View Full Version : Use? Abuse? Stimulant self-medication and you.


Karamo
09-29-14, 12:34 PM
I've reflected upon this for some time and I'd be interested in hearing what you guys think.

Is self-medicating always abuse?

According to doctors here in Sweden the answer is a unanimous yes. 'Off the record', however, some albeit extremely few physicians believe there to be a gradient however.

If self-medicating based on thorough research and understanding is successful over decades without causing any disabilities at all but rather enabling a person to live happier and healthier, is it still abuse?

If a physician later prescribes the -exact- same medicine and dosage that a person previously had been self-medicating with, it's all of a sudden not an abuse anymore?

In this very same situation the self-medicating individual is always labeled "prone to drug addiction and drug seeking behavior" but when the physician prescribes the very same medicine that warranted this labeling in the first place, it is no longer a problem?

Considering the very high prevalence of unmotivated/incompetent doctors, how is it that the thought of someone, even if just one in a thousand, being a lot more intelligent and knowledgable than his or her tired and lousy physician is totally out of the question?

I would never recommend self-medicating based on a hunch but after having had an EXTENSIVE history with really bad doctors over the course of 15 years where only TWO have proven to be driven, curious about their own profession and able to have a dialogue while the rest (well over 20) have been utter garbage with misdiagnoses and wrongful medication prescribing, I can not rule out the possibility that some select few people might have what it takes to make the best decisions for themselves where the so called "medical experts" consistently and systematically fail.

/Curious George

Fuzzy12
09-29-14, 01:24 PM
Interesting question. :scratch:

I'm not sure I'd label it as abuse but I guess the main risk of self medicating or taking these substances illegally is that when you have any adverse effects you cannot easily get medical intervention (at least not without negative consequences).

Karamo
09-29-14, 02:00 PM
Interesting question. :scratch:

I'm not sure I'd label it as abuse but I guess the main risk of self medicating or taking these substances illegally is that when you have any adverse effects you cannot easily get medical intervention (at least not without negative consequences).

I'll agree with that Fuzzter, thanks for the input :>

Stevuke79
09-29-14, 03:02 PM
I think the main thing is to define what exactly we're asking. What is drug abuse? Does it have to be illegal, harmful, unadvisable?

I think we're asking, "is it OK or isn't it?" I think ultimately we all have to make that decision for ourselves,.. but if we're being honest then we're unqualified. I think the big danger, and maybe the best reason to consider it abuse, is whether you really feel you should self medicate OR do you simply want to conceal certain aspects of your usage? It's definitely not the safe road. (be careful friend :grouphug:)

Karamo
09-29-14, 03:39 PM
I think the main thing is to define what exactly we're asking. What is drug abuse? Does it have to be illegal, harmful, unadvisable?

I think we're asking, "is it OK or isn't it?" I think ultimately we all have to make that decision for ourselves,.. but if we're being honest then we're unqualified. I think the big danger, and maybe the best reason to consider it abuse, is whether you really feel you should self medicate OR do you simply want to conceal certain aspects of your usage? It's definitely not the safe road. (be careful friend :grouphug:)

That's up to you, hence my asking ;) I was pretty clear with how the medical society in Sweden views it and it's awfully categorical and dated. There is no room for intelligence or dialogue.

I was hoping people on the boards might have more nuanced and thought-through opinions on what constitutes use and abuse.

Hah, I'm not going back to self-medication Steve ;D I chose to quit and accept getting the diagnosis that I already knew was a fact and to place my faith and my trust into the expertise of those specializing in treating people like us.

Surely, I write this somewhat out of disillusion as I've been failed by these experts time after time and ended up in a MUCH worse place than I ever was in before.

There is something very important to note here, (which essentially severed any ties I had to any hope regarding any potentially positive outcome from this ordeal) and that is the line; "Always consult with your physician if you have questions."

You know, for example, I've been curious as to how the amino acid L-tyrosine interacts with dopamine agonists and if it's a supplement worthy of investing in and if so, how to secure optimal bioavailability et cetera et cetera.

So, 'consulting' with the experts in the field of a disorder whose primary cause is a dopamine deficiency, I expect to find enlightenment, or at least some healthy and valid pointers, right?

But when the answers are "I actually have no idea. I would advice against such supplement however because I don't have enough information on it in that respect." and the likes, I feel insulted.

This, in essence mean that the unqualified part is not only me, but also very much the person who has no clue about something so tremendously important.

How can you prescribe such potent and life-altering drugs (stimulants) when you have no clue about it's workings and interactions whatsoever and get trumped by 130+ IQ university students.

So I wonder, Steve... If the so called specialists have no intention on keeping their knowledge up-to-date and interesting themselves in their profession and rather do the "checklist treatment 1 through 20" approach, how can I respect it?

