View Full Version : HELP! DH abusing his Adderall


sarotika
08-04-13, 01:28 PM
Hi all -

I'm new here. My DH, who is 31, was recently diagnosed with ADD. After a misdiagnosis of depression and years and years of issues in our marriage, finally having a diagnosis that explains his moods/words/etc. has been somewhat of a relief. Our family dr. started him on a low dose of Adderall (10 mg IR). He felt nothing... mind you, he was 6'4" and 290 lbs. So, they upped it to 20 mg IR twice a day and that helped a little. DH felt the need to up his dosage, but our family dr. couldn't go any higher and referred us to a psychiatrist. He was doing great on 40 mg twice daily... a whole new man... he was productive, had empathy, was caring, loving, until....

The last week I noticed he was VERY moody, appetite increased (he has lost 30 lbs since starting the Adderall), treating me like crap, etc. I also noticed his pills were missing. I confronted him yesterday morning asking him if he remembered to take his pills and he said yes. When he got home, I asked to see his bottle of pills (for proof)... and he admitted he was out... with two weeks left until his next refill.

Needless to say, I was LIVID. 1) he's abusing his pills and 2) he lied about taking his pills that morning. He's been taking 160 mg of Adderall a day. That just blows my mind. He's in complete denial of it too... says he "wasn't abusing them". Well, how do you explain taking 54 EXTRA pills in two weeks?!

My heart is totally broken. We have an (almost) three year old. Thankfully, our counselor texted me back and is getting us in at 5:30 tomorrow, and I'm calling his psychiatrist first thing tomorrow morning.

I'd appreciate any feedback I can get. The biggest question is, I need to know what NON-habit forming ADD meds any of you have used (that works). TIA

Crazygirl79
08-04-13, 06:44 PM
Getting angry isn't going to help the situation, in fact it could potentially make it worse so stop with the anger!

Reporting him to his Psychiatrist is the right thing to do as is speaking with your counsellor.

What he needs is support right now, you need to find out why he's abusing his medication and somehow get him to get help for it.

Strattera to my knowledge is non habit forming, I could be wrong but look it up and if I've gotten it right suggest that as an alternative to his Psychiatrist.

Sel x

sarahsweets
08-04-13, 07:15 PM
No addict ever quit because someone they loved was angry with them.

Lunacie
08-04-13, 10:09 PM
Stimulant meds work on the brain, not the body. Dosing is not dependent
on the size of the person, but on the imbalance in the brain.

80 mg a day is a very high dose, especially when the person has only been
taking Adderall for a short time. I don't know if that has anything to do
with your hubby taking twice as much as prescribed but it's very worrying.

Strattera is one possible option. Another is Omega 3 supplements, they
work well for some (including me).

TygerSan
08-05-13, 10:50 AM
Needless to say, I was LIVID. 1) he's abusing his pills and 2) he lied about taking his pills that morning. He's been taking 160 mg of Adderall a day. That just blows my mind. He's in complete denial of it too... says he "wasn't abusing them". Well, how do you explain taking 54 EXTRA pills in two weeks?!

Anger is a pretty natural reaction to the situation, I think. Along with sadness, disbelief, frustration.

If he's in denial, sounds like he needs to hear things from other people, and then, maybe it'll sink in??? Whatever happens, it might be good for you to get advice on how to handle the situation, also. . .

sarotika
08-05-13, 11:16 AM
Anger is a pretty natural reaction to the situation, I think. Along with sadness, disbelief, frustration.

If he's in denial, sounds like he needs to hear things from other people, and then, maybe it'll sink in??? Whatever happens, it might be good for you to get advice on how to handle the situation, also. . .

Thank you all for the info. His psychiatrist is getting us in at 3:15 today followed by our counselor at 5:30.

VeryTired
08-05-13, 12:34 PM
Big sympathy to you here. This sounds like a very tough situation. The psychiatrist is a better source than anyone here about medication options, since he or she is a doctor and is familiar with all details of your husband's health and condition.

I can really understand how and why you might feel enraged and betrayed and terrified. But none of those things will help you cope in the moment, and as Sarah said, they won't motivate your husband to change. Let's hope he will be able to understand what's wrong with his relation to his medication, and what he did with the pills. But that will have to come from him.

It's a good idea for you to concentrate on what you and your child need. Your husband has to address his own issues--you can't do that for him. Right now, it's an emergency situation, and the focus is on what happened with his medication. But that's only part of the story. So, don't let his needs and problems take up all available space, though--remember to be as clear as you can about what you and the child need.

