First, let us say that this is not medical advice, and you should 100% seek help from a medical professional before going cold-turkey from any drugs, prescription or illicit!
Now that we have that out of the way… Stimulants are powerful drugs. They may hold powerful benefits when used clinically with professional oversight, but many people fall into abusing them. Unfortunately, there are many addictive prescription medications, many of which are stimulants.
We’ve come off stimulants ourselves, and have compiled a few things you can do. From meditation for dealing with the monkey mind (see One Mind Dharma’s page 7 Ways to Work with Monkey Mind) to working with the depression that may arise, here are a few things you can do when coming off stimulants to help you get through the process.
Perhaps our most important tip is to seek help. We think that because many stimulants are prescribed, we’re relatively safe. However, things like Vyvanse withdrawal can be incredibly uncomfortable. Often, the difficult symptoms we face during withdrawal drive us to pick up drugs again.
You can find help in residential treatment centers, outpatient treatment, or with a therapist. At the very least, talk to a professional! With the right help, the detox process can be much easier than if we try to do it by ourselves!
We may use prescription stimulants for fun or other purposes. Many people use Adderall recreationally or to help them study. Whatever the case may be, coming off stimulants can leave us feeling anxious or irritated. Research has found that mindfulness meditation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, and it’s really a useful tool to have in your toolbox.
Here is a guided meditation you can try. You can search around the Internet for more meditations from various teachers as well!
There’s a lot of research to suggest what we eat affects our brains. This means our nutrition can have dramatic effect on both mental health and cognitive function. Whether we’re dealing with depression, anxiety, trouble getting motivated, or boredom, our nutrition can have a powerful impact.
We can try to eat more greens, eat at the right times, or drink more water. By watching our nutrition and listening to our bodies, we can learn what makes us feel healthy and whole, and what leads to worse mental health.
Research has found that exercise, like nutrition, can have dramatic effects on mental health. Regular exercise, especially cardio, can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and increase overall psychological wellbeing. Often, we don’t feel like exercising when we are exhausted from withdrawal, but it can be one of the best and simplest things we can do to take care of ourselves.
You can try going for a walk, jogging, hiking, or even something relatively peaceful like walking meditation. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic exercise plan to help; even short periods of cardio can impact our energy, wellbeing, and anxiety. Push yourself a tiny bit. Set an intention. Maybe start with a fifteen minute walk every morning!
It’s deeply important that you find some sort of support in your recovery. This can be a support group like twelve step, a therapist, a spiritual leader, or a close friend or family member. Remember there are many alternatives to AA, such as SMART Recovery, therapy groups, and Refuge Recovery. A support network will give you a sounding board, offer a safety net, and help keep you accountable.