View Full Version : My Fight Against My Adderall Addiction/Abuse Diary


freshtodef
02-27-14, 10:58 AM
I hope this is OK, but I would like to use a thread to journal about my recent commitment to fighting my addiction and abuse of Adderall.

Where do I begin…

Well, I won't start at the beginning. I have been taking Adderall for pretty much 6 years. So I'll start in 2012, when my consumption of Adderall started to skyrocket to a new strata.

Before 2012, I was on a steady dose of 20mg IR per day. Initially, I had horrendous side effects, but when I added an anti-depressant in 2010, my mind seemed to balance out.

But in 2012 my world was turned upside down by a series of crazy circumstances. I responded by asking my psychiatrist for increased doses of Adderall, which he complied with, until ultimately I was at 120mg per day.

Eventually, at the end of the summer in 2012, I started to notice the Adderall at such a high dose was actually paradoxically making me MORE tired. It got to the point where I would literally be in bed all day taking periodic naps (since I worked from home, I could sort of get away with this). After a process of elimination experiment, I pinpointed that it was the high-dose of Adderall causing this.

After I realized this, I promptly chopped my dosage in half to 60mg per day. It was brutal hell, but I stuck it out for weeks until finally my body responded and adjusted back and I was able to lower it even further to about 40-45mg and still be productive.

Then my world got turned upside down again.

Since I had a spare room in my living situation, my family pressured me to take in a distant relative who had been unemployed and was about to lose his benefits. I felt like I couldn't say no, and I didn't think it would be a big deal, but it was.

I expected this relative to just crash on my couch and be out looking for work everyday for a couple months until he got back on his feet. I soon realized he had something entirely different in mind.

He never looked for work, he would stick up his nose at any job openings I shared with him. He was in a band and he would strum on his electric guitar into the night everyday right next to me in the guest bedroom that he waltzed in and took over.

I spent the first couple days in tears. What had I gotten myself into?

But I couldn't kick him out after he had just moved in (with all his stuff, too). But I was baffled by his entitlement and blatant exploitation of my generosity.

I coped with this inconvenience by increasing my Adderall back to the 120mg level. Finally, after three months of being grossly inconvenienced and intruded on, I realized that due to miscommunication between my family and this relative, that I was going to be stuck with him indefinitely. So I put my foot down and finally confronted him: when are you moving out. After agonizing back and forth, we finally agreed that he would move out after an additional three months.

When he finally moved out, I felt liberated, despite his attempts to guilt trip me. For example, his cat ran away while moving (into a friend's spare room, someone else for him to leach off of) and he basically blamed me for his cat running away because the change in environment traumatized him.

Unfortunately, by the time he moved out, I had dug myself into a deeper hole. I had grown increasingly manic with the uptake of Adderall usage to the point where I was just taking it around the clock some days without even keeping track. I was taking on all these new random projects, assignments, and commitments, and just fueling myself with Adderall to keep up.

I found ways to get however much Adderall I needed. I would lie to my psychiatrist, pay out of pocket for some refills, etc. etc.

Finally, I have just now come back to earth and realized how manic and dangerous my behavior has been. So last week, I decided to take time off and just focus on getting my health back and my Adderall consumption back down to the 20 or 40mg range.

I've been saying "no" to friends when asked to do this that I know would conflict with my recovery or delay my recovery attempt.

I am currently switching health plans and when I get that squared away I am going to seriously consider a rehab when I figure out what I'm eligible for in 2-3 weeks.

I decided to start my descent at 90mg per day. It's only been about 3 or 4 days but it's going ok so far. Hopefully in a week or so I can make another drop down to maybe 75 or 60mg per day.

freshtodef
02-28-14, 06:10 AM
FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 28TH - DAY 4-5ish.

Yesterday I actually felt some improvement. Overall, I felt halfway decent yesterday (compared to really bad withdrawal the days before).

I am still at 90mg IR per day, 3 doses of 30 mg each.

Today I don't feel as good. I didn't sleep so well last night and the same dose that I took yesterday doesn't seem to be as effective today.

I am fighting the temptation to take my 3rd dose earlier than I did yesterday. My temptation is actually rooted in boredom more than any real pain. My mind is just too "blah" to do anything -- even watch TV.

But I can't relapse, it's been like 4-5 days lol. that would just be pathetic.

Maybe I'll find something to do like cleaning to keep my mind occupied.

I mentioned that I took time off work in order to try and combat my addiction/abuse of Adderall. With the nature of my work, I can resume at any time and it's really hard for me to put my work out of my mind because I am so passionate about it. I need to let go and really believe that a period of being unproductive is necessary in order for me to be more productive long-term. But it's hard letting go.

I really just wanna pop another pill or two and get in that old "zone" and really attack a work project. It's really euphoric when I'm in that state. But I have to resist.

I've told my family what I've decided to do and fortunately they've been very supportive. Even visiting me more often to check on me or run errands if I don't have energy or just to be there to talk or to distract me. So I really can't complain. I have a lot of resources and support so relapsing would be inexcusable.

I'm trying to come up with ideas to keep myself occupied or distracted during this "off" time. I even contacted an animal shelter about fostering some puppies or kittens but the one I contacted said that they are "out of stock" lol. I feel like these are such "first world" problems, but in my defense I have worked my tail off to be in a position where I can comfortably take time off in order to give my body the break it needs and to give my brain a rest and hopefully help it rejuvenate.

Looking ahead, I anticipate being at this 90 mg for 2, 3, 4, 5 more days before trying to step down to likely 75 mg (maybe 60 mg, maybe). I'm trying to stay disciplined while still listening to my body and lowering my doses only when I feel ready. I just don't want to be in the kind of pain that I was in last time when I dropped from 120mg to 60mg overnight "cold turkey." I figure gradual is the best way to do it if you have the time, which I do.

A big thing is just taking the pressure off myself to be available for others. I have been learning to say "no" to things that I feel might tempt me to break my tapering regimen. I'm still relatively young so there's plenty of time for a lot of my goals. I need to buy into the fact that going about my goals fueling myself recklessly with Adderall abuse was not sustainable.

One productive thing I'd like to be able to do is more leisure reading. I have a stack of books waiting for me but I don't quite have the concentration capacity at this point to dive into them. Hopefully at some points in this lowering process I will reach a balance where I am able to read some.

My sleep cycle got thrown off quite a bit. So I'm going to bed really late and waking up really late in the day. Hopefully I can get that aligned a little better.

I try to go on walks when I can. Maybe one of these days I'l go to my favorite spot for jogging and do a light running load. I imagine exercise and eating well can only help the process.

It sounds rather odd but when I get in these zombie moments where my energy is zapped, the worst part is sheer boredom. It feels like I'm in a jail cell just staring at the wall. But I suppose it's best to not take on too much pain by lowering my doses too abruptly. Perhaps I am a bit of a whip for doing it this way, but I lowered it abruptly in the past and it was just hell.

freshtodef
03-01-14, 06:28 AM
SARURDAY MARCH 1ST - DAY 5-6-ish - 90mg

I feel a little better than yesterday but it still sucks. The harder it is, the more I realize what an idiot I was for letting the problem get this far out of control. And the more I think I really need to confront the issue and get my dose as low as possible, maybe even to the point that I can get off the medication for a little while and let my brain have a break.

I do worry some times that I've caused permanent damage to my brain, but I can't dwell on what I've done in the past. I just have to keep disciplined and pressing forward to continue lowering my dose and dependency.

I still am so zapped of energy and concentration that I can't even focus on watching TV. but I have a season of a show waiting for me to catch up on when I'm ready and need a distraction. I also will be picking up a puppy from an animal rescue in the next day or two to foster and take care of to give me something productive to do as a distraction.

The weather has been bad but I'm looking to do some exercise. I signed up for a couple activities that will get me off my butt and running around a bit. I'm also looking into doing some yoga sessions, perhaps bikram yoga as I do need to lose weight. Obviously I'll need to be extra careful about staying hydrated.

I'm sort of mad at myself about all this but hopefully I can channel that frustration into attacking my addiction even harder. I really need to get healthy.

freshtodef
03-02-14, 08:31 AM
MARCH 2ND - DAY 6TH-7TH - 60mg

I decided to push myself some and drop down to 60mg. I was getting impatient and wanted to start feeling some results, and I felt OK at 90mg so I figured 60 mg wouldn't be that big of a deal. So far it hasn't been that bad, but I expect the second day to be harder. But I figured it's time to stop being a whip and to put in work! I'm hoping to stay at 60mg for a few days then drop down to 45mg. I really want to kick this habit. I'm very grateful that people around me have been open to my situation and supportive and encouraging. Addiction is very taboo so I could easily see people clam up and not want to hear about it but the few friends and family I've shared this struggle with have been there for me. I'm eager to take it down another level, even if it hurts a bit, in order to get my life back on track and start becoming more productive and efficient with respect to my goals in life. Enough is enough.

