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The 13 Milestones of Quitting Adderall

1. Day One Sucks

Get through one work day without taking Adderall

2. Withdrawal Survivor

Make it 45 days without Adderall any way you can

3. Self First

Face the disapproval of at least one person who you can't bear disapproval from, and keep going.

4. One Small Step

Complete your first small project without Adderall

5. Your First Freakout

Ohmygod how am I going to finish this without my pills?!

6. Fear Itself

Complete your first big project without Adderall

7. Exercise Nut

Fall in love with some form of exercise enough to do it at least once per week for 4 weeks in a row.

8. Cut the Cord

Get rid of your remaining pills. No turning back now!

9. Natural High

Recognize your first natural tweeked-out feeling.

10. Visionary

Envision a new path for yourself that you are excited about.

11. Bright Future

Take three big steps down the new path you've envisioned for yourself.

12. Validation

Somebody tells you "wow you've gotten a lot better"

13. Reborn Superman

Be able to utter these words: "I love my job so much. I can't believe I get paid to do this." Be able to work freely on anything without hesitating and thinking of Adderall.

50 Responses to “The 13 Milestones of Quitting Adderall”

  1. InRecovery says:

    Thanks for the list. I can relate with so many of these steps. No. 5,I cannot tell you how badly I freaked out when my doctors found out I was abusing adderall, my supply was cut off and I realized I would have to stop. Freak out was an understatement in how I behaved!

    No. 4 and 6, I was so psychologicalle dependent on adderall that I didn’t even have the confidence to sit down and read a book without the pills. Reading lots of books without being adderall for me was a big project.

    No. 12, Now in my tenth month of recovery, my sister tells me I am so much better…I remember the days I was so hooked on adderall and she was in tears when she’d see me…She is now so happy, says she has me back and it’s so good to see the real me again..

  2. Mike says:

    @InRecovery – Yay congrats on 10 months and already reaching Milestone #12! I took me over a year to hit that one.

    Also: How did your doctor find out you were abusing?

  3. ryan says:

    I have no idea how long withdrawl lasts but mine wont stop. i took 120mgs for five years and im a year and two months clean. My energy is still very low and my weight gain is still high considering i have been active. I should weight bout 165. when i was taking adderall i was around 140. Now im 215. Im just curious mike how much longer will i deal with this. i thought this was enough time to get over this.

  4. Sick Kid says:

    I like this a lot.

    I did 1,3,4,5,10.

  5. Mike says:

    @Ryan – You were at a pretty high dose for a long while. You may have a harder battle in front of you. Try natural stimulants like coffee and 5 hour energy and see if it takes the edge off (note that these will just keep you awake, they won’t focus you like Adderall, so don’t expect a “high”).

    Also try supplementing with Omega 3 and keeping your diet and sleep schedule consistent.

    I’m not sure how active you’ve been or in what ways, but the #1 way to melt off wait is to run. Have you ever seen a fat runner?

    @Sick Kid – Glad you liked them!

  6. InRecovery says:

    Hey Mike, I just saw this. Thanks for your support…This site has been integral to my recovery. To answer your question – How did your doctor find out you were abusing?

    The answer is so embarassing. Ok, here goes. I was in adderall-induced psychosis. In my state, I was convinced my mom – ahem – was trying to kill me or poison me or something. (Yes, I know! So crazy!) Adderall-psychosis can really make a person sound like a lunatic.

    I was out of pills early, of course, and went to my doctor in my adderall-psychsis state and told her everything I was feeling. That I thought my mom was trying to poison me etc. etc. She immediately wrote a prescription for a lower dose of adderall. Then told me to come back the next day for another appointment. Then she called an ambulence directly to the doctors office. Had them pick me up, confiscate my pill bottle and put me in observation for the day in the hospital. There, they talked to my mom who explained everything.

    Adderall-induced psychosis – ugh.

  7. InRecovery says:

    Ryan, I think I’m in the same boat as you. Also, I was, taking double the amount of adderall then you were at. It’s been almost a year, and I still suffer from this awful withdrawal feeling in my head at different levels of intensities depending on the day. I’ll heed Mike’s advice. I think it’s going to be a longer battle for us… (Not too much longer, hopefully)

  8. Anthony says:

    This is awesome. Somehow, setting it up like Xbox achievements makes it a little more attainable.
    1, 5, 8, 10, and 11.

  9. Mike says:

    @Anthony – That’s what I was going for! I thought it would be more fun and motivating than time-based sobriety chips. Glad you like them!

