Should You Quit Adderall Cold-Turkey?

how to quit adderall - is quitting cold turkey from adderall dangerous

Weaning Down vs. Quitting Cold Turkey: Things to Consider

One of the most common questions asked in Adderall discussion groups is,

 Can I quit Adderall cold-turkey? or should I reduce my dosage, over time?

While there are many factors to consider, the choice of how to quit Adderall often boils down to whether you have the self-discipline and a strong support network in place to maintain a program of stepping-down your medication over weeks or months.

Or, is there a high chance you will relapse after you quit Adderall?

With a strong support network in place, weaning yourself off of Adderall over time is the safest option. This is especially true if you’ve been abusing for a long time, at high doses.

Weaning-down reduces the harshness of withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to function better in life while you recover.

That said, for many users quitting Adderall cold-turkey is their only realistic option. Mainly because quitting full-stop doesn’t require constant management of dosage, a tough behavioral challenge that can lead to relapse without a good professional and personal support network in place.

How To Quit Adderall Cold-Turkey

If you take Adderall for non-medical reasons, after months of use you may end up feeling that you can’t function without it. The cravings for Adderall can get so intense that you will return to the medication to pacify the withdrawal symptoms. This is the dependency that defines addiction.

To stop taking Adderall cold-turkey, here are a few things you’ll need to consider:

Make the Drug Unavailable

Kind of a “duh” statement, but the first step is to remove all Adderall medication from your home and possession (including all emergency stashes). If you have any drug available, then you are much more likely to turn to it during the hardest part of the withdrawal process. And, if you quit Adderall cold-turkey, you will probably have some dark days to get through. Get it away from you – all of it.

Expect Withdrawal Symptoms

how to quit adderall - Adderall withdrawal

Understand what your mind and body will likely experience – before it happens. This knowledge will help you prepare for recovery and will reduce your anxieties. Aways keep in mind that withdrawal symptoms are temporary. After you get through them, you stand a much better chance at permanent recovery.

Get a Support Buddy/Friend

Regardless of how you quit, it is critical to have someone in your life that you can call or text when you experience strong cravings or harsh withdrawals.

Your support buddy should be someone you respect who can successfully talk you down from the anxiety you’ll feel – and distract you from taking more Adderall – or order you away, if need be. Your support buddy can be someone you live with, a family member or someone you may not know well but has prior experience with addiction and recovery.

Join a Local Support Group

If you don’t already know someone you can trust to be your buddy, then a local addiction recovery group like Narcotics Anonymous is a great place to find a person who can help.

In addition, sharing your struggles with other recovering addicts can make a powerful emotional and motivational impact on you that will improve your chances of recovery. Hearing the experiences, struggles and relapses of others will comfort you and give you the strength and confidence to continue forward. You’ll learn that relapse is common and not the end of the world, too.

Set Small, Achievable Goals

how to quit Adderall - this is what Adderall recovery looks like

Long-term, your goal is to stop taking Adderall completely. But that’s a really big thing to achieve in one fell swoop!

To get there, you should break-down your recovery process into small, achievable milestones.

Start by trying to get through the first day without taking a pill. If you relapse, don’t get too upset at yourself – it happens. Just restart and try going two days, next. Then, go for a week. Every time you meet a goal, give yourself a treat and set another, slightly larger one. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling better.

Make sure you reward yourself for meeting small goals. Your brain will remember that positive experience, should you later relapse. Buy something you want after abstaining for a week, for example.

Relapse Is Just a Part of Recovery

During recovery, there are times when you may screw up and use again. The main thing is to avoid being too hard on yourself or becoming too discouraged. This sort of thinking can send you back into addiction. Relapsing does NOT mean you’ve failed recovery! It just means you are human, you made a small mistake – and you will learn and move forward. Embrace this philosophy.

Accept that you made a mistake, reset your goals and move forward with your plan. Talk with your support buddy and/or local support group about your relapse – you’ll see that it’s not the end of the journey for you.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Withdrawing from speed takes time. When you quit Adderall, your brain needs time to adjust physically, and your mind needs even more time to adjust to new behaviors.

After you quit Adderall, the physical withdrawal symptoms should end within a few weeks; however, you may continue to experience psychological effects for many months.

During the first few weeks, you will experience good days and bad days. It’s helpful to remind yourself that all of this is normal and natural – it takes time for your mind to let go of your dependency and to learn new behaviors. In time, you will find healthier coping strategies – like yoga, meditation and working out – and you will end up relying on those to get through your most difficult days.

Get Professional Help

Adderall Rehab Facility to quit Adderall

Quitting cold-turkey is not for the faint of heart. If you have health insurance, then you may want to consider getting professional help at an Adderall addiction recovery center. This is the “platinum” addiction recovery plan, if you will.

By attending an in-patient treatment facility, you’ll be able to focus 100% of your time on detoxing from Adderall and learning new ways to deal with your life that will hopefully eliminate your psychological dependency on Adderall.

On the other hand, the downsides of using an in-patient recovery facility to quit Adderall include the expense & the need to take time away from work.

Regardless of the method you choose to quit Adderall, it’s important to do something as soon as you realize you’re in trouble.  Don’t just sit back and wonder what your life might have been like, without it.


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