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How To Stop Using Adderall
In case you are addicted to Adderall, you should know that you are not alone in your struggles. Although it is available legally with a prescription from a doctor, Adderall is also in the class of drugs known as amphetamines. This means that it is highly addictive.
SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) actually reports that 6.4% of all fulltime college students - for instance - use this drug for non-medical reasons. This form of non-medical use, however, tends to create a cyclic problem of abuse, tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
Luckily, there are many rehabilitation centers and programs that you can try when you need to learn how to stop using Adderall. Read on to find out more:
Adderall is a stimulant commonly prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). However, the drug is also widely misused and abused in the US particularly among college and high school students.
In 2010, for instance, the NSDAH (National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health) found that 11.4% of people aged between 12 and 25 abused prescription drugs. The same survey also reported that students enrolled in full time college courses were twice as likely as the same age group (not in school) to misuse the drug.
Similarly, a study conducted in 2017 and published by the Addictive Behaviors journal showed data collected from 7300 students in college who were not suffering from either narcolepsy or ADHD. In this study group, at least 30% agreed with the statement that using Adderall (or any other similar stimulant) could help them improve their grades and performance in class. Despite this widespread belief, medical professionals now refute the claim that drugs can improve grades.
That said, Adderall is commonly abused especially by young adults. However, the rise in misuse has led many people to start questing the drug - including inquiries about treatment and rehabilitation options.
If you - or a loved one - is suffering from any substance use disorder involving Adderall, therefore, you might find answers to your questions in this guide. This way, you will be better prepared to make more informed decisions about the treatment program you should undertake to overcome your disorder and addiction.
Adderall is a powerful drug that increases energy and affects the brain. It also increases focus and can elevate your mood. However, some people believe that this stimulant can prove useful in helping them complete their assignments both at school and at work.
This is a false belief because Adderall was specifically formulated to help people with narcolepsy and ADHD overcome their conditions. As such, you should only take it if a doctor has given you a prescription for it.
Misusing Adderall over the long term might cause tolerance, meaning that you will have to take larger doses of it to achieve the desired effects. Tolerance also affects people who are using the drug with a prescription and following the doctor's instructions to the letter.
Adderall might affect your cognitive function. It works by imbuing neurotransmitters such as dopamine into the brain. As a direct result, it causes overstimulation. Eventually, you might have a hard time stopping Adderall use because you would have become dependent on it.
Dependence means that the drug will start regulating the chemicals that some parts of your body - the brain in this case - are supposed to be responsible for. Therefore, when you stop using this medication, your brain will have to take some time to start regulating itself. At this point, you may experience a comedown feeling commonly referred to as a crash.
When Adderall - or its chemical component, amphetamine - gets into the brain, it will bind to the VMAT2 (vesicular monoamine transporter 2) and trace amine-associated receptor 1 neurons.
Although the effects that arise when this neuron bind occurs tend to be relatively complex, the main result would be an increase in the amounts of norepinephrine and dopamine in your synaptic cleft - similar to stimulants like methylphenidate. Additionally, the amphetamine component will increase the synaptic levels of neurotransmitters like epinephrine, histamine, and serotonin.
Since doctors prescribe Adderall, many people think that it is a safe drug. However, as you can see from the paragraphs above, the drug is quite dangerous particularly in terms of how it can change your brain function. This medication also causes long term adverse effects particularly after you abuse it for a long time and become addicted to it. This is why it can be so difficult to break the cycle of addiction.
Most people start abusing Adderall because of the pleasurable feelings associated with it - including but not limited to increased concentration, euphoria, and feelings of confidence. The drug also suppresses appetite leading to abrupt weight loss. As such, you might use it to boost your mental and physical performance.
However, if you try to teach your body how to stop using Adderall, you might experience withdrawal. Although the physical withdrawal is not the same as opiates and alcohol, the physical withdrawal from this drug can be quite debilitating.
This medication is so mentally addictive that when you become accustomed to it in your system, failure to use it may cause depression and feelings of inadequacy. You may also feel lost whenever you don't have a large enough supply of the drug in your body.
To stop using it, you need to consult a doctor. They might create a tapering down schedule that you can follow to ensure that you do not suffer severe withdrawal. However, if you wish to quit on your own, ensure that someone else knows and that you have a stable support system to shore you up during the difficult stages of withdrawal.
Adderall Addiction Treatment
You should never take Adderall addiction lightly. Instead, you should check into a medical facility or rehabilitation and treatment center when you are trying to quit. This way, you will be able to overcome your addiction under the guidance, care, support, and direction of trained experts.
