Prescription Stimulant and Adderall Rehab

Prescription stimulants are used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Parkinson’s disease, narcolepsy, and a few other health issues. However, some individuals abuse these prescription medications, which can lead to developing substance use disorder that requires addiction treatment.

Most Common Prescription Stimulants

The most commonly prescribed types of stimulant drugs are:

  • Adderall® (Dextroamphetamine + amphetamine)
  • Ritalin® (Methylphenidate)
  • Dexedrine® (Dextroamphetamine)
  • Concerta® (Methylphenidate)
  • Vyvanse® (Lisdexamfetamine)

Signs of Stimulant Abuse

Prescription stimulants enhance the way your body’s central nervous system processes dopamine and norepinephrine. The result can improve the quality of life for a variety of patients—such as increasing focus for individuals with ADHD, or helping people with narcolepsy stay awake.

However, the use of prescription stimulants like Adderall can cause these short-term side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness, agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Increased or rapid heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature

Additionally, long-term side effects of stimulants like Adderall can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

Additionally, prescription stimulants such as Adderall are potentially habit-forming as well. Therefore, prescription stimulant use should only occur under medical supervision.

Signs of Prescription Stimulant Withdrawal

A person that has become dependent on Adderall or other prescription stimulant drugs may experience withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing their drug use. While withdrawal side effects are not usually life-threatening, they still pose a risk to the individual’s overall sobriety. Many people return to abusing prescription stimulants to avoid the negative feelings during withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms are likely to include:

  • Intense dreams (usually nightmares)
  • Extreme sleep patterns—insomnia or oversleeping
  • Increased appetite
  • Cravings for Adderall/prescription stimulants
  • Body aches
  • Exhaustion
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

It should be noted that people with a history of depression are especially at-risk during withdrawal from Adderall or similar prescription stimulants. People with depression are far more likely to experience extreme depression during the withdrawal process. Opting for medical detox is the easiest way to ensure your safety and comfort as your body detoxifies itself.

Signs of Stimulant Overdose

If you suspect an overdose of Adderall or another prescription stimulant, call 911 immediately and report the overdose. If possible, monitor the victim and try to help them remain calm.

Symptoms of stimulant overdose may appear as:

  • Hyperthermia, or high body temperature
  • Extreme blood pressure levels (too high or too low)
  • Irregular heartbeat, which can cause a heart attack
  • Stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Seizures or hallucinations

How to Treat Prescription Stimulant Addiction

Adderall and other prescription stimulants are listed as Schedule II drugs because they carry a high risk of leading to drug abuse and developing a drug addiction. These prescription drugs should only ever be used as directed and under medical supervision.

However, if you find yourself or a loved one addicted to prescription stimulants there are multiple treatment options available to help you get your life back together again.

Prescription Stimulant Medical Detox

Many treatment programs will first start with medical detox, where you will be monitored throughout your body’s natural detoxification process. As your body eliminates any Adderall or prescription stimulants from your system, medical detox professionals will ensure your vital functions remain stable.

Depending on the level and severity of addiction, medical detox can occur at either an inpatient or an outpatient level. That means you may be able to receive detox treatment and guidance without having to stay overnight at a treatment facility.

After detox is complete, patients will move on to the rest of their stimulant addiction treatment services.

Inpatient Rehab For Stimulants

Inpatient rehab is what most people think of when they hear the words “drug rehab,” but inpatient care is just one type of rehab program available.

Inpatient care is generally a residential setting, where patients will live at a treatment center for 30 to 90 days (depending on the individual treatment plan.) During inpatient rehab for prescription stimulant addiction, patients will receive various types of therapy alongside medical care as needed.

Outpatient Treatment For Stimulants

Outpatient rehab is available for individuals with a mild to moderate addiction to Adderall or other prescription stimulants. Outpatient care will still provide the same quality of treatment as inpatient care, but without requiring an extended stay at the rehab center.

Outpatient programs themselves come in a few different levels of care, including:

  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Intensive Outpatient

Partial Hospitalization Programs will be structured similarly to the daily schedule of inpatient care, but without requiring an overnight stay. Partial hospitalization is sometimes considered a bridge between inpatient and outpatient treatment types.

Alternatively, Intensive Outpatient Programs provide different therapies at a rehab center for a much shorter daily commitment. Intensive outpatient can work well for someone with a more minor substance abuse problem, or for someone that has completed an inpatient rehab stay for their prescription stimulant abuse.

What Happens During Stimulant Treatment?

Your treatment will be based on your individual needs, so the overall rehab experience may vary from one person to the next. However, there are certain aspects of prescription stimulant addiction treatment that are relatively universal.

