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kidflash83

45 Days Sober and struggling with PAWS. Should I cut out Caffeine?

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45 days sober from over 3 years of abusing Adderall and lurking on this website reading all of your stories has helped me so much! 

I started going to therapy which has been really helpful and I'm planning on going to some groups this week. Now that I've gotten through the first 30 days and the physical withdrawal period I'm definitely starting to feel like myself again but have recently been feeling some of the PAWS symptoms many of you have written about. I was reading a great article on PAWs which mentioned that caffeine can increase cravings because it stimulates the same part of the brain as drugs. I feel like I've been chasing an amphetamine high with red bull and coffee and it may be making the PAWs worse. Has anyone else noticed caffeine increasing their adderall cravings?

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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on 45 days!  Caffeine has increased my cravings in the past and I found myself chasing that "high" by drinking excessive amounts of Red Bull.  I quit for 90 days last year and when someone would recommend a Red Bull I knew not to do it because I couldn't have just 1 lol.  I guess since caffeine is a stimulant it would trigger that part of my brain that adderall would.  Unfortunately after chugging 3-4 Red Bulls in a short period to chase that high I started to feel worse (super shaky, anxious, and overall just crappy) than I would after taking Adderall and in my head I would just say "I might as well be on Adderall, its healthier for me!"...you know the addiction talking. 

My friend who's been clean over 4 years used to drink ALOT of coffee when he first quit, to the point where I actually thought he was on Vyvanse or adderall.  After a few months he had to drastically reduce his caffeine intake to maybe 1 cup of coffee in the mornings and he went for a few months with no caffeine since it stimulated him so much.  He started to consider it a drug of its own (like it was as bad as Adderall lol) cause it altered his attitude so much. But he normally stays around 1 cup in the mornings and thats it. 

Personally I drink a sweet tea with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which I don't feel like it affects me but when I didn't have one in the morning I noticed the lack of caffeine lol. Everyone is different, I'm currently day 9 at the moment and staying away from the energy drinks because of the way they affect me. 

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I love (sugarfree) RedBull but I drink way less of it than I used to.  I could somewhat satisfy an Adderall craving by slamming a redbull.  I never felt like consuming caffeine or any other kind of non-speed stimulant was detrimental, or enhanced Adderall cravings.   In fact, I used anything I could get my hands on for stimulation as long as it wasn't a drug in the first year or two of recovery.  I think caffeine can enhance the anxiety, which is a symptom of post quitting depression.  But consuming excessive alcohol is even worse for the depression and anxiety, especially the day after overconsumption.     

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