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Is Adderall a Gateway Drug?

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Hi all,

 

Did adderall lead you to start other drugs?  Pharmaceuticals or otherwise?

 

Personally, I went from being a granola crunchy "I"ll never take pharmaceuticals" girl to where I am today: on two antidepressants and two anxiety meds, all of which I now have to taper from.

 

Adderall used to make me REALLY crave alcohol and cigarettes.  

 

And I never took xanax or other benzos or antidepressants or anything...... until adderall came into my life.

 

Here's an article about adderall as a gateway drug, but I suspect there's much stronger evidence than this.  I've been on this site for way too long not to.

 

http://www.vibe.com/article/adderall-americas-new-gateway-drug

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I personally don't believe in "gateway" drugs, I think we all just have a preference for what kind of high we like, and therefore go searching for it. Although I took adderall for fun as a teenager, it was actually xanax that led me to take adderall eventually as an adult. Xanax made me tired and want to take naps, while I liked being buzzed and energetic instead. In the beginning stages of quitting adderall, I strongly considered going on Wellbutrin or something to ease the detox pain but I'm glad I stayed clear from it.

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I think some people with personalities like ours have a higher probability of becoming addicted.  Does it matter which drug was the  "gateway", I don't think so.  So, to answer your question, I do not believe Adderall is anymore a gateway drug than any other.  The gateway is what you were taking when you slipped down the slope...it didn't cause the slip. Does that make any sense to anyone but me?  I am still a crazy rambler...that wasn't caused by Adderall.LOL

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This is an interesting question.  I think addiction comes down to the individual though. I have friends that have tried the same drugs as me (cocaine, pot, ex, etc) and they did not become addicts.  I have other friends who have done these drugs and will still do them from time to time. I have no idea how much, but I think the severity of any type of substance abuse issue happens on many levels. 

 

For me, adderall came after I had tried other drugs so it was not a gateway drug.  However, I really just kind of abused what was ever in front of me. 

 

This is a good topic!  I'm interested to see what other responses you get on this one.

 

Thanks for posting!

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Adderall is the most viciously addictive of things I ever tried, and I don't think trying marijuana increased my chances of trying it.

But I do believe that Adderall could be a dangerous gateway drug, when I stuck waiting for refills, I definitely toyed with the thought of seeking out harder stuff.  Fortunately those ideas never progressed any further than ideas.

For me it definitely could have been a horribly disastrous gateway drug.

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I think the term "gateway drug" is an addiction looking for a scapegoat.  However, being under the influence of Adderall led me to some poor decisions, including the use of other hard drugs.  I almost became addicted to Ativan.  I smoked way too many cigarettes.  I smoked a lot of spice and weed. And I tried some other drugs that now make me cringe.  But my desire for alcohol really diminished on Adderall.  So, I believe that being high on Adderall led to bad judgment and poor decisions regarding other drugs, but not in a "gateway drug" kind of way. 

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Thanks for all of your responses.  This is an interesting topic!

 

The term "Gateway Drug" is, I think, an unfortunate one.  It has too many associations with falsely blaming marijuana for peoples' heroin addictions.  It's also associated with scapegoating the drug when it was really the person taking the drug that was the true gateway.  

 

By "Gateway Drug" I should have been more clear.  I don't mean blaming or scapegoating one drug for subsequent other drug use.  I just mean: Does taking adderall, particularly in youth, increase the likelihood that a person will get involved with other drugs?

 

Children being handed this stuff get used to taking pills.  Pills that change how they feel and act.  Pills that are specifically designed to "fix" what's "wrong" with them (which must do wonders for one's self esteem!)  I'm sure they experience euphoric feelings at first, too.  

 

If people get used to taking this stuff at an early age, does that make them more likely to take other pharmaceuticals?  Does it make them more likely to drink or use other drugs?    (This includes any type of drug.  Even an antidepressant.  As far as I'm concerned adderall is just as hard as cocaine or meth, just cleaner, so to say that it's a gateway drug could mean a gateway anywhere.)

 

I don't know of any scientific studies, and I think there needs to be a study done on this.   But because we are the lab rats, our experiences matter and I am curious to hear about others' experiences and thoughts on this.

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I became addicted to adderall later in life, so it wasn't a gateway drug for me. I drank more on it though (because I could drink a lot without getting tired).

I believe there are a couple studies showing that ADHD kids on adderall are less likely to use other drugs later on, but you have to keep in mind that almost all drug studies are funded by the pharmaceutical industry, and that they are free to leave any studies casting their drugs in a negative light unpublished. There's so much publication bias in medicine (not to mention poorly designed studies) that you will never get the whole picture. I believe a kid on adderall long term would definitely be more susceptible to doing other drugs, including abusing adderall.

