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I have grown accustomed to Stimulants

Old 01-12-2010, 11:33 AM
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I have grown accustomed to Stimulants

Hello everyone,

I will not give my name for fear and shame that I would be discovered by my family members and friends in search engines. I will also only give certain details about myself, if that is acceptable.

For most of my life, I have battled with depression and ADD. Sometimes, my depression gets so bad that I cannot even function. I had missed countless days of school (college) in the past due to being depressed to the point of not getting out of bed until I was medicated properly. I was also recently diagnosed with ADD.

I was prescribed with Adderral (Amphetamine Salts) for ADD about 4 or 5 months ago, and found that taking them made me happy and capable of doing anything. Naturally, given my history of Opiate abuse, I was quickly attracted to this. I began taking it improperly, consuming more pills than during other times of the day and sometimes skipping a day once in a while, enduring pain, to keep my pills from running out too soon.

Fearing addiction, I confessed my misuse of the medicine to my psychiatrist, who prescribed me with Ritaline a couple of months ago. I was taking them properly until a couple of weeks later, when I learned they could replicate Adderral's effects when taken in high dosages.

Currently, I take two pills at night, one in the afternoon, and one in the morning. I look forward to my nighttime dose, because it equals unparalelled motivation, excitement, and euphoria.

I am also addicted to spending money. If I cannot take my Ritaline to combat my stress, I buy something and feel better for a little while.

Also, when I am under Ritaline's influence, I have the courage to face any confrontations, and I can talk to anyone. Recently, I began applying to four year colleges as a transfer student (I am about to earn my AA), I have been having some health problems, my dad got in a car accident, my dog might be dying, I am in credit card debt, my psychiatrist moved away, etc. In other words, these things stacking on top of each other have resulted in my craving for more and more stimulants.

Also, when I am on Ritaline, I don't feel tired all day. I have always struggled with sleep problems and exhaustion every day, but with this medicine, it just doesn't happen.

Let me be very real here- I love Ritaline. It's like candy to me. However, I realized I have a problem when I was driving home from college thinking about how I would afford my next refill, how I would space my doses to keep me from running out early and blowing my cover, and generally thinking about the medication obsessively.

Also, I love art and am going into Graphic Design. I fear that if I were to go off of Ritaline, I would not be able to get as much done and I would succumb to depression again. I hate my inconsistencies, and I hate periods of having no motivation. Ritaline irons those things out.

However, I know I have a problem and I understand how dangerous drug addiction is. I do want to do something about it, because I don't want to kill myself or bring my family down. They mean everything to me, and they are pretty unaware that I abuse Ritaline. However, I also don't want to return to my "blah" and "******** motivation" life before the drugs.

I also get very angry when I am not under the influence, and I find myself taking the meds to calm myself down.


So, where do I begin? What should I do to recover?
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:49 AM
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Teal... Hi and welcome...

I abuse Ritalin for years and got myself off... It's a long story and maybe I have some experience you'd be interested in. Looks like the forum is going down soon... I'll check back later.

Mark
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:13 PM
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Well the forum came up faster than they promised... cool.... Now then... Ritalin. hmm... Yes, I had quite a love affair with that stuff, but in the end it took me down. While you have some of the same red flags I had, you don't have all of them flying...

I read your post through some...

If you genuinely have ADHD... Ritalin will seem like a Godsend, and, in some ways it is... You can focus better, manage your emotions, yes emotions, better, think your actions through, have conversations better... all of that...

If you don't have ADHD... all of the above is also true, assuming sane dosages...

The euphoria you mention... RED FLAG... previous opiate addiction... RED FLAG... you know this though... that dopamine sure is wonderful stuff, uh?... what did you say?.... Unparalleled excitement, motivation and euphoria... good stuff.

Oh yea, you mentioned the energy... I loved that... I worked out all the time, bicycled endless miles, skied the steeps and chutes, backpacked.... whatever... Always up for anything. And that has nothing at all to do with ADHD...

Perhaps you should have a very long and open discussion with a physician who really understands ADHD... and whom respects the addictive potential of Ritalin. Also, there are formulations of Ritalin that are harder (not impossible) to abuse... There are non stimulant alternatives....

I can't give you any specific advice and I won't. I haven't yet shared my experience with Ritalin... but I'd be happy to if you are still interested.

