Concerta Withdrawal and Detox

Abusing Concerta over a long period will result in withdrawal when you attempt to quit or drastically reduce your regular dosage. Concerta withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant, due to the powerful addictive nature of the drug. The severity of withdrawal symptoms worsens as abstinence progresses, making it crucial to withdraw under the supervision of medical professionals.

Concerta is categorised as a Class B drug in the UK and Schedule II controlled substance in the US, because it has powerful habit-forming properties, alongside its medicinal benefits for treating ADHD and Narcolepsy. It is the extended release formulation of the generic drug methylphenidate, while its sister medication, Ritalin, is the brand name for the immediate release form. The drug works to induce wakefulness, alertness, performance and vigilance and is commonly abused amongst students as a performance and psychological enhancer.

By contradicting your prescribed dose, you might have misused Concerta in order to attain longer hours of study or for recreational purposes. Due to the withdrawal symptoms experienced whenever you choose to avoid the drug, you could find yourself consuming it again. However, you can successfully quit Concerta for good with the right help.

Medically assisted detox programmes are available to manage withdrawal symptoms and rid your body of Concerta. Prolonging abuse of Concerta for fear of withdrawal will only put you in harm’s way, as the drug can cause permanent psychological damage further down the line.

If you or a loved one are struggling to quit Concerta, help is available. This article will outline the best treatment options and benefits of withdrawing and detoxing properly. You’ll also learn the disadvantages of being hooked on the drug, as well as how to kick your addiction.

Concerta Withdrawal and Detox

Before ending the cycle of Concerta addiction, you’ll go through withdrawal and detox. These phases can be quite daunting and could discourage you along the way. However, if you have medical professionals monitoring your progress, you can negotiate this process safely.

Withdrawal serves as a tell-tale sign that your body has become dependent on Concerta for certain functions. The symptoms that accompany withdrawal are your body’s distress signals, indicating the need for the substance it requires to carry out those functions.

Concerta travels to the brain to inhibit transporters of neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. This leads to a backlog of these chemicals in certain realms of the brain, which results in stimulation, alertness, vigour, and wakefulness, which are the main reasons the drug is often abused. When large amounts of Concerta are present in the brain – over a long period of time – your body will in turn become used to the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine. Since your brain can’t produce the neurochemicals at this rate, it subsequently becomes dependent on Concerta.

In order to return to its usual way of functioning, your body will attempt to expel all traces of Concerta once you initiate abstinence or reduce your intake significantly. This process is known as detoxification (or ‘detox’). However, your body won’t let go of the drug easily. There will be bouts of discomforting withdrawal symptoms that manifest at different intervals of the process that could cause you to relapse. This is why medical supervision is imperative during detoxification.

Medical detox won’t only ensure your body properly eliminates Concerta, but also makes your withdrawal symptoms more bearable and helps avoid (and tackle) any complications that may arise.

Concerta Withdrawal: What is it?

Withdrawal comprises a series of unpleasant and often excruciating symptoms that take hold when you sharply reduce your intake of Concerta or suddenly stop taking the drug. These symptoms are the main deterrents when it comes to quitting Concerta – even when you understand the related dangers of continued abuse.

Symptoms manifest in intensity, according to the amount of Concerta you’ve consumed, the

frequency at which you consumed the drug, and how long you’ve been using it. Withdrawal tends to increase in severity and peak within the first couple of days after your last intake and will begin to subside as time goes on.

Withdrawal from Concerta is similar to that of cocaine, but not as serious. Symptoms that manifest during this stage are also similar to those in withdrawal from other stimulants such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, Adderall, and Ritalin. Without proper care, permanent damage (mostly psychological in nature) can occur.

Symptoms could include a rebound of the conditions for which Concerta was originally prescribed to treat. In cases of recreational abuse, withdrawal may come in the form of severe effects that are the opposite of what Concerta induces.

