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Desperate to end ADDERALL addiction!

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  • Desperate to end ADDERALL addiction!

    I am so thankful I found this forum with lots of caring people who know what it is like to suffer from medication withdrawal unlike the doctors prescribing the medications. At 19 my parents pressured me into getting on adderall for my grades. Before this I had been on numerous other ADD meds to no effect and from the beginning I was against being on any drugs mostly for the fact that I was never diagnosed with ADD. Prior to adderall I was a happy person regardless of what my grades were. I had no addictive tendencies. I drank relatively little. I had never had a single cigarette. Somehow the doctor ended up giving me an adderall script and started me at 60mg a day. That is right. Someone who does not even technically have ADD was prescribed over the average starting dose of 20mg, therefore I built up a tolerance to the drug and in less than a year was being prescribed 80mg. The drug worked good for a year and then the advantages wore off. Luckily I have managed to never take more than 100mg of the drug in any one day so while I definitely know I am addicted to it I am lucky in that I haven't taken as high as dosages as some people I hear taking. I can't believe how many mg's some patients are prescribed but regardless I have horrible side effects that have gotten the worst in the sixth year I have been on this medication. I have learned that tourettes/tic like symptoms are a possible side effect of this med and im embarassed to say that every day in this last year I have struggled with making involuntary noises in my throat. Keeping friends and family from hearing these weird sounds is hard enough but what really sucks is when I wear out my throat so much that eventually it becomes sore. Eventually I am forced into popping my ears constantly and I want nothing more than to be off this damn medication I never wanted on in the first place. It is so very frustrating and while I know it seems ridiculous I promise you it is the truth. I have tried getting off the med and have noticed that the tics/tourettes go away. Unfortunately in the six years I have been on the med, a week, is the longest I have made it in the withdrawal period. I desperately want off this drug more than anything and am appreciative to seek any help anyone might offer to help me. I have tried several times cold turkey after being unable to taper. However I have not been on other meds in the past to help me. My doctor is now reccomending cymbalta and provigil but says cymbalta is habit forming and I also need something that wont make me sleepy. I have heard after the two weeks it gets much better and often you are back to normal. People frustrate me when they tell me they dont understand why I cant make it two weeks. They don't know what it is like getting off this med but I know there has got to be something. My friend was struggling with adderall addiction and finally came out of it after going on a two week family vacation to europe. His family had planned it to where he was moving daily and constantly involved in some museum tour or excursion to where he was forced into being out of the hotel room each morning. He was also on a very expensive vacation that was on the other side of a damn ocean, forcing him to go two full weeks without the meds. Thanks to being with his family these two weeks in beautiful locales he says there were few moments when he really noticed being off it and when getting home he got on a small dose of an antidepressant but it has been two years and the adderall is history with him. WELL unfortunately my family is not loaded and even if I could get away for two weeks I sure as hell can't get to a foreign country. Therefore this option is out until I win the lottery lol. But I know there are more ways to kick an adderall habit and I am going to listen to any advice you may have on treatment. Anyone who has been in this situation who is doing well now please let me know what it was that helped you. I will appreciate anything you have for me!!!

  • #2
    i am considering provigil but was curious as to why it is so damn costly, frustrating. Is cymbalta easy to get off of if I use it to help with the adderall withdrawal? Also Im reading that it makes you sleepy but I thought it is supposed to give you energy. Thanks for any suggestions you have!


    • #3
      If anyone is reading this post and has any info. PLEASE share. I am now on my twelfth day of being sober. In 6 years 12 days is the longest I have ever gone without adderall and I desperately want off this EVIL pill. I have my energy back but am wondering when i will get the excitement back from doing things like watching tv and reading. I still am suffering from boredom.


      • #4
        ok i guess no one is ever going to reply, kinda frustrating.


        • #5

          Sorry to see nobody has helped you yet, hopefully you see this.
          This is what I would recommend in terms of supplements for at LEAST two weeks:
          -B Complex
          -Bee Pollen
          -Velvet Beans (LDopa)
          -A general herbal cleanse product (black cohosh, saw palmetto, etc.)

