Greg

Wow - This is the Place for Me!

52 posts in this topic

Hi, I'm new to the group. It's great to find so many people who I can relate to. To the administrator, thank you so much for setting up such a helpful website for us who are struggling and trying to recover. I just read the 13 milestone of quitting and found a lot of comfort and wisdom in them.

I have been severely addicted to adderall for 12 years and finally beginning my recovery. I started taking ritalin in college to stay up all night. Soon I was upping the dosage, then switched to adderall. Twelve years later, I became absolutely dependent on the feeling of being "charged up and driven" all the time. The high dosages also turned me into an extremely, extremely paranoid person and Ive had so many psychotic episodes I cannot even count, but have called the police several times in my delusions and ended up in the hospital in observation several times. I was taking eight or nine pills 30 mg pills a day, often chewing the pills or crushing them and snorting them to intensify the effects. One time, after getting back to the pharmacy with my adderall pill bottle, I used the handle of an ice cream scoop and crushed up all the pills at once, and just snorted my prescription little by little with a straw until it was all gone - not too many days later.

I had really mastered a system of finding doctors in the yellow pages to prescribe me pills. The addiction drove me into several doctors offices, pharmacies a month. Adderall became my obsession and getting prescriptions and visiting doctors became my biggest mission every month. I knew every pharmacy in my area and surrounding areas. If my adderall prescription was ever post dated to be refilled at a future date, I would show up at a 24 hour pharmacy at 12:01am the day to get it refilled. I was going through two prescriptions each month, running out about halfway through the month. On the days I was not on adderall, I was so exhausted I could only leave my bed to eat or go on a doctors visit.

At my absolute worst I was getting prescriptions from three different doctors and another supplier was sending me enough for the days when those prescriptions ran out...during those days, which lasted about two years, I was hearing voices in my head. Big surprise. During that period, I really devolved. I lost my dream job, freaked out everyone around me, lost a lot of my friends, moved home, lost more jobs, ended up in rehab and outpatient therapy and ultimately ended up back on these terribly addictive pills.

I had already posted my whole story here a few weeks ago, if you get a chance to read it, here is the link...

http://ehealthforum.com/health/severe-adderall-addiction-recovery-t293794.html

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Hi, I read your story at the link you provided. I too spent much of my energy on just getting adderall and keeping the addiction going. It was a full-time job with crappy benefits. I was on high doses for years and quitting was difficult for me. It’s been a year now and I’m glad to say that I finally feel totally rebuilt. It sure seemed to take a long time to feel normal and functional again (or at least did with me).

You mentioned having dreams about needing adderall. I started having reoccurring adderall dreams about 6 months after I quit. The crazy thing is that I still get them!? It’s always the same…in my dream I’m taking pills, I think that I’ve rebounded and then I wake up feeling all guilty. It just shows how deep adderall existed within my consciousness.

Thanks so much for sharing your story. You have a great attitude and it sounds like you are doing really well. I too sometimes think of all the times my friends, family, and co-workers who looked at my adderall-induced behaviors suspiciously. But thinking about only helps in realizing how great it is to be off adderall.

Keep up the good work and know that life just keeps getting better.

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I'm not sure I know how to navigate the forums or post responses but I am learning. Am I editing somebody lses response? Anyway, I am hopeful after seeing this post from soobee that I will also feel rebuilt after a year. i am only three months into the quit and it has not been a very productive summer.

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Wow, It's so great to hear from someone who can relate with all of this!! Getting adderall was absolutely a full time job.

I've definitely had several dreams about adderall, including "the one" about messing up and accidentally taking adderall and messing up recovery. It IS scary how embedded it is in our subconscious. And it is scary how long recovery seems to be taking...! It's been ten long months for me!

It's also inspiring to know that you feel rebuilt! I hear so many different thoughts on how long recovery takes. Some say one year, others say two or even three years. When did you realize that you had rebuilt yourself? I keep asking myself when that moment will be? When I feel I will be able to get on from here....

I still don't feel at 100%. I recently began to feel headaches when I didn't get enough sleep or when I try to exert myself mentally on a project. Like the time I tried studying for an graduate school entrance exam. I still find it difficult motivating myself.

I'm not working now and feel at a standstill in life. I'm afraid if I start working that I will force myself into a relapse. Or maybe its the fear of not being able to find work - with my spotty employment history as a result of my adderall abuse. I'm not sure. it's probably both. Maybe I need to just jump in - but again, the motivation is just not what it used to be like...

In your recovery, how does your body feel? Question, Did you feel any pressure in your head, particularly the back of your neck area...Did you have any physical feelings of withdrawal? These are things I've been experiencing in my recovery...

Again, it's inspiring to hear your story and hear about how things are going for you. Isn't it a relief not to feel absolutely COMPELLED to exert all that energy and effort, spending all that time conspiring to get more adderall?? I remember those days when the mission to get adderall was "total life or death"!

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Sboo - Ha ha ha ha. I just read what you wrote in the articles section "The Benefits of Quitting Adderall". I can't believe someone else out there WENT THROUGH EXACTLY WHAT I DID!!! Your post really, really, really REALLY hit home for me. I hope you don't mind, I re-copied and pasted your quote below. And I wrote my additional comments below that...

-------------------

I love your benefits/rewards lists!! I share many of the same benefits since I quit. Here are two benefits I can add from my list:

1. Saving money: without insurance, I paid $160 a month on drugs alone. Once every three months I’d visit with the psychiatrist ($150). I save $210 a month by not taking adderall.

