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Old 07-13-2007, 05:44 PM   #1
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Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

I am so tired of people saying that Ritalin is not addictive. I have been to six rehabs to try and kcik this drug and nothing seems to work!

This hell began about four years ago when my doctor prescribed the drug for me. I took a low dose for about a year and I had no problem. I would not take the drug on the weekends and at that time my body seemed fin without it.

The trouble began when I read a magazine article about teenagers crushing and snorting the drug. The article also stated that the powder gives you a "rush" like speed or other amphetamines.

So, I tried it and loved the euphoric feeling it gave me. From that minute on I was hooked. I began to snort up to 200mg a day. Sometimes I would go over this limit. I had to have it the second I woke up. OVer the years my tolerance built up and I could not go without the drug for 15-30 minutes without getting irratible uncomfortable. At this time I was seeing three doctors so I could keep a supply. I was averageing 90 20mg tabs in 4-5 days.

Finally, fear of a heart attack or stroke made me admit to my doctor what I was doing. He suggested I go into the hospital for detox and then go to a residential treatment center for 30 days. I took his advice.

I could not handle the depression that ensued.Once the drug cleared my system I became so weak and suicidally depressed. I would sit around and cry all of the time. It was total hell. The crazy thing is that I went through this scenario six times. After all these rehabs I could not kick the drug. Nothing seemed to help. I could not handle life without feeling "sped up."

Today, I take an anti-psychotic, two anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer. I really messed up the biochemistry of my brain and exacerbated my pre-existing depression. I also take one Concerta a day which is the time release form of the drug. My husband keeps them and rations them to me daily. I no longer snort the drug, but I do not know if I will be Ritalin-free.

It angers me that this issue is not discussed more often. I have read many posts from other ADD/ADHD and health forums stating that the drug is non-addictive and not an amphetamine. This is false information. I really think more people suffer the same problem, but do not admit it.

Hope this helps someone and prevents them from going down the same path I did.

 
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:09 PM   #2
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Re: Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

Hi Elixa,

I am really glad you posted about this! I'm an addict that has abused alot of stuff, but not ritalin. I have, however, known of this for years and you are so right, it is a huge problem, especially with kids. It's really predominant in the high schools. And you are right, alot of people (many parents unfortunately) are clueless about this.

I have done this same thing with Wellbutrin. And how did I find out about it? From a grapevine stemming from kids! It's really sad! I've always been afraid to address it quite honestly, because it's never been brought up and I know there are 'lurkers' here who are just looking for drug ideas. I remember once snorting about 60+- pills in two days and I didn't remember anything I did during this period. Very dangerous.

I am so glad you got off this stuff. It's just like amphetamines! Only worse, because like you said, it totally messes with our brain's chemistry.

How long have you been off it? Do you mind if I ask what meds you now take? I am interested in hearing about other people's experriences and what works for them because I am soon facing a detox from opiates. I know I will need to be on an anti-d.

Would love to hear more from you and thank you for bringing this up!
Shay

 
Old 07-16-2007, 11:49 AM   #3
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Re: Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