          These can all be picked up at your local Whole Foods, or a well-stocked Walgreens (except, I think, Velvet Beans at Walgreens).

          Get your sleep, obviously, the first few days. After two or three days, force yourself to work out for at least a half hour per day- it is sometimes very satisfying to do this on the rare occassion that you feel hungry (as I am expecting you will have little appetite). Obviously, don't push too hard if you are not well-nourished, but the 30 minute workout will increase your appetite even more and you will net a nice nap after the meal. Off time: video games or friends, whatever your thing is.

          Let me know if you have any other questions.


          • #6
            Forgot more useful things that you'll want on-hand:
            -Green Tea (revitalizing)
            -Ibuprofen (muscle aches)
            -Excedrin (headaches)
            -Benadryl (headaches, sleep aid, takes the "edge off")
            -Epsom Salt or frizzy, girly boutique bath bombs if you can find them. obvious.
            -MILK (or your friendly milk substitute) (it's easier to drink your calories than eat them, also calms the stomach)
            -Pepto Bismol

            IF YOU TRUST YOURSELF (not recommended, but if desperation strikes):
            -Mild Benzodiazepine (i.e. .5mg clonazepam, you don't want any problems with this stuff, nor to be taking it daily)
            -Marijuana (if you really, really, really, really have no appetite and can keep your priorities in order)


            • #7
              Originally posted by RTHill1982 View Post
              At 19 my parents pressured me into getting on adderall for my grades.
              I just noticed this post, and...

              I am absolutely shocked at this statement. Your parents pressured you into taking adderall to raise your grades? Do they even know what Adderall is?

              And what about your doctor? If you don't have ADD, then why did he prescribe Adderall? Doctors arent supposed to prescribe amphetamines so kids can raise their grades. If what you said is true, your Dr should have his license pulled. Adderall is a schedule II substance, and as you have now found out, not to be taken lightly.
              I'm also shocked that your Dr. started you out on such a high dose at 60mg/day! What was his justification for tripling the normal starting dose?

              You were 19 when you started it, and been taking it for 6 years? So now you are 25? And during this 6 year period has your doctor mentioned any medical reason why he is keeping you on this high dose of Adderall?
              You know, it's funny that your Dr is reluctant to put you on Cymbalta because it's "habit forming"... and you've been on Adderall for 6 years...

              My advice to you is simple:
              #1. Don't let your parents (or anyone) pressure you with medication for a non-medical reason. It's your own damn body.
              #2. Find another doctor.
              Last edited by Anonymous; 05-24-2008, 03:28 PM. Reason: sp?


              • #8
                I'm sure you have already tried this option but you could slowly lower your dose as to wean yourself off so your withdrawal will not be as severe. Also, I'm pretty sure that stopping Adderall "cold turkey" is never a good idea (unless no other methods have worked) since your body is used to having such a high dose you are essentially hitting a brick wall when you immediately stop medication.

                A gradual decrease in medication will present you with speed bumps rather than walls which should allow you to quit much easier. If you do decide to gradually decrease your medication and want to take smaller steps than your pills allow (since you are NOT on XR) you can always acquire a pill cutter(sold at most drug stores) and create a smaller dose by cutting them into pieces.

                If you lower your dose by 10 mg daily, depending on how much your body reacts to this adjustment in dose, you could stay at that dose for a week or so until you don't feel like you are experiencing withdrawal ( AKA "leveling off") and then you would repeat the process until you are drug free. The step size may vary depending on the person but will usually get smaller as the dose decreases.

                Example: when you near 20-40 mg daily, a 10 mg step size would be cutting a MUCH higher percent than a 10 mg step size at 100 mg daily.

