Although Adderall is typically prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or certain sleeping disorders, it is unfortunately commonly misused and abused. Because Adderall is a stimulant, it is common for young professionals (or even older, driven professionals) and students to utilize this medication to stay up all night studying or get ahead in their professions. Named the “smart drug” across college campuses, this drug has received a reputation that taking this stimulant will enhance students’ studies and get them ahead in school and their chosen career paths.
Adderall is one of the most commonly misused drugs. An average of 4.6 million people abused amphetamine products, including Adderall, in the U.S. in 2018. However, despite many people believing this medication is safe because it can be prescribed to young children with attention deficit issues, the truth is that misuse of this medication can cause serious side effects. Abuse of Adderall can cause addiction, overdose, and even adverse side effects like cardiovascular disease, psychotic symptoms, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, hallucinations, and extreme mood swings.
Other common side effects of long-term Adderall abuse may include:
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of motivation
- Extreme and unhealthy weight loss
- Panic attacks
This is not an all-inclusive list, as the side effects are many and can affect the individual uniquely depending on factors such as genetics, how much Adderall is taken, how long the medication is abused, and if it is taken with other substances.
Because Adderall impacts the way neurotransmitters communicate in the brain, long-term use of this medication can cause the user to feel the need to take the drug to feel “functional.” This is where the grip of addiction sets in. To prevent the bondage of addiction from taking hold of the user and causing long-term, even fatal side effects, the person abusing Adderall needs to seek help immediately from trained medical professionals or an inpatient/intensive outpatient treatment facility.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?
How long Adderall stays in an individual’s system depends on various factors, such as how much of the medication is being abused, the individual’s weight, and if the drug was used in conjunction with other medications. Typically speaking, Adderall is detectable in the urine for around 72-96 hours after the user last took the medication. The time it takes to detox out of the bloodstream and saliva is a bit less as it is usually detectable in the blood for up to 46 hours and saliva for 20-50 hours after the last dose. On the other hand, hair follicles can hold detectable amounts of Adderall for the longest time, up to 3 months.
The effects Adderall has on an individual’s body depend on what version of the drug was taken. Immediate-release versions last around 4-6 hours per dose, while extended-release versions last much longer. Because extended-release lasts much longer than immediate-release versions, it is often only recommended to take one dosage of extended-release Adderall each morning.
Regardless of what version of Adderall is taken, one must seek the help of a trained medical professional when deciding to detox off this drug, as suddenly stopping the use of this drug can cause serious withdrawal symptoms for the user, such as depression and other mental/mood problems as well as intense sleep problems like insomnia. Therefore, to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms experienced, one must be medically guided to taper off the medication safely and effectively.
How to Detox Adderall from Your System and Stay Sober for the Long-Term
As previously mentioned, detoxing off Adderall without the help of a trained medical professional can cause some intense withdrawal symptoms to arise for the user. As such, seeking the help of a doctor or other trained medical professional is essential to ensure one’s detox is approached safely. Furthermore, it could benefit the user if they seek help in an inpatient/intensive outpatient drug rehab center that can safely detox the user from the drug. This is especially true if the user was combining Adderall with other substances or was experiencing high levels of desire/need for Adderall to ward off feelings of withdrawal and “feel functional.” These treatment settings are especially important to help maintain long-term sobriety because they help get to the heart of why Adderall was abused in the first place.
Without this type of awareness and guidance on how to cope in healthier manners, it can be extremely difficult to not resort back to using drugs when another stressful situation comes one’s way. Another more serious and deadly drug may end up being abused if the root issues of addiction are not addressed in the beginning. Therefore, to save oneself from any potential risks of going down the road of addiction again, taking time out to get the appropriate help one needs is vital.
While taking Adderall recreationally or to enhance one’s studies or career may not seem like that big of a deal at first, it can set one up for a future of destructive addiction cycles that can become more and more difficult to break. As such, seeking help at the early warning signs of addiction can save one the pain and consequences often endured once an addiction sets in. That being said, if you or a loved one thinks an addiction to Adderall has taken place, the time to get help is now.
Even if you don’t feel you can leave your studies or career behind to pursue help, you can still receive the help you need and deserve from an intensive outpatient rehab while pursuing your dreams. However, it is important to note that there is nothing more important than your sobriety. Pursuing anything when in the grips of addiction becomes near impossible, and studies can always be resumed when you get back on track. As such, never let the fear of getting behind in life keep you from pursuing a fulfilling life of sobriety. This type of sobriety will truly set you up for the best success in the long run anyway.
Reach out today to get started on your path of long-term sobriety. You deserve this time and investment into your well-being. Your future self will thank you for the time you took to cultivate wellness right now.
Infinite Recovery has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our editorial guidelines and medical review policy.
- WebMD. Adderall Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD. Accessed June 25, 2022. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63163/adderall-oral/details
- Kelley R. Adderall Abuse: Recognizing the Symptoms of Addiction. Oxford Treatment Center. Published May 12, 2022. Accessed June 25, 2022. https://oxfordtreatment.com/prescription-drug-abuse/adderall/