2. Saving time and energy: I had to drive across town to pick up my prescription from the doctors office. 50% of the time the doctor would forget to leave it out for me to pick up, or he’d be on vacation, or the office would be closed. Faxing it, calling it in, or mailing it was out of the question. I had to physically retrieve it every time. But worse than retrieving the prescription was getting it filled…..I spent soooo much time waiting around at pharmacies! Half the time the pharmacy didn’t even have the full amount in stock, so I would have to go down the list of pharmacies in the phone book and call ahead of time until I found one that had it in. My doctor would never write me a prescription early, so I’d pretty much have one day to get the script and get it filled, otherwise I’d face debilitating withdrawals. This meant that getting my prescription on that day was top priority, and I made lame excuses to get out of whatever school, work, friends, or family was scheduled.

…it’s good to be off adderall!

--------

You basically described me EXACTLY. SOOOO many hours waiting in pharmacies. SOOOOOO many hours waiting in doctors offices to see doctors or going to doctors who would never have the script ready or who would write the prescription wrong, like with the wrong date so the pharmacy wouldn't be able to fill it and then having to go back to the doctors office. Having to buy pills without insurance! The non generic Adderall XR was over 300 dollars.

Except I was seeing two different doctors so I was going through that same process twice and spending about twice the amount of cash every month. And at one point I was seeing THREE doctors and going through that process THREE times that.

I remember all those STUPID drives to the doctors office. And all those hours WAITING AROUND in pharmacies. THAT was me. THAT was all I did. Doctors never refilled prescriptions early. When I was working, used to leave my job all the time to go pick up prescriptions from doctors or go on doctors visits. Everyone was so puzzled. I would NEVER leave a pharmacy without a prescription. I always waited around. I spent hours waiting sometimes. They WERE always out of stock.. My doctors NEVER refilled my prescriptions early... I always had to pick them up THAT VERY day or I wouldn't be able to function because of the withdrawals.

It's nice having all that extra cash every month from not SPENDING it on adderall isn't it? You said you were going through about $210 a month. I was Spending about twice that a month. Plus, I would buy cartons of cigarettes because I couldn't take adderall without smoking cigarettes! Now I have stopped the adderall and the smoking cigarettes and I have this extra cash!! It really adds up to a LOT of extra money...

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Hi Inrecovery,

“It's also inspiring to know that you feel rebuilt! I hear so many different thoughts on how long recovery takes. Some say one year, others say two or even three years. When did you realize that you had rebuilt yourself? I keep asking myself when that moment will be? When I feel I will be able to get on from here....

I still don't feel at 100%. I recently began to feel headaches when I didn't get enough sleep or when I try to exert myself mentally on a project. Like the time I tried studying for an graduate school entrance exam. I still find it difficult motivating myself.â€

I’m glad to know you were inspired by what I said. It was a slow and gradual process, so it’s difficult to say when I started feeling rebuilt. There were several other changes that took place when I stopped taking adderall. When I quit, I also graduated college, moved across the state and in with my boyfriend, and quit smoking cigarettes (yes, me too!). Times were tumultuous for quite a while after then. The first month was pretty much spent watching movies, eating, sleeping and having “boyfriend time.†I was on my feet and increasingly more active throughout months 2-7. I think I tried every kind of energy drink during this period. With me, nothing worked better than getting exercise.

The time I consider myself rebuilt was when I whole-heartedly started looking for a job, around the 6th month. I no longer thought of adderall throughout the day….it had no purpose….it deserved no more attention. It was time to start only looking forward. Know that you’ll get sick of thinking about it too.

“I'm not working now and feel at a standstill in life. I'm afraid if I start working that I will force myself into a relapse. Or maybe its the fear of not being able to find work - with my spotty employment history as a result of my adderall abuse. I'm not sure. it's probably both. Maybe I need to just jump in - but again, the motivation is just not what it used to be like...â€

I can relate to your concerns on this one. A one-year gap on your resume will be overlooked, especially these days with the economy in the shape it’s in. I’ve been to multiple interviews in recent months and no one has mentioned a thing about it. It’s easy to feel at a standstill when you aren’t working….really easy. But you’ll find your groove. Adderall just tricks a person into liking to perform mundane tasks. Just because you don’t have the burning desire to polish your furniture at 2:00am doesn’t mean that you can’t.

If you are going to force yourself into doing something, why not force yourself to believe that your adderall days are over. “What if I just got another prescription…oh wait that’s right…I’ve been there and done that and it effed up my life in a million and one ways and it’s simply not an option anymore.â€

I started looking for work 6 months ago and it took me until just a couple weeks ago before getting hired. I scored an awesome job and I’m really excited about it, but it requires horrendous work hours. By horrendous I mean 80-100 hours per week with shifts that could last up to 20 hours. My first though was “this sounds like a job for Adderall!!†But I can never go back to that life. The job I’ll be doing isn’t intended for tweakers. It’ll be hard, but totally doable. And what if I did get back on adderall? It is a guarantee that I’d be distant from my coworkers, my priorities would consist of sneaking away at all given opportunities to smoke cigarettes, I’d call in sick once a month to get my prescription filled, if I couldn’t get it filled I would miss work, I would not be able to pass their random amphetamine drug tests, and I would be bumped down to the insurance plan for smokers. I think I’ll pass.

“In your recovery, how does your body feel? Question, Did you feel any pressure in your head, particularly the back of your neck area...Did you have any physical feelings of withdrawal? These are things I've been experiencing in my recovery..â€

I haven’t had too many headaches. Maybe it’s as simple as adjusting what you eat. Sleep deprivation and not enough water is enough to give you a headache. I certainly felt like crap during the first month and felt “withdrawal†feelings. The true chemical withdrawals only lasted 2-4 weeks. I had body aches throughout the first couple of months, but I attribute them to a shift into a more sedentary lifestyle (i.e., lying in bed or on the couch way more).

