Whether you are taking Adderall to treat a condition like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or taking it recreationally as a study drug, Adderall tolerance is a definite problem that you will end up facing.
As one user reported at additudemag.com, as little as 20 milligrams of Adderall taken on a daily basis can lead to tolerance in a short period of time.
You know it once you’ve experienced it—maybe you’ve been taking Adderall for a couple of months and, one day, you ingest your usual dosage and notice that the effects of the drug have dulled.
Before you know it, you’re popping two pills to achieve the benefits of just one. Sooner than later, you’re up to three. And in no time at all, you’re arguing with a pharmacist over the fact that you want to fill a prescription that isn’t due for another five days.
Adderall tolerance and addiction are a real problem. Amphetamine-based drugs like Adderall produce an unnatural level of dopamine in the brain. This leads to a dependence upon larger and larger amounts of dopamine resulting in full-blown addiction.
Over time, users require larger doses to achieve the same effects. Soon, you might be draining your brain and your wallet in kind.
This is just straight up bad, there’s no other word for it.
Fortunately, there are steps that one can take to avoid developing a serious Adderall tolerance.
Preventing Adderall Tolerance
A key factor in developing an Adderall tolerance is dosage. If you are taking a large dosage of Adderall on a frequent or chronic basis, you are more predisposed to becoming tolerant.
High doses of Adderall release a giant quantity of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.
The good news is, taking a minimal effective dose of Adderall (20 mg for adults; 5-10 mg for adolescents) dramatically reduces the potential for short-term tolerance. Users who take this amount typically take far longer to develop a tolerance.
Avoid taking Adderall more than once a day. Users who take Adderall a number of times per day are more prone to developing a tolerance in the short term. Those administering a single dose will have Adderall’s ingredients in their system for a shorter period of time.
Consider taking Adderall intermittently as the longer you’ve been consistently taking Adderall, the greater potential there is for tolerance. Taking a break is always a good idea.
Consider your lifestyle before taking Adderall. There are many variables which contribute to a faster tolerance. These include physiology, diet, sleep and stress levels. Those who are on a poor diet are at a disadvantage when it comes to Adderall tolerance. Likewise, those who suffer from restless sleep use up dopamine faster than the average bear when taking Adderall.
The most important factor of all is repetition. Taking Adderall frequently is the number one issue here. Constant Adderall use triggers neurophysiologic alterations in the Central Nervous System.
Supplements to Help Avoid Adderall Tolerance
It has been suggested that several natural supplements may assist in building up Adderall tolerance. Among them are vitamins C and D3. Vitamin C has been shown to attenuate Adderall neurotoxicity.
In addition to this, vitamin C is helpful in regenerating dopamine synthesis.
Some have suggested that Magnesium can keep one from building up an Adderall tolerance.
If you would like to increase the effects of the Adderall and reduce the comedown here is what you can do (source):
10-30 minutes before
- Magnesium Glycinate: 1 x 200mg (use this brand – many other brands have low absorption rates)
- R-ALA: 1 x 100mg (to reduce neurotoxicity)
- ALCAR: 1 x 500mg (to reduce neurotoxicity)
- L-Theanine: 1 x 200mg (to help with tolerance buildup but also to reduce anxiety, paranoia, or irritability)
- CoQ10: 1 x 100mg (antioxidant, various beneficial effects on mitochondrial function )
- 1-2 x Tums, or half teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of water (to reduce stomach acidity which will make Adderall more effective)
- Sugary snacks (to maintain blood glucose levels so that you feel less tired and happier)
- Water (stay hydrated, avoid acidic drinks
These will help you feel better next day (same supplements and dosage as in the morning):
- Magnesium Glycinate: 1 x 200mg
- R-ALA: 1 x 100mg
- ALCAR: 1 x 500mg
These will help to reduce the effects of Adderall and make it easier to sleep:
- Vitamin C: 1 x 1000mg (to blunt the Adderall absorption and come down. this one is expensive but other formulations of vitamin C do not absorb well so take this one because it will work)
- Melatonin: 1 x 5mg (take 20 minutes before bed to fall asleep faster and to get better and longer sleep)
It is imperative that you do your own research on any substances before taking them. While vitamins will never do you wrong, particularly if you take them properly (according to recommended dosages), there are other compounds on this list which can produce a number of unwanted side effects.
