get me through college and into the door at my current job (it’s demanding and stressful and adderall helped me with the long days). After my mother and I both had a cancer scare at the same time I could feel my heart beating out of my chest.

    And while I was on vacation I didn’t take it, thinking nothing of it. Until I had my first panic attack, in public, after not taking it for 4 days. It was awful. In that moment I decided to never take it again. It has been 2 & 1/2 months and I’m still dealing with anxiety and depression (I’ve never been depressed before or had any issues with it that I wasn’t able to handle).

    This is such an awful process. I definitely don’t recommend just quitting cold turkey. Work is so exhausting just to get myself through every day. Some days are great, and some days are so terribly low. I hope this ends soon.

  • Natascha March 7, 2016, 6:31 pm

    I’ve always lacked concentration, everything distracted me, couldn’t complete tasks, got bored easily. Although, I have been successful with jobs. I had good dreaded in school but I know I boy is have gotten better. I always knew my abilities and could have been much more successful, but almost never could complete tasks. I daydreamed a lot. Last June my friend at work gave me to try Aderrall. I loved it!

    The high was awesome, so much more concentration. I completed so much in a day, always wanted to do something, to read, write. I felt like a genius and I am pretty smart. It was also much easier to cope with my relationship break up. Emotions were always in check. Easy way out for sure. So I got it from my doctor, was very easy to get. I’ve been on Aderrall on and off since June, 2015, usually 30-60mg until November 2015 and until now, March, 2016 20mg.

    I started to feet like I’m losing a human in me, my humor, emotions. I couldn’t sleep well. I looked sick. I feel like I lost some friends too because I acted differently. I tried quitting a few times but failed because the feeling on it is pretty cool. But doesn’t last. Two days ago I quit cold turkey. I miss my old self; funny, fun, emotional, kind, friendly, always smiling.

    I’m sticking to quitting this time, it’s not worth loosing who I am. Today is my third day and it’s the worst so far. I had nightmares last night, probably the worst ones I’ve ever had. I woke up being scared for my life. I have loud noise in my head. I feel no energy, dizzy, today very sleepy and nauseous.

    I spend all day on the couch, don’t want to go outside, all I want to do is read. No motivation. I haven’t been on it that long but I did overuse it in the beginning. I’ll try the natural substitutes. I hope they will help! Thank you very much for your article!

  • Becky January 28, 2016, 8:52 pm

    I’ve had withdrawal from adderall many times, as I’ve been taking 200mg+ daily for 8yrs (really). The two times that were easiest for me to cope with withdrawal were in controlled settings – detox/hospital. I think the schedule they kept forced my body to also readjust and develop a scheduled sleeping/eating/activity pattern. I was never prescribed above 50mg/day (and no longer am prescribed it at all) but “supplemented” to this excessive level.

    If you are someone who’s currently using over 100mg/day, I truly believe, as much as it sucks, doing an inpatient detox or rehab is the best way to get through the withdrawal. It is much less painful/uncomfortable and, for me, the symptoms went away so much faster than trying to quit on my own. It also gives you a much better chance of staying off the drug long-term.

  • sally January 20, 2016, 6:43 am

    I stopped taking adderall about 6/8 weeks ago. One day I just realized I didn’t want to live with it forever. I am 32… I had been taking it for about 20 years (except while I was pregnant) I was taking 30mg, one 20mg and one 10mg of IR. When I stopped, I was tired but did not experience anything else really.

    I had not weaned myself off it either, but I did read about the withdrawals so I could prepare myself for it. I had no energy, so I ate tons of beef jerky and believe that and the Greek yogurt helped me a lot (LOL)… good luck to all.

  • Sam D January 20, 2016, 3:33 am

    Hi… Need some advice. My Friend’s son took Adderall for 5 straight days (30mg) to keep him awake to study, didn’t go to sleep those 5 days. He also was taking weed regularly every day for the last four years. It seems that he started distancing himself from his close friends within the first few weeks and became very delusional within 4 weeks. Now, he has been admitted to the hospital as he was ranting on the social media which didn’t make sense along with being rude. Are these withdrawal symptoms or did that trigger Bipolar or Mania? Please give me some input to help the family.

  • Doug January 16, 2016, 7:23 pm

    Today marks 5 weeks since I quit adderall. I had been taking it without fail everyday for about a year and a half. I started out with 20mg IR, and then after 2 months upgraded to 30mg, and then 6 months later up to 40mg (20 IR and 20 XR). I started taking it to help me with my schooling as I was working 30 hours a week in a call center and taking 14 credits at my university.

