Growing up, I swore I’d never end up like my dad: hooked up methamphetamine and homeless.
I remember my first year of college: I earned all A’s and B’s, without ever hearing of Adderall.
It wasn’t until I met my friend, who was majoring in premed and had all A’s.
One day, while studying, I complained to him that I couldn’t focus, and he handed me this white pill with blue specks.
He said, “just take it.”
Addiction is something everyone has experience with. Whether you have suffered from an addiction or know someone who has, you know how lifechanging they can be. Everything can disappear if the addict doesn’t seek help from friends, family, or rehab centres. From alcohol to prescription drugs, it’s always harrowing to hear how someone became addicted because every story is different but all follow the same trend.
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 had a background in medicine so he could understand agonal breathing and knew what to do in this sort of emergency situation). He calmed me down enough to keep me from going into cardiac arrest, but I still felt like a failure. Almost going into cardiac arrest was terrifying, I felt so woozy and my chest was very tight.
I had done this all to myself though.
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.