View Full Version : If you are an addict or have issues with substance abuse how can you take ADD meds?


ClarkG
11-15-13, 11:49 PM
If you're an addict or have issues with substance abuse like for example alcoholism and you abused illegal drugs at times, how can you take stimulant medications and not abuse them or get addicted to them or compromise your sobriety?

AlexaN
11-16-13, 12:13 AM
If you're an addict or have issues with substance abuse like for example alcoholism and you abused illegal drugs at times, how can you take stimulant medications and not abuse them or get addicted to them or compromise your sobriety?

You probably can't.
and should not even be prescribed such meds.
To avoid temptation tell your doctor about addiction issues.
be honest with yourself first of all.

ClarkG
11-16-13, 12:39 AM
OK but what if you have ADD/ADHD? I have talked to doctors who know I have issues with substance abuse and they said if I wanted to be prescribed Adderall, Dexedine, etc. it was up to me.

dvdnvwls
11-16-13, 02:19 AM
There are two ways to see this. One is exactly what AlexaN just said; the other is that some people with ADHD have become addicted from attempts at "self-medication", and whose ADHD gets so much better from a prescribed stimulant that it actually helps them stay clean & sober.

ClarkG
11-16-13, 02:29 AM
Would structuring time work better for someone like me? Or if I was on a medication having someone keep it locked up and dole it out when I needed it? When I was on meds for ADD/ADHD I did not abuse them but a few times I would take them in the evening, or take 5mg more than I was supposed to. I also did snort some Ritalin once just to see what it was like in a low dose, and I did not like what it did to my sinuses, and the medication would go from not working at all to working and peak/plateau like that.

Leeleebug
11-16-13, 04:57 AM
I honestly would have someone handle them for you. Not to make you feel like a baby, but to insure that your meds that can better your life won't end up destroying you more, and ruining your only hope for normalcy. It's always good for a doctor or psych to start from the lowest dose and go up. That way you never feel the euphoric effects and be tempted. Honestly it's all up to you how you choose to go about it. Just remember that your decision could either make or break your life. In the end we all want to do better and be better. Good luck with your choice!

sarahsweets
11-16-13, 06:28 AM
Many people with a previous history of substance abuse can and do take stimulants and are able to make their lives 100% more managable. To say that these people should never be prescribed these meds is ignorant.


You probably can't.
and should not even be prescribed such meds.
To avoid temptation tell your doctor about addiction issues.
be honest with yourself first of all.

daveddd
11-16-13, 06:33 AM
i was an addict and still am around many

ive never seen anyone go directly from addiction to meds successfully

any attempts at locking up meds turned out bad for the person doling them out

ive seen many succesfully handle their issue THEN go to adhd meds




BTW, every addict is "self-medicating"

dvdnvwls
11-16-13, 06:47 AM
BTW, every addict is "self-medicating"
True... though not all are self-medicating for an inherited disorder. Some are self-medicating for situational depression or other things.

daveddd
11-16-13, 06:53 AM
seeking pleasure they cannot obtain

or killing emotional pain

all of them

at that point it really doesnt matter if there is a genetic piece to their disorder or not

MeepMeep
11-27-13, 08:00 PM
Misused substances for years, now on Concerta.

No drive for illicit substances. Depends why you're using, I was self medicating, said it's so over many years, just not so explicitly.

"Doing XYZ helps me relax" which pretty much meant it stops my mind racing and allows me to do normal people stuff.

As said above, be honest with yourself and go from there. Abusing Stims never ends well.

Daydreamin22
11-27-13, 08:40 PM
Hope this helps. There are prob even more specific journal articles. Try upenn as well. Common issue.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=152917

AlexaN
11-27-13, 08:51 PM
Many people with a previous history of substance abuse can and do take stimulants and are able to make their lives 100% more managable. To say that these people should never be prescribed these meds is ignorant.

Don't call me ignorant, i know about addiction obviously much more than you.
I said "You probably can't".
He probably can't and only minority can.
Have you been addicted? Do you know what it feels like? and what it is like to be around the same thing that ruined your life but made you feel so good when you felt only agony?
and you are saying all those pretty words based on what?
Statistics? Books?
Mine are based on painful experience and work with people who were at the same dark place.

mctavish23
11-27-13, 09:51 PM
Clark,

I'm a recovering coke addict, with 25 1/2 + years of working a daily 12 Step Program;

beginning on 03/25/1988. I consult at the Inpatient CD Treatment Center / Detox, that

our rural, non-profit community mental health center runs next door to my office. I also

speak at Inpatient once a month, and tell my (Recovery) "story."

On 10/31/2013, I was invited by our local Drug Court Team to present on ADHD and the

use of stimulant medication; from an informed physician. My presentation was entitled

"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) : The Cloak of Invisibility and the

Paradox of Treatment."

I've been at my current practice for nearly 30 years now (01/24/2014 will be 30 years

exactly). I have one of the only completely evidence based practices in the area where I

work; if not most of the state. Therefore, the above presentation represented a 100%,

evidence based (research derived & supported) report, documenting how the use of ANY

stimulant medication (for the treatment of ADHD), prescribed by an informed physician,

DECREASES THE RISKS FOR BOTH A SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER (SUD) AND CRIMINALITY.

In the process of writing the paper, I found approximately 20 studies, going back 76

years, ALL (100%) of which supported the use of stimulants to improve behavior. More

importantly, I also found NO CONTRADICTORY DATA (0%).

You can look these up if you like, as I'm not going to "re-invent the wheel" here. Suffice

to say though, that the whole notion of not using stimulants to treat (authentic) ADHD,

from an informed physician, is irrational (e.g., No basis in fact).

Hope this helps.


tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Daydreamin22
11-28-13, 01:29 AM
Many people with a previous history of substance abuse can and do take stimulants and are able to make their lives 100% more managable. To say that these people should never be prescribed these meds is ignorant.

Where did that come from?
Ignorant? You totally blew over some good values displayed. Not cool that someone who doesn't know you is catching the brunt of your feelings about meds.

dvdnvwls
11-28-13, 03:04 AM
Many people with a previous history of substance abuse can and do take stimulants and are able to make their lives 100% more managable. To say that these people should never be prescribed these meds is ignorant.

