Adderall Withdrawal Medication and Treatment
Medications may be used to minimize certain Adderall withdrawal symptoms. See the types of medication and treatment options
Takeaways from this article:
Types of medication to help with adderall withdrawal
Adderall withdrawal treatment options
Adderall is a medication prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).1 It is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both of which are central nervous system stimulants.1
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists Adderall as a Schedule II drug, which means it has recognized medical uses, but also has a high abuse potential, which can lead to physiological and psychological dependence.1
Once a person has developed an Adderall dependence, the brain has essentially grown to rely on the drug to function. If the person abruptly stops taking Adderall or drastically reduces the dose, they will experience withdrawal symptoms.1
Someone who is dependent on stimulants is advised to seek professional withdrawal help. However, even successful completion of detox needs to be followed up with ongoing substance abuse treatment. Relapse rates are high for amphetamines, and a post-detox recovery program can offer relapse prevention and coping skills.
Types of detox options include detox facilities, inpatient and residential programs, and outpatient detox. Medications that may be used during Adderall withdrawal include Modafinil, benzodiazepines, and medications to treat depression and anxiety. Detoxing cold turkey can increase the risk of relapse and lead to depression and self-harm.
Adderall withdrawal treatment options include specialized detox centers, inpatient and residential programs, and outpatient programs.
There are three types of care for those seeking help for Adderall withdrawal: specialized detox centers, inpatient and residential programs, and outpatient programs.2
For each type of Adderall withdrawal treatment, the goals are the same:
- To provide a safe and comfortable environment for withdrawal.
- To closely monitor and manage any medical or psychiatric symptoms.
- To provide support and education throughout withdrawal that encourages continued commitment to the detox process.
- To provide support and guidance for “stepping down” to less intensive levels of care after detox is completed. 2
Detox Treatment Facilities
Detox treatment facilities are set up to deal specifically with people who are detoxing from substances. Detox centers can be private or state-owned. Although state facilities may not provide the amenities and services that private facilities do, they provide a low-cost, secure, and medically monitored detox to those who are either uninsured or insured by the state.
Detox facilities are recommended for those who fall within the following categories:
- Those with a home environment where drugs are accessible.
- Heavy, long-term users who may experience complications during withdrawal.
- People with medical or psychiatric complications.
- Those who have attempted and previously failed detoxing either at home or at a facility.
- Those who have been using other drugs, especially alcohol.2
Inpatient and Residential Treatment Centers
Inpatient and residential facilities do not always provide detox services. However, it is possible to find facilities that provide detox as part of their drug rehabilitation program. Most facilities that provide Adderall withdrawal treatment on-site are prepared to manage even the most severe cases of withdrawal. But they may require that a person is medically clear prior to admission.
After detox, the person is usually encouraged to participate in rehab services such as individual and group counseling and 12-step meetings.
During outpatient withdrawal treatment, the person may follow a prescribed detox protocol and have their progress monitored by a physician at a:
- Drug rehab program (some outpatient rehabilitation programs, such as partial hospitalization or day programs, will provide detox services)
- Local doctor’s office 2
The physician monitors the person’s condition and can respond to any medical or psychiatric complications.
To date, no medications have been specifically developed to treat amphetamine withdrawal syndrome.4 However, a number of medications may be used to minimize certain Adderall withdrawal symptoms:2
- Modafinil, a drug used for narcolepsy that keeps a person awake and alert, may help alleviate some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of Adderall withdrawal.
- Benzodiazepines may be used to treat anxiety related to Adderall withdrawal.
- Medications may be used to treat co-morbid disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or ADHD.
Detoxing Cold Turkey at Home
Detoxing cold turkey at home is possible since amphetamine withdrawal is not life-threatening. However, seeking medically supervised detox can decrease amphetamine withdrawal symptoms and address any medical or psychiatric symptoms. Some people may become severely depressed during Adderall withdrawal and have thoughts of self-harm or suicide. 2,3 Supervised detox safeguards helps manage these symptoms and increases the likelihood of maintaining sobriety by providing a supportive and structured environment and preventing relapse.
- Berman, S. M., Kuczenski, R., McCracken, J. T., & London, E. D. (2009). Potential Adverse Effects of Amphetamine Treatment on Brain and Behavior: A Review. Molecular Psychiatry, 14(2), 123–142.
- Australian Government Department of Health and Aging. (2004). Models of Intervention and Care for Psychostimulant Users.
- Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. (2013). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2015). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4131. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.