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Old 03-25-2008, 06:31 AM   #1
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vieuphoria_girl HB User
Unhappy Coming off adderall, need help!

Hello. My name is Megan and I'm 24 years old. About a year and a half ago I was put on Adderall XR for my ADHD and learning disabilities (finally gave into medication because I was flunking out of college). I've finished my more challenging classes and like most I'm ready to get off the drug. It's been a week now since I've last taken it and I'm really starting to feel the effects of withdrawl. I feel a bit pathetic but I miss "the high". Is that normal? I've been unbelievably tired the past few days and my ability to perform at my job and school has gone downhill. Now I feel like the only reason I was doing well was because of the drug.

Another thing is I'm extremely hungry all the time. When I started Adderall I was a little overweight and I ended up loosing about twenty pounds. Now I'm terrified all the weight is going to come back. Having depression and OCD does not help with these fears.

I'm afraid I've definitely developed a dependence and won't be able to stop taking it. To those who have successfully come off the drug, how did you do it and what things helped to calm the symptoms of withdrawl? Did the fatigue eventually go away and did you gain weight? Any advice would be much appreciated!

 
Old 03-25-2008, 07:20 AM   #2
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Re: Coming off adderall, need help!

I've gone on and off that about a dozen times, never had withdrawl. How much were you taking? If you were truly feeling "high" it was far too much! However, if by "high" you mean better able to get stuff done, well, maybe you just still need it.

 
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: Coming off adderall, need help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
I've gone on and off that about a dozen times, never had withdrawl. How much were you taking? If you were truly feeling "high" it was far too much! However, if by "high" you mean better able to get stuff done, well, maybe you just still need it.

I was taking 20mg a day. And yes I meant being able to get stuff done. The past few days I've felt dysfunctional.

It's possible I do still need it but I was fine for the twenty-something years before without it. I have learning disabilities in math and that's the main reason why I got on the medication a year and a half ago.

 
Old 03-25-2008, 05:15 PM   #4
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Re: Coming off adderall, need help!

like janewhite1, i too have been on and off adderall numerous times and haven't had withdrawl issues either. i do miss it at times, because i do feel a bit dysfunctional without it, but i'm never tempted to go take it.... i'm pregnant and wouldn't do anything to hurt my baby! not that i'd recommend getting pregnant!!!

i think the easiest thing for you to do would be to either stay on adderall, or wean yourself slowly by lowering the dose a little bit every couple of weeks. you might drop to 15 mgs for a couple of weeks, then 10 mgs for a couple of weeks, then 5 mgs.... until you are off it completely.

if you don't want to do that, then just give it a few more days. you'll get used to functioning without adderall again. make lists of things you need to get done and don't end your day until your list is complete. it does take self discipline, but like you said, you were fine for twenty something years before adderall, so you know you CAN do it!

 
Old 03-27-2008, 07:47 AM   #5
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Re: Coming off adderall, need help!

vieuphoria_girl,

The others have given good advice. I will add that what many of us are trying to do is to use the time on meds to learn good organizational skills, so that our time without meds is a bit more productive. Our brains tend to be (more or less) chaotic), but there are methods that help us to keep track of what we're supposed to be doing. Read some more threads on this board. mcr285 has some good suggestions, as do several others.

The definition of ADD is that it is hard for us to focus and pay attention and get organized and remember things. This means that just because you took meds during the difficult last years of college, it doesn't mean that you are now finished with the need to focus and pay attention and get organized and remember things. I know, you said that in your post.

I'm glad that you were able to be successful in college. Whether you decide to continue with meds or not, it sounds like you'll need to find a way to better organize yourself -- perhaps an ADD coach?

What are your reasons for not wanting to take meds any more?

--Rheanna

 
Old 03-29-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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Re: Coming off adderall, need help!

my name is Megan as well! ha how exciting. im 21 and i was prescribed adderall XR when i was 19 i think, i only took it for a year but i noticed that i was becoming additive. i started to depend on it but i got through highschool and the first 2 years of college without it. the "high" i bet your talking about it the way it makes us feel the first hour its taken. like we are on top of the world. well thats the kind of high it gave me. i also only took 20 mg a day and obviously that was too much. anyways, if thats the high your talking about then that should tell you its time to let the drug go. i just stopped taking it one day. yeah i gained some weight back, but at least i look healthy now instead of bulimic. if you think that you need the drug its not going to be easy. i knew that i needed to let it go. so its kind of what you want and what you need. if you depend on it in a way that you shouldnt, then thats the problem. its a controlled substance and its highly addictive. you just need to be honest with yourself.

 
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:12 AM   #7
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Re: Coming off adderall, need help!

I want to add to Megan's (sillysilly___goose) right on target post about Adderall's addictiveness. First up, Megan is absolutely correct. This post is not a rebuttal rather it's an addendum.

Anything that can artificially make us feel good is potentially addictive. The dextroamphetamine in Adderall can be very addictive because of the incrediable euphoria it is capable of producing. Adderall and/or Dexedrine almost always produce some euphoria when initiated. If that euphoric feeling persists for more than a week or two, the dose is too high and should be reduced. Euphoria equals "high" equals very poor judgement equals less functional than unmitigated ADHD. To make matters worse those of us that are less than emotionally balanced are prone to form a craving for anything that can make us feel better much less euphoric. An addictive cycle sets up and then we get to find out what real trouble is all about.

If I am not mistaken, so far I merely reworded what Megan stated in her post.

The other side of the coin:

ADHD can be debilitating. That debilitation leads to overall poor performance in all facets of our lives. We know in our heart of hearts that we are capable of better, indeed, much better. That sense of underachievement is often reinforced by the explicit and implicit feedback we get from family, friends, teachers, employers and everyone else that matters. Self esteem drops to no esteem and that in turn generates even more problems.

Then comes along a drug that levels the playing field. We can for the first time do what we always wanted to do all along - be mature, responsible, productive adults. Those of us that have suffered with a mental demon(s) for years if not decades have no desire to "go back" and that can be perceived as addiction. It is NOT addiction. Yes, we feel much better but this "feel good" has a basis in reality - improved marriages, jobs, incomes, friendships, community services and self esteem.

How family perceives us can be a touchstone. Are they amazed by the transformation? Or appalled? Is your mate/significant-other delighted with the new you or wants you dead even more?

So that is the other side and it is NOT the dark side.

Bob

PS Quick sidebar on how to reduce potential addictiveness of stimulant meds: Even the correct dose cannot be too high or we'll get high. The stimulant must be released slowly. Two ways of accomplishing slow release: 1) Extended release formulations. 2) Immediate release broken up into smaller doses taken a few times during the course of the day. For example, if you are getting "wreaked" on 20mg of Adderall IR, break the pill in half (most are scored) and take a 10mg half in AM and about 4 hours later take the other half. ADHD control without the buzz.

 
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