Where did that come from?
Ignorant? You totally blew over some good values displayed. Not cool that someone who doesn't know you is catching the brunt of your feelings about meds.
It's definitely ignorant, definitely misleading, and in some extreme case it might even be deadly, to say that no one with ADHD and a history of addiction should be prescribed a stimulant. There is considerable evidence that a stimulant prescription for ADHD helps some ADHDers who have had addiction problems, both by improving their ADHD symptoms and by alleviating their desire for whatever they were addicted to.

It is not "good values displayed" to give misleading information. Perhaps Sarah's post sounded a bit harsh, but it was absolutely correct in its substance.

daveddd
11-28-13, 05:31 AM
It's definitely ignorant, definitely misleading, and in some extreme case it might even be deadly, to say that no one with ADHD and a history of addiction should be prescribed a stimulant. There is considerable evidence that a stimulant prescription for ADHD helps some ADHDers who have had addiction problems, both by improving their ADHD symptoms and by alleviating their desire for whatever they were addicted to.

It is not "good values displayed" to give misleading information. Perhaps Sarah's post sounded a bit harsh, but it was absolutely correct in its substance.

ive seen studies showing that stimulants help PREVENT addiction

every one ive seen trying meds of any sort, as an addiction intervention alone has been a failure


i would be interested in seeing otherwise

it was one of those things i looked for, for awhile, when i wanted an easy way out

daveddd
11-28-13, 05:45 AM
i would think if your really close to quitting, maybe slipping up here or there, meds can push you over the edge

dvdnvwls
11-28-13, 05:47 AM
ive seen studies showing that stimulants help PREVENT addiction

every one ive seen trying meds of any sort, as an addiction intervention alone has been a failure


i would be interested in seeing otherwise

it was one of those things i looked for, for awhile, when i wanted an easy way out
As a means of direct addiction intervention I can see that it might not have much of a chance. The initial post here included the question how is it possible to not compromise one's sobriety. I think the answer to that opening question might be different for different people, but one of the possible answers is "it can under the right circumstances be what helps you maintain your sobriety."

I think it's unfortunate that there seems to be a belief circulating among some alcoholics that taking a legitimate prescribed drug for a legitimate disorder is somehow giving in, or a "crutch", or whatever terminology they prefer to use - when in fact the risky or even foolhardy move is to refuse the legitimate drug and opt for further temptation instead.

daveddd
11-28-13, 05:54 AM
As a means of direct addiction intervention I can see that it might not have much of a chance. The initial post here included the question how is it possible to not compromise one's sobriety. I think the answer to that opening question might be different for different people, but one of the possible answers is "it can under the right circumstances be what helps you maintain your sobriety."

I think it's unfortunate that there seems to be a belief circulating among some alcoholics that taking a legitimate prescribed drug for a legitimate disorder is somehow giving in, or a "crutch", or whatever terminology they prefer to use - when in fact the risky or even foolhardy move is to refuse the legitimate drug and opt for further temptation instead.

i think your right here

sarahsweets
11-28-13, 07:34 AM
I do know about addiction. I am an alcoholic. And I am saying these pretty words based on statistics. Perhaps ignorant was to harsh of a word and for that I am sorry but I do get sick of people assuming that an addict (I cant say former addict because once an addict always an addict) can never be prescribed certain medications because it will push them over the edge or cause them to relapse. Even addicts can be trusted. True, they need some careful monitoring but stimulants can help prevent addiction or at least stop it from rearing its ugly head. It doesnt matter what you were addicted to either, the pattern of addiction is behavior based. ADHD'rs often self medicate which is why addiction is so prevalent among us.





Don't call me ignorant, i know about addiction obviously much more than you.
I said "You probably can't".
He probably can't and only minority can.
Have you been addicted? Do you know what it feels like? and what it is like to be around the same thing that ruined your life but made you feel so good when you felt only agony?
and you are saying all those pretty words based on what?
Statistics? Books?
Mine are based on painful experience and work with people who were at the same dark place.

psychokitty
11-28-13, 08:27 AM
I gave up alcohol only after being prescribed meds.

I have had to spend the last week without meds - and I really felt like I NEEDED alcohol to relax and dull down the buzzing in my brain.

After I had gotten over the bad habits of a lifetime I adjusted pretty well to an alcohol free life .... while I'm on my meds.
Off my meds, I think it would be harder.

I see my doctor tomorrow morning and will get my prescription filled, very happy about that.

daveddd
11-28-13, 08:36 AM
As a means of direct addiction intervention I can see that it might not have much of a chance. The initial post here included the question how is it possible to not compromise one's sobriety. I think the answer to that opening question might be different for different people, but one of the possible answers is "it can under the right circumstances be what helps you maintain your sobriety."

I think it's unfortunate that there seems to be a belief circulating among some alcoholics that taking a legitimate prescribed drug for a legitimate disorder is somehow giving in, or a "crutch", or whatever terminology they prefer to use - when in fact the risky or even foolhardy move is to refuse the legitimate drug and opt for further temptation instead.

you know i may have been looking for the wrong things though too

i looked for complete abstinence, there wasnt any, but there was a lot of cutting way down

so i would be contradicting myself, when i say im a former addict

because i can have social beers, but im not an addict by any means anymore


so im backpeddling, i do believe meds can be a helpful intervention for addiction , although an understanding of what part of your adhd you are self medicating may also be of assistance

Stevuke79
11-28-13, 05:25 PM
Ignorant, really?

It seems naive to say that amphetamines aren't likely to lead to further addiction in a newly recovered addict. While not exactly ignorant, it's a good deal more so than acknowledging the risk of amphetamines to someone with a history.

I think AlexaN gave the best advice. It's dangerous, be honest with yourself and your therapist, and if you really need meds, take every precaution and report everything to your PDoc.

Many people with a previous history of substance abuse can and do take stimulants and are able to make their lives 100% more managable. To say that these people should never be prescribed these meds is ignorant.

Stevuke79
11-28-13, 06:14 PM
I do get sick of people assuming that an addict can never be prescribed certain medications because it will push them over the edge or cause them to relapse. Even addicts can be trusted.

very important point. Great post

Daydreamin22
11-29-13, 12:38 AM
OMG, who let the dogs out? Everyone simmerdown. Get stimulated somewhere else. This got way off topic from the original posts that have yet to be soundly responded to.

