How to get rid of the anxiety from Adderall (7 tips)

In this brief article we will answer the question “How to get rid of the anxiety from Aderrall”, working mechanisms of Adderall,  the side effects associated with it, ways to get rid of anxiety from Aderrall and finally a few FAQs about the subject. 

How to get rid of the anxiety from Adderall

You can get rid of anxiety from Adderall by doing the below things:

  • Taking other anxiety medications like Alprazolam or diazepam).
  • Rehabilitation Programs
  • Inpatient and Residential Treatment Centre
  • Outpatient Treatment Centre
  • Taking a smaller dose

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is our natural or inherent physiological response to stress and a feeling of apprehension with fear about the future. It is the most common psychiatric symptom in the clinical setting and anxiety disorder is found to be the most common disorder in the general population. Anxiety is a state characterized by a feeling of uneasiness resultant of the apprehension of danger and future threat. 

Despite anxiety is normal, it becomes pathological when it causes significant impairment and distress in their daily functioning (Ahuja, 2011)

What is Adderall?

It is a stimulant combined with Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine, which are Central Nervous System stimulants that act on chemicals present in our brain and nerves resulting in hyperactivity. It is thus used to combat and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as well as Narcolepsy. 

The drug is also effective in daytime wakefulness specially for narcoleptic people. There are two forms of Adderall ie. Oral tablet and XR extended-release oral capsule. Since Adderall is a controlled substance, it may result in physical as well as psychological dependence, moreover, it has the potential for misuse (Slowiczek, 2018)

How does Adderall work in our body?

Adderall works in our body by increasing the Dopamine neurotransmitter which is responsible or involved in our motivation, concentration and reward behavior. 

The drug comprises both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, it increases our body temperature, blood pressure as well as heart rate that keeps us awake, vigilant and alert. Along with that, it also controls our appetite.

However, if the drug is used for a prolonged time, there is a certain alteration in the chemical makeup of our brain which results in our dependence. 

The interference of Adderall with Dopamine results in our brain to rely on it, thus stopping from producing more chemical messengers like the way it used to, furthermore, crave for Adderall to stay balanced.

Adderall Crash.

It is a phenomenon of withdrawal symptoms that one undergoes post-Adderall cut-off. The abrupt stop of Adderall intake results in a wide range of crash symptoms. The longer the dependence on drugs, the more significant the crash symptoms will be

While the crash symptoms are noticeable to many, there are few who are not aware of the symptoms.

Adderall crash symptoms

Mentioned below is the list of crash symptoms that should be taken care of

  • Anger: people are more vulnerable to agitation and irritation. They tend to get angry easily by small things that are not bothersome previously. 
  • Anxiety: since the brain activity depletes after the stimulating effect of the drug wears off, people face minor anxiety.
  • Fatigue: one might also feel tired, lethargic and drown out owing to the recovery from excess energy that was built up when on Adderall dependence.
  • Depression: those who are dealing with crash symptoms are more likely to feel depressed since the “d-amphetamine” that releases excess dopamine and evokes elation and pleasure is no more released.
  • Unfocused and distracted: After stopping Adderall, one gets distracted easily and can’t focus and sustain for a long time. 
  • Slow thinking: the cognitive process along with the thought process is slowed, disorganized, chaotic and jumbled.
  • Hopelessness: people also battle with the constant feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness however, this symptom gradually subside and abates.
  • Mood swing: there are frequent fluctuations in mood and also diurnal mood.
  • Disruption in sleep cycle: those who are dealing with the crash symptoms also face disruption and disturbance in their sleep cycle, with episodes of insomnia.
  • Muscle tension: somatic symptoms are also present after refraining from Adderrall intake.

So, these are the list of withdrawal or crash symptoms, which can be physical and psychological. The severity, intensity and acuteness of the symptoms are determined by the strength of Adderall dependence. It is highly correlated with dependence (American Addiction Centers, 2020)

Dealing with Adderall Crash Symptoms and Anxiety.

While Adderall treats ADHD and certain Anxiety Disorders, the release of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain can boost a person’s functioning, increasing brain activity and ultimately leading to anxiety.

