Adderall, a prescription amphetamine drug, can be just as addictive as any other amphetamine when taken for nonmedical purposes. This drug is commonly used to treat conditions involving ADHD/ADD, narcolepsy and obesity. When taken as prescribed, addiction risks remain low.
Amphetamines belong to the stimulant class of drugs, known for their “speed-like” effects on the brain and central nervous system. When compared to other stimulant drugs like cocaine, Adderall produces similar effects, according to the University of Southern California.
When taken for nonmedical purposes, users will likely experience Adderall withdrawal effects on a frequent basis. Adderall withdrawal effects also develop in cases where a person stops using the drug altogether.
Adderall withdrawal durations can vary depending on:
- How long a person has used the drug
- The dosage amounts taken
- Whether other medical or psychological conditions are present
When a person first starts taking Adderall, the drug’s effects produce:
- A surge in energy levels
- Improved focus and concentration
- Feelings of confidence
Unfortunately, these effects only last for a week at the most before Adderall withdrawal effects start to kick in. With each dose of the drug, brain cell sites secrete large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals. After so long, these cells start to deteriorate from overstimulation.
Adderall withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the areas of the brain most affected by the drug. People who are in poor health to begin with will likely experience a wider range of symptoms.
According to the National Library of Medicine, withdrawal symptoms develop as brain cell functions lose their ability to regulate bodily processes. At this point, a person will start to experience:
- Frequent headaches
- Ongoing irritability
- Angry outbursts
- Muscle aches and pains
- Muddled thinking processes
Compared to the initial effects of the drug, withdrawal brings on an opposite set of symptoms. In general, the longer a person’s uses the drug the more intense withdrawal symptoms become.
Factors Affecting Withdrawal Duration
Factors affecting Adderall withdrawal duration rest upon a person’s tolerance level for the drug and the degree of physical dependency at work.
Tolerance levels continue to rise with ongoing use as brain cell structures deteriorate. The weaker cell structures become the higher the dose needed to produce the drug’s sought after effects. In the process, cell structures become dependent on Adderall’s effects to function at all.
Dosage amounts and frequency of use also affect withdrawal duration. The larger the dose the quicker tolerance levels rise. The more often a person uses the more dependent the brain becomes.
Withdrawal Duration Ranges
As a general rule, the larger the doses, the more often it’s used and the length of time a person has used determines how long Adderall withdrawal will last. People who’ve taken large dosage amounts on a frequent basis for months at a time can expect to see withdrawal effects last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
People who take small doses on a random basis may only experience withdrawal for a couple weeks or longer depending on their overall health. More oftentimes than not, the psychological symptoms of withdrawal, such as depression and anxiety feelings will last the longest.