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I've had to go through some long withdrawals (1-2 weeks) many times in the past, and the fatigue/exhaustion I experienced was just too severe for me to handle/function. I was sleeping 16+ hours most days, and caffeine pills/energy drinks did nothing to help. I'm able to get myself to do the bare minimum-- like taking a test for a class-- but was barely functional beyond that. I've been seeing a TON of posts from veterans here saying that tapering almost never works, and I don't want to be another failed tapering thread, so my question is this: why do you think tapering doesn't work? I want to just get off of this horrible drug now, but going cold turkey has consistently made me non-functional. I binge my adderall right now, so I'm also not sure how tapering would work, but am going to try Thanks for your help!
History - short version - want to keep the post manageable: I have been taking Adderall since I was 15, I'm 32 now, so that's 17 years of being on it. I quit last year for 7 months, and I was depressed, gained 40 lbs, was completely unmotivated and slept all day long. I quit for the wrong reasons last year and now I'm ready to get off of it again. After 7 months of being stimulant free, I got on Modafinil for a year. In the last 6 weeks, I got back on Adderall. The results are tragic, I started taking more than prescribed again. I am trying to understand the mechanisms of quitting and if tapering might be better and have more success in the long term. If anyone has done research before and has links to studies, I would greatly appreciate if if you could share it. I'm doing my own research, but all the help is appreciated. I have a few science type questions: 1. How long does it take for the dopamine or neurotransmitters in general to replenish once they have been depleted because of Adderall? Is serotonin affected too or is it just dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine? 2. Will the body adjust itself to the amount of dopamine provided to it via gradual tapering before it will start making dopamine/neurotransmitters on its own? As in, it will start increasing the percentage it makes, once I decrease Adderall gradually. 3. Does the amount of time that dopamine has been depleted from the body have anything to do with the amount of time it will take to replenish it? For ex, if took it for 17 years, versus 2 years, will the body replenish it slower if it's been given Adderall for a longer time? 4. What are all the substitutes for dopamine and what are their effects on the body? meaning supplements, herbal remedies, things that when used as a natural replacement, that have less/no side effects etc. What combinations of these natural supplements/herbs have helped you the most? 5. What kind of time frame have you been on these natural replacements for and with what result? 6. If anyone has been on Adderall for a long time, similarly with my time frame of 17 years, and is now Adderall free, can you please share what happened after 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, particularly with A. motivation B. depression C. weight gain. I'm trying to figure out a timeframe of when people start feeling "normal" again, so I can set my expectations correctly. I know that it all depends on a lot of things, but any and all examples of your personal experience are greatly appreciated. I know it's a long road, but it would be comforting to know how far ahead the light at the end of the tunnel is. 7. Is there a blood test for dopamine / neurotransmitter levels that can be done with a doctor? Is there a test (saliva or urine maybe) that can be bought on the internet and does not require a doctor visit? What are the specific names/links for each? Big thank you for your help and insights. I cannot tell you how helpful this website has been to me in my process.
Hi everyone, It is about time I started participating on here, as Iâ€™ve been stalking these forums for years! This community has given me so much hope and comfort that I am not alone. I am so grateful to Mike for creating this amazing website, and I hope I can make a useful contribution that will help others as well as lean on you all for support when I need it. So here is my storyâ€¦ I am 34 years old and have been taking dexamphetamine for 12 years. It started in my last year of university. I had an eating disorder (bulimia) and saw a psychiatrist who specialized in this area. The first thing he did was prescribe dexamphetamine, which is apparently used as an â€˜off-labelâ€™ treatment for eating disorders here in Australia. He also said I probably had â€˜a touch of ADDâ€™ (WTF?!?). I had taken dexies before as a party drug, so I was like yeeeah bring it on! Thinking I will just use it for a short time to get over the bulimia addiction and then have access to a party favor I could share with my friends. Big mistake. Although my eating disorder was cured overnight, it was merely replaced with a different addictionâ€¦ to stimulant meds. My dose was quickly increased to 10x 5mg pills per day (the max prescribed dosage is 12/day or 60mg for adults). I only took this much (or sometimes more) to party on the weekends, but on average I would say for about 8 years I was taking 8 pills per day (40 mg). (I think the conversion to Adderall is 10mg addie = 7.5mg dex) Over the past 4 years I have wanted to get off this horrible drug and started trying to take less. Although I tolerated it very well for most of that time, and it greatly helped my confidence, mood, motivation, productivity, just about everything! I realize it is unsustainable, and is holding me back from moving forward with my life. Eg maybe I want to get married, have kids, travel the world?? I canâ€™t make plans because I donâ€™t know who I will be when Iâ€™m not on this drug. And Im too busy going about my daily activities like a freaking robot! In the last few years it has also become less effective, yet the side-effects are worse, especially the insomnia. So I also take regular sleep aids and this viscious cycle has to stop! My first step was to confess everything to my boyfriend, who has been amazingly supportive. I had been living a lie for the first 18 months of our relationship, I thought he would be so disappointed in me, but he has been very understanding. That was about 9 months ago. From there I started to cut down my dosage further â€“ however found I stepped back up again. Finally I had a â€˜break downâ€™ moment a few months ago. The reality of my situation slapped me hard in the face... Full blown, rocking back and forth mental patient moment... Holy shit! I realized I have a big challenge ahead and I made the decision to be accountable and face up to it. I had been living in blissful denial for too long. While I was aware I was taking pills to get through the day, I was able to shut that part of my mind off and just get on with it. So for the past few months I started to get serious about tapering. Though I am doing it very slowly â€“ reducing my dose by 5mg (1 pill) per month. So far I have been strong and stayed on track â€“ 1st month 5 per day, 2nd month 4 per day. Iâ€™m now into my first week on 15mg / day (3 pills per day). Iâ€™ve had really bad anxiety, which has made my sleeping issues worse. But for the most part, I am functioning well on the lower dose. Makes me realize I was on way too high a dose before! Of course, this is nothing compared to completely quitting. I know that lies ahead. I have just started seeing a psychologist who is doing a brain rewiring program with me, and hopefully this helps (will tell you all about it in another post!) Iâ€™m also having 1 â€“ 2 coffees per day since tapering my dose, this helps with work. And I take magnesium twice daily â€“ this helps my bowels, which have also slowed right down since reducing my dose. Iâ€™ve practically stopped socializing altogether lately too. I find if I make plans, I get so anxious about not being my excited bubbly happy self (ie highly medicated) I completely freak out and panic. Then I have to let people down. Iâ€™m content with being a hermit for a while â€“ work, eat, couch, sleep. Luckily my partner enjoys a good couch-fest too! And Iâ€™m already enjoying down time with family more than I used to when I was too wired. Iâ€™m still smoking cigarettes (one demon at a time!), which I want to quit eventuallyâ€¦ and I also smoke weed most nights too, which I really enjoy, but will give that up too if its making me too foggy during the day. Phewwww!! So there is my story. Sorry it is so long!! I look forward to sharing my journey with you. I hope this will relate to others in Aus as there is not much info out there on dex addiction. And it is prescribed like freaking paracetamol over here. Thank you all SO MUCH for your support and giving me HOPE J PS I chose my name as I want to be RESILIENT (and need to be!) and I also dream of being a CAT so I can sleep 18 hours a day!