So recap- It's all good people. Happy Thanks Giving! I burnt an apple pie.

Daydreamin22
11-29-13, 01:45 AM
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsle...lant_addiction

Modafinilguy
11-29-13, 02:38 AM
Don't call me ignorant, i know about addiction obviously much more than you.
I said "You probably can't".
He probably can't and only minority can.
Have you been addicted? Do you know what it feels like? and what it is like to be around the same thing that ruined your life but made you feel so good when you felt only agony?
and you are saying all those pretty words based on what?
Statistics? Books?
Mine are based on painful experience and work with people who were at the same dark place.

Mate please remember the OP cited Alcoholism as an example.

I would agree it is complex if you are a former meth or cocaine user etc, but if you had a grog habit, or especially depressant drugs then yes if you have ADHD, the medicine may be the right thing.

I have abused many drugs and had many addictions, but never to Ritalin when I was prescribed it. I have never abused stimulants. Ritalin was a MEDICINE not an intoxicant for me.

Modafinilguy
11-29-13, 02:41 AM
Ignorant, really?

It seems naive to say that amphetamines aren't likely to lead to further addiction in a newly recovered addict. While not exactly ignorant, it's a good deal more so than acknowledging the risk of amphetamines to someone with a history.

I think AlexaN gave the best advice. It's dangerous, be honest with yourself and your therapist, and if you really need meds, take every precaution and report everything to your PDoc.

Are you saying that someone with a previous serious drinking problem or maybe they abused benzo's like Xanax, or smoke a lot of weed, are you saying they should not be prescribed stimulants for ADHD, if they fully meet criteria? You are wrong if that is what you are saying.

mctavish23
11-29-13, 04:20 PM
Please Note : The OP Hasn't Returned To Comment On The Contradictory

Data (ALL of which supports the use of stimulants (from an informed

physician, as Decreasing the Risk of a Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

He (OP) Last Posted On This On 11/16/13.

Having Been Around A While, I Always Keep Watch On Potential Inflammatory

Threads That Are The Equivalent of "Dump & Dash." Not Saying That Applies

Here, But The Longer It Goes, The More I Think That Way. Either Way, It

Doesn't Change The Data. :D

Daydreamin22 - Sorry bout the pie :(


u r welcome :cool:

Daydreamin22
11-29-13, 04:29 PM
Mate please remember the OP cited Alcoholism as an example.


she was reacting to a little zing attack. normal response to abnormal behavior.

dvdnvwls
11-29-13, 04:37 PM
I think there's a regional/accent/dialect confusion with the word "ignorant". In some places it's used as an insult to mean "stupid". Where I'm from, and maybe where the person who posted the word is from, it means "not knowing the facts" and has no insult value. When I supported use of the word ignorant, I didn't want to support an insult - I merely saw that the "ignorant" post is against the facts.

someothertime
11-29-13, 04:43 PM
Ahhhhhhhhhhh... tho ol' dump'n'dash... Well Mr ClarkG...

If your a dump and dasher.... How can you post a thread... get several heartfelt and considered responses and not come back and let people know what you think, doesn't that compromise your piety? Please come tell us ClarkG???

dvd: Where i'm from it's akin to calling someone several other 4 letter words ;)

mctavish23
11-29-13, 04:44 PM
Citing Alcoholism is a fascinating example of what's going on in the CD Treatment World,

in trying to adapt to 21st Century evidence based treatments, versus the traditional AA

(1930's) approach to sobriety. Many "old school" individual's can't understand how the

use of stimulant medication from an informed physician (for ADHD), constitutes the

accepted standard of treatment. Instead, many of them (incorrectly) refer to that as a

form of "maintenance;" which is completely untrue.

tc

Robert

Stevuke79
11-29-13, 05:01 PM
Are you saying that someone with a previous serious drinking problem or maybe they abused benzo's like Xanax, or smoke a lot of weed, are you saying they should not be prescribed stimulants for ADHD, if they fully meet criteria? You are wrong if that is what you are saying.

No I didn't say that. Blanket categorical statements are rarely correct and I hardly ever even speak like that

But when someone who has struggled with addiction (and who also takes perscribed stimulants, by the way!!) is asked if stimulants are a risk for a recovering addict, and she urges caution and says you probably can't handle it n your own,... Calling her ignorant is,... Well it's not perfectly well informed to say the least!!

Stevuke79
11-29-13, 05:02 PM
she was reacting to a little zing attack. normal response to abnormal behavior.

Brilliantly said!

someothertime
11-29-13, 05:02 PM
All this common perception in society...


Equating substance misuse in the context of either avoiding, masking or dissociating from an underlying "deficiency".

To draw some mythical parallel, between a person who medicates in a controlled / monitored and whollistic manner to alleviate the underlying issue.

OK, in the past stimulant have been abused... Why, because the monitoring was inadequate and because it was not whollistic enough to support the behavioral adaption necissary to offset current choice patterns and emotional diffusion / balance.

I wonder what the data would say about the percentage of stimulant abusers vs if they had substance issues prior to stimulant usage or who were supported making behavioral / emotional change whilst under treatment.

Please. Let make it apples with apples here...

Stevuke79
11-29-13, 05:07 PM
I think there's a regional/accent/dialect confusion with the word "ignorant". In some places it's used as an insult to mean "stupid". Where I'm from, and maybe where the person who posted the word is from, it means "not knowing the facts" and has no insult value. When I supported use of the word ignorant, I didn't want to support an insult - I merely saw that the "ignorant" post is against the facts.

LMFAO! I love you DVD, and I've told you many times how smart I know you are.

But I'm from the same state as whence came said word, ... and in these parts it's pretty insulting.

ClarkG
11-29-13, 11:17 PM
I didn't reply back since I have been busy with Thanksgiving, and if I decide to go on medications I will talk to a medical professional.

mctavish23
11-30-13, 12:59 AM
Well Said.

Good Luck.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

AlexaN
12-11-13, 09:04 PM
I do know about addiction. I am an alcoholic. And I am saying these pretty words based on statistics. Perhaps ignorant was to harsh of a word and for that I am sorry but I do get sick of people assuming that an addict (I cant say former addict because once an addict always an addict) can never be prescribed certain medications because it will push them over the edge or cause them to relapse. Even addicts can be trusted. True, they need some careful monitoring but stimulants can help prevent addiction or at least stop it from rearing its ugly head. It doesnt matter what you were addicted to either, the pattern of addiction is behavior based. ADHD'rs often self medicate which is why addiction is so prevalent among us.