“Except I was seeing two different doctors so I was going through that same process twice and spending about twice the amount of cash every month.â€

Um, I actually saw two different doctors per month also, so we are even more alike than you previously thought. I wrote about it in a previous post. And I also relate to your smoking habit…..I was at a pack of American Spirits a day (expensive smokes). After after I quit adderall, I had absolutely zero desire to smoke…..crazy huh?!?!? Quitting smoking without the cravings was a major benefit in quitting adderall. I’m sure that it made for a more intensive healing process with me. The tobacco withdrawals were probably there, but just masked among the others.

So it was more like $210 plus about $150 (the other script was for a lesser amount), and about $160 a month for smokes. And all the while I was a broke-ass student….so messed up…! So great to be free!

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To both inrecovery and sboo, I can really relate to your discussion threads. So far I have this in common with both of you: long term abuse, the chore of maintaining a sufficient supply, quit smoking and quit adderall about the same time - I am saving at least $500 a month not smoking or taking adderall. And I love the phrase re-built. I am not there yet but it is good to see how long it might take to regain normalcy. The only long term physical withdrawl symptom that still persists with me is that my tongue will tense up or have spasms. I have not been highly motivated to do anything new this summer or be as active as I would like. Can't seem to shed those five extra pounds from quitting addies and smoking no matter how good my eating habbits are. I seem to have forgotten how to drink water or keep hydrated. I just completed month three post-addie. My approach has been: quit addies, quit ciggies, and minimize my sugar intake; while developing and expanding my summer hobbies, eating good food, and keeping physically active. My two biggest challenges have been avoiding sugar and keeping active. I am definately done with addies but not as certain about the ciggies. Maybe I have more experience as a smoker - 30+ years and only ten years on adderall. I just read sboo's last sentence - so great to be free - and I couldnt agree more. Thanks for posting.

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Sboo and Quit-Once,

I feel a lot of support from you all knowing we are going through this together. Thanks for your comments.

Sboo,

Yes indeed. It is so GREAT to be free. Thank you for answering all my questions. Just knowing how you have been able to get on with your life post-adderall has been really inspiring to me. And hearing your story has given me a much better attitude going forward from here. I think most of us adderall addicts would have psychologically been reliant on adderall to get us through something as big as a lengthy job search. Since reading your comments, I have begun thinking in the direction of getting back on my feet.

I even started a "to do" list (!!!) and mapped out goals for myself. I really have been laying on the couch almost every day, reading or watching movies. I've been spending a lot of time trying to understand how I feel and what this new post adderall normal is supposed to be. It's like I've been learning to walk again, I guess it's a lot about adapting to a new persona or self. It just occured to me how strange that is. Making a To Do list seems like such a big accomplishment for me right now. Before, I made to do lists every single day and had a zillion things on each list, constantly crossing things off. It's also weird how I just watch movies all the time on the couch. Before, I would feel so incredibly guilty watching movies, even taking a break to go see one, or taking part in leisure activities, because I felt like I was taking time away from productivity...

I still feel lost right now. I tried taking a Myers Briggs personality test and realized I had such a difficult time answering the questions because I didn't know who I was in this post-adderall life. But taking the test got me to start thinking toward the future though.

I know you are going to succeed well in your new job, with a clear head and especially no more adderall! Working while being addicted and a smoker IS terrible. When I was working, It seemed like every five seconds I was running out for a smoke!! (Isn't it strange how the craving for cigarettes just vanished after quitting adderall?) If you ever went back to adderall (and you WONT), Yes, you would have to pay a higher insurance price. And most importantly, YES, you would eventually be calling out sick a lot. I would call out sick for work on the days I was out of adderall or in adderall withdrawal. That was the WORST in terms of job performance.

By the way, I will try exercising for more energy. I find caffeine definitely does help a lot...

Quit-Once - Welcome to the club! We're all a couple hundred dollars richer every month huh? It's so great to be free now isn't it? The freedom of being able to do anything without needing adderall to do it. It definitely gets better from month three. I am currently in month 10. I think you've set some great goals set for yourself and I can't believe you only gained five pounds after you quit! I gained 20lbs, and my goal is to get down to my original weight by Nov 1, my one year anniversary of quitting adderall. And again, congratulations on getting through three months!

----

I find it strange that neither of you two are experiencing these withdrawal symptoms I am going through. Perhaps it's partially psychological on my part? I'm beginning to feel that way, a little.

Thanks again for writing. PLEASE STAY POSTED ON HOW THINGS ARE PROGRESSING. I am very curious to know...And anyone else reading, please post.

I feel like right now, the next step for me is to start accomplishing goals and building confidence in myself, the "real me" not the "adderall me" in my ability to accomplish things. Now that I've jumped in the water, I guess it's time to start swimming, at least try, if that make sense. I will keep you updated on how thing progress.

Greg/InRecovery

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InRecovery-

I used to make a list a day then see how fast I could get everything done and crossed off so I could make another list and get more things done. I don't think I have made three lists all summer and they all have things on them that are still incomplete. Your inability to get off the couch may be due to depression. Sometimes you can be depressed and not recognize the symptoms or feel "depressed". The Great Depression was so-named because people were generally depressed. They were depressed because they were broke and couldn't find jobs. So my advice to you is to go find a job - any job - even a bullshit job like flipping burgers or bagging groceries. It doesn't have to be a career job. Another suggestion would be to volunteer with an organization or somebody in need of your assistance. I have found if you give your time and personal energy to a person or group who really needs and appreciates it, good things can happen. It helps you appreciate what you have - whether it is physical things, personal relationships, enough money or good health and an able body. And being grateful is the universal key to a happy existance.