                Hope this helps...
                It would also be a good idea , in conjunction with gradually lowering your medication, to follow some of c3d4r's recommendations, especially getting the correct amount of sleep (this means having a somewhat regular bedtime which will help regulate your circadian rhythm) and also to work out regularly (try for everyday, but at least 5 days a week) alternating the parts of your body that you exercise so you don't overwork yourself. I've found that, if you prefer not to body build, daily cardio workout is still a great way to keep you feeling physically and mentally fit. On my "drug holidays" from 50 mg daily (not much but it still has a somewhat nasty withdrawal effect on extended "drug holidays") the best thing that I have found to do is cardio workout and actually eating a balanced diet,which I normally don't do since I am a student. Green Tea is a good drink of choice because it gives you energy and should aid in the detox process.

                Inserted Quote from Dr. Tony Zimbardi, PsyD, LMFT
                "...not taking care of your body through long term substance use/misuse can lead to mental disorders (e.g., Methamphetamine abuse can cause permanent damage to neurotransmitters like Serotonin), depletion of Serotonin can leave one left with clinical depression. Likewise, taking care of one’s body (e.g., regular cardio-vascular activity through exercise) raises endorphins, which gives a natural sense of euphoria and leaves you feeling good about yourself. The condition your body is in, absolutely has an effect on your mental state. Take care of your body and your mind will feel better too."

                Good Luck!


                • #9
                  last year you posted

                  I googled adderall because I take some med combos (adderall/xanax and lamictal) I can't seem to get away from and found this thread. I was wondering if you still read here and if you ever found a way to get off adderall.


                  • #10
                    I share your pain

                    My prescribing practitioner just recently let me know via V.M. that he can no longer prescribe. With dosages of Adderall at least double the dose in addition to Vyvanse, it has lead me to the path of withdrawal. I saw another doctor recently who let me know the dosages I was taking were way beyond the recommended dosages and within 3 days severe depression starts...tics...anxiety. I am determined though to stay away from this terrible drug and am posting in hopes that I save someone else from taking incorrect dosages. Please make certain to research the recommended dosages for the addictive drugs you are being prescribed. Otherwise, you will feel the pain of withdrawal to its fullest....

                    My thoughts are with you if you are also suffering.


                    • #11
                      You and I have a very similar situation. I am very curious to know how you are doing now? Please message me if you are able. Thank you.