I hope today's appointments go well and that you both can gain insight, peace of mind, hope, etc.

sarotika
08-05-13, 12:53 PM
Bad news - DH's psych dr called and cancelled his appointment and fired him as a patient. They have a zero tolerance policy for abuse.

VeryTired
08-05-13, 01:03 PM
Sarotika--

I am so sorry to hear this. Your hard situation just got a lot harder.

I understand why those policies exist, but there is something evil and counter-productive about denying help to someone when he urgently needs it. I think you need to leap into action and find a new doctor--someone who specializes in substance abuse AND has expertise with ADHD. That's not so unusual--lots of people with ADHD get into trouble with self-medicating and inability to take prescribed medications as directed.

But I think you should also make a move, fast, toward finding someone to support YOU in all this. A therapist who has knowledge of ADHD and drug abuse is going to be WAY more helpful to you than just any old compassionate counselor. Be strong--but don't get caught in the trap of taking on all the problems yourself without getting any support or back-up.

Illumination
08-06-13, 03:28 AM
Sarotika, :grouphug:. Compassion.

sarotika
08-06-13, 09:21 AM
Thank you everyone for your feedback. Our counseling session went VERY well yesterday. Thankfully, this is the first counselor that DH really appreciates and respects. She pretty much called him out on what he did and he fessed up to his mistake. He just felt like the meds weren't working and making him feel "normal" and didn't think about the repercussions to his actions.

That said, we put an action plan in place. 1) We call around and find a new psychiatrist (today) 2) He starts taking vitamins (multi, Omega 3 and B12) 3) I will be fully in charge of his meds the next time and ensure they're taken properly 4) Lying will absolutely NOT be tolerated. Ever. He's a crappy liar to begin with and he needs to understand that he will always get caught (no matter how big or small the offense is) 5) He educate himself on ADD. He's had no urge to want to learn about why he is the way he is and why he's struggled throughout life. It's time. He's going to start reading Gina Perra's book first (and maybe check out these forums).

Thank you all again for your help and support. It has most definitely helped!

adhdpatient7
08-10-13, 06:45 PM
Does anyone else think it is unkind and almost unethical for a psychiatrist to fire a patient the moment they misuse Schedule II medication, without even one appointment or a referral to substance abuse treatment providers?

A more reasonable zero tolerance policy might be that after one offense of misusing Schedule II medication, you never prescribe Schedule II medication for that patient again. That is still zero tolerance.

Firing a patient is especially unkind because psychiatrists often have long waiting lists.

It sounds like you weren't even warned ahead-of-time about this zero tolerance policy, which means it cannot possibly be functioning as a deterrent. Many pain specialists have all their patients sign a medication contract before they start dispensing opioid painkillers, and by signing that contract the patient is made aware of the rules. You were not even aware of the rules.

It sounds like that doctor's zero tolerance policy is actually designed to shield him from liability and get rid of difficult patients. That is a selfish motive for the doctor. This policy was not designed to prevent abuse or help patients, because immediately firing a patient is not helpful.

quickiB
08-13-13, 03:26 PM
I don't want to preach here, but what did you expect to telling everything to the psychiatrist? Did you want to refill his prescription or just stage an "intervention"?

For future reference, dealing with something like this is best kept to yourselves. Its not like he was/is addicted for a month or something, at that point it wasn't necessarily something that needed drastic action. Considering his body size (and yes, that does actually affect metabolism/absorbtion), that's really not on the long end of the amphetamine abuse spectrum.

A better idea is to dispense his meds (if he ever gets more) personally, and to adjust for irregularities. I have used an extra Adderall before, but I forced myself to go without to make up for it. This only happened twice, and I took the following day off, both times. Those were two horrible days, and I will almost certainly never repeat it.

Psychiatrists who are even willing to prescribe controlled substances (let alone 80mg Adderall/day!) will almost never deal with addicts because of potential liabillity and the hassle. You should appreciate that its a risky venture prescribing for people with ADHD, and I imagine he was already uncomfortable prescribing as much as he did.

Best thing I can think of, keep searching for a new psychiatrist (preferably one who has experience with ADHD and addiction in that order), and maybe see your GP again to see if he will work with you, and maybe rebuild credibility.