One can get rid of the anxiety by following certain strategies and coping mechanisms discussed below: (Wagener, 2019)

  • Taking Anti-Anxiety Medication. People tend to develop anxiety due to Adderall use and to treat that, anti-anxiety medications like Alprazolam or diazepam can aid in alleviating the anxiety however, these are all addictive. A better option which is less addictive includes sertraline and fluoxetine.
  •  Adderall Detox. With the guidance and help from a medical professional, one can treat the withdrawal symptoms by developing a weaning schedule. It is the initial step towards overcoming Adderall addiction.  After successful completion of the detox program, one can supplement the recovery process with rehabilitation services which are more in-depth and offer both individual and group counseling.
  • Rehabilitation Programs. Enrolling is 90-days programs offer sufficient time for the victims of withdrawal symptoms to assess their behavior, modify their behavior and consequently imbibe healthier behavior. It also offers them space and time to work on their emotional traumas, implement certain relapse prevention techniques, develop new life skills and engage in a supportive and positive environment.
  • Taking a small dose. Reducing the Adderalll intake can be therapeutic. To treat the withdrawal symptoms, one can reduce or minimize the intake. This can only be done after contacting a psychiatrist or physician.
  • Inpatient and Residential Treatment centers. Such facilities provide adrenal withdrawal treatment along with combating anxiety. On-site treatment can be of great help since it aids the individual in managing severe withdrawal cases. 
  • Outpatient Adderall Rehabilitation. Although the program is less structured yet it provides peer support, behavioral as well as psychological treatment and chemical dependence or abuse education. The perks of such a program is the flexibility provided for the client. 

With these treatment plans and strategies, individuals battling with Adderall withdrawal and anxiety can successfully and effectively alleviate the symptoms and get rid of it.  

FAQs: How to get rid of the anxiety from Adderall

Is Adderall Addictive?

Yes, it is an addictive stimulant thus if it is used for an extended period of time it might result in dependence and addiction adding to the harmful effect of it. If it is taken in the right amount of dose, it treats ADHD. Overdose of Adderall is caused by snorting, crushing, or injecting the stimulant. 

Can you take Adderall if you have Anxiety?

No, taking Adderall in case of a patient having anxiety is not recommended owing to the fact that it can cause more anxiety symptoms and increases panic attacks. Adderall is a stimulant, it keeps us focused and awake. And Adderall also decreases the effect of Alprazolam. 

Can Adderall calm you down?

Yes, Adderall will calm you down. Adderall with Amphetamine content, makes people more energetic and active, resulting in a calming effect specially for people with ADHD. With this calming effect, people also tend to feel more sleepy. Even in clinical trials, injection of Adderall leads to Fatigue that affects 2-4% of people.

Is it safe to take Adderall and Alprazolam together?

Adderall, a stimulant that is prescribed for people with ADHD owing to the fact that it helps one to focus, increase their concentration and stay alert. While Alprazolam a drug named Benzodiazepine, used to combat anxiety and panic disorders. It helps individuals to relax, feel calm and get relaxed.

If both the drugs are taken together, there are harmful effects associated with it. The two major effects are the risk of addiction and the drop in the effectiveness of both these drugs. Adderall, being a stimulant, it elevates our concentration as well as focus while Alprazolam can neutralize these effects. The latter function as a sedative that reduces stress, excitement and anxiety which are counteracted by the effect of Adderall

What are the side effects of Adderall Addiction and Abuse?

There are both short term and long term effects of Adderall abuse.
 
Some of the Short term effects of Adderall are:

The rise in body temperature.
Paranoia
Euphoric feeling
Rapid and pacing heartbeat.
High Blood pressure.
Decreased in appetite.
Heightened alertness and hypervigilant.
Nausea
Muscle tension
Long-term effects of Adderall abuse include.
Malnutrition
Mental disorders
Short of breath
Psychosis
Behavioral disorders
Mood swings
Tiredness and fatigue
Loss of body coordination
Coma

How long does an Adderall Withdrawal last?

Although there is no known or approved way to detox or flush out the Adderall from our body system, however, it lasts in our body for about 9-14 hours after the intake. And in our tinkle, it can stay up to a week or less. The duration and longevity of the drug are determined by a wide range of factors such as the amount of dosage, body composition and etc. 

What are the two ways in getting rid of Adderall Withdrawal?