  10. jt says:

    this website has helped me a lot I have just gone cold turkey after weaning my self for 3 months that did not work just kept going up and down did not know all this stuff just thought I was loosing it seeing all that you are going through makes me feel better it has been 2 weeks and knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel gives me hope the mood swings are not that fun but coffee helps with the sleepy. hoping that the people around me like friends and family will still be here when this is all over I do feel better though even though I feel yucky It is such a relief have been doing more with friends and making new ones .I have been taking it for about 1 1/2 years do hope I can keep my job am in the service industry and it took all I had to not just say what I wanted and a monotone voice with no feeling was all i could do but I got through it that was the first week the other half trying to stay there It felt like I was never going to be able to live . But am happy I am doing it

  11. Anonymous says:

    leave I mean sorry

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a great site! I was on adderall for 15 years and then I went on a work trip to Southeast Asia where I had to actually interact with people rather than the computer and I realized that my lifestyle was unsustainable and boring. (I would drink just to break the adderall high and the cigarettes, I LOVED THE CIGARETTES. But probably the alcohol more. I can’t believe I’m still alive.) I decided it was time to stop (it came internally. I never talked about it with anyone. It was very bizarre. My body just said “What the fuck are you doing? And so I stopped)

    I didn’t plan it. It was being in a place I had never been and a good opportunity to quit the habit. I was 30, so I had been taking adderall since I was 15 in order to get into a good college, which I did. Was it the adderall? Probably… and I now have a great degree and doing quite well. But who would I have been if I hadn’t taken it? That’s what I’m grasping with right now. I’m 31 and feel like I wasted my twenties sitting at a desk, working on a computer, writing (which I love to do but hate also) and completing meaningless tasks.

    I’ve been off of it since December 2nd last year. My favorite part though is that my psychiatrist hasn’t called me yet to see if I’m okay. Regardless, I’ve had my days since I’ve been off of it full time but feel I need an adderalll to clean, to write, to do anything. I have a ton left over and have taken about four since December. What’s funny, every time I take a half of a 5mg, I feel sick, and become really mean and even depressed. AND WANT ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES TO COME OFF THE HIGH.

    Without adderall, sitting at my desk is painful. However, rather than doing a thousand things a day, I do about three, have some fun bringing my colleagues together because that’s what us ADD people do best and sometimes I don’t do anything. You can’t feel guilty. That’s actually NORMAL!!!!!!!!! We’re deadline, creative, energetic people — a special breed…. so let’s be proud of it. It’s time for all of us to be us!!!! F…everyone else! I think the world has been scared of what we could actually do and therefore we’ve been put on drugs to zombie us out.

    I can’t tell you how good I feel that I’m no longer on it. I hope you take the leap. Life is too short to feel like a zombie!

  13. Anonymous says:

    By the way, hitting the gym is the way to go. I’ve turned into a health nut. I still smoke cigarettes and drink two times a week but I’m all about working out. It’s a way better high than adderall and you’re healthier as a result.

  14. JG says:

    Thank you all for sharing your stories! It enlightens me to know there is a light at the end of this tunnel! I totally related to everyone and I wish you the best of luck staying on the right path:) I have only been clean for a month and every day I face a challenge or 2 but in the end I know it WILL be worth it all. Also, today I started walking and it was very therapeutic.

  15. Hannah says:

    I started taking Adderall recreationally during college and I was thrilled with the results. I have a pretty unique story because I was homeschooled until high school, and once I was faced with the challenge of social difficulties and classroom settings my grades sunk. Because of my past, I had no idea how to start homework or get through a scheduled day. My education up until that point had been an ADHD nightmare, unbeknownst to me I was learning horrible habits and couldn’t break them. If I had a certain number of assignments or goals, I would start all of them and continue/finish at my own speed without any sort of order or prioritizing. It worked because I spent everyday by myself.

    I barely made it through high school but college was a total nightmare. My parents didn’t know what to do, my IQ and grades had always been beyond my age group, I skipped two grades and was originally pulled out of public school to be homeschooled because my teachers warned my parents that I was too smart to excel in that setting. This is why I want people to know my story- I don’t know if I was born with ADHD (nobody does, when it comes down to it) or if I developed it because of my educational past but it was literally the worst decision my parents ever could have made. I know they mean to do the right thing and I no longer resent them for it, but the failure I experienced ruined my life in many ways mostly because I didn’t have the guidance to know how to deal with it or how to identify the problem.

    I dropped out of school my senior year of college because I felt like I was having a mental breakdown. The only reason I finished my 35 page thesis was because I stayed up for almost a week straight popping Adderall and forcing myself to focus. After that, I couldn’t find a reason to continue my degree if it took that amount of stress and drug induced focus for me to be able to finish my assignments. I started working full time at Starbucks. When I contracted Mono a couple months later, I was in bed for nearly two more. When I recovered, I felt the most suicidal I had ever felt. In the past when I thought about suicide, part of me knew I was too afraid to really go through with it and that it just felt comforting to consider. At this point I started planning times, places and writing letters to my loved ones.

