Does My Life Have Hope?

Throughout my life as a young adult and late teenager, I have experimented with nearly every commonly known drug on the planet be it stimulants, hallucinogens, weed, opiates, alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs and research chemicals. I have always felt a little out of place in society and have enjoyed the alteration of reality drugs of any class provide me. My genetics likely pronounce this as I have several relatives who have had the tendancy to indulge in whatever substance they found they liked best, and typically they have gone full force with consuming said substance.

I had a huge problem with Adderall. It just “clicked” and and I was hooked on that feeling of euphoria and energy. It consumed me for over 4 years and I’ve been around three months clean of it as of today. On the flip side, I went from being a relatively responsible drinker who would maybe binge drink when out partying and that’s it to someone who drinks 8-10 doses of hard liquor a night to get drunk and subsequently pass out.

I think I am starting to discover that Adderall wasn’t my problem, but rather a strong intrinsic feeling of hating sobriety. I used to not even enjoy alcohol, and now because it is what I consume more frequently than other substances, I am starting to love it. That scares me.

I don’t think I’m specifically an alcoholic or a tweaker, I think I have a problem with being sober with myself. I get bored and want to get fucked up, and whatever substance can provide me that result I will enjoy. I never felt like I loved opiates, benzos or many other drugs, but I liked them all because they make me feel good, and I hate being sober.

What do I do? Are any of you out there experienced with a problem like mine? I’m only 22 and I know I have my life ahead of me. I have a full-time job offer with a great salary and work that I love. My life is great. But I still feel like there is no other way than getting fucked up each and every day. I need to reevaluate things. Any tips?

Two Months of Success & Counting

Hello all,

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything, but I wanted to give you all an update on my current situation, and the strides I have made over the last couple of months quitting my favorite drug Adderall.

As you probably know, I’ve really struggled with quitting this shit, and I am happy to say I have been completely Adderall free for a little over two months now. To renew my prescription after the last script I got in May, I would have needed to go in for an appointment with my psychiatrist. Instead of continuing the cycle, I have purposefully avoided making any appointments or responding to any calls from the psychiatrist’s office. In essence, I’ve purposefully created an awkward situation between me and the office to discourage myself from ever contacting them, and it worked.

In addition, I have let my family in on my addiction, and have received a lot of support from them. This in and of itself has helped me a lot, as I now have family to talk to about it, and they understand why I may be more moody and depressed than usual, rather than thinking of other reasons as to why. I want to go into what the last two months have been like.


What it’s Been Like to Quit

So, I took my last Adderall pill sometime at the very beginning of June this year, and from that point on I have been completely amphetamine-free. Typically I only made it about two to three weeks without before getting more and repeating the addiction cycle.

The two weeks after that last dose I began a new job, and I will admit that was very difficult. I went through the typical crash/withdrawal symptoms that come after a heavy amphetamine consumption period (constant fatigue, no motivation, and extreme lack of excitement about anything, also known as anhedonia). This lasted for a good two weeks after cessation.

Then around week three I noticed I started to crave normal socialization and activities again, though in small doses. My anxiety was higher than ever and depression came and went in cycles of a few days where I would feel somewhat okay, and other days where I doubted whether it was worth being alive or if I would ever enjoy life again. Don’t let this discourage you, at this point of quitting is usually where I’d relapse. The hope of getting better sometimes seems far fetched at this period. It is a long process for your brain to repair itself and return to feeling pleasure and contentment without the constant surge of dopamine created by speed in your brain. Be patient.

After the First Month

I am not going to lie, I have used alcohol more in this period as a coping mechanism to deal with the roller-coaster brain that quitting amphetamines creates. You’ll feel unstable at this point. Now there will be several day periods where you feel amazing, like you are fully free of your drug problem and that life is awesome and that your social life is finally back. These days are often followed by deep depression, self-doubt and a feeling that you will never be happy again. Over time these extremes continue to level out and you will become more stable.