    For the most part, I stuck to my prescribed amount everyday, but during exam weeks I could easily take up to 80 or 100 mg. I would also drink Redbull or NOS to boost the effect. While I can say that adderall helped me to learn a few things about myself, ITS NOT WORTH IT. Adderall turned me into a depressed, anxious, self-conscious loner. It hurt my relationship with my family, friends, and amazing girlfriend. I had no patience for anyone.

    I didn’t care about anything except getting home to my desk where I could be pissed off at my professors for not clearly explaining assignments. I hardly ever ate food, and when I did it was always unhealthy food. I lost all my muscle and whenever I was on adderall I would sweat excessively and it caused me to smell badly. Before taking adderall I had never got a grade below a “C” in my 3 years of college.

    That year on adderall I got a C in one class and a D in another. To make things worse, adderall prevented me from being able to sleep at night so I got a prescription for ambien. Well, adderall is much more powerful than ambien so I had to be creative there. This mixture turned me into a zombie. One night after not sleeping for 2 days due to exams and studies, my girlfriend and got into a fight (this will happen a lot when you take adderall).

    I was exhausted and had no patience to get through an argument. I snapped and grabbed the closest thing to me and threw it at the wall. Fortunately it was an apple and not something more valuable. The apple exploded all over my room… It was a bad scene. This may not sound like a big deal, but to me it was. I’m not a violent person, ive never done anything like that. I guess that was when really decided to quit.

    Since I’ve quit I’m pretty amazed at what I’ve done in 5 weeks. I got a promotion at work, I declared a major and set plans to graduate with a bachelors degree next fall, I’ve put my weight/ muscle back back on, and I’ve purchased an engagement ring for my lovely future wife. I have regained my spirituality and donated $1000 to charity. Most importantly though, I have found happiness again.

    I feel so much more energized and happy than I did under the the bonds of adderall. Quitting has been difficult, but not nearly as bad as everyone makes it sound. The key for me had been staying busy (I’m still working 30 hours a week and taking 14 credits again this semester). Another tip I would give is stay away from pop and unhealthy foods. I drink a lot of tea (look up Yerba mate) and take daily vitamins.

    Things can only get better when you quit. The 1-2 hour “high” is not worth the 5 hours crash or addiction that adderall brings. Stay positive!

    • Sherri April 14, 2016, 3:07 am

      Did you stop cold turkey?

  • Nicole January 4, 2016, 1:55 am

    I had ADD and was prescribed adderall 20mg XR once a day and 10mg IR as needed, most days I would take about 40-50mg total/day for the past year and half. Lately I have been debating on whether I want to stop taking it or not, I like how it helps me focus and get things done but I do not want to have to rely on a stimulant – there has to be another way my brain can be stimulated right?

    Anyways, I recently switched doctors – the new one prescribed me the generic brand of adderall (same doses) but honestly it did not feel like it was working. I waited and waited for that energy kick to happen but I continued to feel tired as ever on the generic stuff. Has that happened to anyone else? I called my doctor who told me to continue trying it and we would meet again in a month to discuss it.

    Well… after a week and a half I still was feeling nothing so I decided to myself “hey if this isn’t doing anything for me, why put it in my system?” Basically cold turkey-stopped taking my adderall (40-50mg/day to nothing!) I have been feeling so bipolar and as if I have chronic fatigue, I cannot seem to function for long periods of time and it’s been making me depressed and binge eating.

    The last couple days I have been so tired of being tired that I began taking the generic adderall again hoping it would help but nothing seems to work. I meet with my doctor at the end of this week but if anyone has any advice or has been through this, let me know- It would really be comforting to know that I’m not crazy and that it’s not just a psychological concept in my brain :( Thanks.

  • El January 3, 2016, 3:18 pm

    I’ve been on Adderall for over a year. When I first begin taking it, I had to really think about it and even pray about it. You see, “uppers” were my drug of choice in the 70’s. Now looking back, I’m not sure I was diagnosed properly. Yes, I had focus issues and forgot a lot of things. Although the Adderall helped some, the last I would say 6 months have been heck for me. I didn’t feel like myself.

    It felt as though my brain was in some kind of a vacuum. The symptoms I read about that take place when one is withdrawing from Adderall are the symptoms I had started feeling 6 months ago. I went to my doctor and asked if I could be weaned from this, or get a lower dose. He simply said, “No!” I was afraid to wean myself off of it because of the side affects I read about.