Where on earth did I use the word NEVER?
Stop twisting my words, you and the guy above you who attacked me for misleading and so on...and do read what I said again.
If you have a problem with the truth, stick to your statistics.
and being an alcoholic does not make you an expert on stimulant addiction.
I was drinking heavily too.
Those things are completely different.

AlexaN
12-11-13, 09:09 PM
I think there's a regional/accent/dialect confusion with the word "ignorant". In some places it's used as an insult to mean "stupid". Where I'm from, and maybe where the person who posted the word is from, it means "not knowing the facts" and has no insult value. When I supported use of the word ignorant, I didn't want to support an insult - I merely saw that the "ignorant" post is against the facts.

I know what ignorant is perfectly well....

AlexaN
12-11-13, 09:12 PM
Mate please remember the OP cited Alcoholism as an example.

I would agree it is complex if you are a former meth or cocaine user etc, but if you had a grog habit, or especially depressant drugs then yes if you have ADHD, the medicine may be the right thing.

I have abused many drugs and had many addictions, but never to Ritalin when I was prescribed it. I have never abused stimulants. Ritalin was a MEDICINE not an intoxicant for me.

I was heavily addicted to Ritalin.
I almost died. twice.
and before that, I never even smoked weed or had a glass of vodka! Not once!

DichotOhMy
12-12-13, 02:41 AM
Skimming through this thread, I can agree that stimulant meds are dangerous in the hands of a practicing addict. However, and it's a big conjunction here, I think stimulant medication is a godsend for an ADHD/addict who has quit using and is getting his or her **** together. This is both in improving one's life, and in squashing the neurological factors that makes one use in the first place.

As a recovering alcoholic, a former meth-head, and poly-drug user, I have obvious neurological problems that I was attempting to self medicate for. Whether it was using illicit uppers to help me function, or downers for when I didn't want to deal with anything, or just using something because the high is more fun than regular life, I realize I was self medicating. ADHD meds help correct this behavior because they temporarily help with neurological issues, allow me to function as an adult, assist in my executive functioning so that I don't feel overwhelmed and not wanting to do anything, and quite honestly, get me a little bit amped up in a way that is more fun than regular life. Basically, I was going to forever use something if I didn't start ADHD meds, because my ADHD and cluster of comorbidities wasn't going to magically float away with therapy mantras and bootstraps of willpower. ADHD and it's direct secondary problems are pervasive in my life to the point where a biological-chemical intervention is needed.

Of course, I didn't start taking prescribed meds until I kicked the booze and drugs and committed to being clean. Quite frankly, I don't know if meds would have been such a godsend if I used them in addition to other drugs vice using them instead of other drugs.

sarahsweets
12-12-13, 05:21 AM
I didnt mean to imply that you meant 'never'. You asked me if I understood or knew about addiction and I wanted to share that I did. And now you are saying that because I wasnt addicted to stimulants that I really dont know about addiction,because mine was alcohol and not stimulants. An addict is always an addict, it doesnt matter what their drug of choice is. And as far as statistics go, did you read what McTavish wrote? He has a lot of valid info and statistics to support the use of stimulants in former addicts with adhd. And I wasnt attacking you. The use of the word ignorant wasnt meant to imply that YOU were ignorant but I apologized because obviously you took it that way. You cant cherry pick what kind of addictions "count" when it comes to stimulant use, what what ones dont. I will try and dig up some statistics since you are asking me to find some, but I know that undiagnosed adhd is a really big issue for many addicts. There are many addicts that once treated for adhd, do not need to use their drug of choice anymore. Incidentally, alcohol was not a depressant for me. It stimulated me and made me very energetic, almost a reverse effect. So I guess for me, it didnt matter that it was supposed to be a depressant, because it never felt that way to me.


Where on earth did I use the word NEVER?
Stop twisting my words, you and the guy above you who attacked me for misleading and so on...and do read what I said again.
If you have a problem with the truth, stick to your statistics.
and being an alcoholic does not make you an expert on stimulant addiction.
I was drinking heavily too.
Those things are completely different.

someothertime
12-12-13, 08:58 AM
I'm glad both of you have put your views forward. They both have merit and I can see how the absoluteness of Alexa's first post and the ignorant trigger word may have sparked a little heat. It's a sparky topic that's for sure...

I have an addictive personality. The kind that "buryies" himself in one thing or another as an escape/altermode. I think to add some perspective to this discussion and touching on what sarah said above about choosing what addictions count... ADDICTION is not a black and white thing... It is a result... and there is greyness about causation and fixation on certain addictions for certain people...

So called "morals" come into it somewhat, either as a iterative stressor or "filter" to what an individual may or may not delve in... Environment plays a role too... Having said those things... I'm sure we can all identify with the feeling... and the more macro effects that addiction can cause to oneself.

Now... going back to the OP's question ( who we haven't seen in a while by the way ;) )... I see "substance value" being a huge contributor in this discussion. i.e. For most "adults" who are diagnosed and medicated... who have a quasi stable living circumstance... addmeds are perceived as "important" or therapudic rather than recreational... as opposed to some arbitrary substance that makes you productive. I don't know if i'm explaining this right. But there is a certain "weight" that goes hand in hand with the rest of your daily / current actions and treatments.

Now, there is another layer to this which the OP was more concerned about and thats biological "dependance"... Some individuals with "some" add meds may get this... That's what the controls are there for in a lot of cases... That and ritual abusers of all prescribed meds that buck the system NOT FOR THE TYPICAL ADULT ADDER!

I will admit... that there have been times ( a handful ) where that little voice has started murmured in the depths of my conciousness... The thing is though... I have so much "weight" or "contextualisation of the medication in relation to other strategies"... That to begin to abuse the one thing that promises real change in my life would just be pure "irrational"... And i'm not talking a logical thought process either... This is emotional... If I disturb my emotional balance then i'm better off on no meds at all.

So.... different people have different drivers to addiction. ADD meds are not on the whole an extremely addictive substance unto themselves as you would class nicotene or alcohol... The majority of adults, given a wholistic treatment strategy are unlikely to become med abusers.