The first step to learning how to stop using Adderall, of course, is realizing that you are addicted to it. Some of the signs that can help you decide if this is the case include, but are not limited to:
- Wide discrepancies in levels of energy
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Reduced sex drive
- Missing school and work
- Lack of appetite
- Inconsistent sleeping patterns
- Incomplete thoughts
- Financial problems
- Fast talking
- Dry mouth
- Decline in cleanliness and personal hygiene
- Aggressive behavior, including risk taking and violent outbursts
After you have been taking this drug for a relatively long time - or high doses of it in a short time - you might have a hard time living without it. This is because you would have developed dependency on this stimulant, meaning that your body will react negatively a few days without it.
In the same way, if you suddenly stop taking it, you may experience withdrawal - which is symptomized by suicidal thoughts, depression, lack of energy, drowsiness, and fatigue. This is because your body will be relying on the drug to fire the brain receptors that help you feel good, improve your mood, and increase your energy levels.
As you can see, some of these symptoms can be dangerous - particularly the suicidal thoughts. Therefore, if you try to detox at home, you might end up going back to the drug and developing increased dependence.
The best solution is to check into an accredited and certified medical facility. This way, you will work with professionals to build a plan that is specific to your needs. The treatment professionals will also deal with all co-occurring mental health issues - such as depression and anxiety - that tend to affect people who are suffering from Adderall addiction.
Although addiction to this drug is a big hurdle to cross, you can overcome it if you have the right support and help. In fact, once you learn how to stop using Adderall, you will realize how possible (and easy) it is to live without the dangerous chemicals it contains in your system.
Adderall Addiction Treatment Centers
There are some factors you should check for while choosing an Adderall treatment facility. If possible, look for a center or program that offers different levels of care for addiction, including but not limited to:
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Medical detoxification
- Outpatient rehabilitation
- Partial hospitalization
- Residential treatment
Adderall Overdose Treatment
You can easily overdose as a result of taking toxic doses of Adderall. When your body starts developing chemical dependence to this stimulant, you might find that you are becoming increasingly tolerant to it.
As a direct result, you will have to take larger and larger doses of the drug to achieve the desired effects. This might eventually cause you to ingest dangerous amounts of it, leading to an overdose.
That said, the overdose amounts tend to vary from one person to the next. Some people, for instance, can easily overdose on a small amount of the drug. However, doctors say that taking anywhere between 70 to 100 mg of this medication can prove dangerous and may lead to an overdose. Still, there have been reports of people overdosing on as little as 40 mg.
To this end, the amount at which you can overdose on Adderall will be based on a variety of factors, such as:
- Family history of substance use disorders and addiction
- Personal history of drug abuse
Due to its high potential for addiction and eventually overdose, it is highly recommended that you only use Adderall exactly how your doctor prescribed it. Abusing this medication - either in addition to or without a doctor's orders - can prove dangerous, fatal, and lethal.
In fact, if you misuse this drug long enough and develop tolerance to it, your risk of an overdose will be heightened. Some of the common signs and symptoms of an overdose include but are not limited to:
- Body shakes
- Discolored urine
- Irregular pulse
- Rising body temperatures
- States of panic
- Stomach cramps
- Trouble breathing
- Uncoordinated movement
- Visible twitching
In case you suspect that someone uses Adderall and they start showing any of these signs, it is highly likely that they could be overdosing. In such a situation, the first thing you should do is call 911 immediately so that emergency first responders can come and help them out.
While waiting for them to arrive, you should take certain precautions to ensure that the overdose victim can recover. Start by moving them to a cold and calm environment. You can also cool them with a wet cloth, mist, or ice so that they do not pass out or die as a result of hyperthermia.
After they start stabilizing, you should wait until the emergency first responders arrive and take them to start detoxification and - later on - rehabilitation under the right care and medical supervision.
Once at the rehab center or emergency room, doctors might use medications to help them stabilize faster. Today, benzodiazepines are commonly used for Adderall addicts. However, other medications can also be administered, especially to manage their hypertension. In the same way, the doctor might use esophagus tubes to remove the remaining traces of the drug from the overdose victim's system.
Rehabilitation from Adderall addiction is never the same for any two given patients. Whereas some patients require a few days before they proceed to the next stage of treatment and recovery, others will need to adopt a longer and more intensive program to properly overcome their addiction to this medication.
However long you end up staying in treatment, you should keep in mind that rehabilitation is one of the essential foundations for a successful recovery. As you proceed on the journey to full sobriety and abstinence, therefore, you should remain patient particularly during the trying period when you have to undergo psychological and physical withdrawal.