Thank you for sharing your story. I have a bad one also..........
I never took Ritalin, but i was on Adderall and i believe it has the same make-up. Adderall almost ruined my life.
Keep in mind please, i'm not speaking of those who take it for justified medical reasons.....i'm referring to those who abuse it or who do not have the correct DX that justifies it medically. Bcuz if taken when one doesn't ADD/ADHD, it can cause some very dangerous symptoms.
I never snorted it, i took it as directed by my doctor, and it STILL made my life a living hell. Of course i did not realize this while on it, bcuz i was so messed up mentally. Until i was finally off of it, did i look back and see how insane everything was. I suffer from depression, and while on it i became more depressed than i'd ever been. I felt suicidal many times.
I fought with everyone in my life, and these were not little fights....I would freak out and scream & curse at them for no reason at all. I became addicted to it bcuz it helped me lose weight and i liked not being tired all the time, as i was all the time before i took them.
But after a while, instead of helping with my energy level, i became so sleep-deprived that i was a walking zombie.
I'd stay up til 4-5am (even on work nights) and then when the weekend came, i'd sleep during sat/sun til 7pm and then stay up that night til 6am and do it all over again the next day. It was total insanity. And i began to notice that even though i was speedy and racing around, my brain chemistry was slowing down. It took me 10 times longer to finish a project at work. And i would TRY to get to bed at a decent hour, but the next thing i'd know, it would be the wee hours of morning.....yet i had NO IDEA what the heck i had been doing that was keeping me up so late.
My family finally intervened and sent me to rehab.
I slept straight thru the entire first 3days. At the time, i was also on Methadone for chronic pain, dr. prescribed also. And the weird thing is that my family didn't put me in rehab bcuz of the Methadone, bcuz i was taking a low dose and taking it as dr. prescribed. But the Adderall is what made me crazy.
After a few days in rehab, i started to remember all the strange and crazy things i'd done and said throught the past months. I was sickened over how i had acted. Needless to say, i had A LOT of amends to make.
Oh, i was wrongly prescribed Adderall bcuz i did not have ADD/ADHD. I was just tired from the Methadone, and my dr. handed me an RX for the Adderall. I thought i'd found a miracle drug! I was thrilled that there could possibly be something out there to solve all my worries.....help me function without fatigue AND help me lose weight (which i've always been insecure about).
I had NO idea until i was off the stuff of how bad it screwed with my brain.
And i had never been so depressed in my life. I've always had it under control with an SSRI. But during this time i can't even explain how deeply depressed i was. I was walking around extremely fatigued, very angry, very very sad, very messed up.....and i had no idea that it could be the drug i was on.
So hopefully this info. will help someone else out there. I'm glad you shared your story on Ritalin. I've been wanting to share this story bcuz it was such a major life-changing time in my life. And i'm lucky that i'm alive today bcuz i was THAT messed up from it. It is SO not worth even THINKING that this drug or Ritalin could be safe.

 
Old 07-16-2007, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

Hi Elixa,

Thanks for sharing your story, and thanks Shay and Maggie as well for sharing.


I totally believe that those 2 drugs are addicting. I personally have never taken either one of them but in the county that my friend lives in they have a thing called Drug Court.
Drug Court is for people who are repeat drug offenders that are on Probation and or Parole. They have to report for court once a week or evey other week.
Anyway my friend was given Adderal for Adhd and Drug Court told her that she could not take that prescription while in Drug Court because of it's addictive and amphetamine like properties.
I am not sure if they allow it to be taken in my county if you are in Drug Court, but I can see where they are coming from on this one.
Thanks for sharing...lots to learn from you guys...Chrissy

 
Old 07-16-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

Thanks everyone for your replies and support. I am SO glad you took a moment to read my story.

Six rehabs didn't kick me of the habit and I do not think there is a drug or doc that could or could have.

I finally had to be willing to quit and start a 12 step program. I had to look at all the pain (and feel it) I was trying to hide and cover up. "Being sped up" was just another way not to deal with my feelings or current situation.

I was hesitant to try NA or AA, but I finally did. I go to NA meetings and see a therapist on a regular basis. As I stated before I take anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer. These have really helped my depression. I realize not everybody needs them, but they have helped me immensely.

I was on Adderall too--it's just as bad in my opinion.

Again, thanks for speaking up and I was very glad to read your stories.



E

 
Old 07-16-2007, 06:04 PM   #6
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Re: Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

Hello Elizabeth

I am glad to see you posting here. Your story is an important one for sure. I am sure each us reading it will gather something important for our own personal use.

For me, your story is one that highlights that while detox is hell, it is the process of recovery that is the soul changing experience. Recovering from drug misuse does seem to lead all of us into a discovery time, a learning time that just has to be experienced to understand.