Dano82
03-02-14, 01:26 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope your recovery is going well.

I have a few questions for my own curiosity:

1) have you had any issues with any other substances?
2) do you feel that a reasonable dose of adderall is necessary to help manage AD/HD?

Thanks!

Fuzzy12
03-02-14, 03:55 PM
Hey...well done. Hang in there! !!

I was wondering if it might help if you gave some of your stash to a trusted family member or friend so that the temptation to take more than planned isn't so bad? It Sounds like you are doing very well though. :grouphug:

Lunacie
03-02-14, 04:05 PM
:eek: What kind of psych would prescribe 120 mg per day! Holy Hannah!

I agree with Fuzzy. Well done on recognizing the problem and working to lower the dose.

freshtodef
03-04-14, 07:13 AM
TUESDAY MARCH 4TH - DAY 8TH-9TH - 60mg

Thanks for the comments, questions, and encouragement!

1. I have never had substance abuse issues with outside of prescription meds. I have been taking Adderall since 2008 and for the first 4 years I was on a reasonable dose (about 20 mg). It got out of control on and off during the past 2 years. I have had some minor issues with Xanax, but at very low doses and it definitely never got out of control in the way Adderall did. Addiction does run in my family, but I've never had a dependence on alcohol or non-prescription drugs.

2. I do think a reasonable dose of Adderall is necessary for my particular case of ADHD. I'd like to get back in the 20-40mg range and just listen to my body from there and stop the roller coaster and just stick to a steady dose.


I think 120mg is too high, although my psychiatrist SAYS that he has other patients around or near that dose. The thing is he kept telling me to watch out for more typical Adderall side effects like paranoia and anxiety. However, the negative side effects I experienced at high doses were not the ones generally associated with Adderall: extreme sleepiness and mania. And they didn't ccur immediately.

This is my 3rd day at 60mg. I actually am not really in any pain. Just very sleepy and tired. My head feels kind of empty. I was worried I might feel chills, anxiety, and jitters but so far so good. Just extreme lethargy.

I sincerely appreciate the support! I'm hoping my body acclimates to 60mg relatively soon, but I have to be patient. I'm trying to listen to my body and wait tip I feel the green light to go ahead and drop down to 45mg.

I may consider finding a new psychiatrist who will be more tight-fisted with his prescriptions to avoid the temptation of going back up in dose. But ultimately I feel as though the commitment needs to come from within and I need to remain disciplined.

Thanks, guys!

freshtodef
03-05-14, 07:20 AM
WEDNESDAY - MARCH 5TH - DAY 9TH/10TH - 60 mg

Today I was disappointed in some of my family. I asked for some help running some errands and was given a sour attitude. My dad is not very sympathetic about my situation. But I stayed composed and didn't let my emotions get the best of me and just stuck to my lower dose of 60 mg. Even though I am still lethargic, I decided I had to just bite the bullet and carry out my chores/errands. If someone doesn't have the compassion in their heart to help me out in my precarious situation, screw them. I just have to fight and work harder and handle it without betraying the work I've put in so in lowering my meds.

I'm very depressed and even though I'm relatively young with "my whole life ahead of me" I sometimes don't care if I die young, which makes it easy to not care about the long-term effects of taking such a high dose of Adderall. But I just have to have faith that things will turn around and that not only is fixing my Aderall situation better for the long-term, It also may be better for the short term. Right now, I am working on a writing project that I am very passionate about and sometimes I feel as though it is my sole purpose in life and that I would sacrifice my health just to finish it. But there's a long road ahead of me so I need to get my Adderall situation under control if I am ever to finish it. Even though benders on Adderall sometimes result it great all-nighters of productivity, it is not even sustainable for more that a few days. Hopefully, once I get my Adderall consumption under control, I will have a steady amount of energy every day and will be able to chip away at my project every day on a regular basis.

I'm thinking I will stay on 60mg for as long as my body tells me to. I'm guessing maybe even a week. Today I do feel a LITTLE more alert than yesterday. Not much more, but progress is progress. I feel a little moody, but that's OK as long as I channel the chip on my shoulders in a productive, NOT destructive, way.

I hope that others out there dealing with Adderall abuse and addiction are able to fight on.

freshtodef
03-06-14, 10:42 AM
THURSDAY - MARCH 6TH - DAY 10TH/11TH - 60 mg

Today still sucks. I have a feeling this is gonna take a long time. Each day is SLIGHTLY better than the previous day at this 60 mg. But just a hair. I would love for one day to feel a big breakthrough but I'm afraid it doesn't work like that and I don;t want to get my hopes up. It really sucks but it's my faut and overall I'm finally glad to be recognizing the problem and confronting it. And I am optimistic that once I get the problem settled, I will notice a big change and be in a much more stable place where I can feel a consistent level of energy each day. If you're reading this, I hope at the very least my story can serve as a cautionary tale to others to prevent them from letting their adder all use/abuse from getting as wildly out of control as I did. Be conservative.

freshtodef
03-07-14, 05:42 AM
FRIDAY - MARCH 7TH - DAY 11TH/12TH - 60 mg

Temptation to cheat is still looming. I'm still in a rough patch. I hope after the weekend I ail start to feel some real progress. But so far progress is coming at a piecemeal rate of a mere inch per day. So mad at myself for digging myself into this hole! I've slept so much that sometimes I can only pace the hallway of my house and try to motivate myself. It feels so physical, like a grueling marathon and I'm trying my hardest to push through and stay pumped up through the finish line. I have no choice but to believe that things will get better soon. I don't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel yet but I have to imagine that it's there, otherwise I don't know how I'll keep going.

freshtodef
03-08-14, 03:29 PM
SATURDAY - MARCH 8TH - DAY 12TH/13TH - 60mg

Oh lord this is tough! My brain feels fried. I'm realizing I have such a looooong road ahead of me before my neurons are "back to normal." Whyyyyy…Why did I put myself into this position? On the bright side, when I put my whining aside, I can vouch that each day has been a tiny tiny bit better. So tiny that I really don't even FEEL much better, but I notice each day I am a tiny bit more active and able to function.

freshtodef
03-09-14, 12:58 PM
SUNDAY - MARCH 9TH - DAY 13TH/14TH - 60mg

Same story. A tiny, minuscule amount of progress each day. But it's better than nothing! I was able to take a long walk yesterday (long by my standards…maybe 2 miles lol) to my aunt's place. She's retired and chill and takes antidepressants and pain meds. She can kinda relate to my situation so it was good because I feel like my other friends/fam don't relate and get sick of me talking about my problem. We talked for a while and she's good to talk to because she's tough on me and concerned. She thinks I should change psychiatrists to someone who is more conservative with meds and won't just prescribe me whatever I ask for, and I tend to agree with her and think I will make the change just to avoid temptation. I'm in a more pleasant mood today and feel pretty good. Still not really able to concentrate on anything serious but I don't feel as dead and lethargic. I'm not putting to much pressure on myself to drop down to 45mg, I'm just going to wait for my body to "tell" me I'm ready. I feel like getting down to where I'm stable and functional at 60mg (compared to 100, 200, probably even 300 sometimes :-/) will be a good milestone to reach. It feels good being able to admit that I have a problem and that I was terribly abusive of the medication, even if a doctor was signing off on it each time. I knew what I was doing was extremely unhealthy.

sarahsweets
03-10-14, 06:01 AM
I just wanted to commend you on your progress and to tell you that no matter how sh*tty you feel it does get better.

freshtodef
03-10-14, 12:05 PM
MONDAY - MARCH 10TH - DAY 14TH/15TH - 60mg

Thank you!

It has gotten better I don't feel as much like sh*t right now. I'm mostly just kinda tired and a little bouncing off the walls of boredom. I really want to pop an extra Adderall and dive into a book or do some writing but I know any higher than 60mg would be a bad move. I may start to think about dropping to 45mg some time soon to hopefully achieve more progress.

freshtodef
03-11-14, 09:19 AM
TUESDAY - MARCH 11TH - DAY 15TH/16TH - 60mg

Same story. I feel better but I still don't feel near a level of concentration where I can be productive. I guess I should start thinking about pushing myself down to 45mg to start to see some results. I was in a little bit of a grumpy mood yesterday.