In most cases, you will start treatment with an assessment and tests by the medical professionals at the rehabilitation center. After that, the nurses and doctors will provide detoxification services all the while ensuring that you are under round the clock care and supervision to ensure your maximum comfort and convenience.
After all the drug toxins have been eliminated from your system and the withdrawal symptoms start subsiding, you will proceed to the next stage of rehabilitation. This might include family, group, and individual counseling sessions. You will also be taught how to stop using Adderall and how to cope with your addiction after you leave the rehabilitation center.
Some of the options for rehabilitation include:
1. Inpatient Rehabilitation
Otherwise referred to as residential rehabilitation and drug treatment, inpatient rehab will have you living at the treatment center. This way, you will be able to interact with therapists, nurses, doctors, and other addiction treatment professionals on a daily basis.
Inpatient rehab has the advantage of providing 24 hour attention and care to recovering addicts. This way, if any issues or concerns arise, they can be addressed quickly before they develop into more serious complications.
During inpatient rehab, the treatment experts will help you manage your cravings for Adderall and any physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that you might display - particularly after you have already undergone detoxification.
In most cases, the duration of your stay at the rehab center will depend on a variety of factors. However, most people remain at the facility anywhere between 30 and 90 days - or even longer depending on the efficacy of the treatments provided and how your body responds to them.
Residential rehabilitation also works because it will effectively remove you from what could potentially be a negative environment at home and in your social life. It will also provide you with the change of scenery you need to learn how to make positive changes in your life.
For instance, some make unique nutritional meal plans for all patients. Others also have yoga therapy, volleyball and basketball courts, exercise gyms, and other activities and amenities.
Inpatient rehabilitation and treatment centers will provide care, board, and room. The duration of stay will vary greatly from one addict to the next but it is usually more effective if you stay long term.
There are different types of residential rehab centers in terms of cost, amenities, and effectiveness of treatment. For instance, you can check into a luxury rehab where you will enjoy the benefits of professional chefs, recreational facilities, and lush furnishings over and above the therapies and treatments you will receive while overcoming your addiction.
That said, inpatient rehabilitation facilities will provide you with the tools and intensive therapy you need to overcome your addiction to Adderall. This way, you will eventually be able to get back on the path to full recovery, sobriety, and abstinence. At the end of the day, these centers can help you start living a happy, productive, and successful life free of Adderall.
By choosing residential rehabilitation, you will get more opportunities to exclusively focus and concentrate on your recovery without having to also contend with the distractions and problems of daily life.
However, before you check into one of these facilities, you should first check to ensure that you are addicted to Adderall. The best way is by trying to force yourself not to use the drug for a while, such as a day or two.
During this time, check if you experience any of the following withdrawal symptoms, which are indicative of addiction and dependence:
- Suicidal thoughts
Still, even if you don't experience any of these symptoms but are still uncomfortable that you use too much Adderall, you should still seek professional assistance on an inpatient basis.
Irrespective of the facility you choose, however, you should ensure that it provides the following services:
- 24-hour care
- Aftercare planning
- Comprehensive evaluation, testing, and treatment planning
- Discharge planning
- Medication management
- Meetings and sessions with therapists and/or psychiatrists
As you can probably imagine, inpatient rehabilitation is the most intensive form of treatment for Adderall addiction. Although you might not need it - since some people choose to undergo treatment on an outpatient basis - you should know that it has the strongest chances for full recovery.
2. Outpatient Rehabilitation
Outpatient treatment will offer most - if not all - of the same services and therapies provided on an inpatient basis. The major difference between these forms of rehabilitation is that you won't have to live full time at the treatment facility.
This means that you can continue living at home and managing your daily responsibilities and obligations - such as attending work or school, taking care of your family, and completing your daily chores.
Today, there is a wide variety of outpatient rehabilitation programs. They include weekly or daily outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient care, and many others. The form of treatment you undertake will depend on your particular needs and preferences, as well as:
- The doses of Adderall you were taking before you started treatment
- Whether you have been to rehabilitation in the past
- The duration your withdrawal symptoms take after your detox
Most of the components of inpatient rehabilitation will also be provided here but on an outpatient basis. This means that you can still attend family, group, and individual therapy and counseling sessions.
However, if your home or social life are strong environments that might cause you to start using Adderall again, the outpatient treatment can take place while you are living in a sober living home.
That said, you will also receive treatment for any co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues you might be facing. This is particularly because most recovering addicts also experience disorders like depression and anxiety, and the outpatient center might help you address all of them as you undergo treatment.
