Are There Non-Addictive ADHD Medications?

Are There Non-Addictive ADHD Medications?

Doctors prescribe addictive ADHD medications like Ritalin on a regular basis, but sometimes patients do not fully understand the risks involved in taking a stimulant. Daily use of a stimulant medication leads to side effects, tolerance, and if you abuse your prescription you can become addicted or suffer from overdose. As an alternative, consider speaking to your doctor about non-addictive ADHD medications or therapy as a substitute for medication.

Non-Addictive ADHD Medications

The following non-addictive ADHD medications may be of interest to you or a loved one, if you are concerned about stimulant abuse and addiction.


Strattera (atomoxetine) is a non-stimulant drug prescribed to treat ADHD. Strattera increases the attention span and reduces impulsive behavior by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in the brain. Unlike stimulants, it takes between two and four weeks for users to experience therapeutic effects. Strattera has some common side effects such as nausea, dry mouth, and appetite loss but its use can be stopped abruptly without significant withdrawal effects.


Intuniv (guanfacine) was approved by the FDA in 2010 to treat ADHD for pediatric patients aged 6-17. Intuniv has been shown to strengthen the regulation of attention and behavior and is approved for use alone or in conjunction with a stimulant to treat ADHD. Intuniv is also prescribed to treat anxiety and hypertension.


Kapvay (clonidine) has been in clinical use for 40+ years and is prescribed to treat ADHD, anxiety, high blood pressure, withdrawals, and headaches. Kapvay was approved in 2010 to be prescribed for ADHD and can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with Ritalin or another stimulant. Side effects common with Kapvay include dizziness, anxiety, vertigo, drowsiness, and dry mouth.

Therapy and ADHD

Stimulants are often used as a solution to ADHD but all they do is reduce symptoms. In order to actually treat ADHD you should be involved in some kind of therapy to manage the disorder. Therapy along with a stimulant or non-addictive ADHD medication can be an effective way to reduce symptoms and learn how to minimize problems. By attending therapy you will be able to learn more about what causes your attention span problems and can learn techniques to combat triggers. If your child has ADHD a therapist can teach him new ways to control his attention so he does not experience as much distraction.

Helping Someone with ADHD

If you or someone you know has ADHD there are many ways to improve your condition without the use of medication. None of these suggestions are cures, but rather are helpful when used with therapy.

  • Add structure to your life- One thing ADHD sufferers struggle with is organization, whether that be the space around you or the events in your life. De-cluttering your workspace can keep you more on-task in the workplace and will improve your work. Using a calendar to plan out your days will keep you from forgetting about important meetings or assignments and will keep you aware of upcoming deadlines.
  • Break down big jobs into smaller tasks- If you get overwhelmed and want to jump to another subject because a job seems too big, break it down into smaller pieces that seem more manageable and start a checklist for the job overall. Each step in completing the larger job is important, so do not get discouraged by the end goal.
  • Set aside distractions- Your phone or the Internet are easy distractions from work or other obligations, but you should not let them keep you from getting things done. Separate work and entertainment by only checking your phone when you step away from your desk and avoiding non work-related web sites during office hours.

These tips can help you create an environment and lifestyle that encourages focus and productivity.

Healthy Habits and ADHD

You can learn to manage ADHD through the use of therapy and developing healthy habits. Healthy habits such as exercise, wellness, and meditation contribute to your overall mental health, reduce stress, and increase focus in your life. Exercise is a great outlet to reduce stress and along with healthy eating will make you feel better about yourself. When practiced daily, mindfulness meditation can help you forget about the noise in your head and keep your attention on the present moment. When combined with therapy, building healthy habits in your life can help you make progress in your treatment of ADHD.

Need Ritalin Rehab?

If you were prescribed Ritalin or another addictive stimulant and now suffer from addiction, call our toll-free helpline today so you can learn about your addiction treatment options and how you can treat ADHD without addictive medications. There is a special type of addiction treatment called Dual Diagnosis treatment available for users suffering from an addiction and mental disorder at the same time. Dual Diagnosis treatment helps you understand how your disorders are linked and how you can end your addiction and begin managing your mental disorder in a healthy way. We are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find an effective treatment center and let you know if your health insurance will pay for rehab, so pick up the phone and call now.