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Quit Once

Thanks for your advice. I've been thinking about what you said a lot. You are probably right. I can't stay on the couch all day. I still feel some chemical withdrawal in my head but its bothering me less and less now. It's time to move on. It really is. I've kind of given myself permission to do nothing, but that could go on forever.

So In a couple days, I am going to break out the books and start studying for a graduate school entrance exam and also...I'm going to go pick up some job apps.

It just occurred to me that now I am in the state of mind where I can work again! Before I couldn't really do or hold down a job too well, with all those prescription runs and well, the paranoia. But now, there really shouldn't be a problem. Wow. Another benefit of quitting. I can work again!

Will keep you posted. Thanks again!

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Quit Once

Thanks for your advice. I've been thinking about what you said a lot. You are probably right. I can't stay on the couch all day. I still feel some chemical withdrawal in my head but its bothering me less and less now. It's time to move on. It really is. I've kind of given myself permission to do nothing, but that could go on forever.

So In a couple days, I am going to break out the books and start studying for a graduate school entrance exam and also...I'm going to go pick up some job apps.

It just occurred to me that now I am in the state of mind where I can work again! Before I couldn't really do or hold down a job too well, with all those prescription runs and well, the paranoia. But now, there really shouldn't be a problem. Wow. Another benefit of quitting. I can work again!

Will keep you posted. Thanks again!

This is just what I needed to hear today. Thanks for posting and know it helped someone else that you shared.

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Hey guys, just want to say this forum has been very inspiring and a lot of help. I'm currently in my 17th day of recovery after abusing adderall for about two years. For the last two weeks I've been in an outpatient program that is greatly helping my recovering. I'm starting to get glimpses of who I am/or was, and everyday has been better than the last. I know I have a long way to go as I'm no where near the person I was before but with all the success stories from members of this site its comforting to know that in time I can and WILL be back to my old awesome self. Right now I'm still somewhat depressed, but much less than the first few days I was coming off adderall. I also still feel kinda stupid and very foggy but like I said before, everyday I'm getting better and everyday I feel clearer and clearer. I hate the fact however that my personality is still pretty much shit. It's hard for me to intellectually converse with one another as thoughts don't come to me as naturally anymore. I feel like a drone, a zombie. But again, as the days pass I'm feeling less zombiesh. I have a ton of social anxiety right now. I get real nervous talking with others because I'm afraid I won't know how to respond to them in certain conversations, and often I don't. It's been tough to finish thoughts because I can't remember my original point or can't think of how to word what I want to say correctly. I also have a tough time following what other people are saying for the matter that I'll forget what they said originally and then during mid convo ill try and remember and miss the rest of what they're saying. But again, this is getting easier everyday and I know one day I'll get to where I used to be. That's all I want, is to be myself again. Slowly its coming back, but it feels like its coming too slow. I have to patient though, because someday I'll be back to my good old awesome self who's not slow and stupid, who's funny again, and just has a good personality. It's going to take a while but I'll get there. Its refreshing to see you guys having recovered. It's just more motivation for me to stay clean and not relapse.

Thanks guys

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want2bemeagain-

The success stories of posters on this site and especially in this discussion thread have really helped me too. This is the only web site or ADD-related forum where it is common to read postings from people who have been off adderall longer than a few days and there are many of them for months and years. I have only read a fraction of them so far. I can't fully understand why reading and posting on this forum seems so very necessary in my recovery process. I feel like I really need to write up my own addie story and post it as a new topic in this forum as part of my entire recovery. Actually I have been reading and learning from these and other forums since I began to plan my quit around the first of this year. But I have only felt the need to join as a member and post replies for the last month or so. I'm closing in on four months now. The one thing that has been most helpful has been reading the experiences of those who have relapsed and continue to struggle with giving it up for good. Before I quit I realized this would be one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced and I didn't want to screw it up. Failure to stay quit will mean my best efforts have failed and that I need outside help. You only get one chance to quit once. I finally accepted that I can never have another adderall pill or any other hardcore stimulant for the rest of my life....without acknowledging the impending return of that unhealthful and unsustainable adderall addiction.

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quit-once,

In my recovery program they had us write an autobiography about our life including what lead to our addiction and all about our addiction, and then we received feedback, comments, and questions from our group and the therapists. It was definitely nice sharing and venting my story to others, and discussing it after. Feel like its great step to take in the recovery process. Sharing something that you've never shared with anyone, and something you have greatly wished to share, feels absolutely wonderful. So I strongly suggest writing up your own story and sharing it with others.

Also, how are you feeling after four months clean? Are you starting to feel like yourself again? What's different now compared to around your 30th day clean? Just curious.

Thanks,

w2bmagain

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Hey WanttobeMeAgain - Glad to know things are getting better for you and that you are in recovery. Who would have thought there were so many of us? Feel good. The exhaustion and weariness of maintaining your addiction is finally over.

At first I was also weary of what my social interactions would be like off of the adderall. But then I realized that I would be interacting with people in a more normal way, than when I was speaking through a "fog" of adderall. There's no question that adderall strips away your personality and makes you seem more robotic.

Also, when I was abusing, my personality was all over the place. When I was running out of pills I got extremely nervous all the time, when I was out of pills I was really depressed and when I had plenty of pills I was super happy and awake for days. People thought I was bipolar!

Have faith in the way you THINK and ACT now. You aren't under the influence of ANYTHING AT ALL. Who cares if you stumble around on your sentences? That's probably much more normal to others then when you were constantly in an adderall haze.

Keep up the good work. Man, even though I've done nothing this past year except not take adderall. This year has felt like the best time investment into my future I have ever made.