I am not advising you use alcohol to help through this period, but smoking a little weed can be very beneficial in silencing the super depressing thoughts that you will have. Remember, your brain is still healing.

Two Months Free

I am now a little over two months free of my amphetamine addiction, and I will admit this recovery is painfully long and sometimes you will feel like you might as well just go back to abusing speed because you want to feel that confidence and want to stop feeling so fucking empty. Remember that this is your worst enemy, and these are the thoughts that will be the hardest to fight if you ever want to stay off these drugs. They haven’t even yet vanished for me yet, but over the last two months, they have become both less frequent and less intense.

I won’t lie, while I have stopped thinking about Adderall on a daily basis, there are still minutes of random days that every bone in my body is telling me to score some Adderall and that that will make everything okay again. That is a lie, and you will throw away all of your progress the minute you give into that. Would you save up thousands of dollars for something just to throw it into a bonfire pit and light it on fire? It’s the same thing. Be proud of your freedom from this drug and embrace it. You won’t always feel great about this, but if you are having intense cravings, at least force yourself to ponder it for a few days before giving in. I guarantee that if you force yourself to wait for a long period of time before making a horrible and irrational decision, your cravings will dissipate for the time being. Don’t be impulsive. Easier said than done, but that is the only way I have made it this far.

Good Luck

I hope if you are quitting, that you have success at it. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I am realizing that just quitting drugs does not put an end to an addiction. You are going to live with this innate desire for your drug of choice for the rest of your life. You will be carrying these urges and fucked up thoughts with you for the rest of your life. I don’t mean to be cynical or demeaning, this is the truth. Until you accept this you will continue to relapse. The battle never ends, and you must stay strong at all times. I am no expert, but I hope the best for you. As for me, I must take this one day at a time. There is too much to life to waste it being a slave to this substance. The sooner you quit, the sooner you can direct your efforts at making for yourself the life you actually want, not a drug-induced dopamine-excess fake euphoria that destroys relationships and leaves you feeling worthless and empty every fucking time.

I Can’t Live Like This Anymore

It’s confession time. I have been coming to the realization lately that my problem with amphetamines is not going to go away even though I’ve made my mind up that I need to quit this shit. Let this serve as kind of a low-point in my dignity, but also a time to set some goals.

After abusing a good 14-16 30mg XRs from my script, I crashed hard the next day. Why is it that I always come back even though it takes forever for me to gain my natural energy back. So, what I really feel bad about is stealing 15-20 10mg Adderall tablets from a family member over the course of this Easter weekend. Once I got going I had no control, and my mind was focused on MORE ADDERALL more than it was enjoying the company of my family.

Other Issues

Some other issues my recent spike in abuse has brought upon are:

  • Losing weight (down to 140 from 150’ish)
  • Seriously whacked sleep schedule
  • Strained social life
  • Strained family life
  • Lack of any control whatsoever with amphetamine
  • School performance suffering greatly

I want my freedom back.

My use has gotten so bad that within the last year I started stealing my family member’s Adderall every time I visit, and at least pull one all-nighter. It disgusts me that I have come to rationalize this, and how much I use my family to feed this nightmare of an addiction.

I want back the days where I would come home and genuinely have my top priority be to spend time with my family and friends. Nowadays I’ll steal a dozen tablets, pop them, and become anti-social and work on shit for 12-14 hours. Nothing that ends up being meaningful the next day, though…

My life no longer has that genuine happy spark it used to. I’m either tired/unstimulated or I’m spun, and neither state is the real me. Much like a zombie I mindlessly consume these pills chasing a high that’s been gone since 2013.

What should I do?

Let my doctor know I abuse Adderall so she won’t prescribe me it anymore?

I definitely need to do this, as it would cut off my main supply. I can go weeks without Adderall but knowing it’s past the refill date and I could have a whole bottle of amphetamines in an hour is too tempting.

Join Narcotics Anonymous or Outpatient Rehab?

