I have been taking Adderall for about four months. The immediate changes I have felt, have been fantastic. I have lost weight which I love, and don’t have cravings; my mood is up, energy is up, not too sure about focus, because my brain is weird.
I don’t think I can concentrate any better than I did without it. I notice that I’m obsessed with things, like running, my figure, being on my phone constantly.
When I have something exciting happen, or meet someone new, I think in that situation for hours, and can’t get it out of my head.
rehab for Adderall addiction
Breaking Point…. Again?
9 was my magic number.
9 magic pills. In less than a few hours.
9 was enough to make me lose count.
9 that night made my whole body go numb and lifeless, while my heart rate couldn’t decided if it wanted to race to speeds fast enough to induce cardiac arrest… or slow and deep enough, to stop my breathing.
I’ve probably taken more than 9 magic pills a day; actually, I know I have.
But this particular night, I came clean about everything.
I came clean about taking all those magic pills to my roommate, to my mom and to my significant other.
No more lies, or deceit. No more secrets, or hiding.
My name is Lindsay, and I’m a junkie.
I could say, addict; I even used to say, alcoholic (if you knew me back then in the program), but I feel as though “junkie” is the best way to accurately label my personal relationship with Adderall.
Everyone has their drug of choice. Mine came in the 30mg pink pill form given to children (horrifying) and adults with ADD/ADHD.
I say horrifying, ’cause this lovely little stimulant is the closest legal form of Methamphetamine one can purchase at your local pharmacy.
You see, I also had this other demon lurking, just waiting for the right opportunity…
It was an eating disorder. It goes by the name of anorexia and is accompanied shortly after by binge eating.
I struggled with my weight ups and downs, until Adderall and I met, in 2010.
The first time I saw my pupils dilate bigger than golf balls, a rush of adrenaline flooded my body giving me all day energy that no CAFFEINE could compare to, even on a good day.
Simultaneously, my young adult mind was being introduced to the drug’s high; an increased release in my serotonin and dopamine causing a euphoric, joyous high that had a side effect I didn’t see as a side effect at all: Loss off appetite…
Thus, starvation and weight loss… and more weight loss… and more weight loss.
But long before I had achieved even a pound of weight loss, I knew I had fallen in love. From that first high, this was fate.
I knew in that moment, this is my answer. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.
Bringing us back… 9 tablets of 30mg Adderall instant release is almost twice the lethal overdose for my weight and height.
180mg in less than a few hours!
I had no intention of harming myself that day – quite the opposite – but I’m a veteran Adderall junkie, with a long term habit that’s cost me more than I care to admit.
The insanity of every bender… until I hit 5am, and realize normal people sleep but me. Then I just resort to addie.
Always there, in times of exhaustion or lack of motivation. Addie was always there for me, like no other friend was.
In my purse, hiding out, low key. If I was ever tired, hungry, or lazy, Addie fixed those symptoms with no hesitation.
My anorexia flourished.
At this time, I had no idea that one day I would lose everything…
Fast forward to where my addiction has gotten me today
My sanity would eventually be lost to a drug-induced psychosis.
My emotions are at the mercy of manic bipolar, an imbalance caused by repeated and untreated overdoses.
My happiness is non-existent.
Depression has settled over me every single time I try to quit.
After lack of nourishment and long time usage, there’s nothing left of my dopamine or serotonin, they’re drained and could take months if not even longer and also require anti-depressants to fully combat this permanent brain damage I have self-inflicted.
Like most amphetamine junkies, my teeth are sore constantly. I jaw-janked regularly, and it still hurts to chew certain foods.
Poor circulation, low energy levels.
Limbs going numb, irregular heart beat, acne.
ALL TOTALLY WORTH IT
But now, I tell you everything and everyone else: I didn’t care about throwing away or tweaking in front of, because to me, tweaking on Adderall daily was the only way to survive.
I had no choice. Without it I was useless, bed ridden, hallucinating, while my entire body felt as though it had been repeatedly jack hammered into submission every inch, muscle, tissue, fiber, organ, cell of what was left of my malnourished drug-dependent human body (if you could even call it a body after the years of torture I put it through I barely even recognized my own reflection.)
So here I lay, withdrawing, on my couch.
I’m a veteran Adderall junkie, who’s been feeding a daily habit for over 6 years.