    I work as a management assistant and am have to take care of not only external customers but internal. I couldn’t imagine attempting to do my job without the medication. I since have made an appointment to see another M.D. but the appointment is not until February. I took it upon myself to attempt to withdraw from this horrible experience. I was taking 20 milligrams daily of the XR Adderall.

    It got to the point that I dreaded having to take it! So, I went to my pastor and spoke with him. He is not a psychologist but we prayed and I decided I was going to do this on my own. I’ve been addicted most of my life on meth, diet pills, back in the early 70’s. These were my drugs of choice. When I begin my new life, I was able to just quit everything, even alcohol. Now, I found myself in this situation, with this “prescription drug.”

    Psychologically, I know in my mind that I don’t have to have this garbage, at least not in the dose prescribed and not for as long as I have been. The major symptoms I’m experiencing are physical. I feel muscle pain, kind of like flu-like symptoms, I’ve been sleeping almost all three days. I have noticed a little bit more appetite, and cravings for sweets.

    Today was the first time I’ve had coffee in a while, I don’t like drinking it because it elevates the Adderall symptoms. I have noticed issues with breathing, I feel like I’ve been running miles and have noticed some back pain. Not sure if it’s related, but I feel 10 years older. The real test will be tomorrow when I have to go back to work.

    This morning, when I have to go and teach a Sunday School class. I’m totally dependent on my spirituality to get me through this. I don’t want to be enslaved to any drug. I’d rather have to note things down, and work harder to get my work done then to go through this again. I hope something I’ve said, will help someone. I will come back and give an update. I wish everyone good wishes if you are going through the same thing.

  • katy December 31, 2015, 12:48 pm

    I am prescribed 40 mg (2, 20mg pills/day) of Adderall IR. I tend to take all 60 pills in the first 10-12 days of filling the prescription (averaging 5-6 pills/day or 100-120 mg/day). Then, each month, I quit cold turkey for the next 20 days. The first 2-3 days of the withdrawal are terrible, but after that, I start to regain my energy and function like a normal human being.

    Anyone else have a similar situation? I have been doing this for about 9 months now and I can’t determine how bad this this is for me and if this will eventually lead to worse withdrawal symptoms. Thanks!

  • Cb December 27, 2015, 2:30 am

    I was prescribed Adderall for chronic fatigue. I found it really helps however I don’t want to take it because coming down during the day I get depressed. I also don’t want to become addicted, although I was only taking a small dose 2.5 to 5 mg about three times a week. I seem to be having more fatigue now when I go a couple days without taking it. I don’t want to take it anymore. I noticed you have alternatives for a ADHD to Adderall… wondering If you have any alternatives for chronic fatigue instead of Adderall? Thanks for all the great work!

    • El January 5, 2016, 12:42 am

      There are alternative medicines that are natural and don’t play havoc on our bodies. We have a local pharmacy in my city that has assisted me with hormone replacement therapy. It is the only medication that is approved by my insurance. Even with the discount, it still costs $46 a month. It’s well worth it however, and since there is cancer in my family, I’d rather not take a chance on the chemicals prescribed by doctors. You may want to look into alternative medicines.

  • Omar December 22, 2015, 2:59 am

    Hey everyone, I’d like to share a story that might change your life regarding this matter. On November 5th, 2015, I was on 50mgs of adderall and at 4pm, I felt like I was about to die. I’ve been taking adderall recreationally (on/off) for about a year just for studying. That day I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like I was on the verge of fainting, everything was fading away, it was the worst experience ever.

    After rushing to the ER, I went through 1-2 weeks of severe anxiety, depression, I even got similar attacks like before till I gradually began going about my life again. Just recently (2 weeks ago), I had a large cup of coffee with an espresso shot. 2 hours later I had a sudden similar attack but this time I handled it better. Drs told me that caffeine is a stimulant and that’s what triggered it.

    Thankfully, it took me like 3-4 days to go about my daily life again. Now that it’s been around 1.5 months since my initial attack, I fear that I have caused brain damage to myself. Sometimes I get crying spells (and trust me I never shed a tear before hand) or felt dizzy under any anxiety situation or sleep deprivation. I hope that my brain will heal and recover back but this brings me to my last point.

    Most people reading articles like this one are already addicts or going through symptoms like myself. And my message is that nothing is worth playing around with your health/brain power. I’d give all the As in college back if it meant I wouldn’t damage myself in that way. I hope by writing this response, I would change someone’s life to stop using adderall recreationally and only under medical supervision.

    • Ben July 28, 2016, 7:18 pm

      If you don’t eat and don’t stay hydrated it is dangerous stuff! The effects are far stronger and more of a recreational drug feel especially at that mg would be dangerous, taking arginine and other supplements can curb the negative side effects, “also the brand of addys you get can be as different as coke and mountain dew “teva generics are the safest with least side effects” but too high of a dose in any form is counter productive.