    The only reason I didn’t go through with it was because of Adderall, which is why I am now at a point where I no longer want to be dependent on it. It saved my life in many ways because I couldn’t find the motivation or reasoning to keep going, to go to work or go out or even get out of bed. I felt like a loser and I didn’t know what had gotten me to that point, all I knew was that there was seemingly no way out of it. I bought it from someone who sold their prescription but I eventually realized I probably could just get my own rather than feeling guilty about illegal drug use.

    I’m not sure if getting my own prescription was easy because we are such an over medicated society and doctors write scripts for anyone these days, or if it’s because I do have ADHD. In the process of getting my own prescription I also talked to my dad (my mother refused to talk to me then because she doesn’t believe in medication and hated me for dropping out of college) and he told me I had been diagnosed with ADHD at a young age. They hadn’t told me because they didn’t want to put me on a drug, and my mother doesn’t believe in being medicated at all.

    Either way, I have been on Adderall XR 30 mg for almost 3 years now. For so long I believed that this pill was a miracle for me, mostly because I used it as a crutch during a time when I couldn’t find any answers or solutions. Now I am tired of taking it everyday, tired of the initial kick in the morning and the 4:00 headaches, tired of depending on a pill everyday of my life. I no longer feel the high that I used to and my appetite is 100% normal, which is fine and I’m not interested in increasing my dosage so that I can have those qualities back again. However, every time I try to just stop taking it I struggle to get out of bed or talk to anyone or do anything all day and it scares me. It scares me because it reminds me of that time 3 years ago and I’m terrified of going back to the person I was then. I’m not sure if it’s a mental handicap because I associate the drug and the time and consequently believe that I’m going to fail again or if its actually happening- that’s the horrible part about Adderall, or any drug I suppose.

    Anyways, I hope my story (however long winded) helps someone or at least effects them in some way. I think I am an advocate for both the good and bad sides of the drug and really I think this is the case for all medications. They are necessary for a time and then when we don’t need them anymore, we should be able to stop. It’s the stopping part that is most difficult for us as humans.

  16. Tyler says:

    It’s taken me 7 years to get to step 10 after taking Adderall XR for 7 years. It’s amazing how much of a different person you can become when you start taking it young. I’m excited about stepping into myself.

    I called and set up my new job yesterday.

    Let’s do this.

  17. Sile says:

    “excited about stepping into myself” — absolutely.

  18. Anon. says:

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks very much for all your posts on this site. I’ve been taking Adderall for about 8 years now, and while I do love how much work I get done, how well I do my work, how happy I am, and how thin I am, I am sick of depending on a pill. When my prescription starts to run out at the end of the month, I flip out and count pills and start rationing myself, etc., and I just feel awful about it. I’ve been trying to wean myself off of it for a while now, but I have too much trouble and worry about the consequences. I recently earned my PhD and am now trying to publish my monograph and a few articles, and apply for academic jobs, and I am deathly afraid that I will fail. I also lost 60lbs when I started taking the medicine, and after battling with my weight my whole life, this was wonderful. I think I am much healthier now than I was, but I am still afraid I will lose everything I have gained since I started taking Adderall. All of these things together are making me quite depressed as well; I find myself crying often and too afraid to work on the tasks I have at hand (which are many). Any kinds words would be much appreciated.


  19. Anonymous says:

    Attention Deficit Disorders—especially the primarily inattentive type—are surprisingly similar to putting on a pair of very thick prescription glasses over your eyes when in fact your vision is inherently impeccable and you have no need for very thick prescription glasses. Perhaps a closer analogy would be when one is BORN into the world with impaired vision and has never been prescribed glasses or who doesn’t know what prescription glasses are. It is literally quite similar to this in many ways—though it’s more complicated than that.
    Something is preventing you from receiving wholly accurate information from the environment outside of you. Additionally, information that is generated from within you is not being properly harnessed. (For some reason when I think of this concept I picture a brown bear holding its claw over the flowing water for a fish to come jumping out. The bear can’t seem to grab hold of the fish. Inside your brain, you can’t seem to grab hold of the information.)
    Adderall—as well as other preparations of true amphetamine or other psycho-stimulants—is kind of like those pair of prescription glasses—sort of. When you take the pill—as when you put on a pair of prescription glasses that are designed specifically for you—everything suddenly becomes clear and focused.
    Now imagine that you have impaired vision and are given a different set of glasses—a special set of glasses. With these glasses not only are you able to sharply focus-in on everything in your immediate environment, but are additionally able to zoom-in on the planets and stars and to magnify an object up close; you can gaze upon its smallest constituents parts. This is something akin to when someone is prescribed too-much Adderall.

  20. Erin says:

    This is so awesome, Mike!! I LOVE this!!!! Thank you!!!!