But… I bet if you knew me, you’d have no idea.
I’ve been hiding this secret addiction, even though out my “2 years of sobriety from alcohol and street drugs”…. I still tweaked on Adderall EVERY DAMN DAY.
Hallucinations and tremors don’t scare me.
What scares me most about not having:
- the pain of being alive. Because nothing after Adderall ever seems to make you quite right. I’m afraid I might never be fixed.
- how much weight I’ll gain without it. In a week, two weeks, a month, two months, three months, fourth months, six months.
Last month, I tried quitting and went two weeks with out Adderall… I put on thirteen pounds. I’m only five feet tall!
And anorexia notices every little flaw and detail that makes you want to starve your self beyond any human reason.
My self-esteem is crushed.
Drugs have lead me down a path of starvation and binging.
I coped with extreme cardio and lifting to balance the binges.
LW: 89lbs 23yr
HW: 125 23yr
CW: 103 24yr
… but my stretch-marked inner thunder thighs are far beyond compare, and my love handles and gut don’t seem flat for my weight.
I have lost any love I once had for this battered and beaten shell that remains of this woman.
I curse my reflection, my acne, the way my awkward body looks in clothes, my hair even when brushed looked disheveled and unruly.
But the reason, most of all, I hate my reflection is because I hate myself.
I am a fraud, and your soul slowly dies as you become physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically reliant upon Adderall.
Angry at the world and socially withdrawn.
My family has given up on me. And I don’t blame them, Adderall addicts don’t exactly have the highest of success rates, but f**k – ANYTHING HAS TO BE BETTER THAN LIVING EVERY DAY AS AN OBSESSIVE, ANTISOCIAL, PARANOID, ADDERALL FIEND LOCKED UP IN MY ROOM SCROLLING INCESSANTLY ON MY PHONE ABOUT PEOPLE, WHEN I NEVER EVEN LEAVE MY HOUSE.
At this rate, my chances of overdose and death are high; and, in a moment of a clarity, I realize I really don’t want to die as just another knock-off prescription speed junkie who accidentally overdosed.
His name is Zach.
He doesn’t know it, but he saved my life.
I told him, calmly, the extreme nature and duration of my addiction and eating disorder; this was my first time telling anyone. I had been living in secret for the past 6 years.
Even when I was an active member in Alcoholics Anonymous for over 2 years, with a sponsor working 12 steps, numerous daily meetings. I was sponsor. I even worked in a rehab facility.
But I never have been to one.
I still took Adderall every day, and claimed to be sober.
I am a fraud.
I start treatment tomorrow for Adderall addiction and an untreated eating disorder and therapy for years of physical abuse.
Horrified is putting it lightly.
I’m probably going to lose my job that I absolutely love, but I want my life back.
I want to be able to smile and laugh – not a “euphoric high-induced smile that eventually fades”… but a genuine smile.
I haven’t felt one of those in years.
My story is shockingly common: a teenage girl who hates the fat on her body and barely scrapes by in school.
My story is typical, but with a few atypical details.
A few weeks after breaking up with my boyfriend of a little under a year, a faint blue line appeared on a pregnancy test taken in a grocery store bathroom.
I was scared, and we both had no idea what to do; but all that I knew was that this little life inside of me depended on me to care for it, fight for it, nurture it, and love it; and I loved it more than I had ever loved anything.
About a week after finding out that I was pregnant, I started bleeding heavily. I almost had to be rushed to the ER twice in the few days before I sought formal medical attention.
I was informed that fetal demise had occurred around 7 weeks gestation, about a week before the actual miscarriage, and that was why the blue line was so faint.
This caused me deeper pain than anything else that had ever happened in my life, and even though that boy and I got back together, he offered no emotional support. He dealt with his pain by shutting off and shutting everyone else out; including me.
I became extremely depressed. My grades dropped even lower than my C- average.
One day, a couple of weeks after the miscarriage, when I was struggling to stay awake in a class I hated, a girl I was acquainted with handed me a little white pill.
I was informed that it was a generic brand of Adderall, and upon doing a quick internet search, I confirmed that it was indeed a combination of amphetamine salts and dextroamphetamine.
So, I said “screw it” and popped the 45mg.
Within minutes, I felt a change occurring.