What is the total amount, in milligrams, you use in a day?

Mark
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:18 PM
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Welcome to SR tealvertigo

I've never had ritalin or adderal, but this is the cry of nearly every addict I've known - replace ritalin with alcohol or pot and you'd have me

I fear that if I were to go off of Ritaline, I would not be able to get as much done and I would succumb to depression again. I hate my inconsistencies, and I hate periods of having no motivation. Ritaline irons those things out.
..until it stops ironing things out...or until it brings in a whole raft of other problems in its wake...and still you can't stop.

You'll find other people here with similar problems, like Mark.
Come down and visit the substance abuse forum too

Substance Abuse - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Welcome to SR
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Cubile75 View Post
Well the forum came up faster than they promised... cool.... Now then... Ritalin. hmm... Yes, I had quite a love affair with that stuff, but in the end it took me down. While you have some of the same red flags I had, you don't have all of them flying...

I read your post through some...

If you genuinely have ADHD... Ritalin will seem like a Godsend, and, in some ways it is... You can focus better, manage your emotions, yes emotions, better, think your actions through, have conversations better... all of that...

If you don't have ADHD... all of the above is also true, assuming sane dosages...

The euphoria you mention... RED FLAG... previous opiate addiction... RED FLAG... you know this though... that dopamine sure is wonderful stuff, uh?... what did you say?.... Unparalleled excitement, motivation and euphoria... good stuff.

Oh yea, you mentioned the energy... I loved that... I worked out all the time, bicycled endless miles, skied the steeps and chutes, backpacked.... whatever... Always up for anything. And that has nothing at all to do with ADHD...

Perhaps you should have a very long and open discussion with a physician who really understands ADHD... and whom respects the addictive potential of Ritalin. Also, there are formulations of Ritalin that are harder (not impossible) to abuse... There are non stimulant alternatives....

I can't give you any specific advice and I won't. I haven't yet shared my experience with Ritalin... but I'd be happy to if you are still interested.

What is the total amount, in milligrams, you use in a day?

Mark

My abuse of Oxycodone a few years ago lasted a few months. I was taking two or three pills per day. I finally dropped it when I passed out on a bed in a sweat and woke up in a hospital.

Anyway, I know those are red flags, which is why I am considering help. However, I also don't like the possibility of thinking I dont have ADHD because it would give me no excuse for my inability to focus and get things done without the medicine. It would take me hours per night to get homework done because I would just space out. I'm *not* stupid, I just cant get stuff done, and it pisses me off. Seriously.

My stepfather who left the family years ago was an alcoholic. Mom was a gambling addict. My grandpa has been smoking for 50 years almost, and my Dad told me that his mom also showed addictive behaviour. It seems like I might have been biologically vulnerable to becoming addicted to certain things, and I knew that well, but real-life problems overpowered me and I succumbed to temptations.

Ritaline makes me happy when life would otherwise make me feel like crap...all the time. It sucks hard to wake up every day feeling so depressed that I could puke, knowing there had not been a single actual depression medication or therapy technique that ever truly helped. What's worse is sitting down and doing homework for an hour or two and getting next to nothing done.

Seriously, who would ever want to return to that for the sake of being healthier? What's the point of living when you feel like a piece or ****? A part of me realises everything is worth living through, and the other part says "screw it". With that second part in mind, I have also wound up in the hospital for two suicide attempts.

It's clear that I have quite a mental health disturbance in my background, but I have grown to kind of ignore that and do whatever is necessary to be a productive individual. My friends and I would go to one of the houses of theirs and they all would smoke weed, and I would force myself not to because I feared liking it way too much. However, I would go home and pop pills that they knew nothing about...Vicodin, Oxycodone, Codine, Adderral, Xanax, you name it.

I still have some hope that I will find ways to manage my life even without the Ritaline in my life, but my fear is the possibility that I may not.

To answer your last question, I take about 20 mg a day or 25 at most. I am also taking prescribed Anti-Depressants for Depression, which I recently read magnifies the effects of stimulants...
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:48 PM
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OK, how can I say what I want to without making assumptions or giving advice?

It is entirely possible that you have ADHD, which for people who truly have it, is not a nice place to be when life circumstances require sustained attention and focus... in which case Ritalin is effective and safe. The definition for ADHD includes the statement (paraphrased)... The symptoms of inattention have been present for a long time and to a degree that is maladaptive.... Maladaptive. Key word there.

