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papasmurf

confused and concerned, need advice and help! :(

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I'm in the second semester of my junior year in college and I think I've become addicted to adderall....doctors have been telling my mother since I was in kindergarden that I should be tested for add/adhd, but she's one of those types who doesn't think that they're real diseases. I started school in august of 2010 (i should be a freshman but transferred in with a lot of ap's...) and pretty quickly into the school year discovered a serious inability to concentrate. the work at this university is easier than anything I dealt with during high school, and yet I was still struggling. Sometime after this semester started (maybe the beginning of february?) a friend gave me a 20mg adderall because I was complaining about having an 8am class and being completely unable to focus that entire day (partly because I was so exhausted). I took the pill for the first time, not really knowing anything about it, at around 9am. I started the day with coffee, as I always did, because I didn't even know the drug was a stimulant (I was admittedly thick in this area...). By 11am I felt absolutely fabulous, I had another coffee, and suddenly felt like I was rolling face. it only lasted for about 45 minutes, but it felt like speed. almost as if I was sitting dormant watching myself race around in circles during the day. It also killed the migraine i always suffer from (i had brain surgery when i was 16 and have had headaches so bad that percs and morphine didn't even touch it...) on a constant basis and got rid of my crippling social anxiety. I've been struggling with an eating disorder for almost six years and it has left me socially...fucked, basically. my close friends are the only people around whom I've ever felt comfortable but the prospect of presenting myself to new people is too much to handle :( I dont even understand it myself, I'm intelligent and attractive. I know that on one level but there's still a vindictive part of my brain refusing to accept that I'm not completely awful. At first, the adderall made that go away.

All of that day and the next I was on top of the world; the drug gradually wore off and I called my friend for more. This time he only gave me 10mgs. I started taking 10mgs regularly on tues/thurs mornings to wake up for class. Then one monday I took 30mgs to write a paper, and my heart raced faster than it did when I tried cocaine, so I smoked a joint. The combination of weed and adderall calms me like no other. anyway I've been on a similar pattern of usage ever since then (I havent taken more than 20mgs since...), and recently I've been faced with immense hardships in my life. About two months ago my best friend broke off our friendship in the most awful way, and I've had a really hard time coping. This past month I quit the drug completely after two days of insomnia (a side effect I hadn't suffered previously...), which then lead to two more weeks of being unable to sleep. I was averaging two hours/night on the good days...after about 5 days of not taking adderall I was so exhausted before the day my morning class had an exam I took 10mgs. That weekend, still facing insomnia, I got drunk in an attempt to fall asleep. it actually worked! (thank GOD, because ever since that night I've been sleeping normally). I guess you could say the depression really kicked in around this point, but it had been building for months. I went from having generally positive days with maybe an hour or two of negativity to forgetting what being happy meant. Maybe three weeks ago I was accused, by the members of my family, of something heinous and untrue. The people who should love me are instead openly bashing me and calling me worthless This past week my depression has gotten much worse... I've woken up and cried for hours before even getting out of bed. I've had increasing thoughts of suicide and even wrote a note just in case... walking from class to class seems like too much to handle, I'm walking my university's hallways in unrequited hysterics. I've isolated myself from people and lost contact with friends. I've completely lost myself. it's like in a week's time I've forgotten who I used to be. I feel like a shell of a person and it's a miserable way to live.

I almost feel like blaming my current state on adderall is a cop-out. I'm dealing with so much shit right now that had I never taken the drug I feel like I'd be just as depressed, however I'm petrified now that I've gotten my body physically addicted to something with a dangerous withdrawal. Heart problems can result from stopping stimulants, right? I can finish out the rest of this semester without taking that drug, I KNOW that. I've already begun breaking pills in half- whereas before I'd take 10mgs in the morning I'll now only take 5. my spring break is next week and I wouldn't even have the slightest idea where to find this shit at home, nor would I have a legitimate reason to seek it, so that's an automatic 10-day detox period of sorts? Am I going to be ok? I dont have health insurance atm (sucks being on your own at 18!) and if I went to my mother with a drug addiction she'd abandon me before spending money on help.

