Weaning off Adderall

How To Treat Adderall Addiction

Over the last few decades, millions of Americans have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) This condition is usually diagnosed in early childhood or teenagers, but can affect adults as well. As of 2011, between 5 to 15% of all children in the US had been diagnosed with ADHD. To treat this condition, many doctors have turned to a medication called Adderall. This medication has shown positive results for many patients. However, there are some patients who have developed addiction to Adderall. We will cover some common questions about this substance, including:

  • How does Adderall treat ADHD?
  • Why is Adderall sometimes addictive?
  • How can treatment wean someone off of Adderall?

Does Adderall Treat Adhd Effectively?

What Adhd Is

ADHD is a neurological condition that affects focus and attention spans in children and young adults. Patients with ADHD may have trouble focusing on their tasks, and may show excessive activity levels at inappropriate times. Some common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Excessive daydreaming
  • Forgetfulness
  • Talking too much
  • Careless mistakes or taking unnecessary risk
  • Inability to resist temptation

Scientists are still studying the exact causes of ADHD. It is believed that genetics likely plays a primary role. Links to patients with ADHD and early childhood brain injury or low birth weight are also being explored. Other factors are thought to be premature delivery, and alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy.

Adderall As A Treatment

Adderall is a prescription stimulant that works to calm patients with ADHD. This calming effect helps patients to control their impulsive urges and better focus on tasks. Adderall comes with both an immediate release and an extended release option. Immediate release Adderall can be taken 2 to 3 times daily, with 4 to 6 hours between doses. Extended release can be taken early in the morning with food, but should be taken consistently each day. Most doctors start patients out on small doses, then adjust as necessary based on symptoms.

Side Effects

Adderall works by blocking the release of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This is what produces the calming effect in patients. However, one of the main ingredients in Adderall is amphetamine, which is a powerful stimulant. Adderall use can cause. These side effects can be mild to severe, and can include:

  • Increased agitation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased jitteriness
  • Mood issues
  • Disrupted appetite

Why Is Adderall Sometimes Addictive?

Although Adderall has proven to be an effective treatment for ADHD, it can be addictive. Substance use disorder (SUD) forms when a patient misuses or abuses the drug. This misuse may be either accidental (taking the incorrect dose) or intentional (taking medication without a prescription.) Like any amphetamine, misusing Adderall usually leads to dependence and addiction. Suddenly stopping an addictive drug leads to unpleasant side effects known as withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Lethargy/insomnia
  • Fever

How Can Treatment Wean Someone Off Of Adderall?

If you or a loved one are living with SUD from Adderall, it is important to seek medical assistance. Programs like ours offer comprehensive treatment for SUD. Our programs involve a medically supervised detox, followed by a customized treatment plan based on your needs.


Before treatment begins in earnest, you will need time to let your body flush out the unwanted substance. The medical detox process may or may not be necessary depending on what drugs a person is taking, how much and with what frequency. At ARIA, you may have the option to detox at our facility, or on an outpatient plan. In detox, your care team will monitor your withdrawal symptoms, and may give you medication for your comfort. Detox centers will monitor you 24 hours a day, and provide a room for your stay. In an outpatient program, you will typically spend your day in treatment and stay overnight at a sober living house. These houses have all of the comforts of home, without the temptation to use. This process usually lasts around 1-2 weeks.


Once detox is complete, you will enter into treatment. You may start off in either inpatient treatment, or in partial hospitalization (PHP). PHP allows you to attend therapy sessions during the day, and stay in a sober living house at night. You will continue to meet with your medical care team, and attend individual and group therapy. Therapy will help you identify use triggers and develop coping strategies. Our program also offers additional activities such as trauma informed care and family therapy.

Aria Can Help

Adderall addiction is a medical condition, not a moral failure. If you are currently living with SUD, it is not your fault. Contact us today to find out how we can help you recover. The call is free, and we accept most major insurance programs.