                      • #12
                        adderall user/abuser/addict

                        Okay, so when I started messing around with alcohol and drugs at the age of 13 but the first time i tried adderall was freshmen year of high school. It made me feel such a strong sense of self-satisfaction and made me want to embrace the world and everyone and everything in it. It was a slow process of becoming an adderall addict especially since my mother would never take me to a psychiatrist or counselor despite my pleas for helps (i was struggling in so many ways but not because of adderall, if anything i abused drugs in order to self-medicate) I would get my friends presciptions and take the drug recreationally, never for schoolwork or for an any purpose other than to feel that high. When i began college, i was more dependent on aderall than ever. Surprisingly i felt that adderall cured my nervous energy because it made me feel like i was capable of accomplishing anything and so going into college with little support from anyone in my life, i thought the drug was a necessity. My freshman year i never expected college to be as demanding as it was,not just because of the workload but because of the separation of familarity and need to grow as a person. I began taking adderall heavily, begginy my boyfriend of one year to get it from students at high school. This is when things in my life began to spiral downward and as much as I want to believe they have flat-lined I couldnt imagine going more than two days without taking the drug. As my connectioned dwindled outside of school, i somehow managed to find them on campus. I could tell by someones behavior and mannerisms that they either were prescribed the drug or were getting it from somewhere else. I ended up losing over 30 lbs, and I was already only about 140 lbs, 5'4, I began experiencing paranoia, mania, aggression, and psychosis. I lost my boyfriend to because of the drug, because of the way i treated him while on it. The summer after college, i made the decision to get off adderall. It took me longer than two weeks, it literally took me almost half the summer to feel healthy enough to be an active member of society again. I slept for days and days and even peed my bed at one point because i could not physically get up from my bed. I would only get up to pee, eat and then right back to sleep. i wasnt even awake long enough to feel depressed. When my mothr finally had enough of my be "laziness" i got a job for the rest of the summer. I was miserable and depressed and unhappy, and i think a lot of that was the psychological and emotional effects of withdrawal from the drug. When I got back to school, i stopped taking adderall but developed a heavy drinking problem and my depressed, erratic, irrational behavior remained. The summer going into my junior year was the most depressing heart wrenching summer of my life because i was forced to not numb myself and had to soberly face my life and deal with my problems. The first half of my junior year was hell because of my inability to deal with my emotions without drugs and I started using again. I finally sought professional help, but it was reallly just motivated by my addiction to get adderall as a prescription. I was able to coerce my doctor into giving me the drug. He then took me off of it because he knew i did not have ADHD but was using it for my depression as I expressed to him it was my only coping mechanism while in school. I currently am prescribed to take threee, 20 mg tabs of adderall a day...well as i write this, i have been up for an entire 24 hours already and have taken more than i can even count. I stopped counting the amount i pop in my mouth a day, i am to afraid to calculate and i am beginning to feel the physical side effects more and more. my body parts fall asleep al the time, my vision and hearing is eratic, the scariest is that i can feel pains in the area of my heart frequently and i have been breaking out in pimples and rashes all over my face, arms, legs, buttocks and other places of my body. I look a mess and i want to stop and i know its possible but i've done it before so it deters me to stop again because when i did i didn't go back to "normal" i went back to the same pain i have always felt and have never been able to cope with or overcome. I want help so badly but sometimes i feel the help i need is beyond the drug and the addiction to it, perhaps its the reasons why i am so dependent on it, perhaps why i am being self-destructive with it, I just want to be happy and at peace with myself and although adderall has been the cause of so much loss in my life, it has also been the one stable thing that has helped me cope
                        Last edited by Anonymous; 02-25-2010, 01:47 PM.


                        • #13
                          lilallie88, your thread..I felt like I was reading my life exactly..

                          I would really like to talk to you because it our siutations are exactly the same!!


                          • #14
                            Adderall/ Vyvanse Addiction

                            I was prescribed Adderall to treat ADD and depression in October of 2009. The starting dose was 30mg. I took only the amount perscribed. I instantly was very motivated at work and excelled very much. However in the evenings when it wore off i was more depressed. I told that to the doctor and they said that it was the comedown (crash) and switched me to 50mg of Vyvanse. Vyvanse would supposedly not have a crash, it was controlled release. But i did crash, it would happed at 10pm at night and it was worse than the Adderall crash. I becaome suicidal. After a week I was put back one Adderall, this time 45mg daily in divided doses.

                            There were many days I took less than prescribed. The doctor and his staff told me that Adderall was not addictive, but I couldn't go one day without taking it. would have no motivation or energy to do anything, and my life is busy and requires me to be able to function everyday. As time went on I grew to hate Adderall. I became obsessive, zombielike and started picking my face. I began to look like "Faces of Meth" with sunk in cheekbones. My jaw was so tense, my neck ached and I could not stop working after hours. I was so obsessive, spending hours on the internet, hours picking my face. I could not pull myself away from whatever activity I was working on. I became socially withdrawn and more depressed.

                            I stopped going to the doctor by December 2009 and planned to stop Adderall when the prescription ran out. I couldn't stop. I have the leftover Vyvanse (three weeks worth) and took it every other day. On off Vyvance days I would lay in bed crying hysterically after I got off work. I tried to go longer than a day without it and I couldn't because of the lethargy and depression. On days I took Vyvanse I was nearly psycotic and hallucinating slightly. Right before the Vyvanse ran out called the doctors office and the prescribed me 30 10mg Adderall for me to used to wean myself off. By this time it was February 2010. It didn't work. I had to take at least 20mg a day to be able to function. I was so unable to stop than I thought of getting another prescription and staying the Adderall I hated so much for the rest of my life, just to avoid the withdrawl. The pills ran out fast.