For example, Piracetam and Inositol are sometimes recommended to help with Adderall tolerance.
Piracetam is a drug from the racetam family, a school of natural stimulants which can cause a number of undesirable symptoms. They include any or all of the following:
- Weight Gain
- Clinical Depression
Inositol has several mental health benefits, but it also has its share of negative or adverse side effects. They include:
- Respiratory Distress
If any of the above crop up when dosing with Adderall you should discontinue use at once and seek immediate medical attention.
What People Are Saying
The online community is a strong and vocal one. Thanks to web forums, we now know that many Adderall users have experienced tolerance and have experimented with ways to prevent or curtail said tolerance.
One user on drugs-forum.com bragged about how he’d eliminated his tolerance in just 2 days. This user said that he started taking Adderall in September 2015.
“In December 2015,” he writes, “things started really falling apart. My concentration on Adderall returned to what it was before I went on it, my motivation has dropped significantly, and I was relapsing on porn nearly every day due to cravings that were very hard to resist.
“I’ve decided to change it. Change it all. To return to live a normal life with a medication that actually works well. On 31 December, 2015, I didn’t take Adderall and on 1 January, 2016, I took 5 mg of Adderall IR; half of my usual dose.
“I have felt only mild effects in the first few hours, but was hit with a surge of motivation in the afternoon. Next morning…I took my regular dose; Adderall IR 10 mg. When it kicked in, I felt very concentrated and motivated.
“I started studying for the math exam I’ve been putting off studying for, and studied 1.5 hours—just what I needed, and it felt like a breeze!
“This works because of the compensatory response mechanism. When you take a drug for a long time, the body starts to develop a response which is the exact opposite to the effects of the drug itself.”
This speaks to the importance of taking Adderall intermittently. But this is just one of several methods people have been practicing to prevent or stave off the symptoms of Adderall tolerance.
A user on addforums.com has offered two options for avoiding Adderall tolerance. In his post, he writes, “I’ve been taking Adderall (Vyvanse) for a little over a year and have noticed little, if any, tolerance.
I have found two methods to be effective…Chelated magnesium: Yes guys, it works. Take magnesium (chelated!!!) at bedtime. That’s it. I’m not going to explain why this works. Google it.”
“DXM: This can be found in Robitussin or Delsym. This may not be the healthiest method, though whether or not it is genuinely unhealthy is debatable.
“I personally take half a cap of Delsym in the evenings. Why not just take the magnesium? Well, I typically do. However, I have noticed that DXM not only prevents tolerance for me, but reduces it as well.
“I have to be very careful because a few days of steady dosing will take my tolerance right down to zero, and the meds can become too strong. So I take a children’s dose every now and again, just for good measure.”
He goes on to urge users to avoid over-analyzing the effects of their medicine, saying that it is this over-analysis of effects that yields a psychological dependence on Adderall if not a physical one.
One user on Reddit has posited that taking weeks or months off between dosages can bring one back to baseline. As with all drugs, the initial “high” achieved from taking Adderall will not occur again.
Many users can develop an immediate addiction because of the euphoria associated with Adderall and they end up taking more and more to “chase the dragon,” ultimately to no avail.
As another Redditor pointed out, “With amphetamines you can never get the initial headrush back, but you can get a lot of the euphoria back by taking a tolerance break.”
The best thing one can do to alleviate Adderall tolerance is to take a break and consider switching medications.
There are many alternatives to Adderall – see this article for some suggestions.
It is vital to know your drugs. Do your own independent research and carefully vet the substances you dose with.
Anyone of the meds listed above may be effective in treating your ADHD or helping you to concentrate while studying, but many of them come with their own potential for tolerance or addiction.
The simplest solution to tolerance is to stick to recommended dosages and space out your doses. Responsible users run far less of a risk of developing tolerance in the long run.
If you believe you have an Adderall addiction problem, there are unlimited resources out there that can help you kick the habit.
There are hotline operators on standby that can talk you through the steps necessary to relieve your Adderall addiction.
Other services from detox and rehabilitation to counseling are available as well. If you think you need to seek help for Adderall tolerance or abuse, help is only a mouseclick away.