I am trying to be patient and understanding. Considering how long I was abusing Adderall it's very realistic that my neurons need time to rejuvenate. I'm just trying to think of ways to facilitate and hasten that process. Exercise? Further reduction of dose? Simply more time at the lower dose level? We'll see.

HopelessInNY
03-13-14, 11:19 AM
You may want to look into a chelated form of magnesium. Magnesium Glycinate is hard to come by, but is WORTH IT. Also Suntheanine (L-Theanine) works great for mood and anxiety in my experience it actually syngergizes well with Adderall. Perhaps it could make your low dose more manageable.

Magnesium Glycinate is an NMDA antagonist. What that means is, it can gradually lower, and adjust your tolerance and prevent it from increasing. Also, amphetamines does a number on your magnesium levels. The withdrawal your describing is very similar to the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Look it up if you like, Adderall does a number on your body in many ways.

You are probably gradually feeling better in small increments because the source of the vitamins your body is lacking to rejuvenate is coming from the food you eat and WATER you drink. Supplements could make ALL the difference. Also, look up L-Tyrosine and DLPA (D, L Phenylalanine) -Amino Acids which are The precursors to Dopamine. Adderall is a DRA (Dopamine releasing agent) -- so think about it -- Your natural production & levels of dopamine are out of whack due to the massive amounts of amphetamines you've been taking. Think of dopamine and the gas tank of a car -- you are running on fumes - so fill up the tank!

freshtodef
03-15-14, 05:19 AM
Thanks so much HopelessinNY!

And say hello to NY for me…used to live there and miss it dearly!

I've been taking Calcium, Green Tea, Vitamin D, Omega fish oil, and Melatonin. So I ail definitely definitely look into the supplements you suggested. I believe I used to take Magnesium, a particular kind that escapes me at the moment, per a recommendation on this forum in the past.

SATURDAY - MARCH 15TH - DAY 19TH/20TH - 60mg

I exercised my butt off on Wednesday and Thursday. I took Friday off to recover as my body was so sore and I had zero energy, but I will definitely be back in the gym today Saturday. It was tough because I already had low energy and lethargy, and I had not exercised in FOREVER, so yesterday/Friday I felt like crap and slept the whole day. But I have gained a lot of weight over the past 6 months (a LOT) so I know I exercising will help in the long-run even if it's hell in the short term. I'm trying to eat well, but I've had a few slip ups.

I'm realizing I still have a long long road ahead of me toward full recovery. But I've accepted that. And I've worked hard to make sure I can I can take as much time off as I need to get my health back. It's a very comprehensive process — eating better, exercising more, reducing the Adderall, adding supplements, etc. But I've got to do it and I am determined to FINALLY turn a new leaf and get on track and not look back. I simply must stay motivated and disciplined. Thanks for the tips and support!

freshtodef
03-16-14, 04:57 AM
SUNDAY - MARCH 16TH - DAY 20TH/21ST - 60mg

I did some light exercise in the AM then went to an event to socialize. I woke up super early so had taken my last (2nd 30mg) dose well before going to the gym when it opened at 8 AM. Despite a nap from Noon to 4PM, I was pretty lethargic at the event which made it hard to socialize. It's frustrating. Very frustrating. But I'm glad I went anyway and gave it a try. Part of the problem is that my sleep cycle is so off. But it would be nice to reach a place where I have energy from after my first dose in the AM through the end of my day before bedtime. This was always elusive for me even at the lower dose/stable period so I would just essentially not socialize. Increasing my anti-depressants (ability) has helped a little in softening the landings from post-adderall crashes. But it's still hard. I think that's why I started abusing Adderall in the first place -- so I would feel that rush of energy whenever I wanted and just make up for it with extra sleep.

KeithB
03-16-14, 03:09 PM
I took adderall for most of the last 13 years. My experience is similar to yours. I have a severe case of ADD, inattentive type. When I initially got a prescription in college, it worked extremely well. I could focus, I would do my work, I became somewhat organized. I kept my room clean for the first time in my life. Within a few years though, I wanted to feel the way I did on adderall all the time. I was working third shift, then I had projects I wanted to work on during the day. My psychiatrist was prescribing 3 30 IRs a day, and it wouldnt last me more than 20 days. I had to doctor shop as well. After years of lying to my psychiatrists and buying adderall on the street, I have realized there is no way I can take it as prescribed. I even had someone dosing me the medication every day. I would break into his room, and steal my own medication. Now I am on wellbutrin and clonidine. I stopped taking amphetamines about 7 months ago and switched to these medications. They don't work well, the only thing I notice is increased energy and slightly better focus. I have tried strattera and it didn't help at 80 mg. I may ask my doctor to put me on modafinil (provigil). I read that it has much less potential ffor abuse. But my experience is that I cannot take adderall as prescribed. I tried for years. The only solution for me is to either not take it, or to take it, and run out of meds after about 15 or 20 days.

freshtodef
03-17-14, 07:39 AM
I took adderall for most of the last 13 years. My experience is similar to yours. I have a severe case of ADD, inattentive type. When I initially got a prescription in college, it worked extremely well. I could focus, I would do my work, I became somewhat organized. I kept my room clean for the first time in my life. Within a few years though, I wanted to feel the way I did on adderall all the time. I was working third shift, then I had projects I wanted to work on during the day. My psychiatrist was prescribing 3 30 IRs a day, and it wouldnt last me more than 20 days. I had to doctor shop as well. After years of lying to my psychiatrists and buying adderall on the street, I have realized there is no way I can take it as prescribed. I even had someone dosing me the medication every day. I would break into his room, and steal my own medication. Now I am on wellbutrin and clonidine. I stopped taking amphetamines about 7 months ago and switched to these medications. They don't work well, the only thing I notice is increased energy and slightly better focus. I have tried strattera and it didn't help at 80 mg. I may ask my doctor to put me on modafinil (provigil). I read that it has much less potential ffor abuse. But my experience is that I cannot take adderall as prescribed. I tried for years. The only solution for me is to either not take it, or to take it, and run out of meds after about 15 or 20 days.

Hey thanks for sharing your story. You are probably wise for recognizing the problem and steering clear of the medication. Your story serves as a good reminder for self how tempting it is to go over the prescribed amount to chase that euphoric feeling Adderall can give you. I really want to make it work with Adderall so I am going to keep your story in mind any time I am tempted and try to make sure I am disciplined. It sounds like you took several attempts of preventive measures to try and avoid the abuse and I commend you for that. But it just didn't work out.

I have taken Wellbutrin in the past. It was actually the first med I was ever prescribed. It made me very anxious but did help me focus more and gave me more energy (I could run and operate on less sleep), but I was a nervous wreck. But IIRC, clonidine helps with anxiety, so that might be a good balance. I think I've tried straterra and it seemed to work OK, but this was before I started abusing Adderall so not sure it would work now. I have never taken modafinil (pro vigil) but I hope that maybes it serves as a good compromise or alternative for you. Wishing you the best of luck.

freshtodef
03-17-14, 08:00 AM
MONDAY - MARCH 17TH - DAY 21ST/22ND - 60mg

I'm sticking at 60 mg for now, though constantly thinking about or debating if I should drop down to 45 mg. I'm hoping to first find 60 mg to be effective at a decent level before dropping to 45.

I have been exercising a lot the past few days and at first it really hurt b/c I already was zapped of energy from the adder all reduction, then adding in exercise for the first time in forever doubled my tiredness. But my body has responded and today I feel OK, despite doing a decent amount of exercise yesterday.

I tried to track down some of those supplements that were recommended above at my local store, but was not able to find them all so I decided I will just look for them online and order them that way one of these days.

I'm thinking of getting a stationary bike so I can be a lazy bum and just plop it in front of my TV and bike for an hour or so everyday without having to trek to the gym. I just get so bored and a little anxious at the gym so I figure just some light avenue of exercise is the most realistic. I am hoping that adding regular exercise, though taxing at first, will ultimately lead to more energy in the long run.

Progress continues to come very slowly, but I am grateful that at least I am making SOME progress. Each day I feel a tiny bit better. I just hope I have the patience and discipline to allow my body the rejuvenate without being tempted to relapse. There are moments whenI feel close to that old "euphoric" feeling on Adderall and I say to myself, "Oh, if only I take a LITLLE more medication, I know I could reach that euphoric threshold and really accomplish something today." But I just fight off the temptation and try to remain committed to my regimen.