  21. CLH says:

    I’ve been off of Adderall for a couple of months now. I know I’m impatient (duh, I’m ADD = impatient, gets bored easily, etc), but I’m really starting to freak out about not being able to get anything done.

    While I was on Adderall, I landed a well-paying (yet very tedious) job with leadership responsibilities. I do not have a PhD but I work in a research organization, so my office is filled with highly-focused PhD-types who simply LOVE to judge me for not being as smart as they are. So, while on Adderall, I compensated for my lack of academic accomplishments by getting a sh*tload of work done. Now that I am off of Adderall, I have been spending my days feeling dumber and more useless than I’ve ever felt in my life. No matter how much pressure I try to put on myself to get stuff done, I just end up checking Gmail and Facebook 50 times per day and feeling like sh*t about myself. It doesn’t help *at all* that I have absolutely no interest in my job. I loathe going to work, I pretty much hate the people that I work with… I feel like someone could put a gun to my head right now and I still wouldn’t get anything done at the office.

    I’m trying really hard to keep my spirits up, but it’s nearly impossible for me to focus on anything work-related (or really, focus on anything at all). So, I guess I’m sort of stuck somewhere between steps 2, 3 and 5 right now… Really needing help and motivation, and I honestly don’t know where else to go besides this website.

    Thanks for providing an outlet for us Adderall junkies.

  22. mandy says:

    @CLH — get a new job is my advice. Mike’s advice would probably be the same, based on what I’ve read here.

    I have a researcher/analyst job that is tedious, as well. I just quit taking adderall 3 weeks ago (today marks 3 weeks. Woo-hoo!). This type of job is not a good job for us people with focus/concentration issues. I think your work environment is sucky, only adding to your hatred of your job. If you hate it so much, why do it? Work takes up a large chunk of you life…

    I’ve been taking steps to pursue a job I would enjoy (instead of doing the work at my job). Great, big changes are already happening in my life! I am taking risks (change is scary but also exciting) because I cannot bear the work I was doing. I could barely handle how much I hated my job on Adderall, but without it its even worse. But now that I am at my wit’s end, I am actually doing something to better my situation.

    I hope this motivates you to make the job change!

  23. Ryan says:

    I’m 3 months along and I’ve hit quite a few of these marks. #3 is brutal, closest I came to going back on Adderall. My own brother was upset with the way I’d been different and told me to “go take a pill”. Peoples attitudes are gonna be different towards you. I’d been on it since 7th grade and finally quit right before my 21st.

    Exercise is so crucial. I successfully quit and I was really making a recovery from Adderall dependency using exercise as a crutch. When I got injured everything started falling apart. I stumbled on this website debating whether or not to start up Adderall again.

    I’ve only got one milestone left, and its throwing those little pink bastards away. Thanks for all the responses you guys left, especially Mike. It’s empowering to know that you aren’t alone in your battle against Adderall. Good luck to all you guys trying to quit. It’s really worth it in the end

  24. Rach says:

    This website is amazing. I am really struggling to stop taking this medication that I have taken for 10 years. I never had a clue what Adderall was (speed) when I was first prescribed it at the age of 18, and now at 29 I have become a full-blown addict. I have an addictive personality and know that I have no business being on an upper of any kind.

    However, the hardest part for me has not been so much the lack of focus, but more so the inability to stay awake. Unfortunately I have a high tolerance for uppers and caffeine, 5 hour energy, Red Bulls, etc. do nothing for me. I have tried to find things at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe to replace that massive lack of energy feeling but have had no luck. I am almost like a narcoleptic without my Adderall and it is scary at times how easy it is for me to drift off to sleep..especially when I have to drive to work early in the mornings.

    Like I said, I wish that coffee woke me up but it does not… I have also attempted exercise in the mornings before work but haven’t found that I am able to even keep my eyes open throughout the day. I have only stopped taking it a couple of days now and know things will get easier, but I have tried to quit so many times throughout the last 10 years and every time I have given up due to the fear of losing my job because I cannot stay awake or fear of losing my life due to falling asleep behind the wheel.

    I know there is not much else that can be suggested for alertness but regardless of how difficult this is for me, this website is exactly what I need during this time in my life because otherwise you feel like something is wrong with you because “why would a medication that is continuously prescribed for ADHD affect an adult this way without it?”

    It is incredibly comforting to know that I am not alone.

  25. Eliza B. says:

    What I haven’t seen mentioned on here is the power of going gluten-free once you stop medication. For me, what helped me stop my ADHD medication cold-turkey after 7 years was how I felt after trying to be gluten-free for a month. I realized I could focus so much better. Then I realized how little the medication was really helping me before I was gluten-free. Sure, it helped me force focus and complete things like a robot for hours…but it was mindless. I made mistakes. I wasn’t grasping/learning well. The medication makes you zone in and not see the big picture. Which is why I think it screws with your writing.

