I love going onto Reddit and deep diving into the strange world of subcultures. And one of the deep dives I love going on is in the world of drugs because I’m a reformed drug addict and I like other addicts and the stories they tell. However, Reddit users love to glamorize drugs a lot, and they don’t yet have the experience to realize how their lives might turn out. This week I went looking for stories about Adderall, which is a prescribed pharmaceutical that’s used to combat ADHD, but many people currently get it illegally to use as a study aid, a sports aid, any assistance in concentration really, and some people just use it for shits and giggles too. I wanted to find a story that started on the fun or useful end of the spectrum but ended with a different perspective on the drug as a whole. Here is my favorite Reddit Adderall story that I found.
The 10 Stages of Adderall
1. Dad took me to a doc to address my rampant ADHD/ADD problems in elementary school. I was prescribed Ritalin. In high school, my doctor suggested i graduate to Adderall.
2. 16 years old: taking adderall every day made me feel like a zombie, so I secretly stopped taking it every day. I never felt like I was chasing euphoria and I didn’t understand why people were so addicted to it. I would come home from school irritable, tired and cranky – but aside from that, i never really felt a comedown. I would take one 10mg IR in the morning, so sleeping was never difficult.
3. 19 years old – This is when the problems started. I was in my second year of university and realized that I needed the adderall back to help my studies. I started popping adderall regularly to study. When i had a big paper due, i would take small doses throughout the day, sometimes staying up throughout the night. This was the first time I ever stayed awake for 2 straight days on the drug. It made me feel like a superhuman. I went from a B- high school student who barely graduated, to graduating college magna cum laude, 8th in my entire class.
4. 22 years old. I had taken adderall throughout college, but only for means of studying. Rarely did I take it recreationally, or even daily for my ADHD. But over those years, I learned how to binge adderall and understood how it could be potentially addictive. At age 22, I was no longer in school and therefore had no reason to take it to study. But I craved it. I got a 9-5 job out of college and would pop a 20 mg XR AFTER I came home from work. I routinely would stay up until 6am, having to go to work in an hour.
5. 24 years old – My relationship with adderall changed that year – it went from something i didn’t even enjoy, to something i used to study, to something i craved. More importantly, I finally understood how miserable the comedown could be. The more i took, the worse the comedown – and i’m talking suicidal thoughts, anger at everyone around me and a depression so intense I couldn’t function properly in my day to day. I began working from home, giving me all the time in the world to take as much as I could. I wouldn’t take it every day, but every other week like clockwork, I would stay up for 3-4 days straight on binges. I realized that I binged adderall because I just couldn’t bare the comedown. I never wanted to feel that way.
6. 29 years old – For the past five years, my relationship with adderall stayed the same. I still am not taking it every day, but the binges are still routine. What has changed however, is my tolerance. Back then, a 20 mg XR could have me swimming for 8-10 hours, and i wouldn’t notice the comedown. NOW, however, a 20 mg XR lasts me 2 hours tops, and the comedown is extreme.
7. Later that year – my adderall binges need to stop, and i don’t know how to control them. Every time i get off the drug, I gain 10-20 lbs off the jump. After a binge, my recovery consists of me eating everything in sight, hating everyone, lacking any motivation to even get up and walk to the kitchen. My mind feels used up and abused and I hate myself every day.
8. 6 months ago: On a binge, I realized that I took over 180 mg in total – 120 mg of that 180 in 24 hours.
9. 2 months ago: My girlfriend is getting tired of seeing me awake, wired and scary looking staring into my computer screen. Adderall has made me so anti-social to point of making up the worst excuses to get out of meetings, hang outs and parties.
10. Today: I know that I’m not alone in the way my relationship with adderall has so vastly degraded. But after more than 5 years – I have stopped binging and am re-learning how to take adderall the right way. I won’t take any after 3pm, and I hope it helps me.
I am trying my best, but i just don’t know what the future holds for me.
As you can read from the above, drugs like Adderall are incredibly addictive and need to be taken responsibly. So please don’t listen to those on Reddit who romanticize taking it, as there are more stories like the one above and some of them don’t end as well either.
If you or a loved one you know is showing signs of a Mental Health Disorder, whether it be Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Addiction, Body Dysmorphia etc., or maybe you just need someone to talk to, please do get the help you need. If you feel like you need to talk to someone right now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
Photo Credit: McLevn