The best way to undergo withdrawal from a drug as dangerous as Concerta is via medical supervision. This is because attempting to quit in the wrong manner can result in severe health complications. For example, quitting ‘cold turkey’ can trigger a rapid onset of withdrawal symptoms which can have damaging consequences. This is why it’s never advised to go through withdrawal on your own, as you won’t have the expertise to taper yourself off the drug in the right manner.

Types of Concerta Withdrawal

Withdrawal comes in different stages and you will experience them uniquely, according to your level of addiction and personal circumstances. Symptoms of withdrawal include psychological and physical effects, which occur as a result of the drug’s interaction with the brain and Central Nervous System (CNS). The main types of Concerta withdrawal include the Acute and the Post-acute phases.

The onset and severity of these phases will largely rely on your unique addiction situation. You’ll not experience them the same way another individual does. This is why it’s important to consult a health professional when you begin to notice withdrawal symptoms (or better still, when you decide to quit using Concerta).

Acute Withdrawal Phase

This is the first phase of withdrawal. Symptoms during this stage manifest during the first 24 hours after your last intake and will peak in severity within the first couple of days. Because Concerta has a short half-life, you might experience a rather rapid onset of these symptoms simultaneously if you quit ‘cold turkey’ – that is, if you suddenly discontinue your use of the drug.

The main symptoms associated with this phase include some of the conditions you may have taken Concerta to treat initially. These include anxiety, mood swings, impaired cognition, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and depression. The acute withdrawal phase is prominent during detox and symptoms will begin to subside going into the second week after your last intake. When you undertake a medically assisted detox programme, most physical symptoms will disappear by the end of your treatment.

Post-acute Withdrawal Phase

The post-acute phase of withdrawal will follow you into the next stage of recovery, after detox. This phase includes symptoms that linger a while longer after the acute withdrawal stage has come and gone. You’ll mostly experience psychological difficulties during this period such as depression, mood swings, and cravings.

The post-acute phase could begin after the first month of your last intake. It could span months or even one or two years. It’s important to receive continuing care and affiliate yourself to support groups at this stage, as these symptoms may become severe due to certain environmental and social triggers that could cause you to take Concerta again.

Causes of Concerta Withdrawal

Withdrawal will take hold when you abruptly quit using Concerta or drastically cut down on your regular intake after a spell of addiction to the drug. As an addict, your body has grown used to a high concentration of Concerta and your brain now depends on it for certain neurochemical activities.

Tolerance is another factor that sets the course for withdrawal. When you take Concerta over a long period, your body will become desensitised to the drug’s effects at normal doses, causing you to ‘up’ your dosage when you next take it to recreate the same effects you previously felt. As a result, your system will become used to higher levels of Concerta. Whenever you reduce your dosage or abruptly stop taking the drug, symptoms of withdrawal will surface as a reaction to this occurrence.

Whether you’ve chosen to quit using Concerta or don’t have access to the drug for a certain period, withdrawal is sure to occur. Withdrawal symptoms also accompany detoxification and can cause you to falter and start using Concerta again.

In this case, the main reason for withdrawal is abuse of (and addiction to) Concerta. If you want to get through the phase and negate the prospect of ever experiencing it in the future, the best course of action is to fight your addiction with the help of medical professionals.

Duration of Concerta Withdrawal

Concerta has a very short half-life and symptoms may begin to manifest a couple of hours after your last dose. In general, you will experience the onset of withdrawal within the first 24 hours. The length of withdrawal will depend on the amount of Concerta you consumed, the intervals between intake, and how long you abused the drug.

Withdrawal may be prolonged if your Concerta dependence and tolerance are severe. You could also be faced with harsher withdrawal symptoms if you abused Concerta in combination with other harmful substances.

What’s more, the withdrawal approach you employ can affect the duration of withdrawal. For example, going through withdrawal on your own may stretch symptoms longer than they should span. As a consequence, it’s vital to undergo medically assisted withdrawal treatment when trying to beat your addiction to Concerta.

