View Full Version : Do I really have ADD, or do I love stimulants?

03-30-06, 02:28 PM
I was addicted to crystal meth for about 8 years. I am one year clean and sober now. About 2 or 3 years ago, my shrink told me I was self-medicating....that i had ADD and was using the meth to make me feel normal. He's got me on 90mg Adderall xr daily, which I love. It makes me feel great, get work done, concentrate...the whole bit. But I wonder if I just love stimulants, love getting that up feeling. I wonder if I'm really ADD and if I need this medication. I surely would rather not take it if I didn't have to. I'm very addicted to it, and every time I try to stop I fall apart. What do you think? How do I really know?

03-30-06, 04:57 PM
Uhm, I'm no psychiatrist, psychologist, or any of that... but I know one thing for certain you need to talk to YOURS.
If you're feeling addicted to the medicine, your psych needs to know about that.

03-30-06, 05:13 PM
Taking an occassional medication vacation can indicate if you are having a problem with the AMPH in Adderall.

When I take a break from the med, I find that I anticipate a craving for the drug. But I don't actually have the craving.

I alternate between sleepy and hyper for the first day or so. Then I'm normally abnormal.

I don't feel like I'm falling apart when I'm off the drug, but I do like the cognitive boost and focus provided by AMPH.

03-30-06, 05:16 PM
Dr.'s make the big bucks for a reason. As a general rule, I wouldn't be messin with the medication itself, dosages, or stopping. Especially without getting their blessing first.

Sounds like your life was messed up. If you have stability here, why mess with that?

Matt S.
03-31-06, 11:29 AM
you have "the complex" I am a recovering valium fiend... benzo's altogether... and when I started tx with stimulants i felt like i was doing something wrong... i personally take dexedrine and it makes me "normal" too but the difference is when i was first given benzodiazepines... xanax... from the first dose i wanted more and with dexedrine i take it as prescribed and i get no "high" from it so it is safe... the potential for addiction isn't there until misuse is present so that is what i keep in mind...

03-31-06, 12:18 PM
Crystal Meth is a VERY serious addiction. I know that any MD worth their license would never, ever prescribe Adderall to someone with this addiction history.

The risk is too Huge. Even stimulating those brain receptors is dangerous. (In recovery, people learn about Relapse Prevention, and abstinence violation effect, etc.)

I have heard of Patients who have relapsed to Alcohol or other drugs just from getting some Painkilling Drugs at the Dentist. (eg IV meds for Wizdum teeth.)

You need to start being HONEST with your Doctor.

Addictions are good at helping people lie to themselves and other people. Addiction thinking also makes people act deceptively in their relationships with people. [Yes, that includes your witholding life-threatening information, such as this from your Doctor].

I know I'm a hard-nose about this -- but it's only your life we are talking about.

03-31-06, 12:38 PM
Crystal Meth is a VERY serious addiction. I know that any MD worth their license would never, ever prescribe Adderall to someone with this addiction history.I think that's a pretty sweeping generalization and I don't believe it's true.

Yes, it's a very serious addiction. It's a very dangerous drug. But, addiction isn't as simple as all that.

Many people do not develop "tolerance", especially when they are self-medicating a disorder like ADHD. Addiction can mean many things, but tolerance is really the issue when it comes to self-medicating.

If I was in the OP's shoes, I would think about 2 major things:

1) Do I often want more than my prescribed dosage? Do I sometimes think I could do with a little less if I've got an easy day? Are the effects diminishing over time, requiring an increase in dosage ever few weeks?

2) What happens when I stop taking it? Is it a matter of just not being able to function, or do I long for the med itself?

The important thing is number 1, though. If the dose is stable and sufficient, needing to take that dosage every day does not mean addiction.

If, however, you are finding yourself obsessed with getting more, you may have a problem.

I most certainly agree with Queens on one thing, though. Be honest with your doc. He's the expert.

Good luck!

Bean Delphiki
03-31-06, 09:27 PM
I agree with Barb. Earlier crystal meth abuse DOES NOT always rule out treatment with stimulants.

And it was clear to me from the OP's post that he HAS been honest with his doc about that previous usage!

To the OP: if, by "fall apart," you mean that you can't get anything done, that's normal. It's also fairly normal to feel emotionally a bit "up" on stimulants, especially if they're fairly new. That's obviously different from an actual high. If you are getting high, perhaps you need to lower your dose?

And a lot of ADD people have self-medicated with crystal meth, coke, and similar things. That's not a completely unusual history to have.

03-31-06, 09:52 PM
It's also fairly normal to feel emotionally a bit "up" on stimulants, especially if they're fairly new. That's obviously different from an actual high.When I first started Adderall, my husband was worried that I was on a drug-induced high.

If he'd only asked me, I could have told him what was really going on: relief and hope!

I'd been desparate for so long, and I was facing the possibility of not finishing my PhD (3 years down the drain), then the very first day I took the med my whole outlook changed!

04-04-06, 12:13 AM
When you say "up" feeling, do you mean euphoria, or an ability to plan, concentrate on, and finish tasks? I get the impression from your post it's the latter. There are many reasons people use methamphetamine; very few of them are of ill intent despite the long term consequences. If your usage is primarily for executive function, that fits the definition of ADD treatment.

If you're chasing euphoria, that's one thing, but using a stimulant for an FDA-approved use under a doctor's supervision isn't exactly evil incarnate.

04-15-06, 07:56 PM
it's natural to feel euphoric from the newfound notion of being in control of your life's progress and forward movement. normal brains get a natural anticipatory "high" when happy thoughts concerning goal-oriented activities arise. sort of like how a kid wakes up at 6am on christmas morning and wants to go back to sleep, but he realises that it's christmas. as soon as he remembers that, his dopamine naturally starts flowing, he is awake, and ready to tackle his goal--opening presents. and that is what this drug does to those who have an imbalanced flow of dopamine. it is perfectly normal to feel euphoric when anticipating the fruition of goals left on the back-burner for so long, due to chemical imbalance. dependence and addiction are two entirely seperate entities.