      Putting your heart into overdrive can make you feel on the verge of death, or at least kill your motivation “high blood pressure/overdoing your heart” doesn’t create motivation it creates the same demotivated state as depression. Most don’t think about severe depression being linked to high blood pressure, your brain can take over 50% of your usable energy… hence when overwhelmed with life some give up or get to a couch lock state, or lose their sh*t “a lot of angry people are just depressed”.

      Your emotional state can be coming from lack of the euphoria as well as lack of the machine like lack of certain emotions amphetamines can provide. Although you may not have been emotional before, adjusting from machine to man will make you feel more hence the emotional distress. While not promoting it, it does work better to cure depression in those with a higher IQ or arts/hands on manual labor skill set than antidepressants, certainly can get them off the couch and going.

  • Nick December 11, 2015, 9:38 pm

    I just turned 25 and will soon be off of my mom’s insurance. This means that I will have to buy my pills out of my own pocket. I just got hired at an engineering firm, but requested to start a month later so that I can get through the withdrawal period. I was worried because I have used adderall every day since I was 13 for ADHD. Reading this article and the comments has given me some assurance. Thank you, -Nick

    • Ben July 28, 2016, 7:02 pm

      If you landed a good job I don’t see how prescription cost would affect you? $60 for 60 generics a month + a possible bi monthly dr visit @ 80-100 even if just for you to take time to step down and wean off would be worth your peace of mind.

  • Alissa November 9, 2015, 8:40 pm

    I’m currently weaning myself from 60-80mg (been taking this for 20 years) and am down to 30. Lessen 10mg every 1-2 months. This month has been rough for whatever reason. (the jump from 40 to 30) Does anyone sweat profusely in the morning/afternoon from weaning? I’m gross! Also would really appreciate hearing more stories from people about the weaning process and how they felt after.

    Scares me I have all of these symptoms and I’m halfway there. Wondering what it’ll be like when I’m done. (I do realize everyone’s story is different- a lot of these stories seem to be cold turkey). I’m trying real hard to keep a positive mindset! Also are there apps for withdrawal with support? Or something of the sort?

    And any ideas for metabolism or preventing/understanding weight gain? Really want to get that under control before it could possibly be an issue. Thanks!!

    • El January 5, 2016, 12:33 am

      Katy, I think you are really brave to be doing this. I sweat a lot in the mornings. I’ve only been off of a 20 milligram dose, once a day since last Friday, before New Year’s. I’ve been on it over a year. I would say about the weight, don’t be so concerned about that right now. Once you get to where you need to be, you can work on your weight. I’ve been on a Paleo Diet and it really worked for me.

      You may want to look it up. It’s simple, but requires you to give up all carbs except those from veggies. Right now, if you’re going through what I’m going through, you most likely need that comfort food. I’ve been eating sweets a lot. Of course as I said, I’m just beginning. You’ve come this far, I’m sure you will do great!

  • Lety November 2, 2015, 2:00 am

    I’ve been taking adderall for about 4 years now for ADHD. I was started on XR but after a year, I was switched to IR. Recently I ran out of medication beginning of the month and was off of it for about 2 weeks. After the first week, I started having panic attacks and depression. I felt nauseated all the time. I also can’t sleep at all. By the time I got my prescription, I was already suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

    I started the medication again and instead of taking a lower dose, I took my regular dose and made my symptoms much more worse. I was having an adverse reaction. I went back to the doctor because I thought it was my heart. Every thing came back normal. Doctor said that I need to start at a very low dose since I’m still having panic attacks and depression. Loss of appetite as well. I’m praying that I will go back to my normal self.

    What I didn’t realize or even knew was that my body became dependent to Adderall. I don’t have the addicting personality. And being off of it for 2 weeks, you would think… Eh nothing can happen. My anxiety and depression is severe. And even though I’m on my second day of low dose, I’m still having it hard.

    • mike November 3, 2015, 2:00 am

      Same issue here. I posted my story the other day and apparently it never went through for post.

  • Crystal October 3, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I don’t even really have ADHD. (at least I didn’t when I started taking the drug) Someone else introduced me to Adderall and I fell in love with how it made me feel. So I went and got a prescription. I have about 3 and a half months supply of extended release Adderall in my possession. It’s been a blessing and a curse. More of a curse maybe because I’m addicted, at least psychologically, to the euphoria it gives me. I’m trying to quit using it however, or at least “slow down,” because I’ve become dependent on it in order to feel outgoing, happy and “normal.”