    Anyhow, not to preach…but I sincerely recommend trying to be strict gluten-free for at least three weeks. I was so sure about my ADD diagnosis 7 years ago – I had the whole full testing done, evaluation where they interview my parents, look at my report cards from elementary school, etc. And now I am happy to say that I don’t have ADD. Numbers and math don’t confuse me. My thoughts are clear, and I can articulate them much better. Finishing out a full day at work is very hard (I am only two weeks cold-turkey), but in the last two days, I feel much better. I don’t know how I would feel giving up the meds but still eating gluten. Probably like hell.

    Try it. It costs nothing, and if you can give up amphetamines you can give up gluten.

    What has gluten? These grains:
    wheat, barley, triticale, spelt, semolina, bulgar, durum flour, kamut

    That being said, I’ve heard the Paleo Diet has worked wonders for people with ADD that want to be med-free.

    Some stories/resources:

    – Eliza

  26. jim says:

    I have been taken Adderall for 12 years I do have ADHD but no longer want to be pill dependent since my doctor suddenly decided he can no longer prescribe me and several others said they only prescribe adderall to children?!? I decided to quit its been a week and i go through periods of lethargy bordering on narcolepsy and child-like goofy behavour . I cant believe how hungry I am….I cant excuse the expression go#2 and I have to force myself into the shower. I dont find smoking cigarettes as satisfying as I used to and popping 2 or 3 vivarin (200mg caffiene each) does nothing.. i cant even feel it… its such an odd thing …absolutely no energy..anyway i forgot what i was going to say.. i think it was shit!! me too no energy and i am sorry but a year this way? Is this the only way?

  27. jim says:

    oh and yah graduated with my bs and ma in two years including summer sessions and nights thanks for that adderall however cant find a job so i am not sure it was worth it

  28. jim says:

    it seems everbody is going through the same thing so how about some more stories of people overcoming this with some timelines of feeling alive or awake or just better…

  29. ............. says:


    This work seems to help a lot of people.
    I’ve never taken adrenal. I can understand difficulties
    living in these times without any help from
    people who love you through the worst and
    best of times in your life and theres.

    Even with this fading help, the responsibilities
    can more than we anticipated during
    better times. I’m happy if you brave
    not having your thoughts in mind and
    body out of your own control.

    This is a very professional web
    site. Addiction is of great concern
    for so many people.

  30. Sarah says:

    One thing that this doesn’t mention is feeling like your life is spiraling out of control. I feel like I can’t do anything right without the pills. Everything at work is an ultimate failure. I can’t keep up with cleaning my house. I can’t be around people too long because of terrible mood swings. I constantly feel like I’m going to cry. My mind is clouded with thoughts. This is only my second week but I feel like I’m going insane and I feel like the advice my therapist offers me is a joke. Did anyone else feel this way and did anything help?

  31. shel says:

    So when does the energy come to do any of these. I was on Adderall for 11 years. I can no longer afford it. I have been off Adderall for 3 months. I have no energy. I sleep for hours and take many naps. Just doing dishes is an exhausting chore. I am so tired of being lethargic . When does the energy to get up come. I tried to go for a walk and after 1/4th of a mile and almost could not make it back. I used to run 4 miles then go to work doing landscaping all day. I do not know how much longer I can do this.

  32. no name says:


    Im in the same boat as you. Took alot for very long time. It takes a bit longer for us. Im going on 8 months. You are almost through it. It may take another month or two but you will get there with the energy. By now you should start having some good days and bad days. Bad days will slowly fade away. Make the most of your goods days until then.

  33. Drew says:

    I’ve been through a similar situation to all of you after stopping adderall usage. I’d been on it for 1.5 years and came off of it completely during my summer break from school. I was initially very depressed, but got over this after a week or so. I knew deep inside of me that taking adderall wasn’t good, but it helped me succeed in what society told me was good: school work, sports, being focused ect. Also, everyone praised me for the things I did while on adderall. I was enlightened upon this whole dilemma and fixed my problem through a rather unorthodox, and perhaps, frowned upon method. I found that ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, a psychedelic “drug”, to be critical in helping me make the internal switch to stopping adderall usage. I discovered that I only took adderall to succeed in the only facet of life that I was taught to value: school. I concluded that I shouldn’t feel bad or ashamed of having this problem; I’d always felt like I was cheating, despite the fact I was prescribed it by a doctor. I knew that I was trying to do the best I could, and one should be praised for that if anything. Finally, I had my biggest epiphany that is the core belief that has stuck with me the most: society’s dumb. YOU’RE SMARTER THAN THE REST OF THEM! People with ADD ect are the ones who actually have the intelligence to realize that what everyone else is doing is POINTLESS. Doing busy work at a computer, or filling out worksheets is a waste of your life in my opinion. Everyone tries to sit there and tell you you’re wrong, but you’re not! Believe in yourself and don’t give a crap about what other people think / say about you. Don’t regret your past on adderall either. Try to think about how much you achieved and WHAT YOU LEARNED. Apply what taking adderall has taught you, and combine this with the new you. You’ll soon learn that you have a very valuable perspective that needs to be shared and used in the world.

