View Full Version : Adderall corrects addiction?


Overstimulated
12-10-15, 04:47 AM
So, I read an article in Vice called "The Disturbing Relationship Between Addiction And ADHD." It claims that people who suffer from ADHD are "two to three times higher" to be addicted to alcohol or other drugs, because using such substances makes up for the deficit of dopamine in the ADHD brain.
I am an alcoholic, and addicted to nicotine. But when I take my Adderall, I have ZERO desire to drink. I dont even think about it. And I hardly smoke cigarettes or vape either. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

dvdnvwls
12-10-15, 04:59 AM
What you're describing is common and well known. You can refer to the work of Dr. Russell Barkley (including his book Taking Charge of Adult ADHD) for further references and information, if you're interested.

mctavish23
12-10-15, 01:42 PM
Overstimulated,

First of all, Welcome to the Forum. I am a retired Licensed / Clinical Psychologist (i.e., I'm

no longer licensed or able to (currently) call myself a psychologist; but after 30 years, it

doesn't matter to me). I'm also a Recovering Addict (Cocaine, Speed, Pot, etc.); with One

Day at a Time of sobriety since 03/25/88. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 21 (1972);

back when it was called MBD (Minimal Brain Damage). Following my diagnosis, I was put on

medication for the 1st time, and went from 9 F's in HS and Undergrad College, to Deans List

in Grad School. (That's just for basic background info. Also, my imvolvement in the Forum,

has always been (and remains) strictly non-pfrofessional).

Fast forward to today. I continue to treat my ADHD with stimulants, from an informed (of

my being a Recovering Addict) physician. In fact, all the medical professionals I see are aware

of that.

Over the course of a 30 year career, my former practice with Children & Adolescents, slowly

evolved into what became a Specialty ADHD practice; including some Adults. One of the

things I learned during that time, is that most clinicians do not keep up with the research on

the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD. I therefore made it a point to make sure I did that,

so that I could truly say my work was "evidence based (research derived and supported)."

Just before I retired in January of 2014 (due to a stroke the previous July), I made an invited

presentation to our local Drug Court Team, regarding the (unanimous) research on how the

use of Any stimulant, Decreases the Risk of a Substance Use Disorder (SUD), by Decreasing

Impulsivity. For someone with (real) ADHD, stimulants have the opposite effect, in that they

make you tired. I'm very proud to say that the local Drug Court Team subsequently

amended their opposition to allow clients with documented ADHD diagnoses, to take their

medication (under supervision). The end result is that a number of clients who previously

had failed the Program in the past, have now graduated because of being able to take their

meds. The key to understanding this lies in the fact that without medication, people with

(untreated) ADHD, will impulsively "self-medicate;" via substance abuse (and also engage in

other High Risk behaviors).

I apologize for the length of this response, but this really is the "short" version. The above

response from dvdnvwls, is "spot on," as far as the recommendation to read Russell Barkely's

work(s) on this subject, and I would second that suggestion as a starting point.

I wish you much luck in pursuing this issue,and again "Welcome" to the Forum.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

sarahsweets
12-13-15, 09:46 AM
I am an alcoholic in recovery and I can say from experience...having untreated adhd makes recovery more difficult. We self medicated for a reason.

coffeesudoku
01-21-16, 12:44 AM
I've never heard that before, but that is pretty interesting. I mean it would make sense because it's something totally different a new feeling. So why would you want to drink and ruin that feeling?

Husky42
01-22-16, 01:34 PM
Makes sense, after being put on adderall my desire to smoke pot daily has plummeted. No desire to drink anymore either. No desire for cheeseburgers either, all good things.. just gotta remember to eat.. holy crap.

i41agree
04-06-16, 12:46 PM
I was addicted to alcohol the first time I touched it as a teenager and drank every day for 17 years until I lost everything I had in life and ended up in jail. Finally stopped drinking for the last 9 months, but it has not been easy. I just felt very uncomfortable and compelled to escape any way I could. Alcohol is obviously easy to get and always will be.
Last week my psychiatrist (who knows all about my alcoholism) diagnosed me with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin 2x10mg to start. It's only been a week, but I can't explain how amazing I feel (maybe I don't have to here). Calm, focused, serene, clear, and most importantly, comfortable in my own skin. ZERO desire to drink until the Ritalin wears off at the end of the day. Who would want to be drunk instead of feeling THIS NORMAL?
I'm in every kind of addiction recovery and support program you can think of and 99% of them are telling me this is a very very bad idea because Ritalin can be abused. I'm not really in a position to have anyone hand me my medication daily, nor do I want that.
So, I'm going to try the Ritalin for a few weeks and see how it goes.
So far the dose seems high enough, but these are early days. Only problem is it wears off pretty suddenly mid-afternoon, but I'm sure that can be fixed with different dosage times or extended release formulations, etc.
Anyway, it's a tough fork in the road for me. I was overjoyed to see this thread and know I'm not alone!

Cloudzor
07-11-16, 11:56 AM
I take Vyvanse and Adderall. When my meds are in effect, I dont think about getting high. It is easier for me to maintain my interest in something. But when my meds wear off, I can get bored very easily. Even with something that was just sustaining my interest.

For example, yesterday I was gaming with my buddy online ******* around. It was around 920pm or so that my adderall wore off and I got bored/hungry. Mid game, I had a complete loss of interest in what I was doing.