    What I’ve learned to do is open the original Adderall capsule and pour the beads into these clear capsules that Trader Joe sells that contain Alpha Lipoic Acid. I empty that stuff out and pour the beads into the capsules instead. The result is a much quicker, much more intense rush, high and stimulation than one would feel using the prescribed capsules. Also I can decide exactly how much I want to use.

    Today is the second day however of trying to stop using Adderall. last night was horrible. I was incredibly irritated, upset and angry at the most trivial issues. Today feels the same. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to last the weekend without using some at least. It’s not that I want to quit entirely. I just don’t want to need it daily.

    I’ve noticed some odd things since I stopped just yesterday however. Though I feel irritated, my thought process is clearer than when I’m on the drug but my sex drive is lower. Unfortunately I’m having trouble relating to people, even friends. Because I’m not my “normal self,” I’m behaving in a way they don’t normally see me.

    The withdrawal symptoms are brutal. I can’t explain it. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I feel irritability, paranoia, anger, and my mood swings suck. It’s just a really crappy feeling. I’ve been on it daily, 20mg and higher for about a year and a half.

    • Milly October 27, 2015, 2:59 am

      Hi, I just wanted to reach out as a fellow adderall patient and remind you that you are not alone in this. I have been on 80mg daily for almost 3 years. I am weaning off now because I am honestly one grouchy mama, to say the least, when the comedown sets in. Whatever your direction is, I wanted to suggest melatonin to promote sleep and let yourself rest through those icky symptoms.

      It is funny to me that the drug is used to treat narcolepsy in some cases, yet it causes full on insomnia in others. I prefer the fast melt melatonin that is carried in just about any pharmacy section. I buy a bottle of 250 at Sam’s for $12. That will last a long time. Rest easy and best wishes. -Milly

  • Taryn October 2, 2015, 3:36 am

    It honestly feels good that I am not the only one. I thought there was something really wrong with me. I’ve been taking adderall XR since second grade. I am now a senior in high school. This is my eleventh year on it. I started at a low dosage, but now I am at 50 milligrams every day. I don’t take it over the summer or like when I moved I ran out and well I couldn’t get it for a long time.

    I experienced ALL of these withdrawal symptoms. I feel so tired, so lazy, irritable, angry, useless. And my eating habits.. Out of control. Absolutely out of control. It’s hard… It’s honestly really hard to get off of it. People don’t understand. Some say “oh just use your mind to stop eating to stop feeling all of these things” or “use your will power”… It’s not easy.

  • Phil September 26, 2015, 2:11 pm

    I was diagnosed with adult ADHD in 1996 and put on a regimen of medication. When Adderall was approved, I was placed on a combination of Adderall and Dex every day. Initially, it was fantastic! I lost weight, began to work out three hours a day, and wrote prolific intellectually based material every day.

    However, after several years symptoms popped up that baffled my physicians. I developed symptoms of Reynaud’s disease. I became intolerant of heat and cold. I would often “flush,” with symptoms of Rosachea and developed rashes. My sexual drive was erratic and my once healthy penis shrank expinentially. I even paid for a battery of tests at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and those experts could find nothing wrong with me.

    I became convinced it was the “Speed” I was taking for close to twenty years. Three months ago I began to wean myself off of both the Dex and the Adderall. Now I have been “clean” for about a month. Yes, I have gained weight, lost some motivation to “obsess” at the gym. In addition, I must combat fatigue and laziness, but I make lists and force myself to stay active.

    Many of my annoying and debilitating symptoms have dissipated, and actually, being less hyper has made me a bit more pleasant to be around. I believe the “Speed” masked my ADHD by making me seem functioning due to being a “Speed Freak.” I’m hoping in time I will reach a modicum of normalcy. Adderall and Dextroamphetermine are dangerous drugs that have horrific ramifications for their long term usage. I can testify to that with accuracy and candor.

  • Ken September 21, 2015, 8:05 am

    I took Adderall IR for 8 years for ADD and depression. I started on 15 mg and at the end of my use was using 40 (20mg twice a day). I agree with some of the other posters here that though my cognition and mood were improved, I felt like I “lost myself” in the drug. Those 8 years flew by and I couldn’t function without it.

    Earlier this year, I was unemployed without enough $ to see a doc but still had a month script. My somewhat new girlfriend, without my knowledge, threw the prescription away. She was concerned, but I had no choice at that point except cold turkey. Ultimately I think she did a good thing for me.

