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Everything posted by Greg

  1. Hey all, I've been on this site for 6.5 years and have read many horrible stories about adderall addiction and also some amazing success stories. As you can see I've posted on this forum over 1000 times. I've been clean since Nov 13, 2010. And here is the collective wisdom I've gathered from people who successfully beat adderall addiction on this site. Just as background I used to snort 250 mgs a day, was in and out of rehab and outpatient therapy. I had constant stimulant induced schizophrenia. 1) CUT OFF YOUR DOCTOR - this is how the successful people on this site quit. Period. Cut off your doctor. I havent come across a single person that still had access to adderall prescriptions from their doc and was able to just quit. 2) UNDERSTAND WHY YOU GOT ADDICTED ... and why you feel like shit without it. Adderall causes your brain to retain more of the neurotransmitter dopamine between the synapses or nerve endings in your brain. This artificial surplus of dopamine is what causes you to feel more motivated, the brain stops regulating dopamine on it's own properly. Your body begins to adapt to the repeated dosing of a central nervous system stimulant, causing dependence, until eventually life seems much worse without adderall. Over time, as your natural dopamine reuptake process is consistently disrupted, the body produces less and less dopamine. If the adderall is then withdrawn, the body has neither its own dopamine nor an artificial surplus of dopamine between the the brain receptors - thus the horror of withdrawal. 3. DON'T PUT PRESSURE ON YOURSELF when you quit...Stop trying to be the perfect mom, or the superstar at work, the super thin person, the social butterfly. As for working, decide if you are able to continue working or not.. I did not work for TWO + YEARS. I just spent those years on my moms couch reading recovery books, going to NA and sticking close to this site.. I had that luxury to live at home at not work (no kids to support etc) Afterwords, with help from members of this site, I fought my way back into a career...from interning at a shoe store without pay to volunteering for a couple bucks an hour to working in a college admin office for 200 bucks a month. If you don't feel like you can afford to stop working, do not try to be a superstar at work. Go through the motions, just like the author does in "Get it Done when your depressed" 4.UNDERSTAND PAWS there are many, many resources on post acute withdrawal system. Just google it. Your brain will go through PAWS. This will help you understand the depression, fatigue and all those horrible feelings that make adderall recovery horrific. 5. TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME It takes forever to feel normal again, but you get to a point where you no longer think about it anymore. 6. YOU WILL NOT BE FAT FOREVER As long as you put in discipline and willpower. After the post weight gain you will get back to normal weight. I went to 250lbs immediately post adderall and now I'm normal and thin again. Most people on this site can attest to the same. 7. STAY CLOSE TO THE FORUMS. Don't lurk here. Be engaged with the community. Helping others also helps yourself too. And keeping this place active helps everyone on this site. No one judges you on this site. There are many tools/resources/information here that can REALLY help you. Many veterans here have gone on to give interviews for national magazines and television programs about what happened to them. 8. SUPPLEMENTS that people on this site that people have found effective include: Wellbutrin and L-Tyrosine. Don't even consider swapping to Vyvance, Ritalin, or Dex. They are the same as addearll. 