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For me Adderall and cigarettes went together like peas and carrots. I had quit for about 6months prior to adderall and started smoking shortly after starting adderall. when on adderall I began drinking more than usual because I was taught by a addy buddy that was a way to come down. I smoked heavily on adderall, fuck even still I can't believe the path of destruction this pill has left.

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It made me drink very heavily. To come "down" from it! Horrible. I drank pretty much most days I was on Adderall for the sloppy 7 years I was on it. I am currently not drinking and feeling very good, just dealing with the heavy anxiety I've always had... without any help from anything besides soberness and fitness.

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Thanks for all of your responses.  This is an interesting topic!

 

The term "Gateway Drug" is, I think, an unfortunate one.  It has too many associations with falsely blaming marijuana for peoples' heroin addictions.  It's also associated with scapegoating the drug when it was really the person taking the drug that was the true gateway.  

 

By "Gateway Drug" I should have been more clear.  I don't mean blaming or scapegoating one drug for subsequent other drug use.  I just mean: Does taking adderall, particularly in youth, increase the likelihood that a person will get involved with other drugs?

 

Children being handed this stuff get used to taking pills.  Pills that change how they feel and act.  Pills that are specifically designed to "fix" what's "wrong" with them (which must do wonders for one's self esteem!)  I'm sure they experience euphoric feelings at first, too.  

 

If people get used to taking this stuff at an early age, does that make them more likely to take other pharmaceuticals?  Does it make them more likely to drink or use other drugs?    (This includes any type of drug.  Even an antidepressant.  As far as I'm concerned adderall is just as hard as cocaine or meth, just cleaner, so to say that it's a gateway drug could mean a gateway anywhere.)

 

I don't know of any scientific studies, and I think there needs to be a study done on this.   But because we are the lab rats, our experiences matter and I am curious to hear about others' experiences and thoughts on this.

When I was a teenager I was placed on an antidepressant and anti anxiety medication. I believe because of my history of these medications, it ultimately lead me to try Adderall and think it was safe because it was "pharamceutical".

 

I no longer believe ANY pharameutical medication is safe. I also believe they cause me to have extreme personality and mood changes. I don't take anything now.

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OH and I was put on anti-depressants twice while on Adderall and never before trying/taking it... I was never depressed before it. I truly blame Adderall, drinking and myself for this.

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For me Adderall and cigarettes went together like peas and carrots.



Nooooooooo doubt!

At first I wasn't concerned since I only smoked cigarettes when taking adderall.  When I was using it responsibly, this was usually one or two smokes maximum, because they seemed to extend the duration of the adderall high.

When the binges began it was more like 2-3 packs in 36 hours.  Horribly disgusting.  The binges were frequent enough (sometimes weekly) that someone else smoking 1/2 a pack a day consistently would have gone through less packs.

 

Now that I quit, cigarettes gross me out just like they did before I ever tried adderall.  My ticker below might as well be for both - the only difference is I don't crave cigarettes (or maybe the post-crash cravings for adderall are really for both).

I wonder if the cigarette/stimulant combination makes the stimulant addiction stronger?

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Lots of good discussion points mentioned here so far.

 

Cassie, you bring up a good point. The studies are B.S. Just take a look at everyone on this website trying to quit adderall.  The stories are all the same.  We took adderall, we drank 3X as much, we smoked, we did other drugs, and once we stopped we were not cross addicted to other drugs.  We no longer needed drugs to combat all the side effects of taking legal speed. Quitting smoking or reducing smoking was relatively easy (for many of us) and most of us here that have been successful have turned to exercise and our lives have improved.

 

Do I think adderall is a gateway drug?  Yes, absolutely.  I think you put your life at risk if you start taking it.  I am so glad I have managed to stay clean for so long (regardless of all the urges and even few road bumps).  I would hate to live that lifestyle again. Makes me feel ill just thinking about it.

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The best analogy for Adderall that I have come up with is that it is like the kindling wood you use to start a fire. Once I take Adderall, I crave other addictive prescription drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, Klonopin, Ambien, etc. The Adderall starts that fire and it creates a kindling effect (i.e. craving for more drugs and/or Adderall) that builds the fire bigger and bigger until it's out of control. The only way to put the fire out is to pour water on it, which in my case was actually alcohol-- as many others have mentioned in their posts when they have said that they drank to come down from the Adderall. 

Now that I've been off of Adderall for several months, I have no desire to abuse opiates, benzo's, or any other controlled-substance....including alcohol. I honestly think the Adderall stimulated my addict brain in such a way as to either want more, more, more Adderall or to get fucked up on more, more, more prescriptions and alcohol. Without that initial activation, I no longer crave those substances.
 

So for me personally, I think Adderall is a gateway drug because it leads me to use all my other drugs of abuse. Without the Adderall, I don't crave or use other substances.  

