What causes Adderall withdrawal?

Central nervous stimulants usually amplify the effects of the brain’s neurotransmitters (bio-chemical category that includes norepinephrine and dopamine).

After prolonged periods of Adderall use, the user’s body becomes adapted to the increased levels of neurotransmitters, and it is unable to function normally below those levels.

When Adderall is stopped, the body tries to cope with the sudden loss of the extra stimulation, leading to withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawal

Adderall addiction withdrawal symptoms:

• drug craving
• abdominal pain
• anxiety
• depression
• paranoia
• panic
• seizures
• frequent mood changes
• dysphoria
• fatigue
• increased heart rate
• insomnia

Duration of Adderall Withdrawal

Usually, Adderall withdrawal symptoms tend to spike within 2-3 days after the last dose of Adderall. During this stage, the addict may experience withdrawal symptoms like rapid heart rate, fatigue, and intense mental depression. Some of these withdrawal symptoms may last up to several months. It is very important to be mentioned that this period may last depending on how much the addict have abused the drug and the processes he or she used to withdraw from the addiction.


Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal phase 1

During the withdrawal phase 1, the user enters into a phase characterized by agitation, anxiety, depression, and drug craving. In this state, the user still remembers the drug effects and the stimuli associated with consuming the drug. This results in an amplified drug craving in the early stage of the first withdrawal phase.

In the middle period of the first phase, drug craving is “replaced” by fatigue, depression, loss of desire for the drug, and insomnia accompanied by an intense desire for sleep.
In the late period of the withdrawal phase 1, the user is experiencing an incredible desire to sleep followed by an abnormally desire to eat.

Withdrawal phase 2

As soon as the users get through the first phase of withdrawal, they enter the second withdrawal phase with effects that are generally opposite to those of the drug. In this phase, the users experience effects like loss of physical and mental energy, fatigue, limited interest in the surroundings, and anhedonia. These symptoms are gradually increasing in intensity during the first 96 hours following the first phase of withdrawal. At this stage, memories of the euphoric state induced by the drug consumption stand in marked relief due to the anhedonia being experienced at the moment. If the user can maintain the abstinence state for 6 to 18 weeks, the anhedonia and dysphoria have an attenuated effect upon the individual.

Withdrawal phase 3

During this withdrawal phase, the individual may experience some periods of drug craving. The user can also experience conditioned combinations of stimulus properties of both and the drug and withdrawal hyperphagic effects in the form of intense cravings. This state of craving is triggered by conditioned stimuli like circumstances and objects that were previously associated with the drug effects. If the individual experiences these cues without the associated drug effects, then the ability of these cues to drug craving will attenuate over time. Over the time, the drug abuser will experience lesser and lesser intense drug cravings.