9. UNDERSTAND THAT THIS PROCESS TAKES FOREVER AND A DAY. It took me years and years and i still struggle. For others who were on much lower dosages than me, it still takes at least year but not as long as it did for me. As a rule of thumb, every year you abused, you need an additional year to recover. You will feel unmotivated. You will be starving all the time. You will be tired. But you are in the norm. Adderall recovery may often feel very specific to you but it is not. We all go through this or are going through this. 10. READ and read and read to educate yourself on what has happened to you - "On Speed" has been the most popular book for this site. Other books, "Get it Done When Your Depressed" "Pill Head", "More, Now, Again" , "The Amphetamine Debate" to name a few. Read the article on Richard Fees suicide that was in the NY Times. The link is below 11. WRITE DOWN all reasons why adderall messed up your life. If you ever want to start taking adderall again - READ the list and you will remember about those horrific nights 3 am on an empty stomach and feeling like complete shit. Or you'll remember the scariness of getting caught doctor shopping or you'll remember getting fired, or you'll remember the stimulant induced psychosis that made people think you were schizophrenic. 12. ALCOHOL/CAFFEINE RULE OF THUMB Most recovering adderall addicts still allow themselves to drink alcohol. This is taboo in Narcotics Anonymous but adderall veterans continue to drink without having problems. Many on here have relied on caffeine and redbull to help them. I used those high energy drinks like Rockstar and Monster. I indulge in alchohol as well. 13. GOING COLD TURKEY did not destroy anyone's brain or give them permanent brain damage. I believe xanax can do that but not adderall. Go cold turkey. 14. READ OLDER POSTS While you are on this site, read everything here bc there is tons of great advice on threads that have gotten buried. Remember this site has been active for at least 7 or 8 years so there's a lot of good information on these threads. 15. RELATIONSHIPS - Explain to the people closest to you what happened so they can better understand. Tell them how it messed up the neurochemicals in your brain. Apologize to them. Tell them it will never happen again. Assure them you are in the clear. 16. AT FIRST IT MAY SEEM EASY but it's not. In order to level set your expectations I can tell you it completely sucks. You may go through a brief phase where it seems easy and then suddenly it hits you like a brick. 16b. RECOVERY IS NOT A LINEAR PROCESS. Withdrawal symptoms hit in waves. Sometimes you will have really off days, and you can blame that on the PAWS. Some days you'll feel fine. Embrace the days you feel fine. 17. DEFEAT THE PYSCHOLOGICAL PART OF THE ADDICTION. If you are here, adderall has become a crutch in your life and taken a toll on your confidence to do things without it. Get off your feet and start doing things that you relied on adderall to get you through them. If you are as bad as me you prob relied on adderall for everything. Each time you do something without adderall you start to say "hey I dont need adderall to do this" and your confidence begins to build. 18. STREAM AND BINGEWATCH TV As you recover from withdrawal, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon prime are a godsend. They help you forget about how shitty you feel for the moments you are engrossed in your favorite shows. I have fond memories of bingewatching netflix shows as i went through the hell of withdrawal. 19. When you feel ready FIGHT. FIGHT. FIGHT. to get your life back into shape. I fought my ass off after I finally got off my moms couch. A lot of adderall veterans on this site would definitely remember my experience because i was on here every day, documenting every moment of my job search, my job hunt, my worries/insecurities and I got so much support and advice from this amazing community to push forward. After interning in a shoe store for no money, feeling like i was getting no where, I went back to school graduated and fought for a good job. My newly non-adderall addicted self began making over 6 figures a year. 've gotten a raise every year over the last three years and was able to give my mom 20K for not just the heartache tears and pain I caused her but to show my gratitude for her taking care of me while I recovered, and for letting me live on her couch for two years and put no pressure on me to do anything but read books. 20. ADDERALL CAUSES YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR MIND ONLY. Go back and read a paper that you wrote while on adderall. You probably thought it was incredible. Now go back and re-read it. Was it really that great?? When i was in my adderall haze the success was in my grandiose thinking, in my feeling of invincibility, of being able to conquer anything but not in my reality!!! Stop romanticizing the good times when you were on adderall - they weren't that great. Realize you still have a real future to fight for. You do not want to be that person you once were, where you needed adderall to feel successful. You want to be able to feel successful because of your own merits, not because of adderall. 