My story is a bit extreme and strange. Hopefully, it can help others see that their situation may not be so bad, or whatever.
I started my Adderall/amphetamine addiction when a friend gave me one of his 50 mg Vyvanse when I was around 19-20. The high, focus and mental clarity were astounding, and I surpassed all of my work and social expectations. However, I noticed it has a similar effect to MDMA.
I never got hooked on MDMA because I loved it so much. I knew I would get caught, so I rarely did it, maybe twice a year. But over time, my addicted mind began to think of excuses to use Vyvanse, such as “It’s a controlled, prescribed medication” & “It’s not made in a bathtub, it’s OK.” So, slowly but surely, Vyvanse became a regular thing.
It started as a party drug; I would go to a lot of raves and underground parties 1-2 hours away from home. So my addict mind created the thought of, “If I take it at the [x] time, I will be able to stay up for the long drive home and be able to go to sleep by the time I’m home.” It worked fine, I felt great, no hangover, slept fine.
Then I took on another job and began working weekends. So, I would take it late at night, go to bed around 4 am, and then wake up at 7 am, pop another Vyvanse for work, take it throughout the day, then party until 4 am again, then crash all day Sunday.
Over time, the effects of not sleeping daily leaked into my weekdays. I was working as a CNA in a nursing home during the week, and I felt groggy and tired. So, I would take it on Mondays as a pick-me-up to get over the weekend hump. It worked great.
Then I noticed it felt like the ground beneath my feet was shaking at times and I felt unsteady. I was young and stupid and thought, “Man, this is a kick ass high lmao.” I told my friends, they got a kick out of it. This behavior continued for about two years.
After two years, I graduated from strictly Vyvanse to whatever prescription amphetamine I could get my hands on, seeing as my consumption became an everyday habit. Eventually, I got my hands on Adderall, and I fell in love.
If I took enough, it was like a mild MDMA, and I could stay awake in a good mood for hours. Also, after 2-3 years of this drug consumption, my mind began to warp. I was already a club promoter, and I loved being up all night, being social, and engaging in risky behavior as those are side effects of Adderall.
Eventually, the risky behavior & confidence that comes with it got the best of me, and I had sex with my boss at the nursing home, and I bragged about it. Eventually, the whole place knew, her husband found out, it was a huge mess and I had to quit. At the same time, my cousin opened up a bar and needed a bartender; I took the position.
Now, four nights out of the week, I was mixing Adderall and alcohol. The behavior that comes with this combination varies per person, and for me, it gave me a feeling of extreme confidence combined with a short temper. Not an excellent combination.
On my 22nd birthday, I was bartending at the bar, and I got piss drunk and blacked out, started puking, and was let go. I now had no job and was desperate for money so that I could get more Adderall and function normally. At this point, I needed it to get out of bed.
Here’s where it starts to get weird. I saw an ad on Craigslist for a bartender position at a gay bar, and the ad said, “Must be comfortable working in underwear.” I was and am straight, but the adderall gave me the risky behavior, confidence, and warped my way of thinking, so I justified it being OK to do this so I could make more money, get more adderall, and drink for free again.
Needless to say, a bunch of weird shit went down and I was OK with it because I was high all the time. I had sex with random girls in the backroom during my shift, would let people put singles down my underwear, got naked almost every night, the list goes on, and I made a lot of money.
One night, the owner of the bar invited some male strippers down to the bar. I talked to them, and they were cool. They said I could 100% get a job at the strip club they worked at, and they could get me Adderall. It happened at the same time the gay bar I was working at got shut down because of me.
Flash back to my boss I had sex with from the nursing home, she came in one night, and I was, of course, high on Adderall and piss drunk, so I got up on the bar and made her, and her two friends put my penis in her mouth. Needless to say, this behavior was unacceptable, particularly in a gay bar.
Moving forward, at this time I was getting at least 2-4 hours of sleep a night on the weekends, so at least I was still sleeping. I began working at the strip club, and being the only white stripper in a club of mostly Puerto Rican and Black clientele/strippers; I became very popular very fast. Naturally, there were also a lot of drugs readily available, especially Adderall, and a lot of it was free seeing as everybody wanted to have sex with me.
Being straight, it made me more of a ‘commodity,’ so I had as many free drugs as I wanted. Combine that with the popularity, the women, the alcohol, the after parties, waking up in strange places not knowing where I was or what happened the night before; it felt pretty great at the time.
Then the next stage of addiction began to take hold; paranoid. I was convinced that the FBI was going to raid the strip club because the strippers would always do extras [oral sex with customers, hand jobs, etc.] in the back rooms. There were whispers of under covers, and I noticed billboards saying “STOP FBI CORRUPTION” around the city.
One night, 5 or 6 strippers were arrested on the spot for selling drugs in the club, and I left in the middle of my shift, and never went back. I deleted all social media accounts of my stripper alter ego and went underground for a few weeks. I alienated my family thinking they would notice I was on drugs, including my younger siblings and parents who I love so much.
I was ashamed to see them. I did not want them to see what I had become. I had 3 other jobs I was working waiting tables and bartending, so I picked up extra shifts at those and focused on finishing school. [I forgot to mention I was going to school at the time as well. I was working four jobs while finishing a medical degree, one of the big reasons why my addiction grew so rapidly.]
My erratic, irresponsible, and over the top behavior led to my expulsion from school. I was in the clinical portion of my program, meaning the classes were up to me to schedule and I did not schedule enough classes to graduate in time. So, this left me with no career, no job, and what seemed like three years wasted.
In comes the next chapter of my adult life, which intensified my addiction further; E-Commerce & Miami. I learned quickly the power of selling things online. Instead of working four jobs to make $100/day, I was sitting at a computer for 8-10 hours making $200/day. Sometimes, I didn’t even have to work, and I would still make that money.
