View Full Version : For the Chemically Dependent ADD'ers.


mrc711
08-29-13, 10:28 AM
I was first prescribed ADHD medication when I was 14. I have a history of opiate abuse from age 16-19. During that time, I was not treating my ADHD. When I went to treatment it was a counselor at the facility where I was a resident that convinced me to start back up on Adderall for my ADHD. This was something that not only confused me, but was also extremely unsettling. I felt like I was being put in a situation where I would need to rely on drugs to perform simple daily tasks (which is exactly what I was doing before when I was illicitly using). My first month was absolutely terrible for one reason - I had convinced myself that I was cheating in my recovery, and that I was cheating myself out of being a normal functioning member of society.

I decided to drop the medication up until this last month, when I actively perused obtaining my previous treatment. I am two years abstinent from all things besides my ADHD meds, and caffine. This time around I feel like I am benefiting greatly from Adderall mentally, and I feel I am in a much better spiritual condition in comparison to 2 years ago.

If there's one thing I can suggest to anyone who is dual-diagnosis ADHD/Chemically Dependent it's this - Just remember as people with ADHD, the drugs we take play a vital part in us being able to perform the next right step towards becoming successful and productive members of society. If anyone has felt guilty about taking their prescription know that you're not alone, and just remember how difficult it is to avoid acting on impulse when you're without it.


There's no shame in taking action that will allow you to be the person you're capable of being.

Stevuke79
08-29-13, 01:38 PM
It's so true, and it's so easy to miss. The buzz, and the fundamental effect of adderall are two completely different things. A steady, non-increasing dose bears no resemblance to a drug problem.

Nate W
08-29-13, 08:26 PM
There is no reason to feel guilty about taking stimulant medication for ADHD if you have a substance abuse history.

I abused alcohol on a daily basis for over 25 years and knew I had ADHD from the get go (had all the school trouble, poor self esteem issues and was bored ALL the time and was diagnosed at age 7) and never took medication for it. Almost daily drinking began about age 18 (I could legally drink beer then). At first three or four beers a day, every day. Alcohol made the world right and did so for many years until it turned on me and took everything I had, including my sole. I was averaging about 15 beers a day when I admitted utter defeat.

Four years after I got sober (in AA actually working The 12 Steps) I decided to address my ADHD with medication. It took me some time to become comfortable with the idea of taking stimulant medication to the point of trying it--Not because of the stigma from others in AA (I remained active in AA and there are those who will condemn you for doing it, but I just don't share this info with them), but because I was terrified it would lead to a relapse of drinking. Both alcohol and stimulant medications for ADHD raise dopamine levels, as do most drugs that produce a psychological addiction--the hardest addiction to break. I did a lot of studying the matter and found no conclusive evidence it would cause relapse and found evidence to the contrary, actually.

So I saw my doctor and inquired about ADHD medication. She sent me to a psychologist for testing and then I received a prescription.

Long story short--once I found the proper medication (dextroamphetamine) within a couple of weeks of taking it hit me like a ton of bricks--I drank to alleviate my ADHD. Pure and simple. For me, what I felt because of my ADHD, besides frustration and social clumsiness and difficulties getting ahead, was total and utter boredom. Every single day of my life. Drinking and getting a buzz cured that boredom. It made life bearable and sometimes, if I was lucky, interesting.

So, if I took stimulant medication from childhood on, I doubt I would have become an alcoholic. Alcohol did for me what it does not do for the average person who can take it or leave it. For years it REALLY appealed to me.

There have been studies that concluded ADHD children who receive medication become motivated and not bored and are far less likely to abuse drugs. I agree.

--Nate

mrc711
08-30-13, 01:04 PM
There is no reason to feel guilty about taking stimulant medication for ADHD if you have a substance abuse history.

I abused alcohol on a daily basis for over 25 years and knew I had ADHD from the get go (had all the school trouble, poor self esteem issues and was bored ALL the time and was diagnosed at age 7) and never took medication for it. Almost daily drinking began about age 18 (I could legally drink beer then). At first three or four beers a day, every day. Alcohol made the world right and did so for many years until it turned on me and took everything I had, including my sole. I was averaging about 15 beers a day when I admitted utter defeat.

Four years after I got sober (in AA actually working The 12 Steps) I decided to address my ADHD with medication. It took me some time to become comfortable with the idea of taking stimulant medication to the point of trying it--Not because of the stigma from others in AA (I remained active in AA and there are those who will condemn you for doing it, but I just don't share this info with them), but because I was terrified it would lead to a relapse of drinking. Both alcohol and stimulant medications for ADHD raise dopamine levels, as do most drugs that produce a psychological addiction--the hardest addiction to break. I did a lot of studying the matter and found no conclusive evidence it would cause relapse and found evidence to the contrary, actually.

So I saw my doctor and inquired about ADHD medication. She sent me to a psychologist for testing and then I received a prescription.

Long story short--once I found the proper medication (dextroamphetamine) within a couple of weeks of taking it hit me like a ton of bricks--I drank to alleviate my ADHD. Pure and simple. For me, what I felt because of my ADHD, besides frustration and social clumsiness and difficulties getting ahead, was total and utter boredom. Every single day of my life. Drinking and getting a buzz cured that boredom. It made life bearable and sometimes, if I was lucky, interesting.

So, if I took stimulant medication from childhood on, I doubt I would have become an alcoholic. Alcohol did for me what it does not do for the average person who can take it or leave it. For years it REALLY appealed to me.

There have been studies that concluded ADHD children who receive medication become motivated and not bored and are far less likely to abuse drugs. I agree.

--Nate

Nate, it was awesome to read your post and see so much of myself in it. I got clean easing to 12 steps of NA as adapted from AA. I have since distanced myself from the fellowship, but if it wasn't for my initial work in the program I wouldn't be where I am today. It's also easier for me this time around since I found the proper dosage and I feel I am now able to responsibly medicate myself (I wasn't in that position 2 years ago).

Raye
09-01-13, 09:20 AM
It's so true, and it's so easy to miss. The buzz, and the fundamental effect of adderall are two completely different things. A steady, non-increasing dose bears no resemblance to a drug problem.


I never got that 'buzz' from adderall, and I am also dependent on an anti anxiety med. The adderall helps me through the day, it keeps me awake and even a bit vibrant, but I've never had a 'buzz' from it.

As a former benzo abuser, I can say that's a good thing :D