At the end of the day... This is the key answer to the OP's question... It all comes down to the treatment landscape.

If they feel they are forming "dependance"... they should talk to their doctor... or the controls should pick it up... More importantly... they should be proactive in discussing medication changes and symptoms periodically with the prescriber and not take dosing into their own hands. Also, placing as much emphasis on non-medicinal treatments as medicinal ones. I know if I start seeing the meds as the ONLY contributor... there is a fair chance i'm dropping the ball on some behavioral treament and I need to clarify what's happening there before deciding that the meds are the cause... again, something that should be taken to your doctor.

dvdnvwls
12-12-13, 02:49 PM
I was heavily addicted to Ritalin.
I almost died. twice.
and before that, I never even smoked weed or had a glass of vodka! Not once!
I respect that fact. It's a terrible situation to have been in, especially with the surprising element of (maybe?) not having been exposed to other potentially-more-addictive substances before. Wondering what age-group you were in when that occurred.

It often happens that a person who has been through a battle with addiction, especially a sudden unexpected battle, gets drawn into over-generalizing their experience, assuming that everyone else's addiction experience must be just like what they went through, and assuming that every piece of information they've learned about themselves is equally valid for all people who are addicted to anything. Perhaps one reason for the over-generalization is that it can serve internally (in your own mind I mean) as part of a method of protecting yourself from further addiction experiences, and in that context it's probably a good thing.

However, projecting those generalizations outwards - essentially, insisting that all others are just like you - is usually not as helpful as a person in your situation tends to hope. (In fact, the experiences of the majority of addicts are quite different from yours, as shown by the numbers. (reference mctavish23's posts for details).

Modafinilguy
12-15-13, 02:34 PM
I have to protest some of my own comments, no sure I agree with myself! I'll come back to this thread later, must have been in a funny mood.

Anastasia
12-15-13, 05:08 PM
I am an addict/alcoholic in recovery. I take Vyvanse, and I questioned addiction and these meds as well. I think any recovering addict would.

Someone mentioned the "landscape" surrounding the situation, person, details etc. I agree. I have been through hell with addiction and my sobriety is priority, without it I lose everything.

I would not attempt to take the meds if I was not in active and dedicated recovery, a sponsor that is aware of the medicine and support from others. Untreated addiction/alcoholism can be painful and trying to control any pill abuse without any recovery felt like I was wearing a muzzle. The obsession to drink/don't drink or drug/don't drug is consuming.

I joined this forum and quickly learned about the importance of sleep, eating and dosage. I was not familiar with this class of drug. If those are being neglected with your awareness and you keep going, then I would take that as a red flag. Often a relapse begins months or weeks before the moment of "relapse". Share it with someone immediately. I also pray and meditate, it took some time but it has paid dividends in my spiritual and emotional state. I think it can be done, but I need to do more than the non-addict if I want to remain on these meds. This is my experience and how I stay sober, willpower and self always failed me in this area. Please keep us posted.

I wanted to add others have great sobriety using other methods, mine is not the standard. In regards to locking up meds and having someone dispense them, it may be necessary for certain situations. But if that is what's keeping you from abusing them, then it may be only a matter of time. When I wanted to "use" a lock box, hiding spot or manipulating the person dispensing them would not be an issue. I don't know if you were a heavy user/drinker who could moderate or you were in full blown addiction/alcoholism. I'm speaking with the mindset that is was severe. I wish you the best.

Rebelyell
12-15-13, 05:19 PM
I suppose it could go two ways,Ive heard stories where people who had adhd/bp and self medicated once they were on meds didn't have the desire to do illicit drugs anymore.I know addictions come in a lot of forms and faces,if its drugs then I would think it would be to a drs best interest to keep close tabs on you ,for not only for himself to CHA but as yours as well. Im very impulsive,buy what I like,Im a speed demon,No not that speed silly! Ive get my rocks off going fast/adrenaling rushes. Ive bought and have close to 100 grand in powersports,bikes quads etc.If I could take proper meds it might not have led up to this.Being I have TS its not ment to be I suppose as dr will not prescribe me stims as soon as they hear Tourette syndrome.

Dano82
12-20-13, 12:28 PM
I was prescribed Adderall this week with the very recent test results indicating AD/HD. As someone who's life has incorporated significant amount of drug use (the same test diagnosed Polysubstance Abuse)

I'm paranoid. I've abused adderall before. I've used most drugs under the sun and fairly regularly, though (despite some short, dark times) it's never completely derailed my life.

It's encouraging to see, however, the research indicating the safe use of Addreall/stimulants. Also, looking back, I can't help but wonder how AD/HD contributed to my regular drug use and lack of control - the whole "paradox of AD/HD and addiction."

I can't really comment one way or the other but really hope my hyper-vigilance to medication use will keep it therapeutic rather than dependence. We'll see with time. In the mean time, the changes I've seen this week while taking the medication have been astonishing completely outweigh the threat of addition. Completely (matter of fact, no way I could have read through every comment in the 4 pages of this post a week ago).

Lastly, I have to agree that this isn't black and white. Everyone's history and chemistry is different. I'll have to respectfully disagree with the advice that medicating AD/DH for recovering addicts is a terrible idea. It's an idea that needs to be investigated.

DichotOhMy
12-20-13, 04:34 PM
I can't really comment one way or the other but really hope my hyper-vigilance to medication use will keep it therapeutic rather than dependence. We'll see with time. In the mean time, the changes I've seen this week while taking the medication have been astonishing completely outweigh the threat of addition.

Exactly, former ADHD addicts need to keep disciplined and respect stimulant medication under the knowledge that the positives of therapeutic use are more valuable than the short-term positives of getting high.

jennyjay
12-27-13, 01:13 PM
I am checking into Hazelden in a few days for abusing methamphetamine. My psychiatrist and I have already discussed this issue for when I get out (you are not allowed any amphetamines or benzos while in the program). The research indicates that people who take ADD meds after treatment are not more likely to relapse. I will be starting Adderall again when I am done at Hazelden. I also don't think "once an addict always an addict" is true for everyone. I won't consider myself an addict for the rest of my life because I screwed up for a year and half.