I have to constantly remind myself that I was abusing Adderall for TWO FREAKING YEARS. TWO YEARS. In light of that, it's ludicrous that I expect my body to recover and acclimate to the lower dose in such a short amount of time. I just need to hope that I haven't permanently fried my brain and give it a chance to rejuvenate. I feel very lucky that I do have some support and that my circumstances are allowing me to really put in an honest fight against my addiction problem and give my body a chance to recover.

That said, I need to constantly be on the look out for ways of pushing myself to get healthier. Whether it be my diet, supplements, exercise, identifying the right time to lower my dose, etc. I even think it might be possible for me to come off Adderall completely for a couple or a few weeks to give my brain a truly fresh start and the opportunity to rejuvenate.

It's not an easy battle and there is definitely a long road ahead of me, but this is my life and my body that's at stake so I have to give it my all.

freshtodef
03-18-14, 11:39 AM
TUESDAY - MARCH 18TH - DAY 22ND/23RD - 60mg

Ah! I'm so tempted to cheat right now. It's weird, but the better I feel, the more tempted I am to relapse. Whereas when I was feeling like crap, I would think "Gee, I really have a problem. I have to fix this." But when I'm feeling more stable (but still not completely recovered) I think "Oh…one extra pill today won't hurt!"

I may have made a mistake. On a whim, I agreed to do a work assignment even though I vowed not to take on any unnecessary work assignments until I got better. However, this assignment shouldn't be too difficult so I think I'll be able to accomplish it without being tempted to take extra Adderall.

I'm starting to think more concretely about lowering my dose to 45 mg. I think perhaps on the first Friday after I complete this work assignment (not sure how long it will take me). The reason being I have a weekly obligation every Thursday so I'll want to wait until after that obligation before lowering to 45mg, in hopes that by the following Thursday I will have acclimated to the lower dose and be ready for my obligation.

I can't stray off my course! I cannot relapse or cheat! i've out in 22-23 days of "work" already to be in this position where I am close to dropping down another dosage tier. I simply cannot screw it up. If I stay disciplined, I may even be able to go off Adderall completely for a little while to really give my brain a break and a chance for my neurons to refresh a bit.

freshtodef
03-19-14, 10:04 AM
WEDNESDAY - MARCH 19TH - DAY 23RD/24TH - 60mg

I feel frustrated today. I feel as though I haven't seen progress the past couple days as I have been each day for the previous ~20 days. However, I am actually wondering if this is my body's way of telling me that it's time to take another step down the dosage ladder. But I'm frustrated because I JUST took on this work assignment, so I don't know if stepping down will make it harder for me to accomplish the assignment. Intuitively, I would imagine I should stay at 60mg until I finish the assignment and then take the dosage step down, but my body has become a bit hard to read. I feel frustrated, but hopefully I will figure out the right course of action as I stand at this impasse.

I'm at least proud of myself for exercising 6 of the last 8 days. Maybe if I go off Adderall completely, I will focus exclusively on getting in shape for a while (as I've really put on a lot of weight in the last year). Maybe even train for some sort of running goal…not a half-Marathon or something overly ambitious like that, but maybe something like a sub-7-minute mile…(I used to be able to run about 5 minutes and change in high school, but I'm terribly out of shape so trying to be realistic).

I miss some of my more cognitive/intellectual hobbies like reading and writing, which Adderall enabled me to attack with extra vigor. But I have to have faith and believe that reducing and taking a break from Adderall is the solution that will help me once again attack those hobbies with renewed vigor. Wish me luck!

Lunacie
03-19-14, 11:51 AM
I've been following your diary with interest, and I certainly do wish you the best of luck in overcoming this problem.

freshtodef
03-19-14, 05:29 PM
I've been following your diary with interest, and I certainly do wish you the best of luck in overcoming this problem.

Thanks I really appreciate that. I do hope this thread turns into a "success story." I am pretty determined for that to be the case! Though still a long journey ahead...

freshtodef
03-20-14, 08:10 PM
THURSDAY - MARCH 20TH - DAY 24TH/25TH - 45mg

The big news is that I dropped down to 45mg today. Too soon to tell how I feel. I really felt like it was time to bite the bullet and push myself in order to see more progress. I hope indeed i will see improvement after a while from lowering it.

Anyway, I went running this morning and I'm realizing I'm horribly out of shape. I might even go running again today. Just to really whip myself into shape.

Also, something that I've been sort of mum about in this thread is that I do smoke cigarettes. Well, today I've decided to try quitting. We'll see how it goes. I hope I am able to stick with it. I am "only" a "blue moon" smoker so it's not like I'm quitting after years of daily use. So I am optimistic and hope that quitting smoking will help my overall situation and possible give me more energy.

freshtodef
03-21-14, 10:12 AM
FRIDAY - MARCH 21ST - DAY 25TH/26TH - 45mg

Second day on 45 mg. I still think it's too soon to judge how my body feels due to the reduction. So far I feel OK. Been sleeping a lot more but I don't feel any horrible withdrawal-like symptoms…yet.

I exercised a LOT yesterday which probably contributed to me sleeping more.

I've decided to proceed with the reduction despite my work assignment. I will try to get it done (the work assignment) but if for some reasonI am unable to finish I have some ideas for alternatives to keep everyone happy while keeping the Adderall issue my top priority.

Like I mentioned, I am trying to quit smoking as of yesterday. I was good yesterday and went the whole day without a single smoke. Hopefully I can do the same today. Usually with quitting smoking (in my case) it's the first 2-3 days that are hard, but after that it's not so bad. Also, I find myself to have a bit more energy when I quit smoking so hopefully that happens.

I'm starting to think that my ultimate goal should be to get off Adderall completely and take a break from from the drug entirely. I don't plan to quit Adderall entirely, but it would be nice to take an extend holiday from it (maybe even a month or so).

freshtodef
03-22-14, 04:37 PM
SATURDAY - MARCH 22ND - DAY 26TH/27TH - 40mg VYVANSE

Saw my proc today. He recommended I switch to Vyvanse. Never taken it before, so this is sort of an experiment. But my impression is that this is a relatively low dose. He said they're similar but just in doing some quick research my impression is that 40mg of vyvanse is the equivalent of less than taking 40mg of Adderall in a day (of course even less than what I was on -- 45mg, just recently). Hopefully I don't feel too steep of a drop. And perhaps switching to an XR med from an IR med will help my goal of rejuvenating my neurons. How exactly will it help? I have no clue. I'm just following doctor's orders (for a change).

Lunacie
03-22-14, 04:40 PM
SATURDAY - MARCH 22ND - DAY 26TH/27TH - 40mg VYVANSE

Saw my proc today. He recommended I switch to Vyvanse. Never taken it before, so this is sort of an experiment. But my impression is that this is a relatively low dose. He said they're similar but just in doing some quick research my impression is that 40mg of vyvanse is the equivalent of less than taking 40mg of Adderall in a day (of course even less than what I was on -- 45mg, just recently). Hopefully I don't feel too steep of a drop. And perhaps switching to an XR med from an IR med will help my goal of rejuvenating my neurons. How exactly will it help? I have no clue. I'm just following doctor's orders (for a change).

Each medication can come with it's own set of side effects. That's why it's best

to start on a low dose (even if it's a smaller dose than what you've been taking)

so any side effects will be minimal. If there are no side effects or they fade quickly

you can titrate up faster than if you weren't already used to a higher dose.

freshtodef
05-30-14, 06:05 PM
I'm back.

So I had a relapse in my attempt to lower my Adderall.

I had lowered my dose to 60 mg from 120mg+. I had stayed at 60 mg for over 20 days before I relapsed. Now, ~2 months later I am attempting to lower it again. While I am disappointed in myself for relapsing, all I can do is try again and make some changes to try and ensure that this time I am successful in getting my dose down to the 20-40 mg range.

Some of the changes I made include switching psychiatrists. I could get away with anything with my old psychiatrist. I would get refills whenever I wanted and make up excuses like "I lost my meds" or "I'm going out of town so I need to fill it early." He also didn't really talk to me, he would just see me for 5-10 minutes and write an RX for whatever I requested.

My new P-doc immediately expressed concern about my Adderall dose. We agreed to lower it to 90mg for a month and then 60 mg the next month. I am hoping he will be more conservative and more strict with me, as I need the guidance.

Furthermore, I see my new P-doc next week and I plan on inquiring about addiction related treatment (such as in-patient or out-patient rehab, NA meetings, etc.). I have also started seeing a talk therapist/psychologist regularly and I have been open with her about my addiction issue. I am hoping she will help keep me in line, too.