The two kinds of Adderall Withdrawal strategies are:

Getting over with the Adderall binge. Adderall Binge is taking excessive medication for two to three days consecutively. And the associated symptoms and effects when on Adderall dose are lack of appetite, sleep deprivation, etc. The recovery from the Adderall binge usually takes up a week and this will last for about seven hours. It entails excessive eating as well as rest.

Lowering the medication. The lowering of medication is a gradual process that is influenced by the amount of Adderall dosage. It is always advisable to consult a doctor or a physician before reducing the intake. The program lasts for three days to several weeks.

What are the treatment options available for Adderall addiction?

Although overcoming Adderall addiction is a difficult task, it’s not impossible. Adderall addiction programs are usually long-term and comprehensive one that addresses our physical, psychological and social aspects of the addiction. Addiction treatment programs that usually last for more than 90 days yield a positive recovery rate.

Are there any alternatives to Adderall?

Yes, there are alternatives to Adderall. 

Stimulants are the first option to treat ADHD, besides there are other treatments such as Concerta and Ritalin.
Apart from that, there are other non-stimulant medications for ADHD treatment. If the side effect of Adderall is not tolerable, one can opt for other options that work slower than stimulants. These include atomoxetine, which is an SNRI and the potential side effects are vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, dry mouth etc. Bupropion, an antidepressant is also used for the treatment of ADHD.

Apart from medication, behavior therapy is also used in conjunction with medication. The therapy improves organization as well as time management skills (Hersh, 2019)

Can Adderall cause anxiety?

Yes, it is a strong and powerful CNS stimulant that can elevate the level of norepinephrine beyond the normal range. And when the individual is under an Adderall dose, they find themselve more anxious, irritable and this can often cause acute anxiety. The repeated use of Adderall places tremendous pressure on our brain’s ability to respond and to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which are both involved in coping with stress. The receptors of both the neurotransmitters are depleted, resulting in brain registration even at low levels of dopamine leading to chronic anxiety. For this reason, it is always advised not to overdose on Adderall and depend on it for improving cognitive functions. 

In an overview, Adderall is a stimulant composed of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine which is addictive when overdose. The prime function of the stimulant is to treat ADHD and Anxiety disorder to some extent. 

There are two main forms of Adderall that are Oral tablet and XR extended-release oral capsules. Adderall is often abused due to its effectiveness in keeping us awake and vigilant. Dopamine and Norepinephrine are the two neurotransmitters that are affected by Adderall. When there is an abrupt stop or cessation of Adderall intake, an individual undergoes a phase named Adderall Crash. 

The severity of the Adderall Crash symptoms is influenced by the amount of dosage and the duration of dependence. Some of the most treatment programs for recovery from Adderall addiction include taking anti-anxiety medication, enrolling in in-patient as well as residential treatment programs, Adderall detox, reducing the amount of dosage and taking rehabilitation programs. 

While taking the right amount of Adderall dose treats and alleviates ADHD and Narcolepsy, an overdose of it can result in severe short term as well as long term effects. 

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question “How to get rid of the anxiety from Aderrall”, working mechanisms of Adderall,  the side effects associated with it, ways to get rid of anxiety from Aderrall and finally a few FAQs about the subject.

Some useful sites for further information.

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/adderall/how-to-quit

https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2013/03/03/how-to-deal-with-an-adderall-crash-reduce-the-negative-symptoms/

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/adderall-addiction/adderall-anxiety/

Bibliography

Ahuja, N. (2011). A short textbook of Psychiatry. Jaypee.

American Addiction Centers. (2020, 01 23). How to Detox, Taper, or Wean Off Adderall. American Addiction Centers. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/adderall/how-to-quit

Hersh, E. (2019, 4 1). Why Does Adderall Make Me Sleepy When It Makes Others More Alert? healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/adderall-makes-me-tired

Nova Recovery Center. (2018). An Overview of Adderall: Side Effects, Abuse, and Withdrawal. Nova Recovery Center. https://novarecoverycenter.com/drugs/adderall/

Slowiczek, L. (2018, 08 28). Adderall (Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine). Medical news today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326219#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

Wagener, D. (2019, 10 4). Adderall Withdrawal Medication and Treatment. Withdrawal.net. https://www.withdrawal.net/adderall/medication-assisted/#:~:text=Benzodiazepines%20may%20be%20used%20to%20treat%20anxiety%20related,is%20possible%20since%20amphetamine%20withdrawal%20is%20not%20life-threatening.

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.