EmilyRay42
12-28-13, 01:59 AM
One of the most important things to be considered with this subject is the consequences of not treating the ADHD with a successful treatment modality, which for many is stimulants. For me with a history of addiction to meth, the result of not treating my ADHD successfully has been a life of misery filled with failed relationships, lost ability to work, isolation and depression leading to suicidality. Proper treatment can restore lost abilities,function and lead to a turnaround of all the above symptoms. In my view the risk/reward equation is clearly balanced on the side of treat with stimulants. Since despite my sobriety I am suffering the worst outcomes of drug abuse.

sarahsweets
12-28-13, 05:40 AM
Jennyjay I agree with most of what you say except that most addicts when treated properly stimulants and monitored are less likely to relapse.

ginainma
01-25-14, 05:46 PM
Congratulations on your 25 years of sobriety and for using a 12 step program to stay sober! For me, I am an addict who had 5 years of sobriety...not using any mind altering drug, including nicotine.

I made the mistake of not sticking with a 12 step program when I moved to another state and felt that "they had lousy sobriety."...judgemental :-)...just a bit.

Anyway, I also have co-existing mental issues (major depressive disorder, hypomania, anxiety and SAD. I have been addicted to almost everything out there and everytime I go to a dual diagnosis treatment facility to get sober. I have only once did it on the outside, by slowly tapering off prescribed Klonipin. And, my mother doled out it out in the beginning.

HELP!!! ADDERALL ADDICTION

**Now, many years later, I have been snorting about 60 - 90 mg of Adderall for about 4 months. I did it for energy because I have always felt like I have less energy than everyone else. After becoming addicted, I decided to look up the symptoms of ADHD and, ironically, I have it (moderately).

However, I am an addict who thinks if one is good, more is better. I am unable to control my use. Now, I want to stop the Adderall, but I am afraid of withdrawal. I have never quit anything cold turkey.

Has anyone here tapered themselves off Adderall or another stimulant successfully? If so, could you tell me how you did it and what kind of withdrawal symptoms you experienced by tapering off the medication? I appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you.

Clark,

I'm a recovering coke addict, with 25 1/2 + years of working a daily 12 Step Program;

beginning on 03/25/1988. I consult at ...
(Robert)

sarahsweets
01-28-14, 10:04 AM
In my experience with cross addicted people tapering off said substance is harder than cold turkey. I could never taper off alcohol I had to stop and go through the pain of withdrawal. I never had issues with amphetamines so I have never abused them. I am trying to use nictotine replacement to stop smoking but I guess my rationale is that it is legal and never impacted my life like alcoholisim and for the long term its more important for me to stay quit than go it cold turkey and start back up. I guess this makes no sense but its going to be a hard road for you.

mathieu318
01-29-14, 05:37 PM
Congratulations on your 25 years of sobriety and for using a 12 step program to stay sober! For me, I am an addict who had 5 years of sobriety...not using any mind altering drug, including nicotine.

I made the mistake of not sticking with a 12 step program when I moved to another state and felt that "they had lousy sobriety."...judgemental :-)...just a bit.

Anyway, I also have co-existing mental issues (major depressive disorder, hypomania, anxiety and SAD. I have been addicted to almost everything out there and everytime I go to a dual diagnosis treatment facility to get sober. I have only once did it on the outside, by slowly tapering off prescribed Klonipin. And, my mother doled out it out in the beginning.

HELP!!! ADDERALL ADDICTION

**Now, many years later, I have been snorting about 60 - 90 mg of Adderall for about 4 months. I did it for energy because I have always felt like I have less energy than everyone else. After becoming addicted, I decided to look up the symptoms of ADHD and, ironically, I have it (moderately).

However, I am an addict who thinks if one is good, more is better. I am unable to control my use. Now, I want to stop the Adderall, but I am afraid of withdrawal. I have never quit anything cold turkey.

Has anyone here tapered themselves off Adderall or another stimulant successfully? If so, could you tell me how you did it and what kind of withdrawal symptoms you experienced by tapering off the medication? I appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you.

I am a recovering addict too and I've been working the 12 steps for the last 4 years and i'm still going to the meetings. I made lots of relapse and I went 7 times in reheb (very good reputation centers). I used to take LOTS of drug everyday. The last period of time that I've been using I was taking 12-15 speed (street methamphétamine) per day everyday, 1-3 gram of cocaine 3-4 times per week (by injection and snorting), MDMA 2-3 gram per week, GHB everyday from the minute I woke up till I went to bed (750-1000ml per week) and on top of that I was drinking everyday. I also abused of clonazepam for period of time (up to 15-20 mg per day and that's a LOT). Anyways when I went in rehab last time I quit all that cold turkey and I was fine. There is NO physical withdrawl symptoms for stimulants exept tiredness. Its all psychological (anxiety, depression, irritability etc). When I stopped everything at the same time I slept for 4 days straight because I had maybe 25-30 hours of sleep in the last month so it was normal. I also had some other physicals withdrawl symptoms but it was because I was abusing alcool and GHB. All I am trying to say is that everything is possible if you really want to quit abusing Adderal I know you can do it !! Go cold turkey it wont be that bad don't worry. If you haven`t get enough sleep these last weeks your body will want to get some rest and its part of the withdrawl. After only 4-5 day you will feel defenetly better I promise you !! Don't give up you can do it

Joker_Girl
02-07-14, 05:02 PM
My drugs of choice were meth and cocaine. I loved any kind of speedy thing. It made me energetic, creative, artistic, and alive. When I was abusing drugs, I would absolutely abuse Adderal or ritalin if I could get a hold of them. In a heartbeat. The only kind of high I like is a speedy high.

I was of course taking hundreds of milligrams at a time, up my nose or even toward the last, smoking meth. It is a lot different when you are taking a small dose, orally.

I have taken prescription adhd med for years now, and have no desire to abuse it. For a while, I had my husband dole them out to me, but at some point, probably four years ago or so, it became apparent that it was just a non-issue anymore, and that was that.

I take them as prescribed, or even less, and I'm aware I could probably catch a buzz by taking a handful of them, but I just don't want to anymore.

It's amazing, really, because I'm quite depressed right now, and pretty flaky. I'm taking an antidepressant, too, which helps somewhat. You would think during a time of stress and depression I would be doing all kind of bad things, but nope.