I breezed through all of my classwork and missing assignments (I had about 30 of those). A warm, calm feeling flooded through my chest and I felt…happy. For the first time in a very long time.
As time went on, I continued to abuse Adderall.
I noticed the belly pooch that served as a constant reminder of the baby I lost going away, replaced by jutting hipbones and ribs.
I lost friends, permanently damaged my relationships, and I didn’t like who I was becoming; so I quit cold turkey. At that time, I was snorting 90mg a day.
For the whole 5 months I was sober, I constantly craved Adderall. It was unbearable. I was just as depressed sober as I was addicted.
October 5th would’ve been my baby’s due date. Everything was 1000x worse that day, and I couldn’t take it anymore.
A close friend of mine was selling Adderall XRs and IRs, so I cracked and relapsed that morning. I shut my eyes, sat back, and let the pills paint my brain in dopamine.
About a month into me using again, I was railing 60mg a day and eating maybe a granola bar or two a day.
I looked like a walking corpse, and my doctor confirmed this when he told me that my kidneys were failing.
From there, I cut back a bit, but I couldn’t stop using. Adderall was my lover, and I couldn’t let go.
What made me want to try to get clean the 2nd time around was a combination of a few things:
1) One of my close friends confessed his love for me by saying, “I wish you wouldn’t take those pills. How am I supposed to marry you one day if you’re not here?” I didn’t choose to date him, but his words still shook me.
2) Another friend of mine showed me a picture of a woman with an eating disorder, and she told me I looked just like her and she begged me to stop using.
3) My mom came into my room one night, confronted me about snorting Adderall, and begged me to stop before I killed myself.
4) A close friend of mine and I reconnected. I told him about my drug use, and he proceeded to explain the chemical compounds of Adderall vs. Meth; and how if I kept using, I was going to die
All of this happened over the course of a few days.
So with that, I stopped cold turkey again, and started dating the friend from no.4.
But this time, at the 2nd week, I didn’t want to use ever again. I was happy clean; I was happy with him. So why start again?
But alas, on week 3, I was constantly on the brink of relapsing again.
I didn’t know why I wanted it, but I did more than anything. My craving for this drug ruined my relationship, and that’s where things got bad again.
When we broke up, I was devastated to say the least.
This person had been the one I turned to for everything over the past two years. It was as if he was made for me, and I screwed it all up.
A few days after we broke up, I relapsed; and around midnight, I guess I snorted one too many lines because I was so dizzy and my heart was irregularly pounding out of my chest.
When the left side of my upper body started going numb and tingly with random shots of pain, I decided to call him (he knew a lot about medical stuff and knew what to do in this sort of situation). He calmed me down enough to keep me from going into cardiac arrest, but I still felt like a failure.
I had done this all to myself.
I had destroyed our relationship, severed friendships, wrecked my body (I was at 108lbs and only 5ft3 with all of my body fat in my butt and my boobs), and hurt my family so badly with my addiction.
Enough was enough.
I told my mother the next day what had happened.
I cut ties with the “friend” who continued to sell to me when my kidneys were failing and nearly killed me. I had hit my rock bottom, and I was never going back to that evil little pill again.
Withdrawal was the very definition of Hell.
Constant cold sweats and shakes, I couldn’t even keep down water, constantly drifting in and out of sleep, horrible depression, this withdrawal was worse than any other time I had tried to quit. Even cigarettes lost their appeal.
But I toughed through it, and now here I am, 38 days clean.
As I write this, I am a few days away from finally getting into a rehab facility.
They never tell you how hard it is to get help; it’s taken me 30 days to get admitted into rehab and get my financial affairs in order (REHAB IS EXPENSIVE!).
All of the other times, I was too stubborn to admit that I needed help; and now that I have and I am getting it, I have never felt more free.
Yes, I still have some symptoms of withdrawal (they never tell you in the media that you end up with sores everywhere), but I am in a much better place than I was on Adderall.
If you are reading this and you are using Adderall, GET HELP NOW.
It is never too early or too late!
If you are reading this because you suspect that someone you know is abusing prescription amphetamines, do what you can to get them help too! Tell their parent or something; they’ll hate you now, but thank you later.
Adderall has ruined my life, and I don’t want to see anyone ever have to go down the path I went down.
If it takes me telling my story to prevent even one kid from swallowing that little pill their classmate offered them, then I am happy to tell every gory detail.