I am keeping an excel spreadsheet log of all my doses. I think the main thing that will be different is that I have a new p-doc who simply won't sign off on my outrageous Adderall requests. I also think some addiction treatment will help psychologically. I talked to a friend who is a severe drug addict (he takes some illicit drugs) and it scared me. I think having support and encouragement from other addicts will help motivate me.

I know for certain that I have to lower my Adderall use. It simply is not effective or sustainable at the higher dose. It was much more effective when I was taking it at a regular lower dose.

That said, it is very hard and painful to lower the dose. But I just have to be strong and fight off cravings and temptations. I really hope the switch of p-docs helps. I won't have to rely solely on self motivation. I will simply not have access to higher doses/more Adderall. I think this is more realistic. I need someone to keep me in check.

I guess the big things are being patient and dealing with the boredom and withdrawal symptoms. I am trying to lower it slowly while still pushing myself.

freshtodef
06-01-14, 02:08 AM
Today was fine. I took 45 mg over the course of the whole day. I still feel under the weather, which is absolutely expected. I talked to a friend and a relative about my issue. It helps having people aware of it so they can check in on me and pressure me to stay focused.

I went to a narcotics anonymous meeting. I had and open mind and everything but I don't think it's for me. But it was good to go just to help reinforce my goal.

I'm a little frustrated by my parents. They don't really seem to care about my issue. But I'm an adult so I can't really expect much from them. But I had told my mom about going to the narcotics anonymous meeting and today I happened to talk to my dad, and he asked about my "food" / "eating" / "dieting" meeting. Apparently my mom wasn't paying attention to me and thought I was going to like a weight watchers meeting or something. Sigh. It's just an example of how she's really absent-minded about my situation. But I just have to appreciate the ways in which they do support me. And make sure to surround myself with people who will be supportive and not waste my time with those who don't care enough to even pay attention to what I'm saying.

Next week I have p-doc, therapist, and primary care doc appointments. I think that will be good just to talk with them more and reinforce my program of action.

I'm just trying to distract myself from the withdrawal side effects. And stay focused on making progress and pushing myself. I just have to keep fighting until I make it to the other side and my body and brain start to rejuvenate and acclimated to the lower dose of Adderall.

Anyhoo, wish me luck! I know that my body will respond if I just have patience and keep white knuckling through these difficult days because I have been here before. It's complicated to explain, but I did lower my dose successfully in the past but a complication with a separate medication (xanax) caused me to relapse with the Adderall. But I have stopped taking xanax completely and I am now aware of the bad effects it can have, so I will not allow the same issue to cause another relapse. I'm determined to avoid any stressors that might cause a relapse, especially during the early parts of my recovery.

I wish the best of luck to everyone out there fighting and struggling with an Adderall issue. I am optimistic that once I have adjusted to the lower dose of Adderall that I will start to feel like my old self (as I successfully took adderall for several years at a lower and consistent dose and experienced a consistently positive effect).

sarahsweets
06-01-14, 06:29 AM
Good luck to you! IME the physical aspects of a lack of adderall or much lower dose go away fairly quickly. Addiction is a nasty beast, Its very much like psychological warfare. For me when I stopped drinking it was the obsession of the mind that was the hardest part.

freshtodef
06-01-14, 07:13 PM
Thank you!

Today was OK. I had trouble sleeping last night. So far I have taken 45 mg today. I'm on the fence of whether or not I will take another 15 mg for the day for a total of 60 mg. Obviously I'm going to try to just take 45 mg.

The worst part is just feeling so flat and bored. I really realized why I procrastinated so long lowering my Adderall. It's really quite hard (considering how high of a dose I was taking). I'm hoping I start to feel progress and notice results soon in order to help motivate me to keep fighting. But another part of me is kind of dreading this month of June, as I fear my abuse was so bad that it's going to take this whole month to recover. Aghhh!

Anyway, I'm just going to try and stay focused….eyes on the prize… and try my best to be disciplined and structured. It's good that I have a p-doc appt tomorrow, primary care physician appt Tues, and a therapist appt on Thurs. Hopefully each of those will help maintain the momentum I've achieved.

I wish there was a way to just make this time go by faster. I guess the best tactic would be to try and stay occupied and distracted from how I'm feeling.

*KICKING MYSELF FOR GETTING IN THE SITUATION*

Lunacie
06-01-14, 07:28 PM
Don't kick. If you'd known before hand what you'd be dealing with, you might not have increased your dose so much. Now you do know, lesson learned. :grouphug:

freshtodef
06-04-14, 03:56 PM
Still hanging in there at 60 mg. It's tough getting day-to-day stuff done…all I want to do is sleep. And even then I have awful nightmares. But I'm trying to follow through this time. Thanks for the support

freshtodef
06-06-14, 04:42 AM
Ahh! Today was brutal. I lost my script for an Adderall refill and could not get a hold of my p-doc. It was tough feeling the withdrawal during the time I was without Adderall. But I remained calm and once I was able to get my refill I stayed within the planned range and took 60mg total for the day.

I guess I'm just trying to brace myself psychologically. I know I have a long way to go so I am just conditioning myself to be patient and focused on the goal.

It helps just having everyone in my life aware of what I'm doing so I am routinely being reminded and encouraged to stay the course.

I'm only at Day 11. I am trying to brace myself for the possibility that it takes a month or so for my brain to rejuvenate.

I am grateful to still have a bit of energy and functioning as there are a few obligations that I have this weekend. But a big part of staying the course is making sure I don't commit to too many activities that might put me in a position where I feel like I need to be sharp and thus be tempted to exceed my planned dose of Adderall.

It really comes own to patience and focus. I'm very grateful for the support I have…it is so essential to have external support. Sometimes I have to swallow my pride and ask for it, but I know I need to make sure my surroundings are conducive to this reduction.

It's crazy to think of some of the things I have to go through in order to lower my medication. Sometimes I'm just pacing back and forth. Sometimes I can't sleep, other times I can't wake up. But I know I have to go through all this in order to make it to the other side. EYES ON THE PRIZE!

freshtodef
06-07-14, 01:37 PM
Still at 60. The worst thing is boredom. I have no energy or attention to do much. It's hard but I know I have to keep with it. It's only been 12 days so I can't expect much considering my dose has been all over the place for the last 2 years.

freshtodef
06-09-14, 03:52 AM
Had to put together an important event for work today so I took a liiiittle extra adder all :umm1:. I know it's bad but it was a major deal and I don't have to do another one until next month so hopefully by then I won't need to cheat. Tomorrow I am definitely going back down to 60 and I plan on being at 60 or less for the rest of June. I feel bad but I am really determined to ale sure it is just a one off and NOT a relapse. The event was actually pretty inspiring and made me want to get my medication now even more. I really want to get back to where I was before my dose elevated…I just gotta be patient and recognize that it will take a long time to get there. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get there. I'm even considering moving in with my parents if I think it will help for a month.

freshtodef
06-09-14, 04:34 PM
Trying to stick with 60 today. I did some more reading and found some posts on other message boards by people in similar situations as mine. It seems the big thing is just waiting out however many weeks or months it takes. I was hoping 2-3 weeks might do the trick but now I'm thinking it'll be at least a month if not 2 or 3. I'm ok with that…I made my bed now it's time to lay in it. I'm gonna try to exercise a bit…which is hard considering how lethargic I am. But I figure even just walking a bit in the beginning will be good. Wish me luck!

freshtodef
06-10-14, 04:37 PM
Still hanging in there. I did some reading and found others in situations like one -- extended use of high high dose adder all then trying to withdraw. It sounds like it takes weeks if not months. I was actually relieved to read this because it sounds like there is hope, it jus is going to take longer than initially though. I have reached a point where I am not so much in pain or anything but rather just feel braindead and lethargic. It sucks bc I really feel like I can't do anything but rest and sleep. But this is what I have to do so. I wish I could just hibernate and wake up in a couple months. But my motto is to fight like Solange in that elevator and really stick with it for as long as it takes.

sarahsweets
06-11-14, 04:48 AM
I am really proud of your resolve. FANTASTIC!

freshtodef
06-11-14, 01:13 PM
I am really proud of your resolve. FANTASTIC!

:thankyou:

By to my "hibernation"

-Solange

freshtodef
06-12-14, 12:54 PM
I tried living with my parents…I lasted a day lol. I thought it might help just having people around but they're out of town a lot. I might try again when they're back in town for a while. Still sticking to 60 mg. Sorry if this thread is annoying and like a broken record but it just helps me stay focused and fight like solange in that elevator against my addiction.

