The transition from properly medicated to unmedicated again can be uncomfortable and get in the way of your daily productivity. Nobody wants to feel like a zombie for half of the day, so it’s essential that you do everything you can to minimize the comedown from Adderall.
Keep reading to learn why you’re experiencing Adderall crashes and how effective ADHD treatment can help.
What Is An Adderall Crash?
An Adderall crash is the sensation stimulant users experience when the most recent dose of the medication stops working. It’s similar to short-term withdrawals that may be experienced when stopping Adderall altogether after prolonged use.
Adderall crashes can be described as the opposite feeling that Adderall produces when taken. Some refer to it as a zombie-like state where brain fog and fatigue overwhelm you, making it difficult to function. Symptoms rival - and sometimes exceed - those experienced by people living with ADHD, leading to inattentiveness, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and other negative feelings.
What Causes Adderall Crashes?
Adderall is a fast-acting stimulant that can produce significant benefits when it’s used responsibly and prescribed effectively. Unfortunately, Adderall crashes can happen to anyone - even when used correctly - due to the way stimulants work.
Adderall crashes occur due to the effects of the drug wearing off. Adderall stimulates the production of dopamine and norepinephrine - two neurotransmitters associated with focus, energy, and positive feelings - so that your brain has what it needs to operate at maximum efficiency. When the drug wears off, usually within 4-6 hours for Adderall IR and 8-12 hours for Adderall XR, you no longer have the norepinephrine and dopamine you need. The resulting chemical imbalance leads to ADHD-like symptoms, depressed mood, and fatigue as your brain adjusts back to your normal neurotransmitter production levels.
Unsurprisingly, Adderall crashes are more intense and more common when the drug is abused or taken in higher doses. As the Adderall is metabolized and the chemical levels in your blood normalize, you experience a more drastic drop-off in the production and availability of dopamine and norepinephrine. This change creates a larger disparity between your brain’s expectations and your body’s production, causing more intense feelings.
Faster metabolisms can also lead to more frequent and intense crashes. When you metabolize Adderall quickly, the drop-off is less gradual because your brain has less time to adjust for production. In this case, it’s important to work to minimize the Adderall crash with healthy habits and proper medication management.
How To Avoid An Adderall Crash
Anyone who takes Adderall is susceptible to an adderall crash, but there are ways to minimize or avoid crashes when taking Adderall.
A crash happens when your medication stops working, so ensuring that you maintain consistent levels in your system throughout your day is critical. You can talk to your doctor about changing to an extended-release version of Adderall that lasts longer or adding a second dose to your immediate-release Adderall so that you can delay the crash until the end of your day.
Your prescription dosage also plays a significant role in your crash. Avoid abusing Adderall or taking higher doses than necessary to minimize the risk and severity of crashes. If you want to stop taking Adderall, be sure to work with your doctor to create a plan for tapering to help avoid crashes and withdrawals.
General health can also dictate how strong your Adderall crash symptoms are. By staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and exercising, you can naturally increase your dopamine levels to help minimize the sharpness of your crash and allow you to cope better with the symptoms.
Minimize Adderall Crashes With Medication Management From Done
Adderall crashes can be intimidating, but they shouldn’t interfere with you receiving effective treatment for your ADHD.
With the right treatment plan, you can maximize the positives and minimize the negatives of Adderall use. Proper dosing and prescribing help you to avoid intense Adderall crashes by working to maintain consistent drug levels in your body.
At Done, our team of licensed ADHD specialists will work with you to build a plan that addresses your needs. They’ll help you find the right medication, dose, and frequency to improve your symptoms and avoid Adderall crashes.
Get started with a free 1-minute assessment today.