  34. Tsnap says:

    I’m tired

  35. Anonymous says:

    I have relied on adderal for over 10 yrs. It’s been about 5 months since taking a pill. I found this site in searching for answers to how long can I expect to be tired and uninterested in all of things I love to do. This site is quite comforting, knowing I’m not alone. Good luck everyone.

  36. K says:

    I am on day 3, and so miserable. But it will get better, right?

    Thank you

  37. Anonymous says:

    It gets better. Way better than having to worry about relying on a pill to get by.

  38. J says:

    I had been taking Adderall for 10 years, through college and law school and first 2 years of work, and was in denial about my dependency. I got to a point where I was unhappy all the time, tired all the time even though I was working out 5 days a week, anxious all the time, sweating for no reason, constantly stressed about something, and agitated with the world. I just couldn’t do it anymore, and that’s when I found your website. Thanks to you, I was able to share your site with my fiance so she could understand my fears of quitting vs. fears of continuing to take the meds. I quit cold turkey in early November and feel like a completely new person. I smile and laugh ALL THE TIME now. It’s ridiculous. Some days are harder than others when it comes to staying on task, but I think part of that is because now that I’m off my meds I realize how mundane my job is. I’m still waiting to reach #10 and figure out my life’s plan but I’m glad to feel normal again!

  39. Anonymous 2 says:

    I had been taking adderall throughout college and grad school(5 years). I started to notice that it wasn’t even helping me with school anymore and it was preventing me from making new friends. I saw this chart and thought I would never complete it. I was exhausted after quitting for what felt like two months, but I am still making A’s in grad school and have now completed everything on this chart (no break from school either!)

    Best of luck to everyone!!!

  40. Anonymous says:

    I was on adderall for a year and a half. I quit about 2 months ago…It has been very up and down. I have done the bare minimum at work and make mistakes that I never would have made w/ adderall. I have gained some weight, but a lot of that has to do w/ poor discipline. High motivation and work ethic go hand in hand, so stripping myself from adderall negatively impacts those two important things. Feeling bloated/ fat and uninspired is very hard to deal with, but I am already starting to lose weight and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Feeling a general sense of happiness comes back in moments, but comes back more often. If you are on this website, its probably because you have a problem with addiction and may be to scared to let go…I was once there as well. It’s so worth it. I can promise you..the road is tough, but you will not regret letting go. As hard as this may sound, I strongly suggest letting your boss know what you are dealing with and if you plan to quit, let him/her know…If they dont support your decision, you are probably working for the wrong company. You can do this! SO WORTH IT!

  41. mike says:

    I’ve been off Adderall for three days. I started 5 years ago and have not gone more than a day without adderall in that time. My dosage ranged from 40-70mg per day. The last six months I would say 60mg was the norm. I know there are many people that have much higher dosages, but I still feel like it controlled me. Now I feel free and I’m not scared of falling asleep while driving. How I stopped was for a couple weeks I got down to 30, then 20 and this week I stopped. Monday was tough but I was also fasting which I believe helped. Although I was not fasting fully because I did drink coffee. Tuesday was plenty of food and coffee. And today food and coffee and I’m functioning fine. I did have a lot of prayer which I know has helped me as well. What is strange is Sunday night I knew I wasn’t taking adderall anymore so I went to bed early and I dreamed all night about people waking me up and watching me sleep. I felt like I didn’t get good sleep at all. Then second night I was tired until about 11pm and I was all jacked up for no reason. I didn’t sleep much Tuesday night. Then Wednesday night I was pretty exhausted but was starting to get jacked up again and just went to bed with no computer viewing before bed and was able to get 9 hours sleep. I’m still a bit sleepy but I feel quite calm. I can drink coffee and I go through waves of being more awake and then falling asleep at my desk (almost).

    Something else that has really helped me is that I’ve been able to audibly say out loud, “Jesus, help me, wake me up” while I’m driving home and falling asleep on the road. That works immediately I’m awake. But not long again and I’m sleepy behind the wheel. Its not easy stopping adderall, but it is definitely worth it.

  42. Francis says:

    Part of the reason I’m trying to go off is that my TMJ has gotten noticeably worse in my late 20s. (I’ve been on it for 13 years – not too high of a dosage, though.) Has anyone had that problem and experienced relief as a result of transition off Adderall?

  43. Jon Snow says:

    Hi everyone. My tale is similar to many of your own, but I thought I’d offer my two cents.