I suspect if I went off all my meds, I would quickly become quite crazy, and would eventually either kill myself or spiral down into a mess of self destructive behavior. I would bet my drug-lust would return.

getReal
03-25-14, 08:36 AM
Many people with a previous history of substance abuse can and do take stimulants and are able to make their lives 100% more managable. To say that these people should never be prescribed these meds is ignorant.

Hit me up in 4 years if you keep thinking that's true. You won't recognize yourself.

getReal
03-25-14, 08:43 AM
Are you saying that someone with a previous serious drinking problem or maybe they abused benzo's like Xanax, or smoke a lot of weed, are you saying they should not be prescribed stimulants for ADHD, if they fully meet criteria? You are wrong if that is what you are saying.

Why is this wrong, exactly?

sarahsweets
03-26-14, 05:02 AM
Since I have been on stimulants for 9 years, I am pretty sure that I recognize myself just fine.

Hit me up in 4 years if you keep thinking that's true. You won't recognize yourself.

Fortune
03-26-14, 08:03 AM
Hit me up in 4 years if you keep thinking that's true. You won't recognize yourself.

Quite a few posters here have been medicating their ADHD for years or decades.

I've been here for nearly four years and I haven't seen people who are prescribed stimulants change dramatically in terms of personality or behavior. This is a weak argument anyway.

Why is this wrong, exactly?

Because people with ADHD are less likely to turn to substance abuse if medicated. With some people it may be risky, but as an absolute rule applied across the board? It's wrong.

BellaVita
03-26-14, 08:12 AM
Great post Fortune! :goodpost:

Karamo
03-26-14, 10:48 AM
If you're an addict or have issues with substance abuse like for example alcoholism and you abused illegal drugs at times, how can you take stimulant medications and not abuse them or get addicted to them or compromise your sobriety?

I can only answer for myself. I was using amphetamines (speed, not meth) to be able to function as a normal person. I was tired of knowing more than doctors so I took matters in my own hands.

I knowingly went into this addiction. I tried to break the addiction a lot of times and failed simply because life doesn't pause just because you need a week by yourself. You still have responsibilities.

However, when I got the news that they had begun my neuropsychiatric evaluation, I was told that I had to quit first. So I did. It was horrible. But now I know that I have pretty severe ADHD and tomorrow they will decide what medication to start me up on.

Now, to answer your questions;

1) Just because you're addicted to a substance it doesn't mean you can not control it. For a year I 'self-medicated', but I never "double dosed", raised the dosage, binged or any other indulgance. When I was at my most suicidal and had it right in front of me - No. My discipline is stronger than my will to live apparently. That's weird.

2) You will become dependant on it. Just as you become dependant on SSRI's or whatever. You will feel worse when you discontinue the use.

3) Medicine are drugs. You'd be surprised to find that some extremely intelligent and successful people have been "self-medicating" with "illegal amphetamines" for years and no one around them would have ever guessed. It's just that good doctors are one in hundred and being an intelligent and resourceful person you will quickly be more knowledgable about drugs and their mechanisms of action, than the doctor that you see.

However, the very majority of drug abusers are not those select few individuals. I just wanted to nuance something that people treat very "black and white".

Stevuke79
03-26-14, 11:46 AM
Hit me up in 4 years if you keep thinking that's true. You won't recognize yourself.

Hit us up when you've done your homework - you wont recognize yourself. Until then you are very sorely outclassed here.

Telmach
03-26-14, 07:29 PM
A little over said but just to add to the numbers: I found when i began ADD meds, I just started taking my life much more seriously and dropped bad habits like weed, mdma, and mda. I was never addicted but it was certainly substance abuse.

Stevuke79
03-27-14, 02:15 AM
I was just asked a question and I think it' relevant to this thread: How could I support prescribing amphetamine to a child if we know that turns him into an addict on some level. I was also challenged about a post I made where I cited studies indicating that prescription amphetamines significantly decrease the risk of future addiction and was told that is actually contrary to what one is told by counselors in rehab clinics.

These assertions are uninformed, baseless, made without citation, and while they in no way merit a response I'd like to go on record with one. When I try to explain why I even bother responding, the only thing that comes to mind is a Talmudic idiom (forgive me, if I knew an equivalent saying in English, I would use it):
דע מה להשיב לאפיקורס ("da mah li-hashiv liapiqores" ..literal translation: Know how to respond to an epicurean)

An "epicurean" being a self-serving antagonist who gets satisfaction in provoking you by challenging your choice to be responsible and follow the guidance given by those qualified to do so and who have your best interests at heart. So the point is: when we are so provoked without so much as a citation, even though no response is merited, for our own peace of mind we should at least know what the answer should be, whether or not we care to share it with the proverbial "epicurean".

So in answering, my citations that amphetamines reduce the risk of addiction are here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1621859&postcount=12). The title "Counselor" does not imply license or expertise; you may well find incompetent "counselors" who advise you otherwise and against the most current research.

As far as your assertion that putting a child on amphetamine makes them an addict, the above cited research references the otherwise well established idea that taking Adderall at a consistent prescribed dosage does not equal addiction. Addiction necessarily implies the consistent building of tolerance, which only happens if the dosage is consistently increased. Hence, a child taking prescribed consistent doses is not at all an addict.

AntiSocial
03-28-14, 10:34 AM
I am going to go on a limb and make a presumption answering this question:

The reason people with ADHD abuse substances is because they are thrill seekers by nature, they get bored easily and unfortunately drugs can fill that void. There are also other reasons like abusing drugs to cope with the rejection, isolation and difficulties that come with living with ADHD...

BUT, when you start using medications like Ritalin they can infact cure the substance abuse part of ADHD because those stimulant medications stop you from feeling the need to constantly seek entertainments, they allow you to cope with boring situations like normal people. So once you start on Ritalin you don't feel the need to be an adrenalin junkie seeking thrills all the time.

So ADHD medications can infact cure substance abuse. Ritalin also has a less potential for abuse because it has a shorter half life than other street drugs

USMCcop
03-29-14, 04:57 AM
I was a drunk for about 20 years. Only drank to calm my mind, and only at night. Been sober (this time) since Jan. I am now treating my ADHD and have no desire to drink whatsoever. If I were to take a higher dose than prescribed (optimal), I'd feel like crap. I take somewhat high doses, which are optimal and correct. (I'm being treated with an effective adult dose, not the common pediatric dose most uniformed docs prescribe). I never have gotten high or uphoric. The medicine simple calms me.