    The initial/acute withdrawal symptoms lasted maybe 10 days. It wasn’t bad, like opiates which I have also withdrawal from twice (horrible). Mainly it was restlessness, depression and anxiety. I was hit with major insomnia, which lasted a little more than a month (ironic, I always slept like a baby on Adderall). It has taken me a while to learn to function without Adderall.

    So it’s been about 4 months. How is it going? I feel like me again after almost a decade. I laugh more, am more conscious of social interaction and I don’t throw myself into crazy long work days (where I was as productive as 2 people, but that comes at a price).

    On the negative side, I am still quite depressed, I think I am dopamine deficient to begin with. I am looking into options for this. I can function without Adderall though, something I really had trouble imagining after so long on the drug…

  • Peter September 20, 2015, 12:09 am

    This article is very well written and accurate according to my experiences coming off adderall several times in the past year. I take it not for adhd but dopamine deficient depression after Wellbutrin started causing severe head & neck pain. It’s been a tough year for me as adderall is a very hard drug to manage. Taking it properly is next to impossible b/c tolerance.

    I’ve had to stop cold turkey four times in the past 12 months as it goes from wonder drug to anxiety pill as tolerance builds. I’ve found that tapering off is next to impossible b/c the smaller doses never get me to the point of efficacy or relief, only severe anxiety. Each time I’ve come off cold turkey b/c of this. Every time, the horrible depression and fatigue lasted exactly one week- 7 full days, after which I can feel the lights turning back on.

    I always swear I will never go through it again, but seem to always go back. I have discovered that L-tyrosine supplementation along with magnesium are very helpful in the recovery process but you will not escape waiting it out. Anyone coming off cold turkey should take at least a week off work to allow for sleep and to allow the brain to recover.

  • Allison Strong bipolarbrainiac September 3, 2015, 9:38 pm

    I have bipolar disorder and have been on and off Ritalin/Adderall/Vyvanse and the new one, Evekeo for ADHD and Binge Eating Disorder. Evekeo is a safe drug to take for ADHD because it is milder and missing one of the amphetamines, dextramphetamine, I think. It doesn’t affect your mood or appetite as much. Last year, after a three month depression while on Adderall, I recovered from the depression all of a sudden and switched to ‘silly mania.’ So I decided to suddenly and cold turkey cut myself off. Bad decision.

    I fell back into a three month depression. I gained back thirty pounds. I am on atypical antipsychotics which have a terrible effect on metabolism, weight gain and diabetes type 2. This is what I am trying to avoid: silly crazy weight gain, obesity…I’ve been there and diabetes. If I had to do it over again I’d taper. Slowly, very slowly. And I’d switch from Adderall over to Vyvanse and go down by small increments, then switch over to Evekeo, or Ritalin and lower my dose on that and then stop.

    Very carefully and slowly. Of course my take is specific to people with depression or bipolar disorder and I am not a doctor but have had bipolar disorder for twenty five years. Right now I’m on low dose vyvanse and it doesn’t agree with me. I feel tired and nauseous.

  • CindyG September 3, 2015, 1:52 am

    I’ve taken Adderall for 19 years. I’m currently on XR 30 mg. I take it on weekdays to help me focus at work. I don’t take them on the weekends. When I’m on vacation, I don’t take them for many days. I’ve never had a single withdrawal symptom. NONE. ZERO. NADA. The posters on this site whining about withdrawal symptoms are malingerers and imaging their symptoms or they are taking illegal, HUGE doses.

  • Allie August 5, 2015, 12:55 am

    I was on adderall 10mg XR for 6 months. I do not have adhd of anything like that. I lied to my doctor to get the prescription to lose weight. Over the course of 6 months I lost about 20-30 pounds. Nothing insane or that I couldn’t do on my own. The adderall, even though it was such a low dose, was making me lose my mind. I couldn’t sleep and I was being mean to everyone around me. I was also having horrible thoughts about life and what not.

    I would find myself freaking out and having extreme anxiety over almost nothing. I love my job& because of adderall I started to hate every second of it for some crazy reason. I have been off of adderall for two days. I quit cold turkey but only because my dosage was so low that there was almost nothing to go down to. vitamins B12 & lots of vitamin C helps so much.

    Get lots of rest let your body sleep, but don’t over do it. Drink lots of water and try to stay away from caffeine even though it’s very hard during this. Exercise helps with the depression you might face, even though I haven’t ran into that yet, it only being two days off of it I could see symptoms down the road. Adderall is the worst drug I have ever taken, I have done ecstasy and smoked weed, I’ve drank myself silly.