    I’ve been prescribed 60mg of Adderall IR for the past ten years, since I was 19. My primary motivation was academic, and I finished my bachelors, masters, and PhD during that time. My dance with the study buddies finally ended two weeks ago.

    During my time on the A-train, I gradually developed what I considered a trifecta of drug habits, consuming Adderall, nicotine, and cannabis daily. Adderall was always the driving force of my other two drug habits. I used nicotine (and caffeine) to amplify the amphetamine high and cannabis to ease the anxious comedown at the end of the day. Sitting at my computer for hours a day, my lower lip packed with dip, my thoughts flickering wildly like a crowded jar of fireflies, I needed to get high to break the monotony. I wasn’t really planning on quitting dip, but since quitting Adderall I haven’t had a single nicotine craving. After nine years of using tobacco, I quit without trying! My dip-habit was a consequence of Adderall, and I’m better off without it. I’ve only smoked cannabis a couple times over the past two weeks. This is a huge change of lifestyle for me.

    I often went out on weekends, drinking with fellow college students. Adderall kept me awake and full of alcohol. It often made me drink too much by making me thirsty, overconfident in my sense of sobriety, and socially anxious. I would often black out after countless bad decisions, perhaps excusable for a 21-year-old, but not so much a grad student or PhD.

    Every three or four hours of every day, I would take my pill and everything would be *almost* fun. But I knew it was too easy; there was always a catch. My attention span gradually decreased over time. I started out reading books, constantly. My preferred content went from long novels to short stories to poems and websites to status updates, tweets, and animated gifs. Nothing could hold my attention for very long. I needed constant distractions.

    I don’t know how many nights I wasted trying to sleep, failing, regretting my excessive Adderall consumption of the day. How many nights did I lie in bed for twelve hours, sleeping for only two or three? Way too many! How close to madness has this pill taken me? Far too close! China Pink has made my perfectionism worse, it’s destroyed my time management skills, and it blinded me to the future by focusing all of my attention on the present moment. My life had some structure before, but for the past several years, my life has revolved around a three or four hour cycle of getting my fix and holding it. Productivity could be measured in milligrams, but no quantity was every enough to satisfy my ambitions. I am an addict, but I will not let my addiction take any more of my life away.

    Yes, I am tired often. I’ve slept ridiculous amounts lately, but less so than when I first quit. I crave motivation and energy often. I was obsessed with suicidal thoughts earlier this summer, when I quit for ten days. Then, I got my prescription refilled twice, stretched it out for ten or eleven weeks, and now I am trying again. This time I have no doctor or health insurance to fall back on. I am quitting for me, but the lack of an endless supply really seems to help. This website helps, too. I haven’t been nearly as depressed this go-around, and I think this website is largely responsible.

    I’m sorry there’s no clear storyline or plot progression here. Life is complicated. Suffice it to say that I am optimistic about staying “clean” this time because I can already see so many benefits to doing so. I have experienced the “natural high” of #9 on this list, and it gives me much hope. I feel free and empowered. If we can make it through withdrawal from this drug, we can do anything.

    Mike, if I could offer one suggestion, it would be to compile a list of benefits to quitting Adderall. There are so many. Not relying on a pill is a wonderful ideal I hope to fully appreciate soon. Good luck everyone, and thanks. Stay strong!

  44. Bitter Sweet says:

    @ Jon Snow,

    What you wrote and many others has resounded in me.

    I have taken Adderall so that I could control my weight. My over eating came from depression, and my depression started back in middle school when I didn’t even know what depression was. Ohhow I wish I could have spoken to myself as I am now.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this website. I’m ADD, took adderall 10-20 mg daily for the past 6 years, and I’m now 40 days off. My use has really helped me with my attention issues and, maybe I’m deluding myself, but I never used it to catch a buzz. Problem is that I just don’t feel at all creative anymore – and I’m in a job that requires it. Also been drinking every night just to come down.

    So that’s why I’m trying to stop. But the fatigue and severe lack of motivation and attention has been brutal.

    Last night I told myself that needed to break down and take an adderall today because I’m just so sick of getting nothing done. So far, I haven’t caved but I don’t know how long I can last in this state.

  46. K bridges says:

    Day five- I am feeling like the shittiest piece of shit. I have slept since I got off work Friday at 4 PM- only waking to briefly eat and shower. How long until I feel halfway normal? I am dizzy, lethargic, and disgusted at myself. It gets better right? How am I going to make it through work tomorrow ?!

