My journey with Adderall is just as fucked up as anybody’s that you’ve read on here. I will get to my story but first I want to give you a bit of background on myself: I am currently 25 years old and I am a former All-American collegiate athlete from a huge school who had his future set with professional sports before this drug that I believed gave me everything had been plotting to take everything away.
My true introduction to Adderall started in May of 2011, after my freshman year of college, when a teammate of mine that I genuinely looked up to told me that he takes the drug before every training because it makes him feel like he is playing in the “world championship” each time he uses it. I then asked him to try it and he told me no but this genuinely intrigued my curiosity in what it could possibly be like. So, like many others, I went to my primary care doc and told him that I had been struggling with concentration issues, memory issues, and that since ADHD ran in my family (my brother was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 9) I would like to be tested for it. My doc sent me over to a psychiatrist and 4 appointments + a bunch of tests later, I received the paperwork that I did have ADHD, brought it back to my primary care doc and I was started on 20 MG of Ritalin, 2x daily.
Going into my sophomore year, I was in the best shape of my life and had devoted my entire summer to training. I was fucking ready and now, I also had my secret weapon, I had my Ritalin. Starting off that Fall semester, I would only take the drug the day before my games and then again on game days. And shit, let me tell you, this stuff worked! I was more focused and more driven than I had ever been. Between my freshman season to my sophomore season I went from being a kid with a lot of potential to a first team all-conference selection. For whatever fucked up reason, I attributed this success to the drug instead of to all the preparation I had put into getting to where I now was as a player.
During that Fall semester, I also began to apply the same Ritalin-taking-game-day-logic to my academics: “take it only the night before exams and during exams”. This allowed me to go from a 2.5 GPA student to a 3.4 GPA student in what felt like an overnight process. This shit was a godsend! Right?
Cue Spring 2012. I still wasn’t taking all my prescribed daily dosage and I still wasn’t taking the drug daily; however, I was losing weight in muscle mass. My coach knew that I started taking Ritalin the Summer before and even noted that I looked noticeably skinnier that Spring semester and he immediately attributed it to the drug. And fuck, he was right whether I wanted to admit it or not. I had lost about 9 pounds of muscle mass and it was all due to my lack of appetite. This lack of appetite and heavy training load is ultimately what led to my athletic demise and further addiction.
Due to the loss in muscle, I developed a pain in my knee that rapidly began to become worse and worse. During that Spring, it became visibly noticeable that the pain in my knee was starting to make my left quad shut down because the muscles were not firing properly due to the pain I was experiencing. I was sent to multiple doctors without any clear diagnosis’ as to what the issue was.
Now we’re in the Fall of 2012. I couldn’t train the entire summer and with my season just around the corner, I had a bad, bad feeling that I was not going to be able to compete for a while. I was sent back to the doctor and he suggested that we have an arthroscopic surgery to try to go in and find out what was going on inside of my knee. As it turned out, they couldn’t find shit and all they did was make my problem worse! I tried to rehab my knee and surrounding muscles back for 2 months to no success. When my doc realized that I was still not gaining my muscle back, they recommended that I have another surgery as they believed that he could genuinely fix it this time around. I obliged. As they went back in for the scope, they still found nothing but my rehab process was then successful and I was back on the field by February of 2013 after redshirting the 2012 season.
Spring of 2013, this is where the addiction begins. I began to see my schools sport psychiatrist, opposed to my families’ primary doc, and the new doc began to put me on 20 MG of Adderall XR that semester. I told him that the dose was too low and he doubled it to 40 MG of Adderall XR daily.
Although I was now back on the field, it was not without pain. Every time I would try to sprint, run, jump, cut, whatever it was, I would feel pain. I quickly noticed that when I took my Adderall though, I could push through the pain without problem! I genuinely used Adderall to push through the physical pain I was feeling. How fucked up could I have been to use Adderall for pain management?!
In the Fall of 2013, I was back to flying on the field. I was getting injections in my knee every couple of months to keep the pain to a minimum but I was also at the peak of my 40 MG XR use daily. There was not a day that I went by without taking it. Even after sitting out a year, I was named a first team all-conference selection and I was set to have an even better year in 2014.
Spring of 2014 was more of the same as the Fall of 2013, life seemed good. Hooked on 40 MG of XR daily.
Summer of 2014 is where the abuse truly and accidentally started. I began beginning to feel dizzy all the time both when I was playing and when I wasn’t playing. With a genuinely good heart, I went to my prescribing doctor and asked him to lower my dosage to 30 MG XR daily. This is where I fucked up. I tried to take it as prescribed but I wasn’t getting the same euphoric feelings as I previously had been. I still had almost an entire bottle of the 20 MG XR pills that I would use when I was prescribed to take 40 MG daily while I also had the brand-new bottle of the 30 MG XR capsules. As you can imagine, I started taking both together to try and get to that same feeling that I was previously getting and it has all been downhill from here.