    But I have never ran into a drug that messed with my mind and body as much as adderall. I could never imagine taking it for years and then quitting it cold turkey. My hearts go out to all of you. You will get through it though, it’s more your mind than anything.

  • Anonymous Adderall Abuser July 11, 2015, 1:47 am

    This post was extremely helpful to me, and because of it I decided to make a blog of my quitting adderall experience. I hope others can find my blog helpful and useful as I begin this process of weaning myself off my prescription. I currently get 45 mg a day and have been for going on 5 years. I’m on week 2 of weaning myself off and I didn’t see this post til last night.

    It helped me feel a lot better about what I’ve been experiencing over the past couple of weeks, and pronged me into doing further research on the withdrawal symptoms and how I should treat this process in the first place. Any helpful input would be much appreciated! Thanks to everyone that commented on this page! All of the posts I read were very helpful, I hope my blog can help others too.

  • Isaiah July 11, 2015, 1:43 am

    So I’ve been off of Adderall for a good 6 months now. I went to rehab and everything because the process was just too hard for me to handle alone. For some reason, though, I still feel like I’m withdrawing. My thinking is still foggy as hell, still feel like I’m going crazy a little bit…what gives? I was prescribed 40mg Vyvanse and 20mg Adderall and for the most part I would take them as prescribed…just doesn’t make any sense to me. My friend says it’s all in my head and that the recovery process is over, but I mean c’mon…how can someone REALLY say that I don’t know what I’m talking about/feeling. If I’m going through something, I’m PRETTY SURE I would know.

    • GLOOM July 11, 2015, 3:19 am

      I’ve been in a similar situation, bombarded with advice about what you “should experience” based off of others’ experiences. You are not the same person as your friend, and while there’s an outside chance they may be correct – I’d bet on your perspective over theirs. Some people are more sensitive to discontinuation and experience protracted withdrawals. Could all be a byproduct of other factors (e.g. sleep, stress, lifestyle, diet, etc.). Wishing you the best in your efforts to recover.

    • CSP August 17, 2015, 3:26 pm

      I can relate to what you’re going through Isaiah. I’m into my 4th month Concerta withdrawal and it is awful. Getting better a bit, not as much brooding, but still with the fatigue, no interest in anything, no focus, insomnia, and no zest for life at all. Sad, but it will get better I’m sure eventually….

      And it is all in your head: dopamine and norepinephrine are only slowly returning to normal levels. Some heal quicker, some slower; give it time (Things I Must Earn), take a deep breath, and don’t make the same mistake again.

  • Derp June 19, 2015, 5:48 pm

    I’ve been taking amphetamine (generic ER dexedrine for 2 years, sandoz IR adderall for 3 years) and while I often have great difficulty dealing with the “morish” abusability and habit formation of adderall (leading to missed sleep and miserably tired, unproductive next mornings), I’ve never felt any withdrawal from not taking it. At most I just need a big meal and 16 hours of sleep and I’m back to my old baseline. The only long term problem effect might be that I’ve forgotten any eating moderation skills I used to know.

  • Angela McDougall June 17, 2015, 12:24 am

    Hi. Two weeks now off of it I quit cold turkey, it was ruining me! My energy levels are AWFUL! I have slight Depression, NO MOTIVATION AT ALL, EXTREME FATIGUE, and LAZINESS! I read some comments on here that sound exactly like me… Andrea I completely vibe with you! This whole process of coming off of it is daunting to say the least!!! I just want to feel like me again.

  • mike June 8, 2015, 5:50 am

    The reason for my Adderall usage is because of school. It is a great drug to use for concentrating and doing well, but I have not taken it in a week and boy do I feel sh*tty. My anxiety levels are through the roof and I just feel depressed every night. I feel that I am being very easily annoyed with the people that I am around the most, I am done with this drug – and so should all of you who do not actually need it. It puts my mind in a whole different world sometimes and right now I just feel foggy as hell.

    I know I am not the same person I used to be before taking it and I wish I never started. I can barely get out of bed now a days because of this withdrawal. I just hope there is some day I can wake up out of this funk and show myself that I am completely over this bullsh*t withdrawal. I feel that there is an extra conscience in my head that just makes me want to be alone and hide from the world, and that is not what I want. Godspeed.

  • Miki May 13, 2015, 4:50 am

    My Dr prescribed me 20mg IR twice a day, but I only took 1 because 2 didn’t let my body rest or eat. I’ve been taking them for 9 months, but recently quit cold turkey because my husband and I want to try for another child. I’ve been off for about 3 or 4 weeks now and this is terrible. I’m still not hungry, but I am so utterly depressed it’s scaring me. I cried in front of my toddler the other day and it made me feel terrible.