Quit-Once, I, too, feel like this board is so important to recovery and have been making my way through the older posts. This is a community of people who are all on the same wave length. We all know what it's been like to go through this addiction battle, and specifically the battle against addiction to adderall. it's something most of the people around us could never truly understand or sympathize with. I have been to lots of NA meetings and while I found PLENTY of other people who struggled with addiction, I could never find people with this specific addiction. It seems that many of us took adderall to improve ourselves to study and concentrate, to push ourselves to be "perfect" not as a recreational drug like a lot of the people in NA. Here we can come together and share our experiences.

---

BTW, I just wanted to update on how things are going on my end. I feel like a new person! I'm not at 100% yet, but I am feeling much better than before. Time really heals. For one thing, I am almost back down to my weight when I was on adderall. I had balooned in size in the aftermath of quitting. I've been watching what I eat, and slowly making my way back down to my weight during the adderall days.

I am now at ten and a half months and feeling MUCH, much better. (Have faith, guys) I have actually dusted out my resume and soon hopefully will start applying for jobs again. What REALLY has helped me get better is beginning to study for graduate school exam, the GMATS without ANY adderall.

Before, there was no question. I used to always need adderall to study (or anything that required some kind of concentration). That's how my addiction started. I needed it to study and study during college - and I never gave up the mentality since then. So now that I've begun to study WITHOUT any adderall, I have begun to feel so much more confidence in my abilities.

The weirdest part about all of this is that I am no longer craving adderall to study and throughout my study period. Whenever I studied before, I would always be craving pills as they began to wear off. Just like how a person craves food after not eating for a while. It feels really strange, almost feels funny, to not crave a dose of adderall all the time when I am hitting the books. It feels weird not to want more and more of it throughout the ocurse of the day. I just don't have any urge. And I can study by my own schedule now and not schedule my study around my pill supply or dwindling pill supply.

However, on the first day of studying, it was really uncomfortable. After I put away the books for the day, I found myself tossing and turning in bed. It was so miserable! I couldn't fall asleep and while I was not craving pills I was miserable and feeling some kind of withdrawal. But that only happened on the first day of studying. It got better in the days after.

Another weird thing occuring is that my brain seems to be so conditioned to being on adderall when I am studying that when I begin to study, I automatically tense up in my neck and shoulders JUST like when I was on adderall. I can't control it. It's like a pavlovian dog response!!!! Everytime the bell rings, the dog runs to get the food. Everytime I study, my back and neck begin to tense up as though I were on adderall!!!That is SO crazy, to see how CONDITIONED i was to studying & then taking adderall. That is beginning to slightly fade away now, but its still apparent.

Anyway, all in all, I feel much better than I did before. I am gaining more confidence in this new version of me that is not super dependent on adderall all the time.

Ten and a half months later, The biggest difference is that I am now beginning to see hope in a future without adderall. I am now enjoying the freedom that comes with no longer being handcuffed to the bottle. I am also now wondering what my capabilities are now that I am not HANDCUFFED to the prescription bottle. I'm beginning to feel lots and lots of hope again and more faith in my abilities as a person. Thanks for everyone's support. Will continue to update.

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Want2bmeagain:

Certainly month four is better than month one. In fact it was around that one month time that I really lamented my (temporary) loss of productivity and motivation. In my case, I quit smoking about a month after quitting adderall, so I also had that baggage to deal with. As far as having meaningful and intelligent conversations, it was a little bit tough during the first month. As one person who posted on this website put it: if you didn't have ADD before taking adderall you will sure as hell will have it after you quit. At about three weeks, I went to a staff meeting/training and my inattentiveness, figiting, and daydreaming were more than obvious to me but nobody called me on it. I never had ADD before...

Your concerns about maintaining a train of thought through the entire conversation remind me of when I was on two addies at once. and I would make the conversations a short as possible so they wouldn't think I was high when I lost my train. Smoking pot does the same thing to my brain regarding memory and conversations, but at least that high is fleeting and fun. Don't worry about your cognition- it WILL come back. Just from your two postings I can tell there is absolutly nothing wrong with your thought process! Try taking daily fish oil to get your brain back to its normal operating self. I also took daily doses of the amino acid tyrosine and still do occaisonally for a better mood. Some other differences betweeen month one and month four from my perspective: I was still taking daily power naps at 30 days and now....not so much. I lacked the motivation to start any kind of a project at 30 days, but my motivation started to return about a month ago. Last week, I helped a friend process his antelope until 2:30 AM! At 30 days, I could NOT stay up past 10 or 11. When abusing addies I used to go to bed all the time after midnight and I HATED the mornings. Funny thing here- I have never been a morning person even before adderall. But since quitting, I have been waking up around 6AM. I feel really good in the mornings now and actually enjoy them. Not sure if that willl last but I don't mind it - I just wish I could stay up later because I still run out of gas around 9 or 10 PM. Once you notice your old normal self returning it gives you even more motivation to stay quit. It doesn't all come back at once and I am giving it a full year or longer to return.

InRecovery- I'll have to come back and edit this or make a new post to respond to you as I have eaten my time cookie this morning. There are a couple of things you said I want to grab onto and discuss, especially that last paragraph about the FREEDOM from addiction. That is a huge benefit that didn't make it onto the list of "the benefits of quitting adderall" article posted in the articles section of this great web site.

For some reason I could not get the spell check to work so please excuse the errors.

later-

quit-once

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Want2bemeagain, I also took l-Tyrosine in the months after quitting adderall to help me get some of that dopamine generating again...Maybe you should try giving it a whirl. For me, traces of my motivation began returning around the five month mark..But it's been a real lengthy and gradual process for me....that continues to this day.

