I have spent tons of time time on and gained so much from this website, I feel that I must share my story for my own benefit and maybe for others too. I have now taken Adderall on a daily basis for about 8 years (anywhere from 40-100 mg), and before that, on an intermittent basis for 4 years, for a total of 12 years. I am only now realizing how addicted I am and how badly I need to stop taking it. It's just so terrifying to think about not being on it. I have weaned myself to 30 mg/day on work days for the past 2 weeks and will be attempting a sober weekend. I plan to taper off. Ironically I quit smoking cigarettes several years ago while taking Adderall, and I was only able to do that with gradually decreasing doses of nicotine replacement therapy. Cold turkey was not an option for me and I think it'll be the same with quitting Adderall. Even when I was a heavy smoker, I always knew that I would quit smoking, and even though I've taken it for years, I know that I'll quit taking Adderall.
The reason I want to quit is a series of health problems that have cropped up in the past 2 years. It all started with a sudden 20-pound weight gain. My formerly flat stomach suddenly looked 3-6 months pregnant, depending on how bad the bloating was. My legs and upper arms were suddenly covered in cellulite. I felt like I was carrying bags of water on my thighs. I couldn't digest food. I went to the gastroenterologist, multiple naturopaths, had weekly acupuncture for months, cut out every possibly reactive food from my diet, had stool, blood, and food sensitivity testing, and on and on. I have spent 2 years torturing myself over this weight gain and continue to do so daily. Despite all of my efforts, none of the symptoms have abated. And even though I probably won't be able to find a healthcare practitioner who is willing to say so, I believe it's from Adderall. I think taking stimulants on a long-term basis can result in so many issues as they affect everything in your body. I've spent $1000s and the better part of the past 2 years chasing down every remedy and cure when the thing I need to do is stop. Taking. Adderall.
Other issues (not a complete list): I have constant heartburn and am frequently short of breath (though I work out at least 3 times/week), I have to pee constantly. My teeth seem to be shifting, I feel like shit all the time. My eyes are glazed. My liver enzymes are elevated. My jaw is constantly clenched. I am constantly stressed out about cleaning and reorganizing, which creates more stress, which creates the need for more Adderall. My hands and feet are always cold. I'm always trying to do 10 things at once and stressing myself out. I'm so exhausted ALL THE TIME, regardless of how much I took. I feel like it's created ADD, I can't focus on any one thing for more than 20 seconds before I'm trying to do something else at the same time. I'm so worried about irreversible health effects that I can't really even think about it. It makes me compulsively spend money on absolute bullshit. I have tons of debt and in part, it's due to Adderall.
The reason I started taking it was because at heart, I am a low-energy person. I have always envied people who are able to just get up, go about their day, run errands or work or whatever without having to take a nap or lie down. My whole family has this issue. It's somewhat alleviated by exercising and eating healthy but nothing like the quick fix of Adderall. Adderall been my constant companion for so long, giving me the energy to get through everything (work trip? no problem, I'll have just refilled my script. meeting girlfriend's parents for the first time? as long as I have some Adderall, it'll be fine.). I am so scared to not have it. I depend on it so much for everything. Any advice or words of encouragement or wisdom would be very much appreciated! Even though I know I will quit eventually, it's coming to terms with the quitting that is the worst.