Your withdrawal symptoms should subside after a couple of weeks if you receive proper treatment. However, you’ll likely experience mild symptoms such as cravings, mood swings and depression, months and even years after detox.

Concerta Withdrawal Timeline

When making the decision to stop taking Concerta, you should understand that withdrawal is a path towards that goal. Symptoms tend to start, progress, and subside following a certain routine, but you’ll experience this turn of events uniquely. This is because your withdrawal will reflect your level of addiction, state of health, and biological profile.

Below is a general course that your Concerta withdrawal may follow:

First 12-24 hours after last intake: Withdrawal begins to take hold within the first 12 to 24 hours after your last intake. In mild cases of addiction, symptoms may take up to two days to manifest. The main symptoms during this time involve feelings of fatigue, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and depression. You could experience short-term memory issues during this time and experience cravings for the drug. Reports have shown that irregular heartbeat, nausea, headaches, fever, and chills may also occur.

2-7 days: Your symptoms will progress and peak over the next few days after the initial onset. Anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue, lethargy, and irritability are prominent during this stage and you’ll also experience cravings.

7-14 days: This period sees most of your withdrawal symptoms subside, as your body begins to adjust to life without Concerta. However, mild psychological symptoms will continue to be present in the following weeks and months.

Concerta Withdrawal: Symptoms and Effects

Taking Concerta can induce strong stimulating effects, similar to those of Amphetamines, even though the drug is a non-amphetamine. Its psychoactive properties make it a dangerously addictive drug and withdrawal symptoms will affect your health in such a way that you’ll find it difficult to carry out your daily activities. Cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and lethargy are known effects of withdrawal. You might also suffer from a condition known as anhedonia, where you won’t find previously enjoyable activities pleasurable anymore.

If you began to take Concerta to treat conditions such as ADHD or Narcolepsy, you will likely experience strong symptoms of those conditions again during withdrawal. You’ll begin to feel drowsy and suddenly sleepy again, and your mental functioning might be less sharp.

The intensity of withdrawal will rely on factors that include consuming higher, incremental doses; frequently using Concerta; using the drug over a long period; ingesting Concerta in ways contrary to which the drug is designed; and abusing the drug in combination with other harmful substances.

Symptoms of Concerta Withdrawal

Concerta withdrawal is often called the ‘Concerta crash’. At the point of addiction to ­(and dependence on) Concerta, your body will be used to abnormally higher levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, because of the prolonged presence of the drug. As a result, your brain will not be able to produce the ‘normal’ amount of these neurochemicals on its own to make up for when the drug’s presence is no longer as high as it used to be. This is when the ‘crash’ begins to take hold.

This state varies from person to person, as you can experience severe or mild symptoms compared to other individuals who are also going through withdrawal. Symptoms come in psychological and physical forms as a result of the disruption in neurochemical activity.

Your level of dependence – as well as the presence of any co-occurring mental condition – can influence the severity of both physical and psychological symptoms.

Physical Symptoms of Concerta Withdrawal

Physical symptoms that occur during withdrawal can be very discomforting and may compel you to use the drug again if you don’t undergo supervised withdrawal treatment. These symptoms begin to manifest within 24 hours after your last dose and peak over the next couple of days. The outcome and severity of your withdrawal will hinge on your personal addiction issues, as well as how you choose to withdraw from the drug.

Common physical symptoms that occur during withdrawal from Concerta include:

  • Nausea
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Severe headaches
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Extreme hunger
  • Fever

Other serious issues such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and muscle cramps have also been reported to be associated symptoms of Concerta withdrawal. Physical symptoms of Concerta withdrawal tend to subside during the first two weeks after your last ingestion and generally fade as time goes on. It’s important undergo medically assisted withdrawal treatment, so that your symptoms can be managed by health professionals and to avert any possible complications.

