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My experiences with weaning.

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I tried quitting Adderall outright, and it didn't work for me--my numbness/depression got so bad that I was about to commit suicide. I would like to elaborate on the weaning methods already suggested on this site to help others in the same boat.

I have been on Adderall for 10+ years and my highest dose was 30mg/day of Adderall XR. Since 2007, I have been slowly, I repeat, slowly, weening myself off Adderall. My first step was to drop from 30 to 20mg XR/day. This was the easiest and biggest step for me; although, I still noticed the change in dose, but it wasn't overwhelming by any means. I would posit that you could easily drop from 60 to 50mg/day, for example, with similar results to my own. If I were on a dose as high as 60mg/day, I would probably drop my dose by 10mg, every month, until I got down to 30mg/day. I have found that the smaller the dose you're taking, the smaller the steps down must be.

For the rest of this post, I will continue to presume that you're on Adderall XR, but if you're on IR, just extrapolate the obvious from what I am saying. Once at 20mg XR/day, I discussed my concerns with my psychiatrist, and we decided I should take 15mg XR and 5mg IR every day; however, I was to gradually cut the IR pill smaller and smaller until I was only taking 15mg XR/day. For the first month, I took the full 5mg IR, the next month I took 3/4, the next month I took half, and so on...until eventually I was not taking the IR anymore, and was only dependent on 15mg XR/day. The switch from a fraction of a 5mg IR to no IR was easy, but more noticeable than the minute decreases that preceded it.

In 2008, I began university, and I decided it would be best for me to only work to abate my Adderall dependency over summer breaks. Since then, I have dropped my dose to 10mg XR/day, using the method described above for my move from 15 to 10mg XR/day. Once I get down to 5mg XR/day, I'm not sure how I will abolish my dependency entirely, but, even if I can't, I will be better off than I was when on 30mg XR/day.

Now I will discuss the changes that I have noticed from decreasing my Adderall dosage. I used to be a proficient debater, but that skill has since been lost. I am a much slower (and deeper) thinker than I can remember; however, I am reading more often and the material is much more sophisticated than ever before (Marx, Hegel, Sartre, etc). If I have to debate or give a presentation where I will need to defend a position, a small dose of coffee does the trick. My high school grade point average (GPA) was about 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, which was while I was on 30mg/day of Adderall. Since I began university, my GPA has increased every semester: I got a 3.4 my first semester, and finished my Fall 2010 semester with a 3.9! I have also experienced myriad personal growth, partially attributable to university and my adult life, but I'm sure that at least some of this positive change is connected to the decrease in Adderall. In other words, the changes have been good and bad, but mostly good, and the bad are negligible.

It has taken me just over 3 years to get from 30mg XR/day to 10mg XR/day, and it was totally worth the patience. I find this method to be superior to quitting cold turkey, simply because you can curtail the various miseries of immediate cessation, keep your life in order, and slowly discover and handle the changes your self undergoes.

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