  47. tantan says:

    I was prescribed adderall when I was 16, and am now 27. I recently just quit adderall 7 weeks ago and am feeling good about it, though I am struggling with what to do next. This website has really helped me to believe I could actually do it, and i’ll admit it took a while for me to go through with it. When i discovered this website this past winter, i was almost ashamed at first because I felt like I might never be able to do it even though deep down i really wanted to. I then made a strong effort over the past year to step down my prescription every 2 months or so, and then the day finally came that I just stopped. Luckily I had about two weeks off of work, and then started a different seasonal job which definitely helped me make the transition out of taking adderall as a daily ritual. I have also been trying to make sure i take some flax seed oil in the morning (which is high in omegas and helps the brain function!) as well as hemp seeds and apple cider vinegar to help with my energy. They all work and I highly recommend these natural alternatives to anyone who is struggling to get going in the morning. I have also quit drinking coffee and replaced it with yerba mate (a highly caffeinated tea). For me the coffee addiction was almost just as bad as the adderall and i suffer from terrible heartburn due to the copious amounts of coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol I have consumed over the past 10 years to enhance and/or take the edge off from the pills. It is also AMAZING to me how i have cut back on smoking cigarettes (went from a pack a day to maybe 1 or 2 cigs) and am embarrassed at how much I used to smoke and can only imagine how gross people thought it was. I often wonder how my life would have been different if i had never taken it at all but then I remind myself that its too late for that, and all I can do is move forward and try to heal my body. Id say at this point I have reached a little over half of these milestones, and am struggling most with the exercise one… but it makes me feel good to check back on this site and realize that I actually can do it!!!! i am quitting adderall. thanks to all of your for your honesty and bravery. we can beat this!!!!!

  48. Michelle says:

    Thank you for this article. I am a mother of twins boy/girl, 5 yrs. of age and was at my breaking point when I was prescribed Adderall for my ADD. I had been told by several doctors some years earlier that I may have ADD but I laughed it off. It wasn’t until my children were born did I begin to drop the juggling balls in midair and realized I needed help to be the best mother I could possibly be bc they mean the world to me. I was in tears when the NP walked in and could tell I definitely needed help, she prescribed Adderall for me and I asked her if it was safe to take and she said it was not addicting (I seem to have an addictive personality so I worry about these things). I asked the pharmacist the same question and she told me the worst side effect was weight loss and I was of course ok with that! I got two days of “euphoria,” (i.e. pure focus, completely calm, I completed tasks without getting distracted, etc.). I was so jealous bc I believed I felt what most other people probably feel on a daily basis-make decisions, getting tasks completed and I didn’t “loose time!”
    After the first few months I told my NP that I felt like I was crashing during the day and it was fairly debilitating. Three/four years later I am taking 30mg twice a day prescribed by an NP (yes, 60mg per day!). I had no idea how high this dose truly was until I was experiencing some crazy symptoms and a new doctor said my dosage was equivalent to a narcoleptic’s dose. I was mortified bc I never wanted to go anywhere close to that type of a dose!
    I was happy when the doctor suggested tapering off of the meds until I actually started doing it. I am over 15 lbs. heavier (I run, do lunges, sit-ups, etc.), have a chaotic concentration at best and I sleep on and off until 12/1pm if I am able on weekdays (I am down to 10mg 2x’s per day)!
    I have always been prone to anxiety/depression but now it seems to have presented itself on a daily basis. I am heavier, sleep a lot, have little interests, etc. Thank heavens I am able to do day to day tasks (if I remember) and I still find happiness in God, family and animals.
    I need to figure out how to go about day to day tasks without feeling overwhelmed and super tired. I need positive advice how to begin to rebuild my confidence, my serotonin and be happy nearly drug free (I have to take an antidepressant or it catches up to me….eeek!). Any thoughts are appreciated (positive ones please, lol)

  49. Jessica says:

    I am totally printing this out. I have been resisting for the last 36 hours going into my doctor to fill my script for adderall. On one hand I *really* want to get stuff done. On the other, I *really!!!* don’t want to pop a pill to get stuff done anymore. This helped my resolve to stay away from the doctor’s office! (As this entire website has done for the past month!) Thanks!!

  50. Daisy says:

    I was on Adderall for 20 years. I worked overtime everyday, worked on my days off, came back early from vacations to work even
    more until finally I couldn’t work anymore. My body was so exhausted from the constant
    adrenaline rush I got from Adderall one morning I went to get out of bed and could not even walk one step. My arms had no strength
    I could not even pull.up the sheet on my bed. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune disease
    and spent the next year laying in bed. I lost everything I had, my pension etc, waiting for disability to get approved.
    Fast forward two years, I got some of my strength back, but still have no energy reserve. It takes everything I have
    to get my house cleaned on a daily basis. I am on permanent disability. I stumbled on this website and I am happy I did.
    I was considering getting back on Adderall after knowing it possibly resulted in my current situation. It has been nearly
    three years since my last dose and I still have no energy or motivation. I really believe the longer you stay on Adderall
    the worse the fallout when you get off it. I wish I had seen this website before my body shut down.

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