Psychological Symptoms of Concerta Withdrawal

You’ll experience a number of psychological symptoms during withdrawal. These can peak alongside physical symptoms, but tend to last longer, lingering mildly for months (sometimes even years).

There’s a possibility you might be suffering a dual diagnosis (that is, a mental condition that simultaneously occurs alongside your addiction). This may be the underlying cause of your addiction, especially when you started taking Concerta to deal with ADHD or Narcolepsy. Your addiction may also be the cause of the additional mental condition due to the way Concerta alters brain chemistry.

Typical psychological symptoms of withdrawal include depression, anxiety, irritability, psychosis, and intense cravings. In severe cases, there have been reported issues of hallucinations, panic attacks and extreme depression that results in suicidal thoughts and even actions.

Effects of Concerta Withdrawal

Concerta withdrawal can cause debilitating symptoms that could result in psychological damage if not tackled properly. Symptoms can also trigger an urgent need to take the drug again. The compulsive trait of addicts towards Concerta mostly stem from the need to stop the onset of withdrawal. This is why withdrawal needs to be taken seriously.

Effects of withdrawal can also be intense as a result of quitting the drug abruptly. In many cases (especially chronic dependence), your doctor will choose to taper you off the drug in order to ease the effects of these symptoms.

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Concerta Detoxification

Concerta has a short half-life and leaves the body quickly, but remnants of the drug will still linger in your system for a while. When you stop using of the drug, your body will initiate an elimination process, whereby it tries to expel all remnants of the drug in order to readjust in the absence of Concerta. This process is known as detoxification.

Detoxification is always accompanied by a series of withdrawal symptoms and most of the time, withdrawal occurs simultaneously. You’ll also experience detox uniquely, depending on how fast your body eliminates the drug and the level of your addiction. The state of organs such as your liver and kidneys – coupled with how you choose to undergo detox – will also influence the process.

The best path through detox is a medically assisted detoxification programme. Detoxing on your own is never advised. Please visit a detox centre when you’re ready to quit your Concerta addiction.

Medically assisted Concerta detoxification

Medically assisted detox treatment is a process whereby combination medications will be employed to aid your body to safely rid itself of Concerta. This process will ensure your withdrawal symptoms are contained and any potential complications are averted.

A detox plan will be devised after a doctor carries out a thorough evaluation with regards your general health condition and the circumstances surrounding your addiction. Medical detox employs an approach that ensures severe symptoms are tackled as they occur, so that you can negotiate detox in the most comfortable way possible. That said, measures will be taken to make sure issues such as dual diagnoses don’t hamper the detox process.

You could be administered decreasing doses of Concerta until it’s safe to permanently cut you off from the drug in order to ease the onset of withdrawal. If your dependence is severe, a doctor may choose to switch you to a longer-acting stimulant.

Other medications used in detox include antidepressants, to reduce your depression symptoms; antipsychotics, for hallucinations and other psychosis-related symptoms; and anxiolytics, for severe cases of anxiety and panic attacks. A number of prescription medications will also be administered to reduce physical withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, headaches, fever – and in rare cases, seizures.

Why is supervised detox important?

It is crucial that you go through a medically supervised detox so that your body can eliminate the remnants of Concerta, without coming to any harm. Doctors will formulate a detox regimen that specifically suits your condition in order to see you through this phase and discourage you from relapsing.

Supervised detox ensures you successfully initiate abstinence, avoid relapsing and transition to the next stage of your recovery in a drug-free state. Potential complications associated with health dangers will also be addressed professionally to ensure your safety. Your path to sustained recovery starts with detox and medical supervision, so be sure to make a great head start in your journey to a drug-free life.

Concerta Abuse: Detox Process

The detox process typically begins with intake, where your attending physician will carry out an extensive assessment of your situation to devise a plan that mirrors your experience with addiction and general health condition. This will create a safe treatment roadmap that will help stabilise you throughout the detox process.

