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    PLEASE HELP

Giving up Adderall?

Discussion in 'General Addiction discussion' started by wastedxgirl, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. wastedxgirl

    wastedxgirl Silver Member Newbie

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    I confessed to my therapist Tuesday that I have been abusing Adderall again for the past month. I previously had issues with Adderal abuse in 2014 (recreational use that got out of control, causing me to seek outpatient treatment from a substance abuse counselor, who I still see about once a month) and was able to stay clean with support from outpatient treatment.

    I recently got my hands on some 30mg Adderall IR, and started using again. To my disappointment, I did not get the original stimulant-esque high I had when I did when using in '14. I started at 10mg, hoping to pace myself, make the pills last longer, and control tolerance. I experienced some mild euphoria, energy, and increased focus, but not to the degree I had hoped - chalking it up to the relatively low dose. Pacing myself and using only 2-3 times a week max, I steadily increased my dose, reaching 40mg on Monday (after about 3 weeks from first use.)

    Even 40mg isn't that big of a dose in my opinion at all, but my tolerance is obviously increasing quickly, and despite now 30mg higher than my first dose, I have not been nearly able to achieve any level of energy, euphoria, motivation, increased concentration or focus, etc. as before, when on 10-15mg in 2014 or even on a mere 10mg with minimal effects this go around. Instead, I have almost felt an opposite sedating feeling, followed by apathy/anhedonia and mind-numbing wakefulness, hours upon hours without sleep (the only familiar thing and stimulant type effect felt from before,)

    I am conflicted to why I continue to use despite not getting "high." I feel like I am desperately hoping to experience the original amphetamine euphoria and energy, no appetite, productivity, and focus I originally ally had on Adderall that allured me and I loved so much. The tolerance concerns me because if this (Adderall) does not work/satisfy me and/or get me the high I desire, I almost feel like what's next? I have such an addictive personality plus a history of engaging in other self-destructive behaviors (cutting, eating disorders, of course the drug abuse.) My therapist is aware of the situation now, and I see my drug therapist Thursday, I want to be honest with him but am terrified,

    I last used Monday and already my cravings to use again are intense. I do not understand this however since I am not even getting "high" or at least do not feel that way. I have a few pills left and logically know I should flush them or toss them out but my addiction is screaming to use, keep them for later, or save them just in case I change my mind. I am so torn.

    I have major depressive disorder and am stable for the first time in years on a combination of meds and therapy, particularly the mood stabilizer Lamictal, and really do not want to jeopardize this in any way as I do not want to return to the state of depression and/or the psych ward as a result, which is generally the case. My affect/mood has been flat and dulled the past week and I don't know whether to attribute that to using or not. I thought amphetamines acted on dopamine so not sure why that would negatively affect mood, but then again I am not the most educated on chemistry/pharmacology matters, or understanding them.

    I'm not sure if this belongs in the regular Amphetamines forum or in Addiction/Recovery since I'm not "recovered" or anything, so my apologies if this is in the incorrect place. Thanks for listening, my head is just in a weird place right now. Over three days without sleep, so I'm probably not the most coherent... going to try to rest.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. OTCJ

    OTCJ Titanium Member

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    Hello Wastedxgirl,

    I would say first off, definitely flush the remaining pills. This will likely result in regret for having flushed them later, but it is best to do this now while you are at least considered this as an option in your mind. Like you said, you are not even getting the effects you want from them, so why bother prolonging the chemical dependence in exchange for no real effect? Just get up and do it before you have a chance to rationalize not doing it. If you keep them, you will eventually take them, likely have very little or no effect from them and will have re-scratched that itch, which is not good if you wish to recover. As to that point, it is in fact a tolerance issue that explains why you are no longer getting 'high'. Your body has grown accustomed to the chemical so you no longer get the pronounced effect you did when your body was NOT accustomed to it. This means that instead of having any sort of psychoactive impact by taking the drug, you are simply delaying discontinuation and digging yourself gradually further into the hole it sounds like you don't want to be in anymore. Another thing to mention is that mood stabilizers are usually intended to curb the mania side of Bipolar disorder, so this might be impacting the upper limit of your emotional experience, meaning, you are no longer able to get that same high you used to, so you may as well not even try, (in my opinion).

    "Even 40mg isn't THAT big a dose" sounds like the addict in you minimizing what it means for you to be using again. You have ramped things up quickly, and unless you start addressing this issue now and trying to see it objectively for what it is, you are likely to slide back down that slippery slope you crawled back up from in 2014. If you have a depressive disorder, going back down that road is a sure-fire way to experience all sorts of horrible emotional turmoil, so try to recall all the hard work you did the last time you got clean and use avoiding THAT as motivation to do what you know you need to do. Flush the pills, Think about the stability you have gained and how much you don't want to lose it, come up with a game-plan that you and your therapist feel you can stick to and find some constructive activities to engage in while you wait for the after-effects of your use to fade. I have always thought the worst was usually 3-7 days, although I could be wrong in your case, but perhaps consider doing fruit smoothies, sauna sessions and exercise to help your body get back to equilibrium and consider spending time with trusted and sober friends if you have them or reading a novel or whatever you can do to avoid wandering around in your own head, which will make the process feel WAAAAAY longer.

