TeenHelp
Support Forums Today's Posts

Get Advice Connect with TeenHelp Resources
HelpLINK Facebook     Twitter     Tumblr     Instagram    Hotlines    Safety Zone    Alternatives


You are not registered or have not logged in

Hello guest! (Not a guest? Log in above!)

As a guest on TeenHelp you are only able to use some of our site's features. By registering an account you will be able to enjoy unlimited access to our site, and will be able to:

  • Connect with thousands of teenagers worldwide by actively taking part in our Support Forums and Chat Room.
  • Find others with similar interests in our Social Groups.
  • Express yourself through our Blogs, Picture Albums and User Profiles.
  • And much much more!

Signing up is free, anonymous and will only take a few moments, so click here to register now!


Substance Use Whether you are combating substance abuse, are in search support, or have questions about drugs or alcohol, ask in this forum.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  (#1 (permalink)) Old
vert_igo Offline
Member
Welcome me, I'm new!
*
 
vert_igo's Avatar
 
Name: Verti
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: Underwater

Posts: 27
Blog Entries: 18
Join Date: September 3rd 2011

Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 3rd 2011, 05:04 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of substance use, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hi all,

I severely abuse my adderall - I combine it with other substances(caffiene, alcohol) regularly. Generally, my life goes a little something like :

Doctor hands me RX, I gain tolerance and binge my way through the month long prescription in less than a couple of weeks(where I generally spend one or two days of the week really sleeping). I come down, feel generally unhappy, depressed, and unproductive, I sleep too much, I start looking for alternative stimulants via "modified" OTC stuff(obviously not naming products or methods) and stumble my way through the next couple of weeks. Tolerance goes back down a bit by the time I get handed my next prescription, and then it's lather, rinse, repeat.

It's really hard for me to even say that, because it's something that I never wanted to acknowledge. I hate the come-downs, I hate the tolerance, but the only time I really feel remotely 'okay' is when I'm on twice my dosage(to begin with, then it increases with tolerance). Obviously this is not a safe habit at all. I have an eating disorder too, and generally severely restrict and fast without a second thought on it, I used to obsessively excercise on it because I would be able to run forever - but I really began to worry about long term effects on my cardiovascular system - and especially, my heart.

I'm wondering if there are any potential repercussions with my brain..my main concern is that I'll damage my dopamine receptors or something like that..I know very severe addicts can do significant damage and I hear awful stories of people becoming shells of their former selves, not really ever being able to feel happy due to the damage they do.

Gah, I know this is long. I've been doing this for a couple of years, and I've finally begun to actually care that these stupid, stupid actions could have very grave consequences.
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Stupidity Kills
Outside, huh?
**********
 
OMFG!You'reActuallySmart!'s Avatar
 

Posts: 4,500
Blog Entries: 10
Join Date: December 19th 2009

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 3rd 2011, 06:11 AM

Long-term neurological damage is possible with Adderall, with the extreme being drug-induced psychosis requiring potent anti-psychotic treatment. As you know, psychosis is due to numerous neurochemical imbalances, one of which is supersensitivity and hyperactivity of the dopamine D2 receptor. Brief psychosis can occur at lower levels although they end once the drug is out of your system, whereas drug-induced psychosis is indistinguishable from schizophrenia.

However, it's a far cry to say your overdosage on Adderall would affect only your nervous system. Since it is a stimulant, it will drive your body temperature pretty high, probably over 40C/104F and lead to rapid respiration as though you finished running a marathon when you were in fact just sitting around. Consequently, your circulatory system is going to take a hit as it is well-known to cause arteriosclerosis, leading to high blood pressure and possible cardiac damage. The lack of oxygen and poor circulation can cause confusion and tremors. Separate from these is another rather nasty symptom of rhabdomyolysis, which is a fancy word for degeneration of skeletal muscle, causing dead cells that are toxic for your kidneys.

The various OTC medications may also have a drug-drug interaction with Adderall, as it has a very lengthy list of interactions.