The next stage involves the actual detoxification process, whereby your treatment plan will be applied to keep you stabilised and as comfortable as possible, whilst your body rids itself of Concerta. Pharmacological and psychological measures will be employed to help you stay on course, until the process is over.

Once this is complete, doctors will prepare you for the next stage of your recovery, which is rehabilitation. You will be instructed as to what to expect during rehab, how to maintain your newly found abstinence, as well as the importance of completing rehab.

Concerta Detoxification Timeline

There are individual differences when it comes to the course of detoxification. This is because everyone has a unique metabolic process. The health and general state of the organs carrying out this elimination also needs to be considered. This will influence the duration and symptoms of detox.

When detox begins (after intake and evaluation), withdrawal symptoms will take hold just a few hours after your last Concerta intake. If you’re being tapered off the drug, symptoms will manifest mildly and may take longer than in cases where usage is abruptly discontinued. As time goes on, withdrawal symptoms will continue to increase in severity, but they will be appropriately managed by your medical team.

After the first couple of weeks, your body will finally have expunged all remnants of Concerta from your system and you’ll be suitably prepped for rehab. However, some withdrawal symptoms may follow you into rehab, but these will be mainly mild psychological issues.

Treatment Methods and Options

Treatment methods for detox mainly include the outpatient and inpatient detox programmes. Your doctor will recommend an ideal detox option after an evaluation has been undertaken. Although the inpatient programme is usually the recommended option, your particular situation might be ideal for the outpatient route.

Inpatient programmes involve undergoing detox as a residential patient, especially when you’re going through a case of severe addiction. Meanwhile, outpatient detox involves being treated as a visiting patient if your dependence on Concerta is mild or moderate and you also have pressing responsibilities that are time-restraining.

Finding the Right Treatment

The right treatment plan for you involves one that is designed based on your specific biological profile, general health condition, and unique experience of addiction. There is no single formula to treating addiction – even that of Concerta.

To choose an ideal treatment programme, please ensure you consult an addiction professional so that a comprehensive evaluation can be performed. This way, your health professionals can devise a plan that best suits your condition.

Find the Best Residential Concerta Recovery Centre

The right treatment centre for you is one that relates to your specific needs. Successful treatment in any residential facility correlates to receiving adequate professional care in a comfortable and enabling environment. Being uneasy as a result of unnerving social situations or poor living arrangements could hamper your recovery efforts.

Primarily, you need a centre that has a considerably impressive track record of treating Concerta addiction, coupled with an environment and facilities that meet your tastes.

If you’re not sure how to go about finding the right fit for you, contact a competent addiction helpline today and a counsellor will guide you accordingly.

Home Detox for Concerta Abusers: How Safe is it?

The consensus amongst clinicians about is that inpatient programmes are the best detox option. This is because you’ll get round-the-clock supervision and any issues that surface will be tackled immediately. You’ll also go through treatment in a drug and trigger-free environment.

However, doctors can approve going through treatment at home if your addiction to Concerta is deemed mild and you have an environment that is detox-friendly. If you would rather detox at home, please ensure you do so under medical supervision.

Self-Detoxification from Concerta

Self-detox is never advised, as you’ll be exposing yourself to health risks that accompany withdrawal. Quitting ‘cold turkey’ can trigger a severe rush of several withdrawal symptoms, which can lead to permanent damage.

The success of your detoxification will largely influence the outcome of recovery, as this is the first stage of your general battle with addiction. Negotiating this phase under supervision will help secure such success. You may be struggling with a co-occurring mental issue, which calls for expert attention to properly diagnose and treat. There’s also the risk of relapsing and falling victim to an overdose (which could prove fatal) if you go through detox on your own.

Concerta Withdrawal and Detox Facts: What Do I Need to Know?

