I know it’s been a while. I’ve been clean from Adderall and all stimulants for five months! Quitting a deep addiction really let’s the whiplash of life hit you. And I don’t mean that as an entirely bad thing. My thought focus has gone from Continue reading “5 Months Clean: It’s Paying Off”
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.
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.
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.
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!
This last weekend, I succumbed to asking and buying an Adderall from a friend. My excuse: I had a lot of homework to do, and I would only do one for the extent purpose of getting homework done. I did get it all done, but even that small dose awoke the “more-ish” devil that anyone who has experience with amphetamines understands.
This led to me asking to do a line when one of my friends who I was hanging out with who I saw do a line from across the room. My friends occasionally do Adderall, but they know not to offer it to me. I was craving a line badly because of the pill I took earlier wearing off. He reluctantly crushed up a pill and handed me the lines and a tooter on a book. I ended up doing 100 mg total last night/this morning, the last dose being a 30 mg XR I swallowed around 8:30 AM today.
The renewal date on my script has already passed, and I have been successful in ensuring I don’t call to have it refilled. This weekend I was reminded again that no matter what size dose I excuse myself into taking, it sets off the addictive habits regardless. No more.
From the middle of August until late November I was able to completely stop taking Adderall for almost 3 months, which is the longest I have ever made it trying to quit this sinister drug. The withdrawals sucked only because I had 10 hour days to work right after crashing hard.
What really gets you is the overwhelmingly intense cravings that really don’t become so powerful until weeks after not taking amphetamines. Spending 4-5 days in a row dreaming about doing a bunch of addy, and then waking up realizing you have none and becoming really on edge. I’m absoloutely fucking sick of this drug having more power over my life than me, the one who’s living it. Fighting the psychological cravings is hard. It feels like somebody is in my head trying, at the most random moments, to talk you into just one little dose, for old time’s sake. “It can’t hurt, I can control myself with a small dose.” Within 6 hours I am doing 30-40mg every few hours and end up awake for 2 or 3 days. I’ve given in too many times to see the same fucking result.
I am also noticing that being on this drug is straining my relationship with my family and friends. I am either depressed, lethargic and don’t want to do nearly anything; or I am too amped up to just chill and watch a movie. I’ll end up on the computer for 16-30 hours in a given binge and I am just short, non-conversational and non-emotional with them even if they are just trying to talk to me or bring me food or something nice. This is what has really been the last straw for me lately. I know that 2-3 weeks off of it and I can actually enjoy a good time without fiending around the clock. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, yet I convince myself to walk the opposite direction.
Instead of spending as much quality time as I would have liked to with my family who I don’t see often this winter, I spend 15+ hours on the computer designing a website so tweaked that I had no actual written content, just a layout. Mind that my family is home and I chewed my own mother out for trying to persuade me to come eat dinner out with them since I skipped breakfast and lunch too. She’s never acted upset with how I react so insensitively to her caring gestires. That’s probably why I feel so bad about it. I would never act that way if I wasn’t tweaked out. I am disgusted with myself for becoming like this, yet a few days off the drug and I realize it was all the drugs.
Because I cannot resist calling my psychiatrist for a refill eventually, and then fail my plans to moderate my usage from the second the first pill takes effect leading to a 3-5 day bender and subsequent crash, I am sending her a letter saying I am abusing my medication and that I should never be allowed to have it as a prescription again. Me and speed are from 0-120 MPH, and there is no speed in between. I hate slowing down, and I love getting jacked up. That’s why I have to leave this part of my life behind. It is just so much harder to quit than I could have ever imagined. A little speed habit can turn nasty after a few years.
Unfortunately, I have relapsed since posting this. Wish me luck.
After being addicted to Adderall for 2.5 years now, I have seen past the rosy-cheeked aura of Adderall. I have hallucinated and gone sleepless for over 100 straight hours. I have seen the shadow people. But even worse, I have seen this pill slowly kill my soul. I find myself always thinking, “Adderall! Adderall! Adderall!” and not thinking about what really should matter most in my life. I’m serious about getting off speed after this binge. Restful Christmas and a appetite-full New Year.
Why I’m Quitting for Good
I have tried several times to just take my pills as prescribed, but once I begin to feel the speed, there is no stopping an adderaholic. I’ve spent countless hours pondering the situation, and have finally accepted the fact that I cant take amphetamine responsibly. I am an addict, and I must quit by making this my last script; by making 2015 end with my addiction.
After quitting Adderall a few times for more than 30 days, I have come to realize the withdrawal itself brings me fatigue, slight depression, and no motivation for maybe 1-2 weeks. That part is the easy part. What’s tough is the middle-of-the-night dreams about Adderall. The countless times I tell myself, “this would be so much better on Adderall,” or, “you’re not half the person you are on the addies.” The psychological addiction persists much longer, and that will present the biggest challenge. But enough sappy shit. I’m ready to do this, now on to having myself one more binge. Let’s get fucking spun!
^ me currently
The Last 7 Days
I awoke this morning around 11:00, having slept a solid 11 hours for the first time since last Monday, when I picked up the month’s usual Adderall script. It’s always 28 30mg XR capsules. While I was paying at the pharmacy counter, I kept telling myself, “This time you can do it. You can manage taking your meds as prescribed.” Not surprisingly, I was as delusional as any tweaker regarding my self-control.
Throughout the time since my last script I have pulled 3 all-nighters doing coding and playing video games. During all that I managed to have a productive work day and aced the shit out of my accounting exam. Tonight, exactly one week later I have 7 capsules left. I took one late this morning to get me going for my chemistry exam, then crushed and parachuted another 30 milligrams, once at 4, and once at 9.
30mg oral 11:00 AM
30mg crushed 4:00 PM
30mg crushed 9:00 PM
I was feeling the comedown hard even after my 6 PM dose kicked in. I decided tonight would be the night for the beginning of the end of my speed-freakin days. Around 10:30 PM, I popped 2 30mg XRs, which have kicked in being that it’s just past midnight now. I am ready for the night ahead, that’s a given.
60mg oral 11:00 PM
60mg oral 12:50 AM
60mg oral 9:32 AM