                            I went through absolute hell when the pills were finally gone, but I wanted to stop Adderall so desperately. By day 3 without any pills I was suicidal, couldn't take care of my son or myself. I had a constant fever. And work was worse. It took all my strength to lift my arm to reach over to the printer to take the paper out. I had no energy to kill myself, so I started thinking lazy suicide plans. I wanted to drive my car into the ocean and let the water just take me away, that was about all I could do. On day 4 I didn't care if I went to work, didn't care if I was fired and hadn't showered in days.

                            I woke up about one hour after I was supposed to be at work, and a friend called offering me painkillers. I was so depressed and suicidal that I took up the offer and as soon as those pills kicked in i felt normal again. I went straight to work and caught up on everything I fell behind on. I liked painkillers much better they helped my depression and helped me focus much better than Adderall. Obviously I quickly became addicted to pain meds but I figured if I had to be addicted to something, it might as well be something I actually enjoyed taking.

                            Of course there is one problem with maintaining an addiction to painkillers. Tolerance. My supply the first week costs $30, but within two months I had a $60 a day habit. I was going broke fast. So this week I started Suboxone treatment. Sure it costs a fortune but it sure beat paying $420 a week buying pill off the street. When I went through 24 hours of withdrawl before my first dose of Subutex I was suprised how quickly I had become physically dependant. And although I have to take responsibility for my addiction, I know this would never had happened if I had never started Adderall.

                            I feel bad and have alot of work to do before I get back to normal, but I honestly prefer withdrawing from painkillers than to Adderall withdrawl because I was so depressed and suicidal stopping Adderall/Vyvanse. At least now I have the will to live and care if I keep my job. I hope my story makes someone think twice before starting stimulant medication, my experience was pure hell. Maybe someone else might not have depression or an addictive personality, but I don't think it's worth the risk of finding out if the same thing could happen. This almost killed me.
                            Last edited by Anonymous; 05-08-2010, 05:00 PM.


                            • #15
                              just want to stay sober and finish school

                     I've been diagnosed with adhd, gad (generalized anxiety disorder) mdd (major depressive disorder) I took prozac when I was 12 for a little while, but that young, I thought taking meds was embarrassing and shameful--just admitting to there being something wrong with, I thought my mood swings were normal...i fought constantly w/,my parents and was them not me..right? (not!) then in hig school I was prescribed dexedrine for adhd..i don't think I took enough bc I remember feeling so down and irritable. I've never thought I was good at anything and I always thought I was ugly. THIS SOUNDS SO SAD!!!! I'm sorry but I didn't have any friends I could open up to. I was quiet and shy. I had no boobs so I wore baggy clothes all the time. I had my son and had post partum bad so I stood up and owned up to my depression & got on wellbutrin (i had tried lexapro and it didn't help) oh yes..therapy too lots of that. The wellbutrin helped me & I went back 2 school and for the first time had a 4.0 to a 3.6 for 2 yrs while being a mom working part time and putting up with my sons father being an asshole to me. Finally, I was put on effexor w/ the wellbutrin which worked sooo well..then I got the courage to leave my ex-fiance..this was very hard school MY SON trying to pay adhd started up and my doc prescribed me adderalll 60 mg a day. Adderall screwed me up bc it made me feel so good so happy but I put myself 1st instead of my boy and his dad filed for custody (and got bc I signed him over so I could finish school) but I got so depressed again... I felt like my kid was the onlu person who loved me and needed me. I've relapsed on adderall 4 x the last 7 mos. But I work full time and see my kid once a week and talk on the phone evday. I feel so bad bc my whole life ie failed and I failed at being a mom. I have no self efficacy , and doubt I will ever finish school bc I get distracted from the stress.. I just wanna get my nursinf degree and get my son back. I need to go back on anti depressants too. Can anyone be encouraging to me?