Quit-Once, I also found myself trying to conceal the fact I was on double/triple/quadruple dosages of adderall. Especially around family members, who all knew I had a problem. I would get really peppy, often scattered, and have a lot of energy (much more than the normal person) and it was such an obvious sign to all of them and I would do my best to try to tone it down.

BTW, I actually started my own list of benefits from quitting adderall in my notebook. I didn't finish it, but here's what I have so far...

1) People who know about your addiction are no longer angry at you...

2) Your personality comes back

3) No more cycles of highs and withdrawals throughout the day as you take adderall and it wears off..

4) No more arranging schedule around doctor's visits and pharmacy visits...

5) No more relying on a 'window' of time when you're on adderall to focus...

6) Saving $$ on adderall prescriptions w/o insurance and cigarettes from the smoking that comes with it...

7) Much less anxiety overall

8) No longer relying on others to dispense pills to you because you can't moderate them on your own.

9) No more chain smoking

10) No more paranoid symptoms, amphetamine psychosis!!!!

11) No more harmful adderall side effects - like high blood pressure, which is something I developed since starting on amphetamines and have been dealing with!

12) You no longer rely on a crutch

13) No more lying to doctors

14) Mo more "freak-outs" from dwindling adderall pill supply

15) No more major sleeping problems like difficulty sleeping from too much adderall or sleeping too much from

severe withdrawals

16) No more factoring in how many pills you have or need in order to do projects.

17) No longer tense all over, especially in the neck area

18) No longer manic, random thoughts flying everywhere, making a zillion connections from idea to idea...

Anyway, that's what I got so far...I am sure there are lots, lots more that I can't think of...

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InRecovery,

Gotta agree with you 100% when you said even if you have done nothing else but not take adderall for the last 10.5 months it is the best investment you can make into your future. I feel exactly the same way about this summer - even if I have done nothing else but get away from addies and ciggies it has been a huge success. And its not like I have been on the couch either.

Interesting how you tense up when you study without adderall. I know that shoulder and neck stiffness you are describing - it is like entire muscles stiffen up in your back. neck and especially the shoulders. Try to capture some of the more positive feelings and waves of energy you used to associate with studying while tweaking using caffeine or five hour energy or red bull...then consider this: you will probably remember at least 50% more of what you are studying now that you are not burning neurons with adderall. So the time you actually spend studying will be much more efficient.

I too have a list that I made in the weeks before quitting. It is titled "what they don't do". I put that list in my Cease and Recovery folder along with some other reference material that I thought would help me stay quit. I haven't needed to read it so far... I'll share that list with you sometime soon.

Month four marked a significant return of my motivation and my inner go is comming back strong!

I hope it keeps up. The 5-10 lbs of extra body weight doesn't bother me too bad but it sure would be nice to be trim again. When did you start to shed your extra lbs??

later-

Quit-once

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Looking forward to seeing your list. I love these lists. They make me laugh when I see other people are going through the same exact thing. I used to drink 5 hour energies, red bull and tons of coffee and smokes when I was abusing adderall. Especially the 5 hour energies. It's like the adderall was just not enough. i was so overstimulated all day long. And there was hardly ever food in my stomach...

I've been drinking coffee now in moderation and certainly my studying is much better OFF the adderall. When I was taking adderall and studying, I could never quite get into a groove. Since adderall triggered my smoking addiction...every time I sat down to study, ten minutes later I'd have to get up and smoke a cigarette. Then come back inside and try to refocus. Usually, to try to get me to refocus, I'd pop more adderall. it was a vicious cylce that I was stuck in.

By the way, I was going outside for a smoke all the time whether I was studying or not studying. The adderall really triggered the urge for nicotine.

In the VERY, VERY, very beginning, adderall used to have a calming effect. But when I started double dosing, triple dosing, quadruple dosing adderall began to make me really anxious. Studying with anxiety is not the best thing. It does make it harder to retain info. And now I can study without the need for cigarette breaks and when I do need a break, it's a short coffee break or some tv or maybe I'll lie down and close my eyes for ten minutes. No more huffing and puffing on smokes... I've been able to get through a couple study guides already..

I don't know why I felt like I needed to take adderall to study. Well, at first, in college I guess I took it to give me an edge, help me with all nighters. It seemed to make lectures more interesting and homework more interesting. But very soonafter, when I started toying with dosages I think it was more my addiction speaking then my really thinking I needed it to help me. I think the "needing it to study argument" just justified to me my constant adderall use to me. But really, by that point, the physical addiction to the pills had taken over and was driving all my decisions to take more.

As for weight loss, I started losing weight about six weeks ago. And I lost about twenty pounds!! WITHOUT ANY ADDERALL! I started on Nutrisystem. They send you all your meals and snacks for the month at about 1500-1700 calories a day. Its a couple hundred a month. If you're willing to spend the $, i recommend it. Actually, I have read MANY, MANY POSTS from people really concerned about gaining weight without adderall. I really recommend Nutrisystem as a way to combat the post weight gain.

That's interesting you have a cease and recovery folder. In the beginning I used to write down notes, benefits of quitting adderall and re-read them to myself over and over again to constantly remind me why it was better to be off of adderall. Taped things on my wall. One time I found some crushed up adderall stashed underneath a sofa. I grabbed it like it was some contaminated explosive and went straight to the trash bin...The best thing I've discovered about recovery, is that it gets better and better as I go along. Anyway, that constant fear, even paranoia of going back to it, has gotten me through the last 10.5 months.