During the Fall of 2014 I was a preseason all-American and was set for a surefire prosessionalt career after graduation, all while I was doped up on 50-90 MG of XR daily. I was leading my team, as usual, through the first half of the season and then my life changed. My knee injury was back and I couldn’t push through it anymore. This time there was a serious issue with complications due to overtraining and doctors told me that I would be done playing competitively forever. No more season, no more draft, no more future. Fuck. How was I going to get over this? More. Adderall.
I started abusing the shit out of this drug. I was about to graduate in the Fall of 2014 and this was the first time that I ran out of a pill bottle early. This was my first time experiencing the hell of withdrawal and the need for that 3PM nap for those first 3 days after quitting. Although I had no idea then that what I was experiencing was withdrawal. I graduated and everything was fine but then I went home and moved back in with my parents to start my new life.
From January 2015 until May of 2015 I had no job, I felt like I had no future, I felt like my life was done. I started seeing my family doctor again and he started to prescribe me 20 MG of Adderall IR 2x daily. This fucked me up, bad. During this time, I had nothing. I would suck down that pill bottle in 2 weeks, withdrawal for 2 weeks, and then start the cycle all over again.
May 2015 was when things began to change, probably for the worse. I was offered a big-time job in DC that anybody would be envious of and that I was proud to accept. While I started the job and everything was going well, my abuse began to heighten. I was sucking down the bottle in about a week and a half and then experiencing all the withdrawal symptoms while also trying to stay productive at work, always a mistake.
September 24th, 2015 was the day that I finally got fed up with myself and this addiction. This was the first time that I finally flushed all the pills in my bottle and ripped up all my remaining scripts to also flush down the toilet. Ever since that day, I have changed but I have not been able to kick my habit.
Every three months I go to my family doctor to get a new supply of scripts. I go and fill my first script, take a bunch of pills for a few days, flush my bottle and the 2 remaining scripts, become sober for 83 days or so and then repeat. This is a fucking nightmare that I cannot get away from. During this cycle, there have been times where I have finished my whole bottle in less than 2 weeks, there have been times that I have taken 15 pills and then flushed the bottle with the remaining scripts, and there have been times that I have taken 2 pills and then flushed the bottle and remaining scripts.
My most recent experience with this was 4 days ago when I went through this process after taking the pills for 3 days and not sleeping a wink during the time. I am fully determined to finally make this quit stick though.
After my first big quit I experienced all the major withdrawal symptoms. Crazy anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue, anhedonia, the cravings, everything. Now-a-days when I quit I feel like I just fall back into life for 3 months. I am social, I do not experience the depression, I can work out daily, and the anxiety is not there (however, whenever I take a pill now my anxiety will get pushed to near suicidal levels and I cannot sleep for 2 days, even if I had only taken 1 pill at 10AM). I don’t crave the drug at all and that’s why this whole situation has me fucked up. I go back and get the pills because I convince myself that things will be different (my inner addict talking). I go and pick up my script just because its available, not even because it’s what I want to do. But once I take that first pill, then shittttttt, I become full blown addicted again. All I do is crave the next. That is why it is so important for me to stay away all together.
I know the key to a successful quit for me is to cut off my family doctor; however, I just don’t feel like I have the balls to tell him. My parents have no fucking clue I take this drug and I’m scared he would tell them because he is a friend to us before he is a doctor to us. One of the most fucked up parts as well is that my doctors’ daughter actually passed away due to complications of drug use. I think this is another reason why I just don’t have the heart to tell him. The only person that knows is my girlfriend and she has known since exactly 40 days after my first initial quit. I would love to say that she is extremely supportive but the truth is that she just doesn’t understand the hell that we’ve all been through since I know how to just play it off as not a big deal on the surface. I’ve just never wanted her to worry about me (us men have way too much pride from time-to-time). I don’t want her to know about all the sleepless nights, all the Adderall crazed cleaning sprees, all the times I’ve thought that I wanted to end my life before this drug takes it from me first because for some reason that just sounds more appealing.
I need to make this quit stick and I need you all’s help. I’ve read every post in this forum for about 2 ½ years now. I know all of your stories. Where you’ve been, what you’ve gone through, and where you are now. I’ve felt like I’ve experienced so much with this community that I finally felt like it was the time that you knew what it was that I’ve experienced.