-Solange

Fuzzy12
06-12-14, 01:00 PM
It seems like you've come a huge way!! I find it quite inspiring to read and not annoying at all. Anyway, it's not an easy task so you should use anything that helps and I'm glad if posting here helps you.

freshtodef
06-12-14, 09:24 PM
It seems like you've come a huge way!! I find it quite inspiring to read and not annoying at all. Anyway, it's not an easy task so you should use anything that helps and I'm glad if posting here helps you.

Thanks! I know I have a looong way to go. I'm hoping by the end of June I will start to feel some significant progress.

freshtodef
06-14-14, 12:25 PM
Another day…

I just got an exercise bike and broke it in for 30 minutes today…I currently weigh 240 pounds vs. 180 the first time I lowered a year+ ago (then relapsed). I have a feeling that the combo of extra weight and the longer time abusing my medication is the reason it's taking longer for me to feel progress (the first time, 1+ year ago, I started to feel significant progress in about 2 weeks after reducing). BUT I'm determined to try and stay at 60 mg and just wait longer for my body to adjust. I'm crossing my fingers that come July I will start to feel significantly better than I do today.

Hopefully adding a little exercise will help…somehow. I also definitely need to eat better.

Back to fighting my addiction like Solange in that elevator...

HADDaball
06-14-14, 08:04 PM
I get the impression at some point you gave yourself permission to take more, for the wrong reasons. If you're committed to turn things around, that has to change.

To me, the only reason to take more is when working out the dose. Have you spoken to your doctor about this?

freshtodef
06-14-14, 09:55 PM
I definitely used to abuse the medication and act as my own doctor. My old p-doc signed off on all my scripts but never kept track of when I asked for refills vs. when my last refill was. Thus I was able to get refills early. So on top of being prescribed as high as 120mg IIRC, I would go to different pharmacies, pay out of pocket if I had to, etc.

I really messed up. I regret my behavior so so much and I pray that I haven't caused too much permanent or irreversible damage to my brain.

I have since switched p-docs to someone who thinks my dose was way too high. He and I have agreed to try and get my dose down to the 20-45 mg range. I have lowered my dose to 60 mg, which is what my new p-doc is currently prescribing me. The goal is to get down to 45 mg by next month. I hope I am able to do that and that my body adjusts to the lower dose. In the beginning right after lowering my dose to 60mg, I felt awful withdrawal and then basically felt brain dead. All I could do is sleep and lay in bed.

Today has been my best day yet. It is day 19 since lowering. I woke up early and took 30 mg in the AM, was able to do 30 minutes of exercising on my stationary bike, go grocery shopping for some HEALTHY foods (which has been a problem), do a bunch of chores around the house on my feet, took another dose of 30 mg around 2:00 PM, continued to do chores, was able to do some work involving reading and writing (which I haven't had the mental acuity for before), did another 30 minutes on the stationary bike, and although this sounds so meager I was able to watch an episode of "Girls" and actually pay attention the whole time (a few days ago I would not have had the mental energy to even pay attention to TV).

I am encouraged by the day I have had. I think the exercise definitely helped so I will certainly continue to do that. I am still keeping my expectations low and not expecting significant progress until the end of the month.

I am in therapy and being very open with everyone I know about my struggle. I am hoping their awareness reinforces my commitment to lowering my dose. I'm bad at lying so I know that if I relapse and other people check in on me, I will have to face them. I should be able to follow through without others, but it just is realistic and helpful to have some guidance and a sense of authority monitoring me.

I appreciate the support on this forum and you all accommodating my rambling. It really does help. I am really excited knowing that I've had a productive day and that I feel no temptation to take extra Adderall and will go to bed tonight having stayed at my prescribed and planned 60 mg level. Again, I really think the exercise was a big help. I am excited that I have found an effective boost and I will try my best to attack my exercise with vigor so that I continue to fee progress.

InvitroCanibal
06-16-14, 01:19 AM
I'm back.

So I had a relapse in my attempt to lower my Adderall.

I had lowered my dose to 60 mg from 120mg+. I had stayed at 60 mg for over 20 days before I relapsed. Now, ~2 months later I am attempting to lower it again. While I am disappointed in myself for relapsing, all I can do is try again and make some changes to try and ensure that this time I am successful in getting my dose down to the 20-40 mg range.

Some of the changes I made include switching psychiatrists. I could get away with anything with my old psychiatrist. I would get refills whenever I wanted and make up excuses like "I lost my meds" or "I'm going out of town so I need to fill it early." He also didn't really talk to me, he would just see me for 5-10 minutes and write an RX for whatever I requested.

My new P-doc immediately expressed concern about my Adderall dose. We agreed to lower it to 90mg for a month and then 60 mg the next month. I am hoping he will be more conservative and more strict with me, as I need the guidance.

Furthermore, I see my new P-doc next week and I plan on inquiring about addiction related treatment (such as in-patient or out-patient rehab, NA meetings, etc.). I have also started seeing a talk therapist/psychologist regularly and I have been open with her about my addiction issue. I am hoping she will help keep me in line, too.

I am keeping an excel spreadsheet log of all my doses. I think the main thing that will be different is that I have a new p-doc who simply won't sign off on my outrageous Adderall requests. I also think some addiction treatment will help psychologically. I talked to a friend who is a severe drug addict (he takes some illicit drugs) and it scared me. I think having support and encouragement from other addicts will help motivate me.

I know for certain that I have to lower my Adderall use. It simply is not effective or sustainable at the higher dose. It was much more effective when I was taking it at a regular lower dose.

That said, it is very hard and painful to lower the dose. But I just have to be strong and fight off cravings and temptations. I really hope the switch of p-docs helps. I won't have to rely solely on self motivation. I will simply not have access to higher doses/more Adderall. I think this is more realistic. I need someone to keep me in check.

I guess the big things are being patient and dealing with the boredom and withdrawal symptoms. I am trying to lower it slowly while still pushing myself.

You may also want to look into a mood disorder. Sometimes we use one med to treat 2 or more disorders and pay the costs for it. Going down is great and getting healthy is great.

You may have had a depressive episode, or something else lurking. I believe in flawed systems rather than flawed people. Often if something is going to hell in your life, look at your environment, your own stability, and your method of coping to these stress factors.

Focus on eliminating the stressors in your life. If you can't eliminate the stressors and you can't adapt and you can only barely cope without adderall, than consider talking to your doctor about adding a mood stabilizing medication to help you deal with the stressors beyond your control.

freshtodef
06-17-14, 09:41 AM
Thanks for the input! I do take Lexapro and Abilify as well which seems to be pretty effective with my mood.


Still hanging in there. I feel like I'm finally starting to turn a corner and feel some progress as far as my body acclimating to the lowering. Had another pretty productive day yesterday.

I'm thinking of treating myself to a new computer as an incentive to keep pushing myself :-P. I sort of need one for my work and I hear some rumors that Apple will be launching some new products next week :-).

I'mm very excited that I am starting to be more productive because I love my work and I miss how I used to have a consistent level of reliable productivity with the lower dose f Adderall before the roller coaster started at the high dose. I am hoping I can get back to that previous place.

freshtodef
06-18-14, 10:28 AM
I feel like my body is acclimating to the lower dose. I think it's time to go back to the drawing board and make plans for further lowering. I'm happy to report the sleepiness has subsided pretty considerably and I have been fairly productive the past couple days. :-)

freshtodef
07-07-14, 02:22 AM
I'm still hanging in there! Haven't posted in a while. I can feel my body slowly continuing to adjust to 60mg. I think the biggest thing is just for me to be patient. Grateful for the progress I've made and determined to put in the hard work to continue!

InvitroCanibal
07-12-14, 07:35 PM
I'm still hanging in there! Haven't posted in a while. I can feel my body slowly continuing to adjust to 60mg. I think the biggest thing is just for me to be patient. Grateful for the progress I've made and determined to put in the hard work to continue!

Best of luck to you, i'm rooting for you and ill check back again some time. :)

freshtodef
07-18-14, 09:00 PM
Thank you!

So I've been pretty good about my regimen. But not 100%. There were days I cheated and went above 60 mgs. But with my new p-doc, I am unable to cheat and get away with it. So I am in a position where I now NEED to lower my dose pretty significantly before my next appt. Aug 4th. So I am bracing myself to really aggressively lower it. I've counted out how many pills I have left and calculated what I can take each day. I am hoping this forces me to really lower my dose and I am also hoping that my body can acclimate to the owed dose. I've kinda been coasting at 60mgs with occasional 75 mgs days, but now I really have to lower it and get down to at least 45 mgs. I know what's in store so I feel prepared to fight through it.

freshtodef
07-26-14, 12:36 AM
I wouldn't say I relapsed, but I kind of lost focus the last few days, due to stress. My sleep cycle has been thrown off, and I meant to try and lower my dose further but I've just been staying at the 60-75mg range.