Always remember, thanks to the idiocy and paranoia about all things-drugs, a medical history is not unlike a criminal record. You freak out about a bad trip and head to the "Emergency" Room, you will probably be labelled a drug addict/seeker/abuser/hoarder etc. The same is true with mishaps like these: even one tiny suggeston of possible abuse will result in this.

Worst case scenario, get your normal doc to prescribe modafinil, atomoxetine (Strattera), or bupropion (Wellbutrin). Wellbutrin is a mild stimulant very similar to Ritalin, and it can help with both ADHD and depression so it might be your best bet for now.

Just wanted to add that you should keep your expectations for medical and non-medical treatment firmly separate. A "therapist" or "social worker", "counsellor", "psychologist" etc can only help with non-medical treatment options like CBT (which is actually excellent), psychotherapy, whatever. If it isn't a drug, they can maybe help you. There is no point in trying to seek counselling to get his medication back, but he probably needs the coping skills and insight that they can provide.

Same deal with a doctor, most of the time, they are there to put a popsicle stick in either end and prescribe something. Both groups are helpful, but don't muddle them together.

theloner
08-15-13, 02:23 AM
I don't want to preach here, but what did you expect to telling everything to the psychiatrist? Did you want to refill his prescription or just stage an "intervention"?

For future reference, dealing with something like this is best kept to yourselves. Its not like he was/is addicted for a month or something, at that point it wasn't necessarily something that needed drastic action. Considering his body size (and yes, that does actually affect metabolism/absorbtion), that's really not on the long end of the amphetamine abuse spectrum.

I totally agree with this ;) things are strict now, the DEA are involved, my old NP Psych decided out of the blue to take me off Ritalin & put me on Strattera which just made me sleep. I had to find a new Psych which was not easy, my regular MD was not prescribing my meds. I think my old Psych most likely did this because these rx's are reported now. The Psych may have thought hubby was selling his pills and people do this.

I have used an extra Adderall before.

So have I, depending on the circumstances, if my mum had to go to ER in the middle of night & I'm at the hospital with her through morning.

I've done it when I've had to drive over 200 miles for hours to pay attention, I cannot even count the times I've gotten off at wrong exits and trying to find out how to get back on the interstate.
You can time your meds but you cannot time unforeseen expectations.


Always remember, thanks to the idiocy and paranoia about all things-drugs, a medical history is not unlike a criminal record. You freak out about a bad trip and head to the "Emergency" Room, you will probably be labelled a drug addict/seeker/abuser/hoarder etc. The same is true with mishaps like these: even one tiny suggeston of possible abuse will result in this.

This is so true

Same deal with a doctor, most of the time, they are there to put a popsicle stick in either end and prescribe something. Both groups are helpful, but don't muddle them together



:goodpost:

theloner
08-15-13, 02:25 AM
Does anyone else think it is unkind and almost unethical for a psychiatrist to fire a patient the moment they misuse Schedule II medication, without even one appointment or a referral to substance abuse treatment providers?

A more reasonable zero tolerance policy might be that after one offense of misusing Schedule II medication, you never prescribe Schedule II medication for that patient again. That is still zero tolerance.

Firing a patient is especially unkind because psychiatrists often have long waiting lists.

It sounds like you weren't even warned ahead-of-time about this zero tolerance policy, which means it cannot possibly be functioning as a deterrent. Many pain specialists have all their patients sign a medication contract before they start dispensing opioid painkillers, and by signing that contract the patient is made aware of the rules. You were not even aware of the rules.

It sounds like that doctor's zero tolerance policy is actually designed to shield him from liability and get rid of difficult patients. That is a selfish motive for the doctor. This policy was not designed to prevent abuse or help patients, because immediately firing a patient is not helpful.

It was wrong, the Psych should have said "don't let it happen again"

theloner
08-15-13, 02:53 AM
Hi all -

I'm new here. My DH, who is 31, was recently diagnosed with ADD. After a misdiagnosis of depression and years and years of issues in our marriage, finally having a diagnosis that explains his moods/words/etc. has been somewhat of a relief. Our family dr. started him on a low dose of Adderall (10 mg IR). He felt nothing... mind you, he was 6'4" and 290 lbs. So, they upped it to 20 mg IR twice a day and that helped a little. DH felt the need to up his dosage, but our family dr. couldn't go any higher and referred us to a psychiatrist. He was doing great on 40 mg twice daily... a whole new man... he was productive, had empathy, was caring, loving, until....