    I have am unbelievably irritable (not towards my child, thank goodness). Panic attacks have been pretty bad too. This is awful. Is it supposed to last this long when I only took a low dose for 9 months? I’d take nausea and headaches over psychological issues any day. And now I’m scared to ever start it again but I truly need it for my ADHD. I don’t understand how people like feeling hyped up 24/7 at abusive levels.

    • Ali September 13, 2018, 7:54 pm

      I just wanted to check in a see how you’re doing now and if you are feeling normal again. Also how’s the trying for a baby? I only took it for a short time as well and I want to know when this scary depression and anxiety will end.

  • jessica May 4, 2015, 1:28 am

    I was adderall XR 30mg for 8 yrs and 2 months I quit! It’s the hardest thing I ever went through but I knew I had to stop. I was literally going crazy with myself. I was very particular with everything and would clean for hours. I smoked more cigarettes. I felt so overwhelmed with everything that I felt like I was ignoring my son and easily annoyed. Now I have a relationship with my son and am getting back to life. Coming off, I was so tired and had crying spells, numbness, and not to mention I gained weight. But at least now I have a beautiful relationship with my son.

  • Babs April 30, 2015, 4:17 am

    I am the mother of an adderall user/abuser. She is 28, and has taken it for about 6 years. She is also an alcoholic. She quit drinking after she went to rehab and that lasted for about 4 years. She said adderall made her not want to drink, plus she had always failed her math classes and after starting adderall, got an A in a high level college class. I knew nothing about the drug, so I was happy she was on it. She lived with a boyfriend for 3 years until he recently kicked her out.

    They still see each other but only when she has not run out. She is a delightful, productive, creative person while on it but when she runs out, it is really like night and day. She got drunk at work a few months ago and totaled her car. She just takes a bottle of whatever alcohol she can get her hands on, and goes to bed for 3 or 4 days. I tried doling them out, but as anyone who has lived with an addict knows, it never works.

    She gets very nasty, disrespectful, and I learned never to even attempt that again. She is terrified about gaining weight as she is very happy being a size zero. I’m learning to have more compassion for her, rather than anger. Her father is an alcoholic as well, as well as her grandmother. She was bullied all through school. It doesn’t excuse her behavior and I’ve laid down the law about not being disrespected and taking care of her own responsibilities. She agreed to go to counseling, but it will have to wait. Of course she is bedridden right now.

    I figure if she ever wants to get married, have kids, or live a successful life, she will need rehab again, but it will only happen when she is ready. Thank you all for sharing your stories. It helps a lot knowing she is not the only one with this struggle. It’s her journey and it’s hard to stand by and watch, but as parents, we have to take the good with the bad. Bless you all.

  • Bryan Muse April 29, 2015, 1:18 pm

    My wife has been taking adderall for about 5 years now. She is bipolar and ADD (adult attention deficit disorder). Hold on to your socks, she takes 30mg 4x daily! It is prescribed that way. I think its WAY TOO HIGH, and her crashes are super intense. I read the list of withdrawal symptoms…and she has them all, every month. More like every three weeks because she takes more than she should. She tweaks like crazy and crashes really hard. It’s a true storm to deal with. My advice: take lower doses, and don’t abuse this stuff. It’s almost impossible for this outsider to deal with.

  • kim April 26, 2015, 5:07 pm

    I was on Adderall XR 30 2x daily for 3 years. Awesome first 6 months. Then Bad side effects kicked in… I quit cold turkey in December. Its been about 4 months. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but besides gaining 30 lbs. It’s the best decision I have ever made. These pills should be removed off the market. Period!

  • lauren April 15, 2015, 3:12 am

    I’ve been on adderall for 6 LONG YEARS. I would take 60mg-120mg per day. I have been off of adderall for 3 weeks and the only way I have been able to stay off of it was because I went into surgery. After surgery I had weeks off of work. I don’t think I would be able to quit without having the 3 weeks off. I was extremely fatigued. This drug is not a JOKE. Get off of it. It will ruin your life.

  • Debi F April 7, 2015, 8:23 am

    I stopped Adderall of 40 mg (4x daily) for Narcolepsy. I weaned off in 7 days!! This was a month ago and for switched to Ritalin 20 mg 3x daily. I needed to take less meds. I, after a month, have started having an uncontrollable urge to stretch my legs, over and over and over again till morning!! Restless Leg Syndrome? It’s awful.

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