Treatment Activities And Processes
Effective treatment for Adderall addiction should happen in a number of stages or steps. These include, but are not limited to:
This is the first step once you check into the Adderall rehabilitation center. Intake will allow you some time to meet and interact with your prospective doctors, care providers, therapists, and other addiction treatment professionals. They will also assess your needs for rehab and discuss your options.
After that, you will receive treatment to try and get rid of the Adderall that is still in your system. Detox is the most challenging point in any drug rehabilitation and treatment process. However, if you do it at an accredited facility, you will receive medical monitoring, supervision, and care to ensure that all adverse side effects and severe withdrawal symptoms are brought under control.
Once you are done with the detoxification stage of your treatment, you will proceed to therapy. Today, most rehabilitation centers use a variety of approaches in treating Adderall addition. Therefore, the forms of therapy might include pleasurable and leisurely activities, classes, NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings, and group, individual, and family therapy.
d) Specialized Care
While trying to overcome your addiction to Adderall, you might find that you require specialized care. Therefore, the facility you attend might provide this form of care for any other addiction you have (to other drugs or even to alcohol). You will also receive medical treatment in case you have a co-occurring mental health or physical condition.
Some facilities may additionally furnish you with vocational training - where you are lacking in skills and talents - that you can later use to secure meaningful employment after you leave the rehabilitation and beat your dependence and addiction.
e) Aftercare and Extended Care
After you complete your treatment, the rehabilitation team might recommend how you should act once you get out into the world and go back to your everyday life. The aftercare, therefore, might include staying in a sober living home, attending NA meetings, going for counseling and therapy, and meeting the same (or other) addiction experts at follow-up appointments.
Financing Adderall Addiction Treatment
The top priority for rehabilitation is to connect you to the help you need to overcome your addiction to Adderall. However, you might not have the financial means to enable your treatment or to get the best quality rehabilitation.
In fact, financial constraints are among the biggest concerns that compel people to choose not to go for proper rehabilitation. However, doing this will only create greater dependence on this stimulant. It might also cause you to suffer physically and psychologically or end up losing your life to the drug.
Therefore, you need to understand that proper treatment and rehabilitation is always worth the extra cost and additional money you pay. Luckily, most insurance and government programs can help you overcome the cost of treatment.
Although it will be challenging for you to recover from your addiction to Adderall, you can be sure that it is even more possible to attain a life free of drugs. If you are facing addiction, you will undergo through some hard experiences but your future is still pegged on how effective and successful you are at overcoming your addiction and dependence.
Avoiding Adderall After Treatment
After you receive treatment either on an inpatient or outpatient basis and finally overcome your addiction to Adderall, you might want to learn a couple of tips and tricks that you can apply whenever you face the temptation to relapse or start using this drug again.
The following are some of the ways you can ensure that you prevent yourself from relapsing in the future:
1. Understand Adderall Dangers, Effects, and Problems
First, you should learn about the various side effects that you are likely to reencounter when you start abusing the drug again. These effects are adverse and might make your life stressful and difficult. They include, but are not limited to:
- Sleeping disorders
2. Get Help
Even as you continue recovering and keeping up the good work that you started during rehab, you may be tempted. Temptations usually come in the form of triggers, including friends you used to abuse Adderall with, places where you used to stash the drugs, or even people that sold it to you.
Whenever you feel an overwhelming urge to start using again, consider asking for help. One of the best ways to ensure that you can get help easily is by going for NA meetings and getting a sponsor who can come over to you anytime you need assistance to ensure that you do not relapse.
Alternatively, create your own support network from the contacts you made while you were undergoing rehab, from family and friends, as well as from any former addict you know in your life.
3. Overcome Cravings
In case you feel that your cravings for Adderall are overwhelming, consider doing the following to make them go away:
- Drink tea or coffee; when you take caffeine in large amounts, it might help you forget that you are craving the effects of Adderall
- Eat properly and watch your diet
- Stay hydrated
- Get enough sleep and create (and enforce) a sleep routine
- Reduce the amount of time spent working or studying
- Avoid any triggers that might cause you to desire Adderall
Overall, learning how to stop using Adderall is a long journey that is best taken with others. Due to the numerous hurdles that might come your way as you try to overcome your addiction, it is highly recommended that you get professional help from addiction experts who have dealt with similar cases in the past and who continue assisting other recovering addictions on a daily basis.
Whether you choose inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, remember that it is always possible to fight your dependence and emerge the winner. As long as you have the help, therapy, assistance, and support you require - or even medications - you will soon realize that you are no longer dependent on or addicted to Adderall.
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