There are times since I have finished the last taper.. from Xanax... that I feel some frustration as I am still symptomatic from the withdrawal, although to steadily lesser degrees. So if I am edgy or can not fall asleep, I have to guard my anger when hubby or a family member says, "Just relax and you will fall asleep." IF the anger starts to surface because I can NOT do what they are suggesting, I quickly redirect my thoughts now to reminders that the words said to me are being said in love. I am getting that down pretty pat with lots of practice.

The new thing I have to get down pat may sound a little odd. I amso excited and happy in my restored life, I am so excited about new opportunities and discoveries everyday about myself, that it is hard to contain it sometimes. I have a hyped up enthusiasm about just about everything now. Chuckles. If I start talking about board friends or my new business venture, I get all excited and the family tells me, once again, to calm down. Hahahaha! So I am working to keep my voice even and my words slow. Gotta stop spilling out the thoughts and ideas too fast! Gotta
keep my balance.

All these things are parts of recovery and a restored life for me. Detox will never be anything but a horrible memory for me, but I am learning that recovery will simply never be a memory.... it will be an exciting, ongoing process for the rest of my life. I am not just recovering from drug use... I am recovering from losing my essence, my 'me' and I am more than willing to spend the rest of my life finding it to the fullest.

Thank you again for your story. It is a fantastic reinforcement of how worth it it is to detox and strive for recovery everyday of our lives.

In hope always
reach

 
Old 07-16-2007, 09:33 PM   #7
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Re: Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

Hi Elixa,

My friend just told me that she is back on ritilan. A different friend than the one I talked of when I replied to your post.

She is not overweight or anything, but she told me she was feeling a bit jacked up from them. We are pretty close and know a lot about eachother and she had never mentioned that she had been diagnosed with adhd or any of that.
She has had problems in the past with abusing laxitives and binging and perging and all sorts of other things.
After reading your post I told her about what I read. She did not seem the least bit concerned about it all. I guess I just have to let it be and take note of your experience and if I see anything funky going on with her then I might say something.
As for now I can only put her in the hands of our creater, and let him take care of her. I hope that she stays on the right track with them. She has about 7 months clean and sober and she has relapsed a few times in the last few years.
Anyway I wanted to say thank you again because you just brought a whole new awareness to my plate that I had not really known much about.
Thanks again...Chrissy

 
Old 07-17-2007, 06:41 PM   #8
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Re: Ritalin Addiction is for Real! My Personal Hell

Thanks for the new replies. I learn something new each time I read your posts.

First, Chrissy where there is smoke there is fire. Your friend maybe hiding another addiction. Remember Ephedra and all the other stimulant drugs were used and abused by people to lose weight. So what is the difference in abusing these amphetamine-like ADD/ADHD drugs for the same purpose? When you mentioned she has had issues with purging and laxatives in the past and never been dignosed with ADD that sends off a big RED FLAG!!!

I loved Ritalin when I used it because I never wanted to eat. I lost twenty pounds. I wasn't paying attention to the fact that I was killing myself. I had a friend that complained to her doctor that she was ADD so that he would put her on Ritalin. She used it for weight control and as an appetite suppressant. Wow! Your friend could be in for some trouble especially if she is newly clean.

Her preoccupation with eating (or not eating) could be the signs of an eating disorder(I had one of those too). My doctor told me that eating disorder and addictions are all tied together. We are looking for an unreachable and unattainable means to control our life and problems.

What may not be an addiction now Chrissy given her history could turn into another addiction. Let's hope she does not start doing what I did. Second, it is plain unhealthy to be using her ADD meds as :diet drugs." Don't you think.

You are right--we can only put it on our Higher Power's hands! We cannot make anyone change that is what is so frustrating.

I am glad you wrote about this. Keep me posted.

Reach-your post was very inspirational. ALthough detox and the first steps of recovery can be brutal the outcome is beautiful. You have to live it, to know it to give it away!!