I should add that I've dabbled a bit in other drugs (I've tried cocaine once, believe it or not charlie sheen was there!, mdma a few times, I tripped acid this past halloween, and I smoke pot decently often but adderall is the only "drug" I've gone back to, it's the only thing I've ever taken regularly, and it's the only thing I've ever been afraid to stop). Also, I'm a little girl. 5'2 and MAYBE 115lbs. I really have no idea what I'm doing, somebody PLEASE give me some advice- and don't just say to go to a doctor because I'm really not able to right now.

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Advice? OK.

- Sounds like you haven't been taking very much for very long. Your problem and concerns ARE very valid, and it it will be easier to overcome this since it hasn't been years and you weren't taking 80 mg a day.

- Stopping stimulants isn't bad for your heart, staying on them is. Don't do any strenuous exercise for a few days after the last pill. After that, exercise is one of the best things you can do.

- It doesn't sound like your dependent or addicted per se, you're just having come downs. If you said you did coke (I used to quite a bit), and X (never did), then you know about crashes.

- Amphetamines are IMHO way more habit forming than coke or lots of other things b/c they weasel into your whole life, and you can be quite functional with them. They mess with the chemicals in your brain so that you become emotionally convinced that they really are helping, that you're not addicted, that you can quit anytime. At the same time, you can logically see how they're harming you. Bad psychology.

- You might want to consider changing some friends. If you have people in you life for no other reason except that you drink or smoke pot with them, then those aren't friends.

- Adderall is a schedule 2 drug. You can get in a serious amount of trouble for having them without a script. If you're 18, then a felony is forever.

- Don't isolate when you stop. Make your bed everyday, even if you don't feel like it. Join a group at school and hang around with people who don't even talk about pills or drugs. You won't think about it so much.

- In a month or two, you should be really no worse for it. Just don't take them ever again, and ignore the memories about how much you like them. That's your brain lying to you.

Hope it helps a bit.

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Johnny 5, great advice!!

Asilve,

I can relate with everything you've said and I hope that you take what I'm about to say to your very inner being. I am not a doctor, however, I've been in your shoes. I've tried almost every drug there is besides heroin. I was addicted to adderall for six years. I was a crazy person on adderall and everything was a 1,000 times worse when I had it running through my veins. I felt like every problem and/or situation was too much to handle. Life felt like it was unbearably hard towards the end. It made me paranoid, anxious, OCD, and as if the world was caving in on me (this was when I'd taken too much and hadn't slept on top of poisoning myself with alcohol and pot). When I'd finally ween off of it for maybe a week, I'd become lethargic until I could get my hands on the next prescription/dose what have you. This is a terrible way to live and you will not have a clear head until you are completely detoxed from everything. My suggestion to you is to quit everything cold turkey for a month. Sleep, eat healthy, and try some exercise once you have a little energy back. You will feel like a new person.

I lost friends in the midst of my addiction as well. I wasn't myself anymore. I was a prisoner to drugs and alcohol and they came first over all others. Your friends and family will come around again once you get "You" back. Right now they are most likely scared of you or for you b/c they don't know what's going on or how to help you. Seriously, I like what Johnny said about getting a new group of friends if necessary...joining a group, or something along those lines. Feel free to email me privately if you want to talk. Best wishes to you!

Erin

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Johnny 5, great advice!!