20. THIS ONE IS WORTH REPEATING - You will not be FAT forever once you quit!!!! There have been many threads on this and the consensus is that it GOES away as long as you try. That means it'll go away after your hunger period ends, but domake sure your consuming fewer calories than you burn or go vegeterian or whatever - exercise your willpower. 21. HELP YOUR RECOVERY ALONG. If you can afford rehab or your insurance covers rehab. Rehab helps. NA/AA meetings can help. Get an NA sponsor. Also, eating healthier, exercising, mediation etc are all things that will help. What doesn't help? being too hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Smart Recovery has also helped people on this site kick the addiction 22. DONT BUY INTO THE CULTURAL ACCEPTANCE OF ADDERALL -believing that makes it much harder to quit. I generally believe in my heart that ADD is a bullshit diagnosis. I can get scatterbrained and exhibit symptoms of what people consider to be ADD but I do not believe ADD is real. I believe adderall will help anyone who doesn't have ADD. I believe lots of people get scatterbrained. This mentality - and I truly believe it - has helped because believing in my heart and mind that I don't have ADD, that ADD is a bullshit diagnosis gives me zero reason to even consider taking it. Adderall used to be prescribed for depression in the 70s before the ADD diagnosis even came along. It was always a pill in search of a problem. 23 THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL It truly does get better. Your life can come together. It has to start by following these guidelines 24 YOUR PERSONALITY WILL COME BACK Whether adderall made you anti social or robotic or some nut that obsessed with unimportant thing like wasting hours reading wikipedia all day or working on project that went absolutely will come back to your old self. 25 YOUR HEALTH WILL COME BACK Whether it gave you health problems from clenched teeth and sleep deprivation, anxiety, or depression from when the pill wore off, or high blood pressure...your health eventually comes back. WANT TO FAIL? Based on the hundreds of posts on this site it seems that most people who don't follow these guidelines end up relapsing. So draw on the past COLLECTIVE experiences of this long lasting forum and follow the guidelines that works. We know it works. It's that simple Visit these links for a wakeup call Links to Good Recovery Books 1) On Speed - Traces the history of America's obsession with amphetamines; dexadrine, ritalin, adderall etc... 2) Amphetamine Debate - Goes into the consequences of stimulant abuse, psychosis particularly with adderall and ritalin.. 3) More, Now and Again - Memoir of a Writer's Addiction to Ritalin... 4) Requiem for a Dream - One of the stories subplots is a woman who gets hooked on amphetamines.. 5) Get it Done When Your depressed THAT'S all I can think of - there are tons of veterans on this site right now and its so awesome to see you all here continuing to post and help the newer people. Please chime in if I'm missing something not covered or if there is a tip you disagree with.
  2. First Sign In, then - 1. Click on notifications at top right of screen (to left of your screen name) 2. Click on options at the top right 3. Check off the box to the right of the following Notify me when someone quotes my posts (and I'm not already following) Notify me when someone 'likes' my post The result is something like below. When you sign into the website, you will see an alert in the notifications box and every time you login you can check in and see which posts people "liked" of yours and who "quoted you" and responded. A new feature for the community. what do you all think? I did this last night and this morning i got the following notifications. occasional01 liked a post you made in Feel completely alone. Today, 11:10 AM Motivation_Follows_Action liked a post you made in Request for advice Today, 11:00 AM sky quoted a post you made Today, 02:12 AM So when you click on "post you made" or "quoted" it will take you directly to the specific post within the thread that was "liked" or "quoted" Even when it hurts like hell, hold fast, the pain is the arrow c o
  3. Beautiful boy