I made enough money to save up for a deposit on an apartment and moved with my best friend at the time to South Beach, and continued my downward spiral even further. At this point, I could afford to wake up, drink Jameson on the rocks, smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, and do as much Adderall as I pleased.
Then the wheels of my addiction began turning even more. I realized that if I took enough Adderall to stay up for 2-4 days straight, my sales were astronomical. I was making over $1,000/day. At the end of my benders, I would smoke a couple of joints, get a kick ass high, play around on the beach, and sleep for 24-32 hours. This behavior began as a once a month thing but slowly became more regular.
Then, the beginning of my saving grace occurred. I mixed bad LSD & bad MDMA and had an appalling trip. In the end, I watched the sun rise from my balcony, and realized that I was 24, was doing amphetamines for four years, & now is the time in my life where I need to make changes, or else I will wind up a junkie.
So right there, I quit cigarettes, drinking, and Adderall cold turkey. That same week, I took my first yoga class, and my teacher would later become my current girlfriend. This yoga class changed my life, and I began going every day. After three weeks I realized yoga gave me a better high than any drug I’ve ever done. You would think this is the end, and I wish it were.
My sales began to plummet; I could barely afford rent, yoga class, and food. So, I convinced myself that small doses of Adderall to focus on work were OK. It worked great for about 6-8 weeks. I would wake up, do yoga, lift weights, take a nap, wake up, take 15 mg, work until 9-10 pm, smoke a joint, and then wake up and do it all over again.
Unfortunately, my tolerance built up; I doubled my dose which led me to stay up later, which led me to not waking up for yoga, then I fell right back into it. But this time, I was surrounded by people doing Adderall 24/7.
The difference with my addiction before was I would only take it partying and working. I could go 2-3 days without it and rest at home. But now, living in Miami, my apartment was always a party, and all of my friends were in e-commerce staying up for days. To top it off, Christmas season was approaching. So I ditched my healthy lifestyle for my addiction and money.
This time, with more experience in the industry, the money came flying in. I was regularly making over $5,000 a day. But this time, instead of pulling 2-4 day benders once in a while, it became an every day(s) thing. I would be up for 2-3 days, sleep for only 4-6 hours, wake up, pop 30 mg XR with a 30 mg instant release, and get back to it. I was a complete wreck. My eyes became dark and drawn in; my muscle was lost, my pupils were consistently huge. Throw in the stress of managing over $35,000-$50,000 a week; it got pretty bad.
Flash back to the yoga teacher; a mutual friend mentioned she might be interested in me. I immediately re-evaluated my life. This woman was a GODDESS to me. Imagine your favorite celebrity being interested in you. Now her being a yoga instructor, I knew I either had to end my habits or hide them. Being an addict, I hide them. But, as any addict knows, eventually your addiction will rear its ugly head, and it did.
It was the day after Christmas, and at this time she was my steady girlfriend and knew I was doing Adderall, but not to the extent that I was doing it. But to love her, I needed to respect her, and I cannot respect her without respecting myself. So, I took her to my bathroom, held her hand, and flushed the remainder of Adderall I had down the toilet. I had made my money for Christmas; I no longer needed the drugs.
I moved out of the building with all of my friends doing drugs so I could get away from it and be with her. That was amazing for three weeks. The withdrawals were tough, but I had the money and began doing yoga again, so it wasn’t that bad. Then, a familiar pattern began again. My sales were down, and my bank account was getting dangerously low.
I was funding a lavish lifestyle for us and was convinced that I could take 3 weeks off of work and pick right back up to making $5,000 a day again. Well, I was wrong. I was losing money every day, combine this with the withdrawals and pressure of having to maintain that lifestyle I made regular for us, I succumbed to my addict mind again. Just like last time, I took it in small doses, but my tolerance was high, by the 3rd day I was taking 45 mg a day again, resulting in irregular sleep patterns.
When I went to my dealer to re-up, one of my e-commerce colleagues who I used to pull binders with was there. It was 11:00 at night, and I was just going to re-up and leave. But he knew how much I loved pulling binders, and would not let me exit the apartment until I took a 30 mg XR.
I could have easily pushed thru, but I succumbed to my addict mind and took it, leading to a 2-day bender and a distraught girlfriend. I couldn’t see her; she would know I was high, so I made excuses. She knew it was all horse shit and was mad at me for days, but did not leave me.
The following week was hell. I was crashing from the bender, all of my money was gone, I had no friends to lean on, and I had no other skills to make money. I cried alone for three days straight I did not want anyone to see how pathetic I had become, or always was.
Now it is the week after and I am having incredible mood swings, thoughts of leaving everything and everyone behind, and doing Adderall again to stay up longer and make more money. I am reading books on self-improvement and staying around positive people, but the addiction I had was so intense for so long it feels like I will always be an addict and there is no way out.
I know there is and I know I can overcome this. I am at a cross road where I can go back to taking Adderall, stay up for days & make a lot of money again but lose my girlfriend in the process, or do it all sober & keep my goddess. I don’t know what to do or where to go. I oversleep regularly, have headaches every day when I never had them, get random strong urges to eat a lot of food, then sometimes have an over the top euphoria.
All of my sharp business ideas and friends are now gone. After writing that dramatic last paragraph, I suddenly have a strong sense of euphoria and confidence and feel like I can do this no problem. This cycle is every couple of hours. I will go from this to throwing things against the wall.[Note violence is never directed towards anyone, especially my girlfriend. It is exerted when alone.] I have done this to myself and will overcome it. When I feel like I have completely recovered, I will post again. To anyone else out there with an addiction, you can do it. Read books about Wim Hof, it helps.