Asilve,

I can relate with everything you've said and I hope that you take what I'm about to say to your very inner being. I am not a doctor, however, I've been in your shoes. I've tried almost every drug there is besides heroin. I was addicted to adderall for six years. I was a crazy person on adderall and everything was a 1,000 times worse when I had it running through my veins. I felt like every problem and/or situation was too much to handle. Life felt like it was unbearably hard towards the end. It made me paranoid, anxious, OCD, and as if the world was caving in on me (this was when I'd taken too much and hadn't slept on top of poisoning myself with alcohol and pot). When I'd finally ween off of it for maybe a week, I'd become lethargic until I could get my hands on the next prescription/dose what have you. This is a terrible way to live and you will not have a clear head until you are completely detoxed from everything. My suggestion to you is to quit everything cold turkey for a month. Sleep, eat healthy, and try some exercise once you have a little energy back. You will feel like a new person.

I lost friends in the midst of my addiction as well. I wasn't myself anymore. I was a prisoner to drugs and alcohol and they came first over all others. Your friends and family will come around again once you get "You" back. Right now they are most likely scared of you or for you b/c they don't know what's going on or how to help you. Seriously, I like what Johnny said about getting a new group of friends if necessary...joining a group, or something along those lines. Feel free to email me privately if you want to talk. Best wishes to you!

Erin

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thanks for replying :) I haven't lost friends of family as a result of drug use...when I was 16 I chose not to go to my grandfather's funeral and none of my immediate family has forgiven me yet. My uncle, among other things, called me a c*nt, which is where these recent family issues have begun. My "best friend" owes me $400, when I asked her for the money she decided she had moved on emotionally from what our friendship once was and didn't feel like she needed to pay me.

...this shit is a FELONY!? I had no idea... that's so strange because a few weeks ago I got caught with weed in my dorm room (random spot check) and they opened this snuff box I had full of addys, they asked what they were, I said adderall, and they let it be. I'm just concerned with this depression. I'm having panic attacks too, it's so unlike me >.<

so where do I go now? I don't have any pills left as of yesterday and I'm not going to get any more..how is this detox going to feel? I'm going home on friday for the first time since august and I don't want to seem completely lethargic or depressed.

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thanks for replying :) I haven't lost friends of family as a result of drug use...when I was 16 I chose not to go to my grandfather's funeral and none of my immediate family has forgiven me yet. My uncle, among other things, called me a c*nt, which is where these recent family issues have begun. My "best friend" owes me $400, when I asked her for the money she decided she had moved on emotionally from what our friendship once was and didn't feel like she needed to pay me.

...this shit is a FELONY!? I had no idea... that's so strange because a few weeks ago I got caught with weed in my dorm room (random spot check) and they opened this snuff box I had full of addys, they asked what they were, I said adderall, and they let it be. I'm just concerned with this depression. I'm having panic attacks too, it's so unlike me >.<

so where do I go now? I don't have any pills left as of yesterday and I'm not going to get any more..how is this detox going to feel? I'm going home on friday for the first time since august and I don't want to seem completely lethargic or depressed.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation (but it's good your here). From what you've said, it doesn't sound as though you were taking such a high dose...so your withdrawel may not be too bad. I think your mostly going through alot due to lack of sleep, nutrition, and current depression.

Unfortunately (from my experience) you will probably go through some of the chemical withdrawel. If so, expect to be extremely tired along with a bout of depression. It seems you're already dealing with depression as a result of other (family/friends) issues. I really think you need to see someone to help with those underlying issues also. Even if you don't have insurance, call around...there are places that will get you some of the help you need.

Please just try to "weather the storm". As the depression worsens over this period of time, try to exercise and eat well (refer to the quitting add. link). No matter what, just remember- it will get better. Suicide is not the solution! I know how you feel...I've felt some of the same things your feeling.

Please keep us updated...

-Jason

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how is this detox going to feel? - uncomfortable, but mild. 4 or 5 days and you should be 95% of normal. You're very young, and you'll bounce back quick. Again, not trying to minimize your situation; on the "suck scale", I put amphetamine withdrawal above opiate withdrawal. Psychological pain is worse than physical pain IMHO.

Sleep enough, but not too much. Go to bed a little earlier and wake up at the same time as you usually do. Melatonin is a good supplement. You might have intense dreams about Adderall for a pretty long time. Your subconscious mind has to process the presence/absence of amphetamines. The dreams are normal.