I've also had a LOT of work to do, but I think I've reached a point where I can coast a little and take a few days easy and just refocus on getting my Adderall definitely back to 60mg…no more 75's!!! And once I've done that for a week or so and my body has acclimated to 60, I can start to aim for the 45 drop that I've been meaning to take.

Inevitably, the drop to 45 mg will result in a loss of productivity, but I have really been busting my butt with work so I think I can afford to take a break and coast a bit while I do this necessary medical adjustment.

I wouldn't give myself a failing grade at my Adderall reduction efforts, but I certainly don't deserve an A. But tonight I sort of "got things together" so I am preparing to commit to 60mg and NO MORE CHEATING WITH 75mg! Wish me luck!

Lunacie
07-26-14, 12:52 PM
http://1.s3.envato.com/files/5987937/good-luck-sticky-1.jpg

freshtodef
10-26-14, 12:24 AM
Just felt like dropping in to give an update after neglecting this thread for a while...

It appears the 3rd time was the charm for me. After two attempts earlier in 2014 at lowering my dose, making decent progress, then relapsing, I think I've finally made a breakthrough (knock on wood).

I actually almost had my breakthrough during the second attempt this year, but then I had a huge stressful chaotic series of events occur all at once and relapsed (almost without even noticing).

Anyway, leading up to my 3rd attempt, the high dose of Adderall was making me very manic (among other undesirable things). I was back to taking 100 mg+/day.

Then pretty much exactly one month ago, I reached a tipping point. I called a relative late at night and asked them to come over. They came, and we devised a plan that they would keep possession of my Adderall. With their help, I was able to gradually go longer in between doses. I think taking away the option to "cheat" made the withdrawal symptoms a bit more manageable.

Today I am down to 45 mg, which isn't necessarily low, but I feel awesome. It's like night and day. I have way more energy, focus, and way less mania. Furthermore, I have planned to lower my dose to 30 mg over the next 30 days before my next p-doc appt/script. That will bring me closer to the 20 mg I was steadily and "successfully" on for several smooth years before the addiction issues started and my dose skyrocketed.

I actually am considering trying to get off Adderall completely. Not for good. But just to kind of take a break from it for a month, let my brain refresh itself/rejuvenate, then start from scratch in resuming Adderall, but at the lowest effective dose possible. I have even researched quality rehab possibilities for my "month off." Having relapsed twice this year alone, I want to be thorough and make sure I make a full or drastic recovery and change.

I wish the best of luck to any others out there struggling with addiction/abuse of high doses of Adderall! And thanks to everyone who wished me luck and sent positive vibes (lol) my way.

I definitely don't want to perceive my breakthrough as a finish line, though. I want to remain on guard against potential triggers for a relapse and continue to lower my dose and set knew goals with regards to my addiction/abuse issues. I think rehab would be a good idea, no matter how much progress I make on my own, to really psychologically drive home the point and be thorough.

Batman55
10-27-14, 12:49 AM
Good on you for making progress!

Now I don't mean to be a nit-picker, but I haven't seen any post of yours discussing the desirable effect of these stimulants, which is the euphoria. You only seem to mention "mania" and, while a prolonged state of amphetamine addiction does cause mania-type symptoms, short-term use of it at a high enough dose causes euphoria, similar to other recreational drugs.

My point is, there had to be something you liked about the effects, otherwise I'm thinking you probably wouldn't have been addicted?

I'll say it right here too: I used to be an amphetamine addict. It was terrible. But the reason I kept using it is because it felt damn good, like I was alive like I'd never been and could get anything done. (I personally see no reason to conceal that fact.)

nikkiC
11-20-14, 10:06 PM
how are you?

freshtodef
11-22-14, 08:18 AM
I'm doing OK. I'm still at 45/day. I think my brain is still recovering...I'm expecting it to take months for my brain to rejuvenate. I'm just trying to stay low on my dose and aspire toward getting even lower. I'm still trying to figure out a good plan for next steps toward making additional progress. I would like to have more energy but I feel like my brain needs to rest in order to get there. I'm seeing my p-doc this Monday. Just taking one step at a time.

freshtodef
11-29-14, 12:43 AM
Alright. I think it's time for me to get back to work. I've been coasting at 45/mg and still feel sort of bleh. I know it will take time for me to have more energy and feel more of a kick (after all I abused Adderall for...god, I can't believe it was this long...3 years. WOW. Just typing that and admitting that is hard :( ). I know that I kind of fried my brain. For whatever reason....nothing to do with any scientific research....I don't feel like my brain is fried permanently. I feel like it's just gonna take a REALLY LONG TIME and strong commitment...maybe even a year or something, I don't know, to rejuvenate my brain.

I want to lower it to 30 mg, which of course would be 1/3 less. I think getting there (to where I feel about as OK as I do on 45/day at 30/day) will take like 1 hell week and then another transition week. I don't think it will be unbearable.

My only gripe is that I have no support system at all. My family doesn't care about my issue. My psychiatrist is whatever. It's all gonna have to come from within me and take some grit. I guess the problem is that I feel OK right now. It would be much easier to lower it if I like just had hit rock bottom or had some dramatic wake up call, tbh.

Anyway, I guess my point is that I just need to really get determined and motivated and really attack my adderall use rather than coasting at an OK dose, but not low enough to help my brain get the break and rejuvenation period it needs.

Another thing, and I don't think I've mentioned this before, is that I'm working on a creative writing project. It's basically the sole reason for my existence. It means everything to me and it's all I think about. Point being, a large factor in how I assess my situation is how well I'm writing...and right now, coasting at 45/mg, I'm just not writing that well. And I'm NOT reading or feeling motivated/having the energy to read AT ALL. And I think that's a big reason for why my writing hasn't been going well...I don't have any "oxygen" coming in to my creative lungs, so how can I put out anything decent?

Gosh, when I was steady at 20mg/day, I could spend a whole day reading...or watching well-written movies for inspiration and dutifully take notes about things I liked for inspiration. I would read books, articles...research random stuff on wikipedia. Now it's like I'm not consuming anything intellectually. I don't even watch TV! I just like...take naps and space out and snack.

Even though I'm not horribly struggling right now...I'm just not going anywhere in life. And my writing means everything to me. I've sacrificed so much for this project and I need to be able to finish it and not only that but give it my all and produce at the level I know I'm capable of. I just can't keep coasting and dialing it. It means too much to me. It's my...as cliche as it is...baby.

I've gotta just put in the hard work on getting my brain back to its optimal functioning.

theADHDlife
11-30-14, 01:48 AM
I hope this is OK, but I would like to use a thread to journal about my recent commitment to fighting my addiction and abuse of Adderall.

Where do I begin…

Well, I won't start at the beginning. I have been taking Adderall for pretty much 6 years. So I'll start in 2012, when my consumption of Adderall started to skyrocket to a new strata.

Before 2012, I was on a steady dose of 20mg IR per day. Initially, I had horrendous side effects, but when I added an anti-depressant in 2010, my mind seemed to balance out.

But in 2012 my world was turned upside down by a series of crazy circumstances. I responded by asking my psychiatrist for increased doses of Adderall, which he complied with, until ultimately I was at 120mg per day.

Eventually, at the end of the summer in 2012, I started to notice the Adderall at such a high dose was actually paradoxically making me MORE tired. It got to the point where I would literally be in bed all day taking periodic naps (since I worked from home, I could sort of get away with this). After a process of elimination experiment, I pinpointed that it was the high-dose of Adderall causing this.

After I realized this, I promptly chopped my dosage in half to 60mg per day. It was brutal hell, but I stuck it out for weeks until finally my body responded and adjusted back and I was able to lower it even further to about 40-45mg and still be productive.

Then my world got turned upside down again.

Since I had a spare room in my living situation, my family pressured me to take in a distant relative who had been unemployed and was about to lose his benefits. I felt like I couldn't say no, and I didn't think it would be a big deal, but it was.

I expected this relative to just crash on my couch and be out looking for work everyday for a couple months until he got back on his feet. I soon realized he had something entirely different in mind.

He never looked for work, he would stick up his nose at any job openings I shared with him. He was in a band and he would strum on his electric guitar into the night everyday right next to me in the guest bedroom that he waltzed in and took over.

