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Stimulant Detox – What to Expect

What Are Stimulants?

While there is always a molecular difference between Amphetamines – such as Adderall- and Methylphenidates – such as Ritalin – abusing these stimulants can produce nearly identical effects. Patients may be prescribed either Amphetamines or Methylphenidates depending on the strength and duration of the treatment needed. Typical stimulants include:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Dexadrine
  • Desoxyn
  • Concerta
  • Ephedrine
  • Illicit Stimulants including Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine. These drugs all produce effects similar to those of prescription Stimulants. Illicit stimulants, however, typically produce a shorter and more intense high.

What Is Stimulant Withdrawal?

When someone abruptly stops taking stimulants after prolonged use, the body goes into withdrawal. Stimulant withdrawal can be quite uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. Symptoms include fatigue, intense cravings, mood swings, and paranoia. A more complete list of symptoms is provided below. In some cases, people may experience hallucinations or seizures.

Stimulant withdrawal usually lasts for a few days to a week, but it can last up to several weeks in some cases. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help make the process easier. Medical detoxification programs, such as the one offered here at Positive Recovery, can help rid the body of the stimulants and ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

Symptoms Of Stimulant Withdrawal

If you will be going through Adderall withdrawal or amphetamine withdrawal, it is helpful to know what to expect. Withdrawal from stimulants is characterized by a dysphoric mood—feeling unhappy—and two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Jittery reactions
  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Dehydration
  • Dulled senses
  • Slowed speech
  • Loss of interest
  • Slowed movements
  • Slow heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Increased appetite
  • Impaired memory
  • Weight loss or gaunt appearance
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Body aches
  • Drug cravings
  • Unpleasant dreams

Stimulant withdrawal-related depression can be very severe, especially for those with a history of clinical depression.

Those with co-occurring mental illness and/or addictions to other substances may experience more severe symptoms, as well as a more protracted withdrawal.

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