    I just saw Beautiful Boy. we will all relate to it. It deals with: dopmaine depletion fried nerve endings NA/AA Unfairly Expensive rehab hitting Rick bottom lethargy/anhedonia withdrawal acting irrationally dealing with your addiction and loved ones loved ones dealing with your addiction and much more . Halfway homes the pain of relapse depression, fear, desperation out of the addiction lying to fuel an addiction giving up , perseverance and much more . This is a great movie for any adderall addict to watch.
  4. Probably could have died

  5. Day 6

    I'm so glad to hear this. Having known you on these boards for 7 years and reading so many of your inspirational posts I am not even slightly worried about your future trejectory. You know every step to take and all the right steps to take. I'm so glad you posted your update and please continue to do so!
  6. Relapsed :(

    Right now your goal should be getting your brain to start producing dopamine on its own again. Molly messes with all the chemicals in your brain that are already out of whack from the adderall like your dopamine. Your brain chemicals need to recalibrate. One of the things that used to help me resist cravings and all that was thinking about how disgusting it was how I was messing with all the Chemicals in my head. It was like I had been turning the Chrismas lights on and off and on and off in my brain which was so unnatural and appalling and the visual of it was gross. Thinking about that when I craved adderall or was feeling really really shitty from quitting really helped. A lot.
  7. Day 6

    Lil Tex, I’m really sorry to hear about this whole thing! You’d think after almost 7 years clean (for anyone that doesn’t know lil Tex and I quit two days apart from each other) we’d be in the clear right? I’m not sure what to say except I think you have the right attitude going forward and you got this. I truly have no doubt you have this. You know more than anyone where this road leads and all the terrible bullshit that comes with it and you’re strong and you totally have this. You’ve come too far and worked too hard to ever go back down that road. Any updates since your last post?
  8. How do you fix the life Adderall broke?

    Adderall broke everything in my life and there were quite a few things for me to fix. The first thing I focused on was sobriety at all costs. I also worked on getting over the incredible psychological dependency I had on it. It felt like I had to relearn how to do everything without relying on an Adderall to do it. I also had to get back into the workforce as Adderall had caused me to get fired from my job and I had built up a huge gap on my resume. I decided to go back to school to be in an environment that would set me up to go back into the workforce. I chose a school in Florida right by the beaches so I'd be in an extremely low pressure environment. Learning to study for exams and write papers etc without Adderall was an invaluable experience. Then I took a graduate assistant job in one of the departments (just answering phones, faxing and making photocopies). That gave me a lot more confidence I could handle working again without Adderall . Then I worked on explaining to friends and family that I had hurt and who saw me go down the drain what happened to me - I explained to them the mechanics of addiction and how it caused my neurotransmitters to get messed up so they could at least understand what happened to me. Eventually I started living a normal life again, had regained much more confidence in myself and regained more of friend and familys confidence in me. At the same time the physical after effects of PAWS kept dwindling away and there were less and less days where I felt horrible from my brain trying to recalibrate itself from not having the drug. Now that things are back to normal again, I always keep myself aware that if I take a single pill everything can come crashing down. That fear of losing everything I've rebuilt prevents me from ever considering taking it again.
  9. Agreed on re activating neural pathways and memories of the drug- be extreeemly hyper vigilant about any thoughts toward this drug right now. You know how the addict's brain works. ' 'one is too many and a thousand is never enough' - NA handbook
  10. Five Years

    This is terrific HC. Congrats on the five year milestone. Here's to a lifetime of being free from Adderall!
  11. Before I started abusing Adderall I was abusing Ritalin insanely , with a couple prescriptions and buying them. I was going through a bottle in a week and snorting it. It is JUST as bad as Adderall in that it causes paychosis, its horribly addictive, makes you psychologically dependent on it and I've posted many times on here that I thought withdrawal from Ritalin was actually MUCH WORSE then adderall. Although it's clearly a pretty close race. I was never able to successfully quit Ritalin bc I couldn't tolerate the withdrawal. I went to hospital detox, outpatient therapy, NA everything and still relapsed. It wasn't until I switched to Adderall that I was able to successfully quit. Dont get me wrong though , quitting Adderall was still incredibly, incredibly painful.
  12. I thought adderall addiction was not as widely known, but today the president of ESPN for 20 years resigned due to substance abuse. Due to the nature of my industry there was tons of speculation and conversations happening around the office as to what happened to him. The conclusion by many was that it was an addiction to adderall due to the pressure associated with his job -- this completely surprised me that people in my office were so AWARE of adderall addiction. I just stayed quiet and listened. Im so glad its getting out there to the mainstream world that adderall is akin to painkiller addiction, xanax addiction and people are more educated about it. This wasnt the case years ago. I do feel sorry for the guy who resigned but at the same time the reaction to his resignation was very eye opening. Whether he was addicted to adderall or not, adderall is a quick fix to pressure - any kind of pressure. Thats why its so important to alleviate yourself of pressure especially in the early stages of quitting. My two years sleeping and reading on the couch with no pressure in the world was crucial for my recovery.
  13. PhD, adderall-free!