I spent the first couple days in tears. What had I gotten myself into?

But I couldn't kick him out after he had just moved in (with all his stuff, too). But I was baffled by his entitlement and blatant exploitation of my generosity.

I coped with this inconvenience by increasing my Adderall back to the 120mg level. Finally, after three months of being grossly inconvenienced and intruded on, I realized that due to miscommunication between my family and this relative, that I was going to be stuck with him indefinitely. So I put my foot down and finally confronted him: when are you moving out. After agonizing back and forth, we finally agreed that he would move out after an additional three months.

When he finally moved out, I felt liberated, despite his attempts to guilt trip me. For example, his cat ran away while moving (into a friend's spare room, someone else for him to leach off of) and he basically blamed me for his cat running away because the change in environment traumatized him.

Unfortunately, by the time he moved out, I had dug myself into a deeper hole. I had grown increasingly manic with the uptake of Adderall usage to the point where I was just taking it around the clock some days without even keeping track. I was taking on all these new random projects, assignments, and commitments, and just fueling myself with Adderall to keep up.

I found ways to get however much Adderall I needed. I would lie to my psychiatrist, pay out of pocket for some refills, etc. etc.

Finally, I have just now come back to earth and realized how manic and dangerous my behavior has been. So last week, I decided to take time off and just focus on getting my health back and my Adderall consumption back down to the 20 or 40mg range.

I've been saying "no" to friends when asked to do this that I know would conflict with my recovery or delay my recovery attempt.

I am currently switching health plans and when I get that squared away I am going to seriously consider a rehab when I figure out what I'm eligible for in 2-3 weeks.

I decided to start my descent at 90mg per day. It's only been about 3 or 4 days but it's going ok so far. Hopefully in a week or so I can make another drop down to maybe 75 or 60mg per day.

Would you mind telling me if you use brand name Shire adderall or the generic version? Thanks and best of luck to you.

Dean912
11-30-14, 05:26 PM
Great read done really well for yourself keep it up!

freshtodef
11-30-14, 05:26 PM
Would you mind telling me if you use brand name Shire adderall or the generic version? Thanks and best of luck to you.

Generic, thanks!

InvitroCanibal
12-01-14, 08:42 PM
Adderall is just a garbage med, in my opinion.

Pilgrim
12-02-14, 05:47 AM
Adderall is just a garbage med, in my opinion.

Hey just curious why you think that?

sarahsweets
12-02-14, 05:49 AM
I was wondering this as well.

Hey just curious why you think that?

Mustang78
12-02-14, 11:33 PM
Same here...... I just switched from Vyvanse to Adderall IR 20mg x Up to 3 a day depending on what I'm doing and so far so good. Just sucks taking multiple pills a day. I might have to start setting my alarm on my phone to remember. Plus I'd rather pay less than $30 a month then over $200 a month for the Vyvanse.


Good job freshtodef its hard to beat addiction. I see a lot of people at my one job who abuse the hell outta pain meds and I can always tell when they're withdrawing, and they're not afraid to ask anyone if they "got any pills".

My Doc is still playing with my dose and there has been a few days where I wanted to take more (even on Vyvanse before switching to Adderall) but I just tell myself to tuff it out for the rest of the day and look the month as a whole and be honest with myself and with the Doc if I really need more/less/same.

Try to find a hobby or something you like to keep your mind busy to avoid those boredom lulls, it sucks I know and once you get sucked in your day is lost. Especially hard for me in the winter when I hate the cold and don't want to do anything outside and I have to stare at my Boat/Jet ski sitting there till Summer. I just started refinishing old furniture again to keep myself busy instead of starring at a TV and spacing out.

P.S. Stay away from the Bar I learned that lesson a long time ago. (I could write a book on that).


Keep it up Bud!!!! Best wishes. :yes:

freshtodef
01-14-15, 08:50 PM
Hey all! Just checking in. Thanks for the support. I'm doing fine sticking around 45mg - 60 mg of Adderall IR. Next up I may tweak my antidepressant cocktail (currently 20mg Lexapro & 10mg Abilify). Gonna discuss this with my pdoc and try to make a plan. I find that the current cocktail makes me a bit lethargic and low motivation as well as gaining weight. Overall I'm doing well! I think I've got my addiction/abuse issue under control. I've learned a lot...even each time I relapsed I learned something new. I wouldn't say things are amazing...definitely want to make additional progress w/r/t my health but I'm optimistic that I will get there.

freshtodef
02-21-15, 06:16 AM
:-(

I'm back.

I started a full-time job and my dose is up to 75-90 MG/day.

Honestly, that's not even the disappointing thing. The disappointing thing is that even at that dose, I'm still barely keeping up. I guess the heart-breaking part is that being subjected to the normal expectations of a full-time job makes me realize what I've been in denial about: I've fried my brain.

If not for my anti-depressants, I probably would have had a breakdown by now, only a few weeks into the job.

The job isn't even hard. It's actually pretty easy. But even just sitting up straight for that long exhausts me.

I'll try so so hard...going days in a row at 60-75 MG and going straight to bed after work, not taking any extra Adderall after I get off work. But it doesn't seem to help my situation.

I thought the structure of a full-time job might help. I thought the light stresses of working a fairly easy job would naturally help me get out of the house, get some exercise, and not make me rely so hard on Adderall.

I don't know what to do. I'm not afraid of quitting, and I'm fortunate that I have my family to lean on for financial support. But it seems like there would be no point. I've failed and failed and failed at making progress even when it was the only thing I had to focus on, without any school or work obligations.

Anyway, I sent out a couple emails to some doctor/researchers who have done clinical trials with memantine for other conditions.

IDK. I have no energy to even research memantine but it's just popped up a lot on these forums and I'm curious if it might help reverse some of the damage I did to my FRIED BRAIN.

I'm just a mess. I'm basically a chain smoker now -- one pack a day. I've gained almost 100 pounds in less than 2 years. I'm dependent on astronomical doses of Adderall, which I've fried my brain with. I don't know how I dug myself into this crazy hole.

It's so bad. Like, I can't even watch TV, my brain is THAT fried. I have no energy all the time. My job is SO easy...I don't even have to be at work until 10 AM. And even if I get 10 hours of sleep the night before, I can't barely make it through the day.

I feel like I'm brain dead. I don't even care about how I got into this situation and where the fault lies. I just can't believe I literally have no clue how to get out of it.

I'm so desperate. My doctor(s) don't really help. I've tried lowering it. IDK what it is. I guess just after lowering it for a month or two, and really trying hard to stick with it, yet seeing no returns or no progress, it just gets demoralizing and I just get bored and relapse and let my dose creep up again.

I have no one to really help me. I wish I had that someone who would just nurse me back, because I know a lot of the relapsing is psychological. But I only have myself to rely on.

I honestly think my brain is so fried that even a 28 day or 30 day rehab or whatever wouldn't yield much progress. Unless I totally went cold turkey which would be hell I don't know if I could do that. But definitely I've tried and have been able to go 30 days with lowering my medication, and not seen the slightest improvement. My brain is just really really damaged. IDK if it's permanent or just something that will take like years to recover if I were to have the motivation to even try.

I have been so hesitant to admit my greatest fear, even anonymous on this message board, but it's just become crystal clear: I've friend my brain. :-(

sarahsweets
02-21-15, 06:43 AM
I think seeking medical help specifically to deal with this issue is good thing. I really dont think you fried your brain but I cant put my finger on what it could be. Best of luck and keep your chin up.

Little Missy
02-21-15, 07:37 AM
Maybe the antidepressant you take is negating the effects of your ADD med and in turn causing the weight gain.

freshtodef
02-21-15, 10:16 PM
Thanks guys. I'm not giving up. I think I was a bit emotional last night when I posted. I've sent out some emails. I'm definitely going to try to get some better help and try some new things.

karbouris
02-23-15, 12:53 PM
Maybe you could just flat out switch to a normal dose of Ritalin. In about two weeks youll find yourself slowly going back to normal. I think many ADD adults do end up addicted to Adderall. Why would I want to really focus on work, when adderall could make me a hyperfocused zombie? When a medication makes you that productive, its hard to want come back to normal. Ritalin is kinda like a little helper that makes you focus. When I ended up addicted to Adderall I just switched to Ritalin.

karbouris
02-23-15, 12:56 PM
Also, its normal after your used to these stimulant to eat agian. If you eat a bad diet you will gain weight.

Roxx1980
12-03-15, 09:33 PM
Hello, there! I am just swinging by to check on how you are doing-I hope you are still making progress and doing well!