My friend Annie told me she’d watched her partner, Brian, struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) for years. Every year when he entered the busy season at work, he turned to Adderall to get things done. He would wake up at 5 am, pop a pill and gets down to business. It was routine and, eventually, became a habit.
After Brian took Adderall on a daily basis for a few months, he always changed and became someone other than the person she was used to. It was strange to her as she knew her partner intimately. And seeing someone you love, become someone other than themselves is always a discombobulating experience.
During the autumn of 2017, Brian decided to quit Adderall for his upcoming busy season. He didn’t like feeling isolated and being strung out, which he ultimately always felt like when taking the drug. He often told her that Adderall gave him a feeling of being “high” because, in essence, that’s exactly what he was.
Thankfully, with a lot of determination, Brian was able to wean himself off Adderall with a few helpful tips and tools. Below we share some of those.
The Problems of Long-Term Adderall Use
Long-term Adderall dependence changes the chemical makeup of the brain. It’s a stimulant that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both relatives of other more infamous stimulants like methamphetamine.
Although widely prescribed across the United States to treat an over-exaggerated Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and general Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) pandemic, it's also widely abused. According to statistics provided by the National Alliance on Mental Health, on average 900,000 Americans use Adderall without a prescription, monthly.
Just like Brian reported, the long-term side effects of Adderall are not pretty. Although college kids frequently use Adderall to get through an all-nighter, when taken by someone with ADHD it does actually help them return to “normal.” They can concentrate on the task at hand, they don’t feel constantly drowsy, and they have a persistent motivation to get things done. But, over time the costs start to outweigh the benefits.
On a day-to-day basis, Adderall increases stress and elevates the heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. As you can imagine, these symptoms can put increased stress on heart health. Long-term use tends to trigger night sweats and, depending on the dose, Adderall can also have a detrimental effect on sleep patterns. Your body feels exhausted but your mind keeps racing. Adderall is also an appetite suppressant, leading some to forget to eat anything.
Let's talk about personality change as well. When taking Adderall, Brian seemed more serious, overconfident, and seemed to have less empathy for other people. These are all traits which Annie felt were not his “true self” at the time. Friends and family often become concerned when their loved ones abruptly act differently.
How to Stop Taking Adderall Without Withdrawal Symptoms
What she witnessed Brian going through trying to quit Adderall was challenging. The experience of withdrawal is real to many. Thankfully, they prepared in advance for the possible onset of these symptoms.
Common symptoms include anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, lack of motivation, lack of concentration, and many more. In some cases, they can be quite severe.
1. Detox Under the Guidance of a Physician
A severe Adderall addiction is just like any other addiction. Going “cold turkey” may trigger some genuine and very challenging issues. Book an appointment with your family doctor to discuss the possibility of weaning yourself off of Adderall gradually instead of cutting it out completely and immediately. By lowering the dose slowly over time, the symptoms are apparently much easier to manage. It's not such a shock to the system.
2. Manage Withdrawal Symptoms
Insomnia, irritability, depression, and anxiety are all possible during any detox. Instead of trying to manage them as they appear, it's essential to plan ahead. As an example, remove distractions (devices, lights, etc.) from your bedroom before bedtime. Drink a soothing nighttime tea or perhaps consider other herbal supplements to facilitate better sleep. The more you set yourself up for success, the more comfortable the transition will be.
3. Whole Foods Diet and Increased Exercise
Start eating a healthy, well-balanced diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains as well as less highly refined carbs and sugars. Also, incorporate daily physical activity. It doesn’t have to be agonizing, but even an hour of walking a day will help. Both of these steps serve several purposes: to give your body the supplemental boost it needs to overcome any withdrawal symptoms and also healthy distractions from any cravings or irritability you may experience.
4. Support Network
Trying to quit Adderall without the support of your friends and family may be setting yourself up for disaster. At the very least, have a frank discussion with those around you at the onset. It will let them know what to (possibly) expect. Having someone on your team as you experience any signs of depression, anxiety and irritability are crucial ways to combat isolation to get through the withdrawal more easily.
How to Quit Adderall with CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) helped my partner manage his symptoms during the thick of his withdrawal. We discovered about using CBD for ADHD while scanning Reddit for ways to quit Adderall naturally. According to the discussions we found on Reddit and in other groups, CBD has already helped reduce the severity and length of withdrawal for many people.
Aside from a anecdotal experience, the available research strongly suggests CBD can be a powerful tool to combat many of the pitfalls of Adderall withdrawal. Most Cannabidiol extract is all-natural and safe to use under almost any circumstances, and easy to incorporate into your regimen as a daily supplement.
Some of the correlations between Adderall withdrawal and potential CBD oil benefits are:
- To combat uneasy feelings.
- Enhancing a feeling of ease and contentedness.
- Stabilizing mood swings.
- To reduce possible paroxysm.
- To dampen cravings for other substances.
- As an effective sleep aid.
- and more ...
Of course, CBD has many other newly-known health benefits, including as an anti-inflammatory, anti-nauseatic, and as an agent for the possible reduction of aberrant cellular growth.
RELATED: 9 Health Benefits of CBD Oil Backed by Science
Importantly, CBD apparently continues to offer support for people with ADHD and ADD even once they’ve successfully weaned themselves off Adderall.
According to Dr. David Bearman, a leading expert on cannabis usage for ADHD/ADD, attention disorders may stem from an underactive endocannabinoid system. If there is a drought of certain cannabinoids neurotransmissions speed up rapidly because of less communication resistance. A flood of neurotransmissions may trigger obsessions, compulsions, and difficulty in concentrating ... all signs of attention disorders.
RELATED: The Many Ways CBD Could Help with ADHD and ADD
Adderall is often considered a necessary evil, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible under the direction of a doctor and with the help of natural supplements like high-quality CBD oil to kick the Adderall habit for good. It's also helpful that CBD can be taken at any point throughout the day because it is neither a powerful stimulant nor a sedative.
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