It is when my meds are not in effect that the sudden boredom kicks in. And from time to time, my brain will tell me, "Well we know how to make this go away" ie get high. There was a period of a few weeks since I could not find a psych to treat me due to my addiction that I was on no meds. **** sucked. As soon as I would get bored, which was frequently, I would start thinking about getting high. Even in situations such as being at work where I would never think about it, even when my meds wore off at night.

lntense
07-11-16, 04:36 PM
When I'm on adderall, I need nothing and can accomplish most anything.



But when I comedown the only thing I crave is a nice tall glass of Vodka...****.

sarahsweets
07-19-16, 11:39 AM
When I'm on adderall, I need nothing and can accomplish most anything.



But when I comedown the only thing I crave is a nice tall glass of Vodka...****.

What do you mean 'come down'. Is your dose too high?

Matador
07-19-16, 11:47 AM
I am so happy I found this thread!

One of my biggest issues in life has been my 'control' and inability to control my eating or drinking.

It cost me a relationship that meant dearly because of my lack of control for alcohol. While I am not an alcoholoic, if I do start drinking and it is in public, I have control issues with binging and over-drinking.

It now has given me a crappy reputation with my friends who love me, but always poke fun at my inability to control. I try to, but sometimes it just ends up happening.

I blame it on impulsivity....but had no idea that this was common! I really don't crave alcohol, but if it's around--and I start drinking some, I just go back to my old ways.

It's great to know again, that this isn't me being scummy....but that it's something I can work on. Before self control and cutting out alcohol completely worked for a bit, but got too tough.

I wonder if I should go back to trying to cut it out completely?

lntense
07-19-16, 12:12 PM
What do you mean 'come down'. Is your dose too high?

No, I'm on 20mg XR/day and have been for years. It's not a terrible comedown, but I do feel a little depressed and unmotivated. Which is usually why I hit the gym and lift weights just as the adderall is wearing off. Seems to help along with support supplements, omega 3's etc..

I'm already somewhat of an alcoholic, so when the amphetamine wears off, I naturally crave some alcohol due to it's calming effects. And I get euphoric on alcohol, so basically just chasing another "feel good" feeling by means of a substance.

I'm not in any way blaming the adderall though, it's just my brain chemistry.

sarahsweets
07-19-16, 03:54 PM
I am so happy I found this thread!

One of my biggest issues in life has been my 'control' and inability to control my eating or drinking.

It cost me a relationship that meant dearly because of my lack of control for alcohol. While I am not an alcoholoic, if I do start drinking and it is in public, I have control issues with binging and over-drinking.
Please dont take this the wrong way but the number one symptom of an alcohol problem is not being able to stop drinking when you start, binge drinking, not being able to control how much or when you drink.
And you dont have to be an 'official' alcoholic. In the DSM V, they have 'alcohol use disorder'. In order to qualify for AUD, you have to reach 2 of the 11 criteria during the same 12 month period. Based on what you have shared...its something to consider.


I blame it on impulsivity....but had no idea that this was common! I really don't crave alcohol, but if it's around--and I start drinking some, I just go back to my old ways.

This is more than impulsive behaviors IMO.

It's great to know again, that this isn't me being scummy....but that it's something I can work on. Before self control and cutting out alcohol completely worked for a bit, but got too tough.

What tools did you use that worked? Please re-read what you have shared. People who dont have an alcohol problem do not drink this way and think about it this much and how to control it.

Matador
07-26-16, 11:08 AM
Please dont take this the wrong way but the number one symptom of an alcohol problem is not being able to stop drinking when you start, binge drinking, not being able to control how much or when you drink.
And you dont have to be an 'official' alcoholic. In the DSM V, they have 'alcohol use disorder'. In order to qualify for AUD, you have to reach 2 of the 11 criteria during the same 12 month period. Based on what you have shared...its something to consider.



This is more than impulsive behaviors IMO.


What tools did you use that worked? Please re-read what you have shared. People who dont have an alcohol problem do not drink this way and think about it this much and how to control it.

Thanks! Yea--I am not sure where I sit on the scale....but I think I do have issues with alcohol obviously.

In trying to explore what it is, because of my impulsive nature fighting the urge to drink at times when I am out and all of a sudden things get boring or I get tired, I tend to drink more. My thinking is the dopaminie or lack there of. I medicate in that state or when out and feel a little weird.

I've tried cold turkey, and it was fine...until I started feeling like I was left out on something and little by little got back into it.

While I don't drink like I used to, when I do go out I can control it...but I still will have a night or two every couple of months where I will lose control.

Don't get me wrong--I am not saying I DON'T have an alcohol problem--I think I do...but I don't think it's an alcohol dependency but more a 'crutch'/mental thing when anxious and out.

I know I can't be the only one that may look at it in this light.

sarahsweets
07-27-16, 10:15 AM
Thanks! Yea--I am not sure where I sit on the scale....but I think I do have issues with alcohol obviously.

In trying to explore what it is, because of my impulsive nature fighting the urge to drink at times when I am out and all of a sudden things get boring or I get tired, I tend to drink more. My thinking is the dopaminie or lack there of. I medicate in that state or when out and feel a little weird.

I've tried cold turkey, and it was fine...until I started feeling like I was left out on something and little by little got back into it.

While I don't drink like I used to, when I do go out I can control it...but I still will have a night or two every couple of months where I will lose control.

Don't get me wrong--I am not saying I DON'T have an alcohol problem--I think I do...but I don't think it's an alcohol dependency but more a 'crutch'/mental thing when anxious and out.

I know I can't be the only one that may look at it in this light.

Only you can determine if there is a problem but I will share this...normal drinkers can stop when theyve had enough. They dont fight the urge to drink and they dont feel like they are missing out on something when they dont drink. In fact normal drinkers dont think about alcohol as much.