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Sit around and smoke. take another smoke break. one more cig before I do this. lets have one more smoke before you leave... That is what seemed to consume most of my time during the last couple of years on adderall. Hell, I was even lighting my first smoke in the morning BEFORE the coffee was even made. Now that only 1 in 5 people smoke I didn't feel comfortable smoking in public anymore, although I was a very militant smoker to the end, and I smoked in many places just because it was allowed. I took Chantix for about five weeks and that cured me. I tried to quit smoking AND adderall at exactly the same time. I don't recommend that combo. I went on Chantix about the same time I quit adderall; started smoking again, then quit smoking for good about a month after quitting adderall. I wonder if the Chantix somewhat lessened the pain of quitting adderall?

I used to have nightmares about finding a stash of adderall and the dilema of how to handle it. I too found a pill about a month after I quit and I handled it exactly like it was a dead, stinky mouse. I was even worried I might absorb some of it through my skin so I used gloves to handle it. It seems like those little pills have an energy field all of their own. I, too, am terrified of returning to that awful addiction, so if I ever find another wayward pill, I will drown it, crush it, or flush it within seconds.

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Don't miss smoking at all. Always reeking of cigarette smoke, and braving freezing cold weather... Smoking with numbed out fingers...

When I stopped the adderall, my cravings for smoke just - poof - vanished. Even though i'd been a heavy smoker for 12-14 years. It was great..I had spent so much $$ on nicotine patches, nicorette. I've taken wellbutrin, joined online quit smoking sites, you name it. All I had to do was stop the adderall!

I'm curious too whether chantix helped with adderall recovery. I took chantix for a little bit and immediately got off it. At the time, I wasn't ready to quit taking adderall, and I remember it took away from the "high" I got from the adderall I was taking. I immediately stopped it. If I took it in the context of quitting, I wonder if it would have made it easier. What did you think??

Anyway, I'm spending my days now with a GMAT book in my lap, a notebook, and the television on...I feel like I'm in a new phase of recovery with the worst part being over...The whole neck-tensing thing has subsided. I still experience uncomfort, nearly 11 months after quitting (!!!!) but have absolutely ZERO urge to act on it. I am happy knowing it only gets better from here on out...

Hope things are getting better in your four mounths adderall-free!!!

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Chantix diminished your adderall high? That is really interesting - because I started chantix about a week after quitting adderall. I took it for five weeks and I was glad to get off it too. It was really hard on the stomach and it gave me that feeling like when you smoke that first cigg after you have quit for a while and you get that nauseating feeling from your stomach along with diziness. Speaking of smoking... it took me about two months after adderall before I started to be able to enjoy a good buzz from smoking pot again. It is nice to have something to smoke... and be able to enjoy it again in moderation. I still miss smoking a cigarette but I sure don't miss that awful stinky habit. And you can't have one without the other, just like you can't take even one addie pill without the addiction coming back. That is the universal truth about addiction that I had such a hard time accepting. All those times I quit smoking ciggs were just practice for getting it right when quitting adderall. You only get one chance to Quit Once.

I have been pretty lucky not to have lingering physical withdrawl symptoms. Sounds like headaches and muscles getting tense are your biggest issues, and then only when you study. Did you have any physical discomfort wile abusing adderall? I made a list of that too before I quit and it had everything from bad eyesight, severe muscle and joint pains to spasms and allergies. Taking adderall made me feel old. Maybe that's cause I am kind of old at 48. But I feel ten years younger now I don't take adderall. Just wondering if it affects different poeple differently at different ages.

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I only took Chantix for a brief period but it definitely made me feel sick on it. I don't know what it was doing to me, but it was discomfort. So I got off right away. Right now, my feelings of withdrawal are basically what you said. The headaches are less and less and I am still tensing up a lot in the back neck and shoulder area. It happens mostly when I'm trying to concentrate but not necessarily only then. I know it will eventually go away.

In terms of side effects WHILE abusing adderall, I definitely got aches and joint pains all over. You're not alone there. Also, Bouts of nausea. The most common physical side effect for me when overdosing was blurry vision and hallucinations. I'd begin to see things like in the trees but I knew it was just the medication. And I'd just ignore it. Sometimes when I took too much and was feeling overwhelmed I would start to sweat and couldn't control it.

The worst thing that happened from adderall was that a couple times, my legs (it happened in my left and my right leg on seperate occasions) just started getting itchy and swelling up and I had to go to the hospital. It was really strange and painful and severe, and I knew it was definitely caused by the adderall.. Because both times it happened I had been getting extremely excessive with my adderall use. Then I read under the adderall warnings and side effects that an unexpected breakout of hives can happen. Other side effects I experienced (that I read in the Adderall Side Effect Warnings section) were shortness of breath, sudden jerks and movements like right before I fell asleep, sometimes my eyes would twitch. I definitely got headaches when I took too much and also I developed high blood pressure and had to take pills for that. I never had a problem with high blood pressure before adderall. I remember a couple times, I was so anxious from adderall that I literally thought my heart was going to stop. I've actually read a couple people talk about that same sensation from adderall. Terrifying.

One time a friend gave me an MAO Inhibiter for anxiety that you are not supposed to take in conjunction with adderall. (I was taking ritalin at the time) and I ended up having difficulty breathing for the entire day. I was freaked out and went to the hospital. Later I realized it was because i took the drug.I also had all the physical withdrawal symptoms like tiredness etc....And all the psychological symptoms like constant adderall psychosis and paranoia. (Actually the psychological effects were the absolute worst side effect for me, not the sudden outbreak of very painful hives on my legs) By the way you mentioned it gave you allergies. The one thing it did do was clear up all my allergies. I have really bad allergies and it seemed to clear up my congestions. Actually that became one of my lousy excuses to justify taking it.