Keep talking guys and gals--I really love reading your posts

 
Old 07-20-2007, 05:50 AM   #9
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Re: Ritalin Addiction - Dancing with Death

Elizabeth,

Many posters on this board have repeatedly warned about the dangers of stimulant addiction.

Here is one of my many warnings:

"Barring the potential for abuse (other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did-cha enjoy the show?), the stimulants are remarkably free from serious side effects given a healthy heart."

See thread "Please explain the various ADD meds" by frazzledparent - [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=512623[/url]

One thing that all of us ex-drug addicts must recognize: We are responsible for our actions. It is not the drug's fault, it is our fault. Once we know we have the weakness then either we refrain from the drug altogether or take responsible actions such as you have - let a responsible someone help us control it.

Bob
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:00 AM   #10
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Re: Ritalin Addiction - Dancing with Death

elixabethtx,

Good response from ADDProgrammer.

I am so sorry that you had to go through 6 years of hell just because you were trying to have a little fun. Yes, Ritalin is a powerful drug. With care, in small doses, it can be a major help for some people with ADD. In large doses, snorted, it can lead to bizarre metal and physical effects and addiction.

Thank you for posting your experience. We all need reminders to be careful. And perhaps a young person who reads this might, maybe, you-never-know, actually get the message that the warnings that adults shake their fingers about might actually have some validity.

Thank you again.

--Rheanna

 
Old 07-20-2007, 08:16 AM   #11
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Re: Ritalin Addiction - Dancing with Death

Well Bob, I was sharing my story in the hopes that it would help someone.

I know it is not the drugs fault. I have been clean for 4 years.

However, this is an important issue and I will post about it any chance I get.

E

 
Old 07-20-2007, 08:32 AM   #12
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Re: Ritalin Addiction - Dancing with Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by elixabethtx View Post
Well Bob, I was sharing my story in the hopes that it would help someone.

I know it is not the drugs fault. I have been clean for 4 years.

However, this is an important issue and I will post about it any chance I get.

E
E,

Yep, me too. I had to enter rehab to kick methamphetamine addiction. No such thing as too many warnings.

Trouble is, I now take Ritalin to control the disorder that prompted me to use meth in a terribly dangerous self-medication program.

My intent is to balance the risk/benefits of stimulant meds. Please do not take offense. We are both in the same boat battling the same storm.

Also, I know that even behind the internet curtain it is not easy to admit drug addiction. I respect you for that and for overcoming it.

Keep up the good work. I'll try also.

Bob
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:16 AM   #13
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Re: Ritalin Addiction - Dancing with Death

Bob-I am curious to know how you maintain that balance - using Ritalin. I am trying to do the same. I take Concerta and am administered one pill a day by my husband.

How long have you been on the Ritalin? What is your regimen. I am very curious-this helps me

Glad to know someone else understands that tricky balance.

E

 
Old 07-20-2007, 05:32 PM   #14
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Re: Ritalin Addiction - Dancing with Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by elixabethtx View Post
Bob-I am curious to know how you maintain that balance - using Ritalin. I am trying to do the same. I take Concerta and am administered one pill a day by my husband.

How long have you been on the Ritalin? What is your regimen. I am very curious-this helps me

Glad to know someone else understands that tricky balance.

E

E,

I've been using stimulants to control ADHD for a little over two years now.

Abusing vs using drugs for medical reasons goes to motive. I am interested in functioning, not getting high. My desire is to be a responsible adult that in turn gives me a sound basis for healthy self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem is the best safe-guard against drug abuse. Drug addicts have to think very little of themselves to be drug addicts because addiction is an act of self destruction.

There is a lot more to it, but that is the essense. Time is another factor. I am now 55 and stopped abusing drugs at age 20.

Hope the above is of some help.

Bob
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:35 AM   #15
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Re: Ritalin Addiction - Dancing with Death

addprogrammer-
Just wanted to thank you for all of your wonderful postings. You can put into words the complicated life of ADD/Medicines like no one else. Keep posting; we need your intelligence, experience and insight.

 
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