    You sound like your at a precarious crossroads, so I hope you find the determination you need to do what you feel is right for your happiness and well-being.

    Good luck!

    - OTCJ
     
  3. wastedxgirl

    wastedxgirl Silver Member Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your response. I have not flushed the pills yet, but I am leaning towards that option pretty heavily (just have to convince that devil on my shoulder to throw them out.) I hate myself so much right now, this inner battle I am fighting of keep them, do them. The cravings are like flames burning me. How long does this typically last if I haven't used since Monday?

    I am waiting on a call to try to get in sooner to see my addiction counselor, and see my regular therapist Monday. I managed to get about four hours of sleep after writing this so I am feeling a little more refreshed. I am going to look into taking sone vitamins, stay hydrated, try to get more sleep, maybe do some art tomorrow (my main positive coping skill).

    Thank you for your support.
     
  4. OTCJ

    OTCJ Titanium Member

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    No need to hate yourself for being reluctant to thrown them away! What is important however is to recognize this reluctance for what it is: Your addiction trying to sink its claws deeper back into you. It is simply your brain chemistry trying to keep you from throwing them away because it has starting to accommodate the amphetamine into its chemical equilibrium. Remember, they are not subjectively giving you what you seek, you won't get high and it will only let the claws sink in deeper in exchange for nothing enjoyable. Do you have a friend you can have throw them away? This could help, but you would have to give the friend ALL of them and not be dishonest. The problem with you keeping them is that you are basically setting a pit fall for slipping up at some point in the future, (even if you manage to kick the urge again), because as long as they are in your possession you are a single distressed or impulsive or self-destructive moment away from being RIGHT back in the shit. Throwing them away is a symbolic gesture of what direction you want your life to go in, and keeping them is premeditated self sabotage. Plus, THEY ARE NOT GETTING YOU HIGH!!!...sorry... it was worth reiterating with Caps Locks! ;)

    Sleep is good, hydration is good, vitamins are good, and DEFINITELY start up with the art if you haven't by now! It is very therapeutic and might carry you through until you get in to see someone. For a non-drug sleep aid I would recommend Sleepytime "Extra" tea, (Chamomile w/ Valerian) and a melatonin supplement, which you can get at GNC or any walgreens, CVS Grocery etc. I use like 4 tea bags, and although this might not be good it fucking works. I don't know how long the cravings will last, since I imagine it varies from person to person, but I think you are on the right track. The more healthy activities you engage in (physically AND creatively), the more healthy food you consume, the more sleep you get and the more you stay positive and focused on recovering from this little stumble and returning to that sense of stability you worked so hard to achieve before, the quicker you will start feeling less like Golum from lord of the rings, the more you'll believe you can survive without one last taste, and the less that itch will agitate your mind.

    You are doing everything you need to do in order to ensure this ends up being just a slip up, EXCEPT for not having thrown those pills away yet...its your call, but the more you think about it, the tougher it will be and I think you know what the right move is if you want to bounce back, (which it sounds like you really do). You just need to wait for a moment of clarity or mindfulness to arise, and quickly DO IT, before your addiction has a chance to rationalize why you should keep them.

    Wishing you strength and all my support vibes, (or at least, as much as one can anonymously through an online forum)!!

    - OTCJ
     
  5. wastedxgirl

    wastedxgirl Silver Member Newbie

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    Thank you for your response. I am definitely able to now recognize/admit that my reluctance in throwing them away is rooted in tolerance/addiction. I met with my regular therapist today, and we discussed the emotional blunting and apathy I have been experiencing lately, likely a result of too much Lamictal (happens on too nuch psychotropic medication with me sometimes... like with Sertaline and Bupropion). I see my psychiatrist tomorrow abd will ask to have my dose lowered slightly. While I feel my stability has hinged on this medication, recently I feel it may be having said negative effects and perhaps a slight adjustment will help. In turn, if that is resolved, my desire to feel something rather than a flat, numb nothing that I have been... which is what I think has been consciously or subconsciously driving the Adderall abuse (seeking the euphoric high, energy, mood enhancement, mental stimulation, focus, etc.).. may help dissipate the psychological want, and then just need to work through cravings, other emotional issues, etc. The cravings have been crazy today. I took two Lorazepam just so I could sleep and shut my mind off. Perhaps not the best option, though those are prescribed to me and are well within prescribed dose and reason for consumption (anxiety, sleep).
    Should be an interesting session tomorrow. Thanks, your input and advice has been just what I need.
     
  6. OTCJ

    OTCJ Titanium Member

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    Thanks for the update; Just based on tone it sounds like you are getting a handle on this, especially now that you are not playing the waiting game with your professional support system. I think another positive is how self-aware you are about this whole thing, especially where it relates to the mental numbing you experience from your meds and the resulting desire for to engage in activities that used to make you feel something. I can totally sympathize with how weird it is dialing med dosages in; like feeling too much without meds and too little while on them. Hopefully you can get the right balance worked soon.

    I personally don't think you should feel weird at all about taking the Lorazepam to get some sleep and move forward another day if your cravings were super bad. The more time you put between yourself and that last adderall dosage the better, as long as you can keep the lorazepam as being your last resort. As a person who for years substituted one addiction for another , I know the potential for this to happen!!

    Hope your session went/goes well

    - OTCJ