I honestly can't see how someone could or would be high on amph. Maybe it's a paradoxal thing as I have the disorder. I realize that can be debated.

Stevuke79
03-29-14, 12:03 PM
You can get addicted to amphetamine, but you can't get what a meth addict would call "high" except in the very beginning. After a while, even with increased doses the other effects are the most dramatic. (I've written about this elsewhere on here - there are actually two dopaminergic pathways involved).

Wil2014
03-29-14, 02:46 PM
I've fringed on the outside of addiction issues my whole life. For me personally, I've had a couple times when it was hard to stop with stimulant meds. That mentality of just taking one more, turning into one more, turning into one more can be powerful. Someone suggested it but if your going to go down the stimulant medication road it may be immensely helpful if you have someone that can delegate the script to you. My wife did this to me during a recent vacation cause I struggled with that mentality of control.

I read through this thread and I see valid viewpoints from both angles. Hope you take it all in, make a sound decision and it works out for the best!

USMCcop
03-29-14, 04:04 PM
I sometimes wonder if people are prescribed too low of a dose, desiring to take a higher dose to feel well- decreased symptom control, might be the case. I have an adequate dose for my body. If I take too much, I feel crappy. I strongly believe many doctors, as long as it's the lowest but most effective dose, are not prescribing proper doses. The FDA guidelines are based on children. Many docs and psychs are ill informed and have also been needlessly scared to not prescribe an adequate dose, based on the patient.

My specialist is interested in finding an optimal dose for each individualized assessment. He's not interested in arbitrary FDA guidelines, which are in fact a guide for pediatric dosing.

5 mg a dose may be adequate for some adults, but 20 mg does nothing for me. There is an art of effective dosng, finding that therapeutic dose. The window is very small.

BOOOMERZANGS
05-01-14, 05:11 AM
I hear you on this. While I haven't dabbled to far into more intense drugs, I've struggled to quit smoking cigarettes for a while now. It's obnoxious because no matter how hard you try to be ready to quit, you still have to deal with the physical withdrawal symptoms, which I think has a much more dramatic effect on me than people without ADHD.

I guess the biggest thing is to see medication as an opportunity to make up for lost time, rather than using it to simply stay on top of your current workload. What I mean by this is trying to find solutions that you will be able to sustain once you are no longer taking the medication. Yes, it certainly helps in terms of dealing with your immediate tasks, but try to take note of what is working, how it is working, and what you are going to need to reproduce whatever it is that is making you more productive. This isn't as easy as it sounds (which is why you should definitely be doing therapy at the same time), but if you are able to extract a few new strategies from the experience it's better than nothing.

Lastly, I think the worst thing a person could do to themselves while taking something like a stimulant, is to prioritize worrying about what the drug is doing to them (especially if addiction is an issue that has been encountered in the past). Attitude won't make physical withdrawal symptoms go away, but it will help you keep yourself grounded as you experience some of the more uncomfortable side effects of ADHD medication.

sarahsweets
05-04-14, 07:25 AM
I guess the biggest thing is to see medication as an opportunity to make up for lost time, rather than using it to simply stay on top of your current workload. What I mean by this is trying to find solutions that you will be able to sustain once you are no longer taking the medication..

I am curious as to why you think someone would no longer need medication?
For many of us this is life long process and there is no shame in taking these meds forever if need be. Its always important to develop coping skills but to say that these skills are meant to eventually replace medication isnt a fair assessment. I have been on stimulants for 10 years and see no end in sight as far as stopping the meds and I am ok with that.

Pilgrim
06-13-14, 07:31 AM
I think if you have ADD the issue of substance abuse is not relevant.
These medications ,although possibly exciting, will cause the elimination of symptoms that arise from a mental problem that in my opinion in most cases is the reason why they may have a substance abuse problem In the first place.
These stimulint drugs are great drugs if taken as prescribed. And in the long run will aid a recovering anyone in the pursuit of life.

sarahsweets
06-14-14, 05:33 AM
food therory just nbot entirtrely true.
=



I think if you have ADD the issue of substance abuse is not relevant.
These medications ,although possibly exciting, will cause the elimination of symptoms that arise from a mental problem that in my opinion in most cases is the reason why they may have a substance abuse problem In the first place.
These stimulint drugs are great drugs if taken as prescribed. And in the long run will aid a recovering anyone in the pursuit of life.

petester
08-16-14, 08:19 AM
I am and I don't

petester
08-17-14, 01:07 AM
**** big pharma

HADDaball
08-17-14, 04:32 AM
I can see how they help with self control and being less impulsive.

They can give an opportunity to reinforce good habits.

In terms of mindset, I set clear boundaries for myself not to take more.

I see them differently to food, coffee, alcohol or aspirin.

If addiction is a concern, open and honest chats with your prescriber could be helpful and clear doubts. I would chat with them.

Conman
08-17-14, 01:45 PM
my meds help normalize me throughout the day, or at least 6 hours out of the day. i dont find anything addicting about my adderall (but im also on 30 mg XR vs a higher dose).

my other substance using doesnt make me want to snort my adderall or use it in conjunction with, probably cuz i usually use sedatives or other things

Snapdragon
08-18-14, 12:21 PM
I have been sober 19 years becuase this is an anonymous forum I will say through AA. I started Vyvanse Friday and I still consider myself sober. Pretty much my whole group would consider me relapsing. I wanted to get help 10 years ago but my sponsor said she would not be able to work with me anymore if I went on meds. All I need to do is try harder and work the steps.I have done COUNTLESS inventories I have tried eating better and exercising and had accountability partners and kept trying harder. Nothing really got better. I went against everything I believed and got help and took meds. My husband also in the program is horrified and concearned about this. This is a huge risk.
I cannot believe what a difference just this short time meds have made. I also am angry and wracked with guilt for waiting for so long. I feel like I wasted my life. ADD has affected my parenting and kids, and my marriage and every aspect of my life. I waited becuase I listened to well meaning ignorant people.

So I don't care what people think any more. I am finally on my way to being the person I believe my Higher Power intended me to be. I am done wasting time. I don't have to explain myself to anyone but I am ready to help anyone who might be in the same situation, and hope they don't waste the time I did.

I am completely honest with both my psychologist and pdoc about my past.