Desire to quit Adderall

4 posts in this topic

Hi All,

I have had a desire to end my dependence on Adderall for a long time. I would like to share with everyone my experience with Adderall and how it fits into my life today. I have a strong desire to end my dependence of Adderall and I am seeking advice on how to do this.  Also, I want to be clear that I am not an abuser of Adderall. I take 25MG per day and only take it on days that I work (20MG after breakfast and 5MG after lunch). I don’t have any desire to take it when I’m not working but I do find myself to be very lazy on the weekends without the motivation to do anything productive.

The Beginning

I was first prescribed to Adderall at the age of 13 in the 7th grade. At the time, I struggled to pay attention in school and my grades were at a level where I was not going to graduate to the 8th grade. My mother researched ADD and discovered Adderall as a possible solution to the problem. She ended up taking me to a doctor who then prescribed me to a low dosage of Adderall. After a week of taking the medication I went from being a carefree, happy young boy to a sleep deprived, malnourished, anti-social recluse that avoided social situations at every opportunity. In other words, the exact opposite of who I really was.

I hated the medication as it made me extremely irritable and often left me feeling like shit. I expressed my concerns with my mother and she ended up forcing me to take it. She would watch me swallow the pill every morning before school. A few months passed and she finally stopped watching me so I would throw the pill in the front yard every morning as I boarded the school bus. It felt like I had just been released from prison when I stopped taking the medication. Over the next few years I would take the medication occasionally if I really needed to focus but for the most part, I cheated my way through high school.  

Adderall Dependency

After graduation, I attended a local community college. After struggling for the first few weeks I decided to talk with a shrink to discuss ways to boost my concentration without depending on a drug. During high school, I experimented with a lot of drugs and my motivation was to rid myself of all drug use. After a few sessions, the shrink recommended that I learn to deal with the negative side effects and learn to manage/incorporate the drug into my life. This is what I did.

I started taking 10MG of Adderall every day that I had class, was studying, or when I was working on homework. Academically, this turned out to be successful as I ended up getting accepted into the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. I graduated from college with special honors and a GPA of 3.99. I ended up getting into Corporate Finance and I am now a Project Controller for one of the big 4 consulting firms where I manage a team of 10 consultants. I am on track for an early promotion.

Increased Dose

One habit I picked up about 3 years ago is smoking an e-cig. I pretty much constantly smoke this at work as it helps me concentrate. I met with a therapist about 6 months ago to aid me in breaking my addiction to nicotine. One of the things he recommended was upping my dose of Adderall to help mitigate the loss of concentration I get from not smoking the e-cig. This is what I did and I doubled my morning dose of Adderall from 10MG to 20MG.

Motivation to quit Adderall

I think I manage some side effects of Adderall quite well. I don’t have issues sleeping and my appetite is fine. The main reason is due to my relationship with my wife. I am very irritable, short tempered, I say terrible things when I am mad, always feel like I am busy and so I don’t spend as much quality time with my wife as I should, and my libido has significantly reduced. Stopping Adderall won’t solve all my problems but I feel like it will better my relationship with my wife and make me feel more in control of my life. Also, I don’t want to be this way when we have kids and I feel that taking it 5 days a week will give me health problems and ultimately shorten my life.


I am now 30 years old and I have been dependent of Adderall for more than half my life. I fear that if I stop Adderall the quality of my work will suffer and it will ultimately lead to poor performance.

I have decided I want to stop using Adderall and I think that slowly lowering my dosage over time will help break my dependency. I currently work long hours (50-60 hrs/wk) so I hope that I can still maintain my job. I would prefer not to find another job as it pays decently and offers a lot of growth opportunity. I would at least like to get a promotion before I take any steps to change careers.

I have read through a good portion of the discussions on this site but it seems most people struggle with abusing the drug. It would be much appreciated if you could please share your experiences of how you have quit and how it affected your job/career.

Thank you!

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Hi Ryan, It's great that you are planning steps to quit!

I would not want to get a promotion or another job before quitting. You want to be able to stay under the radar as much as possibly during this adjustment. A chalanging job might help you muscle thru however you could also have a big struggle keeping up especially with long hours and anything needing strong cognitive skills. 

I have my own business and like you was not an abuser. 10mg a day very rarely 15mg... However I was very consistant in taking it and my body began to rely on it. Now 5 months off and I am still fighting low days/depression and low motivation in general. Luckily I have good staff working for me however I am sure they wonder what's up on some days.

I think the fact you skip on weekends will help you a lot. However I would begin to slowly taper down your weekday dose and/or take later in the morning and try skipping the afternoon. I quit cold turkey however if I did it again I would have tapered and also slowly increased the amount of hours/days between each dose.

There is a ton of information on this site of helpful tips... For myself exercise, Tyrosine, vitamin supplements, healthy diet & Wellbutrin are all a huge help. 

Good Luck!!

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You can do it! Yes quitting adderall may impact the quality of your work but not necessarily in a bad way! I've gotten much more creative and sociable since quitting! I didn't taper, just went cold turkey and it's been great! Don't get discouraged if it's hard in the beginning--that's normal, you've gotten used to living on speed and your mind needs to adjust to different expectations (your body adjusts pretty quickly, I had no withdrawal.) My relationships all improved, my writing and public speaking improved, and I know this is the real me now :-)

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