"Always consult with your physician if you have questions."

... Yeah...

Conman
09-29-14, 04:24 PM
abuse is defined as consuming said substance in amounts or with methods that are harmful to self/others.

as such i dont consider my smoking lifestyle abuse, but self-medication. my drinking however...it can swing either way cuz it does hurt me sometimes physically or emotionally.

but i will refer to most drug/intoxicating substances as self-medicating to me if i make some kind of habit of them, whereas things i try that i dont like i dont do again.

for example, i dont do it often, but i like to trip a couple times a year because it puts me in such a different state where i am in awe or having lots of fun in this rare state of consciousness, which for a person like me i perceive as having religious significance

Laserbeak
09-29-14, 06:33 PM
Whether they are good or not, the laws are the laws. So taking controlled substances without a valid doctor's prescription is illegal. Period.

I, as a Libertarian in the US, believe ALL drugs should be available over the counter legally, including everything now that is Scheduled (even in Schedule I) by the DEA (basically putting them out of business), but unfortunately that is not the current law.

sarahsweets
09-30-14, 04:01 AM
It all boils down to good self awareness and honesty. You know if you are abusing your meds or not and sometimes people will lie to themselves to rationalize taking a med that isn't prescribed to them. One of the key things is if you can control the amount and frequency you take a substance. For example, I can't have a any alcohol because I cannot guarantee my behavior once I drink. I can't stop drinking more once I have that first drink. The same could be said for stimulants. You take 1 pill and in an hour you take more because you can't feel it followed by almost compulsive re-dosing. Thats abuse.

Karamo
09-30-14, 07:06 AM
Excellent post Sarah and I agree with everything you said.

HADDaball
10-03-14, 05:59 PM
.....

HADDaball
10-03-14, 07:09 PM
If you go to a doctor and say you're depressed and you've tried most things that don't work there are other options...

but going in there saying 'I want to be treated with stimulants' for depression .. would be a fair reason to raise a doctor's eyebrows..

looking at the first post doesn't give a doctor good reason to prescribe a controlled drug.

some or maybe even most doctors will stick with prescribing what evidence based trials support helps conditions..

to me, that's fair enough. they may not be willing to work at the cutting edge..


stimulants generally don't make people happier.. people with ADD being treated with them can find their moods flattened..

maybe a higher dose may give excitement.. but that could be seen as hypomania.. not genuine happiness..

Karamo
10-03-14, 07:49 PM
If you go to a doctor and say you're depressed and you've tried most things that don't work there are other options...

but going in there saying 'I want to be treated with stimulants' for depression .. would be a fair reason to raise a doctor's eyebrows..

looking at the first post doesn't give a doctor good reason to prescribe a controlled drug.

some or maybe even most doctors will stick with prescribing what evidence based trials support helps conditions..

to me, that's fair enough. they may not be willing to work at the cutting edge..


stimulants generally don't make people happier.. people with ADD being treated with them can find their moods flattened..

maybe a higher dose may give excitement.. but that could be seen as hypomania.. not genuine happiness..

You're right. Waltzing in demanding stimulants after having gone through a few SSRI's is a so-and-so approach ;)

Me, I've gone through every SSRI there is without any efficacy other than removing some of my bottoms with the compromise of cutting off my tops (ability to laugh spontaneously) - needless to say, the meds didn't work ;) SNRI and NDRI didn't do it either. Stimulants ain't doing it either, to be frank (yet not Zappa).. And to be blunt (half ways to James) there is not a single medicament that can solve me, it's so much deeper than that. But when they recommend mood stabilizers whose prime function is to cut off manic episodes (dopamine antagonists), for someone like me, who've never ever had a single manic episode, with the words; "Well since nothing seems to work, this is one option I guess...", that does not exactly inspire confidence - especially since they can't argue their reason. "don't ask all these questions, you're not helping yourself and there is no one who can answer them". Gee.

I'm not talking about people who've had no contact with psychiatry/medical experts and all of a sudden starts experimenting with drugs finding that "****e, dawg, this is totally mah bag yo!".

I would have hoped that point was more or less self-explanatory ;)

Pilgrim
10-12-14, 06:51 PM
It all boils down to good self awareness and honesty. You know if you are abusing your meds or not and sometimes people will lie to themselves to rationalize taking a med that isn't prescribed to them. One of the key things is if you can control the amount and frequency you take a substance. For example, I can't have a any alcohol because I cannot guarantee my behavior once I drink. I can't stop drinking more once I have that first drink. The same could be said for stimulants. You take 1 pill and in an hour you take more because you can't feel it followed by almost compulsive re-dosing. Thats abuse.

I think this sums it up really well.