Therapeutic Programs

Mental health is a major focus of any rehab treatment program, as a person’s mental wellness is often directly tied to their previous drug abuse. Positive mental behaviors can help an individual remain sober during rehab, as well as provide better coping mechanisms to help them avoid future relapse down the road.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy approach to addiction treatment that can be useful for treating prescription stimulant addiction. Patients who receive CBT will meet with a licensed mental health professional to discover negative thought patterns.

With the therapist’s guidance, patients will work to shift negative behaviors and habits into more positive, helpful behaviors and ways of thinking.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is another form of psychotherapy designed to help recovering addicts, but DBT can be especially helpful for patients that are considered high-risk. DBT helps patients work on mindfulness and acceptance of their present circumstances.

Through DBT, patients learn how to positively work through difficult emotions and tolerate distress in the future.

Contingency Management

Contingency management can be very helpful in treating addiction to stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin. Contingency management provides patients with incentives to work towards, such as vouchers or prizes.

In voucher-based programs, patients will earn vouchers for each negative drug test. These vouchers can be saved up and exchanged for prizes like movie passes or food items. Prize-based programs allow patients to draw from a bowl of prizes (often cash amounts) for positive behavior such as attending therapy sessions, clean drug tests, and so on.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a very common type of treatment for treating substance use disorder. Group therapy provides peer support and accountability in a safe, positive environment. Group therapy helps recovering addicts work through their addiction recovery while also being able to provide support and wisdom to peers in similar circumstances.

12-Step Programs for Adderall Recovery

Twelve-step programs are also common in rehab programs, including programs for treating prescription stimulant addiction. Groups like Narcotics Anonymous provide attendees with twelve steps to work through one at a time to help them improve their lives while maintaining sobriety.

There are many 12-step programs available locally throughout the US, so patients can find a 12-step group to join after they complete their rehab treatment.

Helping A Loved One with Stimulant Addiction

If you have a family member or loved one that is struggling with addiction to Adderall or other prescription stimulants, the key thing to remember is that they cannot be forced to get sober.

However, encouragement and support can go a long way—and will have a much stronger impact than anger or judgment. You might consider providing your loved one with addiction information, or staging an intervention if things have become very serious.

After Stimulant Adderall Rehab

Once a person completes their rehab treatment, they may want some additional support as they transition back to their regular lives. There are post-rehab programs available to help people remain committed to and enjoy their sobriety.

Sober Living

Sober living, or sober houses, provide a drug and alcohol-free place for recovering addicts to live. These small sober living communities may be overseen by a counselor, or they might not be monitored. Each sober living facility will have its own set of rules but are overall intended to provide structure and encourage individual responsibility.

Aftercare Programs

There are also several different kinds of aftercare programs available once a person finishes rehab. These aftercare programs can vary, but generally speaking, are intended to help the individual continue to work on themselves internally so they can remain free from stimulant drug addiction for years to come.

Some common aftercare programs include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Support groups
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Health and fitness programs
  • 12-step programs

Find a Treatment Program Near You

Are you ready to find an Adderall or prescription stimulant recovery program center near you? SAMHSA provides a free program locator that can be used to see what options are available in our area.

Reviewed by:Chris Carberg

Addiction Guide Founder & Mental Health Advocate

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Chris Carberg is a visionary digital entrepreneur, the Founder of Addiction Guide, and a long-time recovering addict from prescription opioids, sedatives, and alcohol.  Over the past 15 years, Chris has worked as a tireless advocate for addicts and their loved ones, while becoming a sought-after digital entrepreneur. Chris is a storyteller and aims to share his story with others in the hopes of helping them achieve their own recovery.

Written by:

Content Manager

Jessica Miller is a USF graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She has written professionally for over a decade, from HR scripts and employee training to business marketing and company branding. In addition to writing, Jessica spent time in the healthcare sector (HR) and as a high school teacher. She has personally experienced the pitfalls of addiction and is delighted to bring her knowledge and writing skills together to support our mission. Jessica lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband and two dogs.

5 references
  1. Abuse, N. I. on D. (2021, December 9). Prescription stimulant medications (amphetamines). NIDA for Teens. Retrieved March 6, 2022, from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-stimulant-medications-amphetamines
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine: MedlinePlus Drug Information. MedlinePlus. Retrieved March 6, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601234.html
  3. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4126. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004.
  4. Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved on March 6, 2022, from  https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/nchav/resources/docs/interventions/contingency-management/NIDA-principles-of-drug-addiction-treatment-a-research-based-guide-third-edition-508.pdf
  5. ​​Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4131. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2006. Retrieved on March 6, 2022, from https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma15-4131.pdf

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