I have long been skeptical on whether or not I really need something this serious to get off these pills. I’m a full-time college student who works part time, and I’m not sure full-fledged meetings/appointments are what I’m ready for.

Tell my parents EVERYTHING.

I have been harboring this addiction from my family for over 4 years now. I just have not had the courage to face this problem of mine honestly and get support from those who care more for me than anyone in the world. I know they’ll be disappointed, but my parents would be hurt by the fact that I felt I couldn’t come to them for help with problems, especially one like this. I don’t know how to bring up this conversation.

Progress At an Addict’s Pace

This last week, I was again due for a refill on my insurance-funded amphetamine ration (a month’s worth of 30mg XR’s). I have found that the demand for the ‘medicine’ which I am prescribed is alive and well. I managed to rid myself of all but 8 of those pills, which I took in a 3-day binge ending today with my final dose of 30mg at about 9:30 this morning.

Compared to 3 years of doing my entire script, this is progress. I would like to be completely off amphetamines, but going from using my script and buying 2-3 other scripts to doing 2-8 pills a month, this is progress. The withdrawals and intensity of addiction symptoms have reduced dramatically, and I feel a sense of having a personality again.

All that aside, I did genuinely feel great enjoyment from the Adderall I was able to indulge in. Today, ending the binge, marks the usual time in which I continue to indulge regardless of the huge negative side-effects of staying up for a week to avoid coming down from speed’s cloud nine. At the same time, I realize how inaccurate the cravings I have for Adderall are compared to the reality of an addiction where I am chasing a high that I haven’t felt since my first handful of times with the substance.

That’s really all that keeps us from achieving freedom from amphetamines or other hard drugs. I still can recall in crystal-clear detail the absolute bliss I felt during my first few highs on amphetamine, and the godlike pleasure and feeling of being the master of the world that the first year of experiences with this substance gave me. No matter the amount of time between doses of amphetamine, these honeymoon highs it once gave me are never going to come back. The hope for this return is really the root of addiction in my mind. It’s like a bad relationship. Delusional psychological glorification of a once great relationship keep hope alive that the spark comes back, yet every time disappointment rules supreme.

Everyday life often fails to meet your brain’s altered sense of what thrill and excitement are. Hell, when a chemical can provide dopamine release 15 times more intense than sex, it is hard to adjust to normal levels of reward system function that pale in comparison to the feeling of ultimate stimulant euphoria that amphetamines elicit. At the same time, some moments in life begin to have color again when away from this drug, and those emotions completely outdo the synthetic state amphetamines produce. The challenge is knowing this when you are underwhelmed or bored. Dealing with these states of mind are the most difficult. I still haven’t found a solution to boredom other than social contact and using other, less harmful substances like weed and alcohol to fill the gaping hole of a lack of stimulation. There is no natural way that much dopamine is ever going to be released again, and quitting amphetamines is basically a process of teaching your brain to accept that what is considered enjoyment should not be compared with speed-induced dopamine surges.

Surviving Off This Shit

The hardest part about this all is the constant brain fog and feeling “not in sync” with the pace of the world at all. I have come to accept this is something I have to face if I’m to quit this drug. It’s going to take a while to feel “as motivated as I once was”, which is something I don’t have much memories of after being hooked for 4 years now.

I just need to remember to take each day at a time. Simple tasks will be excessively draining. Every part of me will be screaming to cure all the lethargy with a pill. I know where that leads. I’m sick of feeling trapped in a cycle, and it’s time I am manning up and learning how to achieve things in my life without a pill. That’s going to require some self-discipline, which is the real only way, but is by no means easy.

I’ll keep this blog updated with what’s up every week or so. Eventually, my hope is to make this a great place for resources on harm reduction with Adderall use or quitting if you have a problem or are finding Adderall is causing problems in your life. As of now, I am still in the midst of quitting myself, as my life is on the verge of falling apart if I don’t. I find that even having this blog to look back on myself reminds me of why I need to do this, and I hope it helps you too.

Always feel free to contribute a story to the blog!