Concerta Addiction: A Withdrawal Timeline (And Where to Find Help)

concerta addiction

Concerta: it’s used as a form of treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But once one tapers off it, it can have nasty side effects. It can be a very addictive substance. Do you currently have Concerta addiction and want to stop taking it?

Then, we’re here to tell you what the common withdrawal symptoms are and how long they take.

Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Concerta?

Concerta is also known as methylphenidate. It’s a stimulant that’s used as a treatment for ADHD. It can also be used as a therapy for narcolepsy, a nervous system disorder that can disrupt normal sleep. 

The drug comes in the form of what’s called extended release and as a tablet. This means that it releases slowly into the bloodstream after it’s taken. It leads to relaxation, which is why it’s used for ADHD. 

While kids from the age of six take it, some even use the drug up to the age of 65.

What Are the Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms?

Once one stops taking Concerta, withdrawals kick in. Some can develop a dependency on the drug. Without taking it, it’s difficult to have a normal life once one is addicted.

Depression is one side-effect that can occur if one stops taking Concerta cold turkey.

General advice is to not stop taking Concerta immediately and to talk with your doctor beforehand. A tapering-off approach might be best where they reduce the amount you take over time to prevent Concerta withdrawal symptoms.

Other Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms

In addition to depression, here are some of the common withdrawal symptoms you can experience:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Issues with focus and concentration
  • Appetite shifts and cravings
  • Exhaustion

For some, anxiety can become so bad that they end up having panic attacks. However, it’s important to note that this is temporary – it’s generally due to changes in neurotransmitters! Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain which cause it to remain in balance and function properly.

While many with ADHD notice better focus when taking the drug, as this is one of the reasons for taking it, it’s a different story coming off it. In fact, ADHD symptoms often creep back in and it may become even worse than before taking Concerta in the first place.

Many find that their cravings increase after they stop taking the drug immediately. This is due to it being an appetite suppressant. So, there’s a shift that takes place with the neurotransmitters once more.

Others who take the drug without a prescription can also experience an increase in cravings. This is often due to taking higher than the recommended amount.

How Long Do Concerta Withdrawals Last?

The Concerta withdrawal timeline isn’t that straightforward. It depends on the individual and physiological factors. Some are lucky and don’t experience withdrawal at all, whilst others can be affected for quite some time with the onset of nasty side effects.

Doctors don’t usually mention withdrawal symptoms or how long they might last when advising one to come off the medication. When side effects do come, therefore, they can be quite a surprise.

What Affects Concerta Withdrawal?

Many factors affect Concerta withdrawal. Some will lead to worse symptoms, while others will pose some that are less severe. These include:

  • Length of time since taking it
  • The dose you were prescribed
  • Whether you stop immediately or taper off it
  • Your type of physiology

Let’s take a look at all of these and see how they affect your withdrawal.

Length of Time

Whether you were on the drug for a short time, months, or years will have a huge bearing. Those who have been taking it for a long time are likely to encounter worse withdrawal effects.

Both the body and the brain become addicted to the drug. So, once you stop taking it, you can have some reactions.


Most people take a dosage somewhere from 18mg to 72mg. This is dependent upon your age and physiological factors such as your size and body weight. 

Someone taking a lower dose will generally have a better time when it comes to withdrawals than a person put on a higher dose. Tapering off is a much more recommended option before stopping completely for those that were on a larger dose.

Stopping Immediately or Tapering Off

As mentioned, if you’ve been taking Concerta for some time, it’s best to taper off it. The more you take, the more you become addicted and your body becomes accustomed to it. This is generally what occurs anyway.

But for everyone, weaning off is usually the right move to take. That way, you’re quality of life is less likely to suffer and symptoms are expected to reduce.


Most people experience the same level of withdrawal when taking most drugs for a similar length of time. But it can be different with Concerta and one’s physiology can play a role.

Some are even bedridden for a prolonged period of time afterward – something you never want to see! The following can have a massive effect on your response:

  • Your nervous system
  • Your surroundings
  • Your sensitivity to drugs

How Living Stones Recovery Helps Treat Concerta Addiction

At Living Stones Recovery, our addiction treatment center offers inpatient treatment for those struggling with Concerta dependency. We take a personalized approach to each case and offer:

  • One-to-one therapy
  • Group counseling
  • A holistic art experience

When you choose us, you’re provided with due care and attention to help you finally get off Concerta for good.

Get the Help You Need From Our Addiction Center

Concerta is beneficial for those struggling with ADHD. However, it can be addictive and withdrawals can be troublesome. We’ve shown you here what withdrawal effects can come with battling Concerta addiction.

Now you know why we’re the addiction treatment center for you. We offer a holistic approach to therapy so that you can fully recover and put your addiction to bed for good.

Give us a call today. We’re here to help you kick the habit of your addiction once and for all!