    OMG CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #SOOOPROUD
  14. How to Cut Doctor Off - Advice Needed

    I think its important to let them know you are developing a problem with it so you completely shut the door with them. They know is schedule II controlled substance and highly addictive. Itll be a few minutes of embarassment but then its done.
  15. How to Cut Doctor Off - Advice Needed

    Hey Geometric - Glad you are taking this step because everyone I've seen on this site who has rebuilt their lives from horrible adderall addiction has taken this action. Flushing down the toilet frequently results in getting refills 30 days later from what I've seen on this site. So when i hear about people flushing their pills I get a bit jaded from what I've seen. There have been threads on how to cut off your doctor in the past. Most people on this site just sucked it up, told their doctor they got addicted or developed a problem with it to get cut off and quickly got it over with. I told my aunt and she called my doctor and cut me off for me. I dont think there's any issue with having a family member do it. As long as the doctor is cut off. But again, most people just told their doctor and quickly got it over with...and i don't know a single person who has regretted it.
  16. Welcome. Awesome and inspiring video. So many things hit home in what you said. Thanks for sharing and keep it up. Keep us posted on the progress. Also great job on cutting off your doctor and keeping away all access to it. That's always the hardest part.
  17. Back On Here Again

    Wow, i didnt know about Peter Bregin. Looks like he's written a lot of books on this topic. I always find reading literature about how its messing up the chemicals in my brain as extra motivating to quit. Its so unnatural.What kind of books have you read where he discusses ritalin, adderall, stimulant effects on your brain chemistry?
  18. Back On Here Again

    I personally think its okay to stress eat when you're quitting. Because quitting is more important. And the weight gain from eating a whole carton of ice cream is worth it if you can quit long term. Obviously the healthier you eat with nutrients - vegetables, fruits, salads, whole grains, the more energy and mental clarity you'll have. I know that sounds pretty obvious. I've been on a stress eating binge with moving to manhattan and its not fun. Hang in there.
  19. It's good that you are hard headed and determined. Would just recommend you completely close that window given that is what works. Seen so many people here who have victoriously flushed them down the toilet (or not filled it etc) and then- boom - they are back on it 30 days later. The ones that just cut off the doctor are the ones who make it...Id just ask your husband to do it, close your eyes, have him make the call and get it over with. I just had a relative do it for me. It was awful but so worth it.
  20. Totally agree with you here. Everyone on this site blames doctors and the way they give out pills like candy for our problems. I'm a total culprit of this thinking. It's easy to blame them for our predicament but we can also proactive tell them we got dependent/addicted and to stop prescribing them to us. They won't dole out addetall if were honest and tell them the truth that we got addicted.
  21. Great job!! That's excellent. You have to now sever it with your doctor or you can just refill it in days. Lots of folks on this site had a moment when they poured the pills down the toilet and then 30 days later they just got it refilled and ended up in the same boat. Don't be one of those.
  22. One Word Status Update

    Measuring tape Ikea Movers Boxes Home Goods Rugs Clothes Moving costs Stress
  23. I just wanted to say if you have decided to quit. Then you know what you need to do to quit. If you can't cut off your doctor it means you are still wavering on whether to quit or not. Does that make sense?
  24. The make it or break step for you is going to be cutting off your doctor. So many people here will quit temporarily but as long as you have that access to your doctor script --- it doesnt work. Have a person close to you call them. My aunt called my doctor. It was horrible at the time but the best thing that could have happened to me. I now clean for 6+ years
  25. CBT experiences anyone?

    I used to use audiotape on cognitive behavioral therapy. It definitely helps with self esteem, depression and anxiety. It's about recognising your thoughts and then stopping them before they spiral out of control. It's about how your thoughts will cause your physical symptoms like the fight or flight sensation when you are anxious. I found it extremely helpful when I was using those tapes. Let us know how it works!!