I am sure that I had ADHD at certain times in my life... there were periods of time that "maladaptive" would have been putting it mildly... Currently I am adapting fine... I go to work, do my job, have a good home life... yea, I am disorganized as hell and I don't always get done what I wanted to because I get bored or distracted...

Oh, and many symptoms of inattention can be cause by other factors... life circumstance, anxiety, depression, etc....

So, where am I going with this?

You are afraid that you may not be able to manage your life without Ritalin. Well, maybe there are, will be, and have been, times in your life when your symptoms of inattention become maladaptive... there may be times when they are not... In fact, I strongly believe that ADHD can be a strongly positive trait for some people at many times in their life, especially if they have found the right careers, hobbies, avocations... and they would be ill served by quashing that part of themselves with stimulants.

20 mgs a day? That is well within the recommended dosage range.

Ritalin, when used properly, is not inherently bad... not everyone will agree with me there... that's OK... the FDA is satisfied that it is safe and effective for ADHD when used as directed. It has been used, effectively, for over half a century. Only problem is that... well... it's addictive as hell.

So is alcohol... but most people do just fine with a drink with dinner or one at night, like my wife does.

I abused the hell out of it, I didn't use it under a physician's care and used it recreationally. I drank, a lot while using it. I found it very difficult to stop. I won't say how much, because I don't know if that's relevant information, but let's just say I used more than 20 mg/day... lots more. And I used it for many reasons that had nothing to do with ADHD.

Perhaps finding out your truth, with the substantial help of others, and some of them should be physicians... Do you have ADHD, or something else?... Is it ADHD that makes you depressed like you say you are?... I don't want you to tell me, I just want you to know for yourself....

Do you like Ritalin because it does what it is supposed to, or do you like it, primarily, for other reasons? Could you take it under close supervision and remain honest with yourself and your caregivers? Could you be prescribed Ritalin in such a way where you would not become obsessed and worried about how many you had left for the weekend?

In other words... Are you powerless over Ritalin?

Please work very closely with a specialist in ADHD and be open, honest and always follow direction.

Mark
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:50 AM
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Mark, thank you very much for your information and for providing your experience to me. I appologise if I seemed a bit rash in the previous posts.

Anyway, I do feel like I am not yet powerless to Ritalin, but I feel I am getting there every time I take it to relieve a headache or to feel better when I'm down. I love that it makes me focus but I also love how it makes me feel.

It is difficult because my Psychiatrist moved to a different state, and I am unable to find another. Right now, my Primary Care Provider (a family MD) is filling my prescriptions but she does not have the expertise to make changes based on my diagnosis...it isnt in her field of specialty. So, I am going to research myself until I can find someone to talk to.

I am about to head to class so I cant talk now, but I will return later.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:20 PM
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You weren't rash at all.

You are showing excellent insight and your caution in terms of stimulants is well founded. I wish that I had showed the same caution and insight you are now.

I think that your situation with ADHD/stimulants is analogous to Chronic Pain/opiates... analogous, not identical, there are many important differences... But some of the wisdom that pain sufferers have with the use of addicting medications might be applied to your situation.

Mark
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:22 PM
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Thanks so much for your post. If we are taking any type of medication "off label" and using more then is prescribed, we are abusing the medication. It is good that you are coming to terms with the facts that you might be abusing the medication to get "high"

Medications are G-D sends and they can do wonders in curing or helping us with our real ailments. ADD medications may be over prescribed for some people but there are many of us who really cannot function and would not have functioned in the past without some of the modern medicines that are now available to help us. But of course we need to be working with specialists who understand the nature of addiction etc. Perhaps there is a Psychatrist that is in your insurance plan who is also familiar with addiction medicine, as long as you are open and honest with your doctor and follow the directions you do not need to feel ashamed that your life might be going better while you are utilizing a medication that was prescribed for helping you with your ADD. I know you know all this but I just wanted to share since reading your post made me think about my own situations and I understand where you are coming from. Contact your psychiatrist you whom moved away and see if they have any local referrals they can connect you with or perhaps he can offer any other suggestions. Even though he did move away I am sure he could still offer his help over the phone until you find someone local.

Best of luck to you, I am rooting for you!
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