The key is stay busy or entertained enough so that you don't think about it. Thinking about it is like the worst thing you can do. Mike, the purveyor of this fine website, talks about finding your hidden talent or interest. Keep an open mind - you never know when you'll discover what it is that you were meant to do.

For me, that's been airplanes. I never much thought about them til I started working on them. They've absolutely captured my imagination! For example, there's 2 really nice old wrinkled people at my parent's church, a man and a women. He was a p-47 fighter pilot and she was a member of WAF (women's air force - they delivered planes across the atlantic). They were 17, 18, 20 years old at the time. An amazing contrast - you would never guess they did those things.

Real life is so much more interesting than drugs!

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Hi, I'm glad to hear you didn't lose friends or family members b/c of adderall. I assumed wrong and you know what they say about assume. ;)

Anyhow, I think once you get some good rest and it's finally out of your system for good, you'll start feeling better. It sounds like you are going through some hard times right now and honestly counseling would be a great thing. Most universities offer some sort of counseling (and this should be free). Have you checked around at your school? If not there, how about a local church group? They also have those 1-800 hotlines available if you start feeling really bad. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. ((((((((Hugs)))))))))

Erin

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hi all, thanks so much for everyone reading and replying!

I haven't taken anything since the night I made that first post so that's good. haha..I ended up having to stay up for two days straight (flight at 6 am, had to be awake to make it to jfk before that!) so when I first got home I crashed. slept for like 12 hours and felt pretty normal after that. something I noticed though is that my alcohol tolerance has gone way down! is that normal? I took four shots on saturday night and I was absolutely shitfaced. If I'm trying to get that drunk I'd need to take at least 7! and I had eaten a lot that day! I don't drink very often but it'll happen on occasion. anyway I'm pretty sure any traces of adderall are out of my system by now, so that's a good thing. I'm not nearly as depressed but I had a really deep heart to heart with my best friends at school before I left, and my mind has felt clear ever since then. being home helps too, it's the first time I'm back since august and it's great to be here. I have my car, I feel independent, self sufficient, etc. being in a dorm room 24/7 can drive a person insane...

my school does have counseling but it's expensive! I *had* to go to a session once because I got caught with weed (it was a .5 bag. I didnt even pay for it and they wrote me up for drug possession... said I clearly had a marijuana addiction masking other problems. I didn't take it very seriously tbh hehe) and it wasn't exactly the most helpful. everything the counselor said to me seemed like a tactic, you know? saying "and how does that make you feel?" after every sentence that comes out of my mouth does not make you sigmund freud.

I have SO much schoolwork to do on my week off, my teachers are all vindictive FUCKS. Two term papers, both 10 pages long, 15 current event things (each 2 pgs), and 15 groups of 3 essay ?'s. most of it is b/s busy work but it's all really time-consuming and the only thought in my head while doing all of this is that if I just took a 20mg pill, it'd be done that night. what's worse is that all of the colleges near me are about to be in finals week, so addys and ritalin and all other add meds are readily and easily available. shoved in my face at times...but I havent taken anything. yet. I'm not even craving the "adderall high", I just need to get my shit done :/ we'll see how everything goes...again thanks everyone! xx

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Wow. That's really cool! Sounds like you're feeling better about things all around. Neat that you and your friend got on better terms.

The alcohol tolerance thing is normal. On the uppers, I could drink as much as I liked without getting sloppy. That's not always isn't a good thing - you're drunk enough to do incredibly stupid things, and you have the energy and coordination to do them! More seriously, people should be careful mixing amphetamines and alcohol - it's possible to consume enough booze to kill yourself, where a person would normally pass out long before then.

I'm with you on the college teachers. They make it all seem so damn important, like you'll fail at life if you don't pass calc 2. Please... Truth is, except for getting your first job outta college, where you went to school and the grades you got there don't mean crap in the real world. PS, you're first job isn't all that important either :)

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