  • Concerta has a very short half-life and leaves the body quickly, but remnants of the drug tend to remain in the body for a while.
  • Withdrawal symptoms of the drug will take hold within the first 24 hours after your last use.
  • The majority of people that have gone through self-detox relapsed on multiple occasions.
  • Detoxing when you’ve abused Concerta along with other drugs (without medical supervision) can cause serious damage to your health.
  • Medically assisted detox is the safest means by which to go through withdrawal and detox.

Ready for Help?

You can break free from the hold of addiction and attain a productive life, free of Concerta. Though withdrawal can be a turbulent process to undergo, you can get through it and move on to rehabilitation in a drug-free state, with the right help.

Get Answers to Your Questions: Request a Call

If you’re confused about the next step to take in combating your addiction, don’t be discouraged, as help is available. Just get in touch with expert counsellors via a confidential helpline and you’ll get the guidance needed to help start your journey to recovery.


Can These Symptoms Be Categorised in Order of Seriousness and Are There Side-Effects?

Withdrawal symptoms can surface in different levels of intensity, but this will depend on the severity of your Concerta addiction. However, symptoms such as hallucinations, extreme depression, and seizures should be taken seriously and addresses accordingly.

How Long Do Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms last?

Withdrawal symptoms will begin to take hold within the first 24 hours after your last intake. However, symptoms may take a longer or shorter period of time to manifest, depending on your level of addiction.

What Recovery Programme is Right for Me?

It’s best to get evaluated by a healthcare professional and let them determine the best course of treatment.

Do Symptoms and Their Duration Vary from Person to Person?

Yes. Symptoms differ according to the individual involved, as everyone has a different experience of addiction and abuse.

How Long Does Concerta Withdrawal Last?

The length of withdrawal will hinge on the level of your dependence on Concerta. However, symptoms are generally known to subside after the first couple of weeks.

Do You Have A List of Popular Slang or Street Names for Concerta?

Common slang names for Concerta are consistent with those used to refer to Ritalin. They include:

  • Crackers
  • Bennies
  • Uppers
  • Smarties
  • Skittles
  • Skippy

Can I Get Help for Concerta Addiction?

Yes, help is available and easily accessible. Please contact an addiction helpline today to get your life back on track.

Can You Die from Concerta Withdrawal?

While Concerta withdrawal is rarely life threatening, it is still a possibility, especially when complications occur. This is one major reason why you shouldn’t withdraw without medical help.

Are There Any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

The best way to get clean safely is by consulting a medical professional.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Concerta?

Detox typically takes 28 days to complete, but your personal situation will dictate the duration of this phase.

What Happens During Stimulant Detox?

During detoxification from stimulants such as Concerta, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms that are consistent with stimulants. However, if you undergo a medically assisted detox, doctors will help make these withdrawal symptoms bearable.

Why Should I Enter A Stimulant Detox Programme?

Entering a detox programme for stimulant abuse will help you through detox safely and avert any possible health dangers.

What Is Concerta Withdrawal?

Concerta withdrawal is a set of symptoms that take hold as your body reacts to the absence of decreased levels of the drug after a long period of abuse and addiction.

What Are the Types of Concerta Withdrawal?

Concerta withdrawal includes both psychological and physical symptoms. Withdrawal types can also be categorised in phases; in which case, they are the acute and post-acute withdrawal phases.

When Will I Stop Craving Concerta?

You will strongly crave Concerta during the first several days after detox. Though cravings will subside after detox, you’ll continue to experience mild bouts – even long after the completion of treatment. Cravings can also be triggered by environmental and social factors.

Can Anyone Tell I’m Using Concerta?

Your compulsive behaviour to use the drug, as well as mood swings and abnormal concentration levels act as tell-tale signs of your Concerta abuse.

How Is Concerta Withdrawal Treated?

Withdrawal is treated through medication and psychotherapy.

How Dangerous Is Concerta Withdrawal?

Concerta withdrawal can be dangerous if you attempt to undertake the process without medical help.

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