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ADHD Medication Withdrawal

Person with a hand on their face, undergoing ADHD medication withdrawal

For people experiencing the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), medications can help with the inability to concentrate or sit still, as well as with impulsive actions and excessive talking. However, these drugs—Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, and Concerta—can become addictive. There are some essential things to know about the undesired effects caused by ADHD medications. Contact BRC Healthcare at 888.559.2036 to learn more about the impact of misusing these prescription drugs—such as developing addiction and particularly experiencing ADHD medication withdrawal symptoms—and how our prescription drug addiction treatment programs in Texas can help.


Stimulants like Adderall improve symptoms of ADHD in up to 80% of children and 70% of adults. The positive effects can be even more significant with behavioral therapy. As a stimulant, Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is a controlled substance that can cause psychological or physical dependence and has the potential for abuse and misuse. Long-term use of Adderall or other stimulants may cause some changes in the brain, such as decreases in the amount of the chemical messenger dopamine. This seems likelier to happen in people who abuse Adderall in high doses.

Side Effects of Adderall

Serious side effects of Adderall include heart attack and stroke. Adderall can lead to sudden death in people with preexisting heart conditions. Taking Adderall alongside alcohol increases the chances of having heart problems. Adderall may also affect how drunk a person feels, increasing the likelihood of alcohol poisoning.

Adderall Withdrawal

Sudden withdrawal from this ADHD medication can cause the following to happen:

  • Feeling uneasy
  • Sleep problems
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Depression
  • Phobias or panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts

Detox, under supervised guidance, is a safer method for Adderall withdrawal. The detox process enables a person to reduce or altogether avoid withdrawal symptoms by coming off the drug slowly over several months.


Another medication used to treat ADHD is Vyvanse or lisdexamfetamine. Vyvanse, also a stimulant, is administered as part of a total treatment plan, including psychological, social, and other treatments. The drug is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain natural chemicals, or neurotransmitters, in the brain. Vyvanse may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher for people struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD). Suddenly stopping the use of Vyvanse can cause withdrawal symptoms, including severe tiredness, sleep problems, and mental/mood changes such as depression. Withdrawal is more likely for people who have used lisdexamfetamine for a long time or in high doses.


The stimulant methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, is a stimulant that changes the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain. Ritalin can help people with ADHD increase their ability to pay attention, stay focused on an activity, and control behavior problems. After extensive use, Ritalin may not work as well. Ritalin can also be addictive. This risk may be higher for people who have an SUD. Suddenly stopping Ritalin may cause withdrawal symptoms such as depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental/mood changes. Withdrawal symptoms are more likely for people who have used methylphenidate for a long time or in high doses.


Methylphenidate is also the ingredient in Concerta. This medication has a direct impact on the central nervous system. As a stimulant, it can also be addictive or misused. Stimulants like Concerta allow norepinephrine and dopamine levels to rise slowly and steadily, preventing neurons from reabsorbing them. Norepinephrine and dopamine are neurotransmitters that are naturally produced in the brain. Norepinephrine is a stimulant, and dopamine is linked to attention span, movement, and feelings of pleasure. Stopping Concerta suddenly can result in withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal include trouble sleeping and fatigue. Withdrawal increases the risk of developing severe depression.

Find Medical Detox in Texas at BRC Healthcare

At BRC Healthcare, we help you safely stop using stimulants such as Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, and Concerta. Our detoxification program is your first step to recovery. We help you cleanse your body of addictive substances while monitoring your health and safety. You can contact our team at 888.559.2036 to learn more about our medical detox program.