Medical Questions > Mental Health > Addiction, Recovery Forum

How to cope with Adderall withdrawal?

I've read a number of forums on this topic but most seem to be older in nature and I wanted to see if there was any more recent advice out there. I'm a 30 year old male who has been off Adderall for more than 2 months now. The last pill I took was 12/26/11. I started taking 20mg 2x a day in the fall of 2009 and revved up to 30mg 2x a day a year later. This drug ruined my life, no doubt about it. When this drug was working it's best I felt invincible. That I had no faults or problems and that everything in my life was going perfectly. This drug got me in the best shape of my life, had me as productive at work as i'd ever been and made me feel smarter, stronger, funnier and more confident. All things that I felt prior to the drug but were enhanced with it.

Last summer, it came crashing down. Taking adderall made me feel like I was better than I really was, it made me behave in ways that I'm incredibly embarrassed about. I spent money and drove up my credit card debt like a fool, I lashed out at friends and family for what I thought were good reasons but weren't at all. I made extremely poor decisions that lead to me leaving my job and burning a lot of bridges in an industry that I had built a career in for 6 years. I continued to take the adderall in the fall of 2011 and into the winter but I found myself to be very depressed and needing more and more adderall to get through the weeks.

I decided to stop taking adderall cold turkey in November but the lethargy was so intense that I went back for another prescription which was my last. In December I realized how much this drug really altered my life and how I wish I'd have never heard of it. Because it was prescribed to me, I never thought twice about the potential side effects or the repercussions. Those warnings don't come with the prescription.

Now, nearly two months later I'm unemployed as a result of going from a very stable job to sales position that I thought would be a great fit. I have very little motivation to leave my house. I have a tattoo of music notes on the inside of my right bicep b/c last summer music was all that mattered to me and now I never pick up the guitar. The depression and lethargy after two months is still crazy and my confidence and personality are non existent. In fact, my friends would have described me as one of the more sociable, entertaining, friendly people they know in the past. Now I find myself making excuses to not go out with them because I'm embarrassed of my lack of ability to bring anything to the table in the way of conversation. I know I should be working out but I have an incredibly hard time bringing myself to do it. I used to enjoy playing basketball but am embarrassed by my lack of ability and so try to avoid it.

I know many of these problems I'm facing right now are directly tied to a lack of confidence. Did anyone else experience adderall withdrawal of this nature? Are there any suggestions for how to accelerate the recovery process? I'm starting to feel as thought I'll never be the funny, happy go lucky guy that I once was and that is incredibly disheartening.
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Users who thank CajunGrocer27 for this post: mikey11 

replied February 28th, 2012
Yes. I went through the same thing. I am now 40 years old. I started taking adderall in the spring of 2008 and quit cold- turkey in November 2010. It was very difficult and one of the hardest things I ever did. Yes, I went through the same thing- lashing out at people, being extremely productive at work. Also, I did not want to tell ANYBODY about it at all...so when I quit I was on my own. I was exhausted all of the time for a few weeks. I was very depressed- mainly thinking about all of the dumb mistakes I had made over the past 2 years while on the drug. My body hurt. The only thing I could think to do, was sit down and write a list of everything in my life that would be better. I wasn't embarassed anymore...the twitch was gone...I could look people in the eye again..I didn't have to worry about scripts running out, all of those things. TRUST ME, in a few months you will be feeling good. Most of all proud for beating the drug. It is a crutch, and you do not realize you are going out of whack slowly over time. I had 2 relapses, but ended up flushing it down the toilet after one dose- each time. I feel so much better just dealing with life now. It will get better!
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Users who thank GettinOver for this post: mikey11 