OOhhhhh Boy....After writing all that, I have NO IDEA how my mind could have allowed me to continue taking it. ...Only under the spell of addiction I guess. Actually, if you google side effects of adderall and read them, and there are a LOT listed. I think I've experienced 99% of them... Glad you brought that up though.. All more reasons to never go back to that awful pill...

You know, I just thought of one more benefit of quitting adderall. I no longer feel so completely depressed from my adderall withdrawals! I remember when I was high on stimulants all the time, there would be periods throughout the day when the adderall would wear off and I would just crash and feel so crappy inside of my skin. It was like everything in my life was wrong, and everything I did was wrong, and no matter what I did I had done something wrong....And my thoughts would spiral downward and downward. And I would just lie in bed in that state of chemical withdrawal feeling bad about myself. There was nothing I could do to get out of that state of depression EXCEPT for more pills or just force myself to sleep. Usually, I'd try to sleep, and then when I woke up the feeling would be over. I don't feel like that anymore since I've quit.

I also don't miss that feeling of total paralysis when the pills were wearing off. It was this uncomfortable feeling that if I didn't take another pill, I just couldn't do anything, couldn't move even sometimes. Just felt full of intense yearning for more adderall.

I almost forgot about how bad those moments were. Now, after writing all that, suddenly, it sounds as if being off adderall is like being on a wonderful vacation that never ends!

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Holy Shit!!! You were truly living in an adderall hell. Some of those side effects you listed I have never heard of from any drug. And I have no doubt that adderall was the culprit because I believe it can be incredibly toxic when taken at abusive doses. I haven't known anybody who has gone to the hospital for side affects / overdose symptoms. I am surprised they didn't cut you off, but then I also know if there is a will there is a way to get your hands on more pills. I have a friend who still takes adderall and he has had skin problems - hives and also these strange localized skin infections - that he can't seem to get rid of. But he does not want to believe it is caused by the adderall. I keep reminding him about the crankbug infestations that afflict most dedicated meth heads.

I can share some of your side effects you experienced: 1) the sudden jerks or movements right before falling asleep 2) blurry vision, especially later in the evening 3) the intense anxiety and lack of self confidence like I knew that I was fucking up everything I touched 4) the pills also took care of most of my alllergies, except when I had an adderall allergic reaction in my sinuses. It only happened when I toook too much, and maybe that one thing kept me from being a hyper-abuser. It would begin with uncontrolable sneezing that would last for maybe a half hour to an hour. Then my nose would start to run a steady stream for several hours and there was no way to stop it. Sometimes the nose thing would last into the next day. Than there were the tears of fire. My eyes would start to run like my nose did, and the tears must have had a pH imbalance because they just burned my eyeballs and the only way to relieve the pain was to keep my eyes closed. It happened one time when I was driving and I had to close one eye at a time just to make it home. The allergy thing only happened when I would take over 120 mg in a day so that may be what kept me from hyper-abusing on a regular basis.

I never had blood pressure issues but I was really surprised what it did to heart rate. My normal pulse rate while abusing adderall was between 110 and 120 beats per minute. It is exactly half of that now. That was one of my big factors for quitting. It is like driving a car in third gear all of the time when you have a five speed transmission. Eventually, and sooner than later, you will blow the motor or the tranny if you keep running the vehicle at high RPMs. I still need my heart and my brain to work well for several more years, and I can do without a heart attack or a stroke.

How is it that addiction can blind a person to forego all common sense solutions to their health problems (i.e.quitting) just so they can further pursue their addiction? I assume it is that way with any addictive substance, not just adderall. In fact, I have also experienced it with tobacco.

I have a lot of thoughts about quitting adderall, but unless those thoughts are spoken and/or written, they won't stay with me long enough to make a permanant change. This forum is about the only way I know of to express those thoughts to others whom it matters and it can potentially make a difference in somebody's life. A lot more bang for the buck than paying a shrink to listen and nod their head.

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I am going to add a few more specific experiences of physical side effects and expand on a couple of things noted by InRecovery. During periods of withdrawl, I would wake up in the middle of the night - most of the time it was exactly ten to four- and have a full-blown cold sweating experience. That combined with the muscle and joint pain, especially in my back, was enough to get me out of bed and go sit in a chair and watch TV. So I was sleep deprived while on them as well as when I was in withdrawls. The night sweats made me think of women in menopause and now I am very sympathetic to all of you women who have endured menopause. I believe the night sweats were a hormonal imbalance - possibly thyroid-related. I just had a blood test done at a health fair and learned my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were about twice as high when I was using adderall.

Another thing I learned from that blood test was that I have a vitamin D deficiency, almost five months after quitting adderall. Not sure if the vitamin D deficit and adderall use is related because this was the first time I checked my Vit D levels, but I wonder if that is why adderall is so hard on bones and teeth? I should not be Vit D deficient considering the amount of sunshine I saw last summer and my fairly well-balanced diet. If anything, I expected the opposite because I had also taken Vit D supplements a few times. Also I am not sure if a vitamin deficit could linger five months after quitting adderall. Does anybody have some insight on the relationship between Vitamin D and taking adderall at abusive doses?

InRecovery noted visual halucinations at high dosages. I had auditory halucinations. There were times I heard what sounded like a lawn mower running at full throttle - for hours at a time in places where there were no neighbors or lawnmowers around. There were times that the ringing/buzzing in my ears was really annoying. I still have mild ear ringing (tenitis) now but only when I overdo it on coffee or energy supplements. Or after target shooting my hand guns while wearing lousy ear plugs.

I am not done yet detailing my experience in Adderall Hell, so will continue with another post at a later date, or I guess I could just edit this one.

One last question: How do you get the editor and spell checker to work on this web site?

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