If you went to college, chances are you knew someone who was using Adderall to study; it may have been you. The drug is a stimulant, meaning it makes your brain and body feel like there is more energy present.
Like many who started the use of Adderall in college, author Kate Miller opens up about her own Adderall addiction. During her senior year, she recounts trouble concentrating so she and a friend found a guy in the dorms who sold Adderall. The drug changed her life. Kate could study and write papers for hours on end without taking any breaks.
After finishing college, she took a job with a law firm in Manhattan, New York. The hours were long and the work was intense, so she felt it was time to get her own prescription of Adderall. Kate found a doctor who agreed with her self-diagnosed disorder, and she got 60 pills of Adderall after each appointment.
Instead of just using her new prescription for work focusing purposes though, Kate says that she began taking Adderall every night, which sometimes required drinking heavily to come down from the drug’s stimulation.
When she left the law firm, and the health insurance benefits that can with it, Kate would refill her Adderall prescription instead of buying groceries. The abuse was in full swing. When she went nights without sleeping, because of Adderall use the day before, Kate would just pop an Adderall pill with her morning coffee and go about her day. She was performing well at work, and maintaining an active social life.
At the time, she recalls thinking that this lifestyle would make for great stories one day, but as she wrote in her New York Times article, “The problem was, it stopped being a persona, and became who I was as a person: uninspired, unproductive and miserable.” She goes on to say that Adderall went from. “The take–as–needed-to-manage-boatloads-of-work basis” to the “need-to-get-through-the-day mood stabilizer.”
After a wild night out with an old friend, Kate recognized the problem. The friend asked what was going on with Kate, which jolted her to see herself as she really was, and to break down crying, and then to flush the rest of her Adderall.
The ensuing months were extremely difficult, as is true for any addict that gets clean. The chemical imbalance is obvious in mood, energy level, and behavior. Eventually everything recalibrates and you can feel back to “normal,” but some of the effects can be more long-term.
In the case of Adderall, and other stimulant drugs, depression can be very real. Your body and brain were falsely energized by the substance for a long time and now that the drug is no longer in your system, the inner workings have to re-learn how to stimulate themselves. What was up, must come down, so to speak.
Although Kate Miller does not mention rehab in her story of Adderall addiction, for many people, treatment is the only way to truly heal from an addiction. Learning how to live a life without the drug that has aided your daily functioning for an extended period of time is difficult, but can be done with the assistance of trained professionals. The treatment team in a good rehab facility will work with you each day, focusing on your individually unique set of needs.
An alternative to months at an inpatient rehab program is the intensive outpatient treatment program at The Control Center, which allows you to continue working, going to school, taking care of a family, or any other responsibilities you simply cannot leave.
Even after thinking she needed Adderall to function and to be successful in the working world of New York City, Kate Miller changed her life and stopped abusing her drug of choice. Do the same for yourself, or for someone you love.
Contact The Control Center today to enroll and begin your healing process!
photo credit: Taylor Dawn Fortune