Coping with Adderall Withdrawal in a High-Stress Business Environment

When you are faced with a barrage of high-stress situations in your demanding career, Adderall can seem to provide you with the extra boost that you need, but once addiction takes hold and you decide to detox, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms appear. Luckily, residential treatment can offer you numerous tools to regain focus and control over your mind and continue to remain productive in the workplace.

Working nonstop is almost a universal expectation of any career, but the demands of a fast-paced business environment can require a whole other level of effort for the high-achieving careerist. Between meetings, closing deals, and hitting the right numbers, the non-stop nature of the business world can be hard to cope with. After a while, you might start to notice your thinking becoming clouded by the sheer amount of things that need to be done, compounding any anxiety that you are feeling and making it seem like you’ll never completely get on top of things.

In order to remain productive and keep up with the day-to-day struggles of this environment, many turn to Adderall, a central nervous system stimulant made up of a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Over time, you might find yourself dependent on its stimulating effects, and get to the point where you need it to function on a daily basis, ultimately becoming trapped in addiction and fearful that your work life will suffer if you ever stop taking it.

“Without the drug I felt stupid, unable to focus or follow a thought through to completion,’ said Kate Miller, a former Adderall addict. “I was shy, and unwilling to initiate conversation. The witty, articulate woman I once was seemed to no longer exist. I felt dumb, out of it. I spoke slowly because it took immense effort to gather and express coherent thoughts.”

Whether you began taking Adderall through a prescription or of your own accord to keep up with your busy lifestyle, the threat of withdrawal is something that scares many people into continuing to use. The withdrawal effects of Adderall are very much the opposite of the drug’s effects—depression, difficulty focusing, and fatigue, to name a few. When your career hinges on a high level of functioning that eventually becomes dependent on your Adderall use, the decline in productivity that you know is going to come with withdrawal makes it seem like continuing to use is the best option. Attempting to wean yourself off of the drug without the proper support can be difficult, and make it seem like living a life without the drug is an impossible feat.

Detoxing from Adderall Addiction

Although enduring Adderall withdrawal can be done while continuing to work, there’s no escaping the fact that it will make your daily routine harder than you’re used to. The best option is to set aside time to allow your body and mind to gradually get used to functioning without the drug, ultimately regaining a sense of stability and establishing healthy habits that you can take back into the workplace to stay on top of your responsibilities. In addition, some residential treatment programs offer you the ability to stay in contact with your employer so that you’re still in the loop when it comes to important events, giving you the distance and separation from the high-stress business environment that is so beneficial for the healing process while still allowing you to take on a minimal amount of responsibility.

Acute symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal, including physical effects such as hypersomnia and mental effects such as depression, can last from as short as five days to as long as three weeks depending on the dose and duration of your usage. However, protracted withdrawal is always a possibility, with some individuals reporting mood disturbances for up to a year following cessation of use. Taking advantage of recovery treatment plans can provide you with the strategies that you need to deal with the withdrawal process and continue to remain clean in the future. Each strategy offers a unique method of dealing with the process of recovery that comes afterward, including managing triggers that threaten to push you back into using.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Through the examination of the feelings and behaviors that can push you toward drug use, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you learn to take control of these triggers and prevent yourself from succumbing to your cravings. Withdrawal symptoms from Adderall can put you into a state of depression and cloud your mind, making it difficult to focus on your work. By becoming aware of the effects that withdrawal is having on your mental and physical health, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that you are working to combat these effects. Anywhere from two to four sessions of CBT have been shown to be effective at increasing abstinence among amphetamine users following treatment, and residential treatment programs can accelerate that healing, some offering multiple CBT sessions each week of a 30-day stay.


Although proper exercise is a cornerstone of many substance abuse treatment programs, one animal study found that short bursts of exercise are specifically beneficial for reducing the risk of relapse to methamphetamine. The study found that this effect is likely due to the ability of exercise to reduce dopamine neurons located in the periaqueductal grey (PAG), a region of the brain connected to pain sensing. These neurons are also connected to neurons in the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with negative reinforcement. By decreasing the strength of this neural pathway, exercise might be reducing behaviors connected to relapse. Incorporating exercise in the form of yoga, workouts, hikes and other experiential therapy into your treatment can help you create and maintain an Adderall-free routine, allowing you to get your boosts in more natural and healthy ways.


One of the worst aspects of Adderall withdrawal is the foggy, unclear state of mind that it creates. When in the world of corporate business, focus and attention are required, and working without the Adderall boost that you’re used to can make you feel extremely unproductive and off your game. Through its ability to increase mental focus and decrease stress, meditation is a helpful holistic therapy to help combat the effects of Adderall withdrawal and regain a positive state of mind that is conducive to productivity in the workplace.

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Regaining Focus and Control

After detoxing from Adderall, you need to realize that it is possible to continue operating at a high level of functioning by utilizing the coping strategies introduced during residential treatment. Using these strategies, you can learn to deal with the high-stress business environment without falling back into addiction, and maintain the level of productivity that you require to succeed.

A comprehensive treatment program for Adderall addiction that begins with medically supervised detox can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and get started on the recovery process needed to get your body and mind back into a healthy, productive state that doesn’t require Adderall. Whether you decide to use the tools of a treatment program while continuing to work or by taking time off, they can help you regain control over your withdrawal symptoms and work at a level of focus that you previously thought was only possible with the use of substances.

Alta Mira offers comprehensive residential treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Bay Area programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.