The last week I noticed he was VERY moody, appetite increased (he has lost 30 lbs since starting the Adderall), treating me like crap, etc. I also noticed his pills were missing. I confronted him yesterday morning asking him if he remembered to take his pills and he said yes. When he got home, I asked to see his bottle of pills (for proof)... and he admitted he was out... with two weeks left until his next refill.

Most likely he did this because once in his life he finally felt better, No, he shouldn't of done that but now you both know what happens because of that from the posts here. I doubt he will ever do it again.

Needless to say, I was LIVID. 1) he's abusing his pills and 2) he lied about taking his pills that morning. He's been taking 160 mg of Adderall a day. That just blows my mind. He's in complete denial of it too... says he "wasn't abusing them". Well, how do you explain taking 54 EXTRA pills in two weeks?!

I can understand how upset you are. Having ADD is horrible and to finally be dx and given meds and feeling better is something I cannot explain to someone who does not have it. Your head is in a whirlwind and to try to fight it without meds is horrible, my ADD kicked in worse when I got older, I had no support, I was on my own, I felt like dying, I turned into an idiot in my mind.



I hope you are feeling better now, I know your nerves were shot ;) tell Hubby to get his stubborn self to this forum, don't turn into judge and jury yet, oh, he has learned believe me.:)

Hope this helps, I didn't mean to sound critical, the world with ADD and meds & doctors is not an easy place.

daveddd
08-15-13, 06:00 AM
It was wrong, the Psych should have said "don't let it happen again"

i would disagree, doctors work hard for their license

they can lose it giving drugs to drug seekers

its not their job to babysit addicts or decide who is or isnt one

Immaculate
08-15-13, 06:37 PM
It was wrong, the Psych should have said "don't let it happen again"

It wasn't wrong. If the guy abuses again and dies from a heart attack, who do you think gets sued? The shrink for letting him continue taking it after they knew he abused it. They aren't going to risk their livelihood.

BronzeElemental
08-17-13, 07:20 AM
There is also Tenex and it's XR version Intunivas well as Strattera.

Bagman
09-09-13, 10:38 AM
For future reference, dealing with something like this is best kept to yourselves. Its not like he was/is addicted for a month or something, at that point it wasn't necessarily something that needed drastic action. Considering his body size (and yes, that does actually affect metabolism/absorbtion), that's really not on the long end of the amphetamine abuse spectrum.


Absolutely agree that it's something best kept to yourselves, but despite the fact that it was only a month and we're not talking about long term abuse, I don't think the importance of the situation can be underestimated. When I started abusing my Adderall script several years ago, I didn't begin to fully understand the implications of what I was doing...and it was just soooo easy to keep on doing it, even if it did mean going without for a week or so. It's a behavior that even after getting off of Adderall for years and getting back on Vyvanse I've repeated, the constant urge to self-medicate, to squeeze out 8 more hours of being productive/feeling like a competent human being.

I realize my situation may be different from this person's, and that they may not be as naturally inclined to the compulsive Adderall use as I was, but it's a long, dark, miserable road if you keep going down it. I think it's very important to make sure how serious that situation can really be is made clear to this person. These meds are not to be messed with...used properly, they can cause tremendously positive change, but you have to take it seriously.

Hang in there sarotika, and be supportive (which often means giving someone a viciously stiff kick in the rear if we care about them). Hope it all works out.

mattif
10-07-13, 03:39 AM
doctors... its not their job to... decide who is or isnt [an addict]

Maybe I missed something here, but isn't that precisely part of their job? It seems to me that the definition of what is "addiction," and whether someone is addicted, are both medical determinations.

And the idea that amongst a population where impulsivity and depression are common characteristics you are going to institute a zero tolerance policy is, in effect, to demand that the patient cure themselves prior to treatment. It's ridiculous.

In addition, a policy of "one slip-up and we'll forever take away the medication that has been so helpful for you" by it's very nature acts as a threat that both suggests we're not to be trusted, and that we're unable to learn from our mistakes.

And that threat is issued by an authority figure, telling the individual that "you better not do that, or we'll punish you." Yeah, that's a smart move when you're dealing with a population filled with folks who tend to resent and impulsively resist authority.

Modafinilguy
10-08-13, 05:48 AM
In my strong opinion people who abuse psycho-stimulants should never be given a script for them again. Trust is very important in the treatment process. Abuse should be tolerated no more than selling them to others.

I was on Ritalin for a while and I never once misused my medication.