Amphetamine Detox: Tapering And Withdrawal Timeline

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021

Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that can be addictive when misused. Getting off amphetamines after chronic use or misuse may require detox. Detox can help you get off amphetamines safely and may connect you with drug abuse treatment.

How To Detox From Amphetamines

Amphetamine is a type of stimulant that can be addictive and cause physical dependence. Becoming physically dependent on a drug can result in what’s known as withdrawal.

Withdrawal from amphetamines, which are commonly prescribed for ADHD, can be uncomfortable and may require treatment in a detox or inpatient rehab program.

Amphetamine withdrawal may be a sign of substance abuse, addiction, or occur as a result of taking an amphetamine drug chronically for a health condition.

Learn more about alcohol and drug detox programs

Common Prescription Stimulants That May Require Detox

Amphetamine detoxification refers to a natural process and a type of treatment program recommended for people who are physically dependent on a prescription stimulant.

Prescription stimulants that may require detox include:

Stimulants like these are sometimes misused by individuals in order to get high, enhance one’s work or school performance, or for other personal reasons.

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Amphetamine Detox Symptoms And Side Effects

Stopping amphetamines very suddenly, or all at once, can cause what’s known as withdrawal in people who’ve developed drug dependence.

Withdrawal can cause physical and psychological side effects that can occur as the body’s response to the lack of a drug in your system.

Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • fatigue
  • depressed mood
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • mood swings
  • trouble concentrating
  • body aches
  • increased appetite
  • drug cravings
  • hearing or seeing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)

Using multiple drugs, also known as polydrug use, may cause additional symptoms to develop. These symptoms of stimulant withdrawal can be mild to severe in nature.

How Long Amphetamine Withdrawal Lasts

Amphetamine withdrawal can begin in a few hours or a couple days and can last for anywhere from five days to several weeks. This might begin with an initial “crash” period.

Factors that can affect the duration of withdrawal include:

  • drug formulation (i.e. immediate-release vs. extended-release)
  • method of drug use
  • use of multiple drugs
  • amount of drug taken
  • duration of drug use
  • overall health status

How long withdrawal from prescription stimulant drugs lasts can vary from person to person depending on these and other personal factors.

Amphetamine Detox Timeline

Early signs of stimulant withdrawal can begin within the first six to 12 hours after your last use of a stimulant drug.

Days 1-3: Physical symptoms of a drug “crash” such as fatigue, foggy thinking, and depressed mood often begin within the first 24 hours, and may grow worse over the next couple days.

Days 3-7: Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms may come in waves and intensify over the course of the first week, reaching their peak around the three- to five-day mark.

After this, most withdrawal symptoms will begin to start fading. Some side effects, such as insomnia, anxiety, or other cognitive or psychological effects of withdrawal may linger.

Protracted Withdrawal From Amphetamine

Long-lasting symptoms of withdrawal may be a sign of what’s known as protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

Signs of protracted withdrawal may include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • difficulty concentrating
  • insomnia

This condition is temporary but can last anywhere from several weeks to several months. This is most common in people with a long history of substance abuse.

What Factors Can Affect Amphetamine Detox?

The length and intensity of withdrawal can vary depending on the level of support a person has, the treatment they receive, and other environmental factors.

The safest and most effective way to get off amphetamines is to begin a medical detox program, which can offer medical supervision and treatment to reduce discomfort during withdrawal.

Detox programs can also help by:

  • reducing the risk of relapse
  • monitoring medical complications
  • providing treatment for symptoms
  • connecting people with additional treatment

Detox programs can be found in inpatient detox facilities, some outpatient treatment centers, and inpatient rehab centers that offer detox services.

Who Needs Amphetamine Detox?

Amphetamine detox is often the first step on the road to recovery from substance abuse and addiction. Specifically, for people with drug dependence.

Signs of amphetamine dependence can include:

  • taking higher doses of amphetamine over time due to developing an amphetamine tolerance
  • unable to cut down on or stop taking amphetamines
  • constantly thinking about using or getting amphetamines
  • snorting or injecting amphetamines for stronger effects
  • feeling physically sick if you try to stop taking amphetamines

If this describes you or a loved one, you’re not alone. Finding a detox program can help you or your loved one access the support they need to begin the journey toward recovery.

Finding Amphetamine Detox Near You

Detoxing from a prescription stimulant like Adderall after a period of drug misuse is the first step toward building a healthier and happier future in addiction recovery.

Call our helpline today to learn more about amphetamine detox and to find a detox program for prescription stimulant addiction at a drug rehab center near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021
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