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Is it true that the ability to moderate can never be regained? - November 26th 2016, 09:17 PM

I was on ADHD meds for a very long time- and they really helped me. In middle and highschool, I did not have a real problem with abusing it at all- I used it responsibly as prescribed. But in college, I started abusing it quite heavily. At first , it was because I liked the stimulant feeling- as adderall is amphetamine- which is similar to speed. But then , after a year of this- every time I would take it, I would end up convincing myself to take more and then more and more. I kept telling myself I would not abuse it anymore- but for some reason I couldn't keep from doing it-and the problem kept getting worse and worse over a couple of years after that. Each semester was worse than the one before- even though every semester (and after each time abusing it) I would tell myself I would take it responsibly. I would not only go through my prescriptions (of both instant and extended release pills) within a week, but would (illegally) buy probably the equivalent of a few other people's prescription from other people throughout the month- and even then, I still would run out early. The amount that I would take was pretty scary- and I had a very hard time controlling it- I would always underestimate the amount I would actually end up taking. Like one time (and many other times similar to this-but this stands out in my memory), I had finals week- and I thought I was going to be pretty well taken care of by buying 15 extra pills (or something like that) of adderall ( a medium dose- but high dose for instant release)- I ended up going on a bender and taking it all within a day... had none for the actual tests.

Eventually, I just stopped all of this-completely. It had become completely counterproductive- as either I was too tweaked out from the pills, or ran out early and the withdrawal made my ADHD symptoms 100 times worse. Also was way too skinny and unkempt (you lose track of time and get pretty loopy when you have been up for days at a time - my schedule was something like this- stay up for 3-4 days in a row, then crash and sleep all night and all day the next day , and then start taking it again and repeat- sometimes only ate a couple of meals in the week.)

So I am off meds now and doing ok- but sometimes I still think I could be doing even better if I were to somehow take the meds like I did as prescribed in high school? I mean , it was pretty helpful back then - I don't know if it would even be possible to go back to using as prescribed- as I told myself that I would take it as prescribed so many times in college, but ended up taking half the bottle in a day and a half or something.

There are other ADHD meds....but this is the one that I remember helping me in high school, and also- all the ADHD meds that actually have a good success rate are stimulants with a similar potential for abuse.

I know it makes sense that since I had this behavior before, I would never be able to control it, and that is what a 12 step or similar program would tell someone-but do you think it is at all possible someday? Maybe after a long enough time?
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Re: Is it true that the ability to moderate can never be regained? - November 26th 2016, 10:06 PM

There are several theories of addiction and whether a person can go back to responsible use or if they can never have it again. The prevailing theory used in the US is that once you're addicted and quit, you can never touch it again. Definitely talk to your doctor before you decide to go back on it and it might be worth trying another one that's less addictive, if you've never been on them there's a chance it could work for you anyway.

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Re: Is it true that the ability to moderate can never be regained? - November 28th 2016, 12:36 AM

Hey there,

I don't know if this is true but my own personal opinion is that once someone abuses a substance they can't get back to a place where they can moderate the amount they use. I think that they might be able to moderate for a short while but at some point the urge to abuse it will come in and they end up doing so. Any type of program for drug and alcohol abuse emphasizes not tempting yourself and keeping the drug or alcohol out of your home etc. At least, that's what I learned from watching my brother going through treatment.

Here's the thing, I used to abuse xanax. I did it so badly that some scary things happened. I knew I would never be able to moderate the amount I use. I have tried and I do well for a little bit but then I end up wanting more. Due to that I no longer fill my xanax prescription. I don't want to tempt myself by abusing it and I am almost positive that if it's around I'll use more than the prescribed dose.

If you are doing well enough without the medication I wouldn't tempt yourself. I know that with ADHD being on meds helps a lot but you have to weigh the pros and cons of going back on it.

I hope that this helped and I am wishing you the best of luck.

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