replied February 28th, 2012
Thanks GettinOver...How did you deal with the lack of energy/motivation during your recovery? That's what I'm struggling most with right now. I don't have cravings for adderall specifically but I crave energy and the ability to get thru the lethargy. Any tips?
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replied February 28th, 2012
Thanks GettinOver...How did you deal with the lack of energy/motivation during your recovery? That's what I'm struggling most with right now. I don't have cravings for adderall specifically but I crave energy and the ability to get thru the lethargy. Any tips?
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replied March 1st, 2012
I had to force myself to do everything. I would get really tired at 7:30, 8:00 every night when I first quit the adderall. Then in the mornings I was in a daze..as soon as I sat down it was over. So I started trying to stay up a little later every night 15 minutes or 1/2 hour. It was hard but eventually I got back into a normal pattern. I didn't want to do anything, I remember wanting to wash my car and putting it off for a while, or even mowing the yard. It just went away after a few months.
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replied March 1st, 2012
I don't know if what I am telling you helps at all, but if I hope it does somehow. Trust me, I hated that feeling. It is HARD!
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replied March 1st, 2012
Inspired
Thank you GettingOver! You have inspired me. I have already been through this awful withdrawal before, and I swore I would never touch adderall again. As soon as I enrolled back in college I decided I could not perform to the best of my ability without my "hero." After college, I needed it for work of course! Not the case. I was hired for my great people skills and easy going nature which was completely lost after a year of over medicating myself. I can remember last time how hard it was to quit because as soon as I reached a down that I didn't think could get any darker I would start back. I remember how awesome it felt to be ME again, and even the satisfaction of my friends and co-workers noticing that I was happy again kept me positive. All it took was a big dead line to break me that time, but now I am forced with insurance issues until May. I think it is a blessing in disguise because it's something I've longed for and now I am forced to make this commitment. I like how you said you just made yourself do things. That was my thinking last time (thank you Nike). I feel so enlighten by your post even though I have read many others. I love Mazwell Maltz quote, "To change a habit, you must make a conscious decision, then act out the new behavior." His book changed my life, and I believe you have that same outlook as him. Thank you again : )
Maxwell Maltz (, motivational author, and creator of the Psycho-Cybernetics, 1927-2003)
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replied March 3rd, 2012
I will look at that author and see what I can find. I wish anybody the best of luck trying to kick that drug. Like I said, I did relapse- it was weird though. I would run and get a script, take a few, and by the next day I was starved, sick and had not slept all night. I think that is why I would flush it all down the toilet both times. I would think about it--should I quit Monday? Then I will be all pissy at work, I can't quit on Friday, I need it for Saturday, etc. I could never figure out when to quit, so I would throw it away. What a bad situation to put yourself in. I would always ask.."Why the do I keep doing this??"
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replied June 14th, 2013
Mind over Matter. Your body is not dependent, your mind is.
I was prescribed 50mg a day and was taking it for about a year and quit cold turkey two weeks ago. I felt tired and hungry for 2 days, but now I feel just as great as i always have!! It is literally mind over matter. Adderall is not physically addictive, only stays in the body for about 72 hours and for anyone in the right state of mind, minimal withdrawal symptoms. Cheer up, life is amazing with or without drugs!!
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replied November 13th, 2014
Experienced User
Adderall withdrawal symptoms will begin shortly after your last dose of Adderall has worn off. Acute symptoms will peak around 48-72 hours after last dose, at which time withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. You run the risk of seizures, fatigue, depression, and increased heart rate at this time.
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replied June 2nd, 2015
Yeah I am right there with you on the fatigue and irritability. I am thinking about flushing my bottle too and just being done with it but when I don't take it I lay on my couch with food all over me because I don't have the energy to get up and clean up after myself. It's gross. I try to do things when I'm off of it and I end up just laying on my couch all day. I don't even have the energy to watch TV. It's too much effort to fast forward through the commercials so I just lay there thinking about food. I gained about 10 Lbs in a week last time I tried to quit. Adderall seriously blows. Like the first post said my personality is just like I have some kind of mental retardation when I talk to people. I get nervous because I have absolutely nothing to say. I feel them get uncomfortable for me. Does that part go away? Will I get a personality back?
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