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I wonder if the cigarette/stimulant combination makes the stimulant addiction stronger?

 

I think it does.  I kicked the cig habit about the same time I quit Adderall and I had smoked for 30+ years.

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The night of my first binge was the same night that I remember fully feeling the absolute uncontrollable NEED for more cigarettes so much that I walked an hour to the nearest store at 3am to get some.  That is also the night I mark as when I became officially full blown addicted.  Probably not a coincidence.

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Sorry ab how long this is ab to be. I take this topic to heart. And everybody else should too.

I was diagnosed with ADD in 3rd or 4th grade. Not sure which, but I remember the first day I took Adderall. It was the day we took the practice ITBS test. And by we, I mean the rest of my tiny classmates BC I puked for HOURS runnin bad and forth from the bathroom to the room tryin to get my test done in time. I remember it vividly.

I remember the first time I realized it made me feel "good". My mom was drivin me to school and I said "I usually really don't wanna go to band, but today I'm really excited ab it" my mom literally said "its because you took your medicine"

It made me feel like I was doin somethin right, bein a good kid BECAUSE it made me feel good. Like it chose me or somethin. I was 8/9 years old at that point.

I got to ab 10th grade and I still had the same thought process ab it as I did when I was 9, up until one of my buddies says hell give me 10$ for one.

I was like, whaaa? So I start experimenting. I wind up puttin myself on a schedule where I only take it on the days I work BC it was "fun" to stock every shelf in the grocery store. Quit takin it when I didn't work. Started failin all my classes. In fact, I rarely went to classes. And this is still in highschool, in ab 11th grade at the end of the year is when I knew I had a problem. But there's no way I could have known the extent of how bad it was. I was a 16 year old girl, that had been addicted to, and dependant on amphetamines for 8 years already. So even if I wanted to quit then ( which OBVIOUSLY I didn't bc I'm being told this is a great thing by my mom and I feel great when I take it ) I wouldn't have been able to.

Then that lead up to late nights, leading to A LOT of alcohol to kill the buzz and sleep a few hours. Soon enough in also an alcoholic, dropped out if college, haven't been able to hold a job since... And the whole damn time thinkin ab how it had taken over my life and for some reason, thinkin ab the car ride with my mom to school, when i finally made her proud.

And now here I am. Do NOT give your damn kids Adderall. Unless you wanna ruin their life and know they question every time someone shows a positive feeling towards them, BC they will at some point HATE YOU, trusting nobody, and its gonna be your fault. And by "you" and "your" I just mean everybody. Don't do it. Please.

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Also, to actually answer the question, I was so despised with pills by the time I realized I had to take them or I felt like I was dying, that there was absolutely no urge to start takin another one too. But I can say with pretty good confidence that being given this as a child is what started my drinking habits.

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For me, yes it is the gateway to destroying whatever i have. The false sense of security places my new found focus in areas of worthlessness, time after time: born cyclical insanity. It all starts with the adderall ingestion and subsequent personality change. false confidence and rationalization lead to buying a pack of cigarettes, something you would never desire but not for the adderall. The focus begins to shift from necessary productivity to activity rationalization. You now are at a bar ordering alcohol. The repeated cycle creates some type of habitual relationship of vices that manifests itself in the form of self destruction, followed by rest. And then, u launch again only to bring the same cast of substances back to the party, the party that adderall wants to throw again. Without adderrall creating your desires, your desire for other vices disappear. At least thats how it became a gateway for me.

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YES, that is exactly what it did for me!  It was like taking a boost of adrenaline that made me CRAVE cigs, booze, and more drugs.  It gave me the ability to get blasted for hours on end three times the amount.  The intensity and euphoria drove me to just want everything I could get my hands on right in the moment.  It made me seriously lose my sanity and just want MORE, MORE, MORE.  I am surprised I never had a heart attack. Thank God.

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For me, yes it is the gateway to destroying whatever i have. The false sense of security places my new found focus in areas of worthlessness, time after time: born cyclical insanity. It all starts with the adderall ingestion and subsequent personality change. false confidence and rationalization lead to buying a pack of cigarettes, something you would never desire but not for the adderall. The focus begins to shift from necessary productivity to activity rationalization. You now are at a bar ordering alcohol. The repeated cycle creates some type of habitual relationship of vices that manifests itself in the form of self destruction, followed by rest. And then, u launch again only to bring the same cast of substances back to the party, the party that adderall wants to throw again. Without adderrall creating your desires, your desire for other vices disappear. At least thats how it became a gateway for me.

 

This sums up my experience precisely.

 


I am surprised I never had a heart attack. Thank God.

 

Me too.  I'm convinced my relatively low age saved my life.  If I were in my mid 40s/50s when I lived that lifestyle I'm sure I would have been dead.

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