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
   
2 user(s) liked this post or found it helpful.
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
vert_igo Offline
Member
Welcome me, I'm new!
*
 
vert_igo's Avatar
 
Name: Verti
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: Underwater

Posts: 27
Blog Entries: 18
Join Date: September 3rd 2011

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 8th 2011, 02:37 PM

This is worrying =[. But enlightening, so thankyou very much.
I got sick this past week and decided that it would be an opportune moment to stop taking the pills, because the come-down would go right over my head. Might've slept more than I have in an entire lifetime lol. Unfortunately I found myself taking it again this morning because I felt like I would miss class again(still sick.) I'm going to work on remaining on the correct dosage, and then giving my body off on weekends. Eventually I want to wean myself off of it completely. I think the best way for me to do it is to give myself some other sort of physical/emotional outlet other than school and my internship/career worries. Adderall never really sort of mattered until I gave up pretty much everything for the former two.
   
  (#4 (permalink)) Old
Proud90sKid Offline
Member
Junior TeenHelper
****
 
Proud90sKid's Avatar
 
Name: .
Gender: Male
Location: US

Posts: 303
Join Date: July 6th 2011

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 9th 2011, 07:12 PM

i take adderall , and i used to abuse it, till my parents found out. anyways, yes, long term heavy doses will damage dopamine neurons, that is permanent. but your brain's neurons could rearrange themselves to overcome this. the brain can recover. extremely heavy long term abuse can cause parkinson's disease (which is caused by decrease in the number of dopamine neurons). but even mild long term use can cause depression by the decrease in dopamine production and dopamine receptors. the good news is that dopamine receptors do come back and that is not permanent damage. i highly doubt you permanently damaged your brain with adderall. usually when people damage their dopamine neurons , its through the heavy use of cocaine or methamphetamine.

amphetamine is almost as strong as methamphetamine, but typically , meth users use a lot of methamphetamine each time they use, which is why its more powerful. but you are going through a 30 day amphetamine prescription in 2 weeks, which means you take roughly 2-3 a day. so you are only really taking 60-90 mg a day, which is not all that much. so i would say that you are highly unlikely to have permanent brain damage from it. espescially since you take a 2 week break from it after each binge. but meth users dont have this artificial "30 day supply" limit on their use so they end up taking massive amounts of it , which is why meth is more dangerous than adderall.

by heavy use i mean : staying up for a week at a time on it and taking so much that you hallucinate (from amphetamine psychosis, which requires extremely heavy use) .

and it typically takes a long time for severe damage to occur. but even in milder doses, it takes a while to get back to normal after. like i had to stop taking it for 3 weeks (parents forced me once they discovered i was abusing it (for a period of 6 weeks) , and it took 3 whole weeks for me to even begin to feel somewhat normal from being off of it. i felt so depressed and unmotivated.


one thing you should be concerned about: the eating disorder. eating disorder and adderall (let alone twice the dosage) is the worst combination ever. im on adderall , and i ate nothin yesterday but a honey bun. it totally kills the appetite. in fact, it is sometimes prescribed as a diet pill. and it will worsen the effects of anorexia on your heart.


basically, i dont think you have to worry much about your brain until you get into what i like to call the "tweaking phase". tweaking is when you are taking so much amphetamines (usually methamphetamine, which is why meth users are called tweakers) that you stay up for days , get so paranoid that you think delusional things like people are trying to poison you, etc. that is when it gets really bad. it may be bad for you in lower dosages than this , but certainly 2 in a day is not THAT bad for the brain. hell, i used to be PRESCRIBED 50 mg a day. and 2 30 mg a day is 60 mg a day, which is only 10mg more than what i was prescribed. so taking 2 in a day is still likely in the "prescribed range".

but remember: they WILL take you off adderall if you lose a massive amount of weight. i know this for a fact, i learned it the hard way, and the doctor reduced my dosage, and that was only for a few pounds (and i dont even have an eating disorder). if you lose too much weight and your doc doesnt like it, he may take you off it completely , which would result in a greatly increased appetite (one of the withdrawal symptoms) and future weight gain.

even moderate use will downregulate dopamine receptors and decrease production of dopamine, but that isnt permanent, nor is it brain damage. its just your brain trying to compensate for the drug and go back to a "normal state". yes, it will lead to temporary depression and tiredness, which is why you were tired for weeks . but it isnt permanent. permanent effects occur when the dopamine releasing neurons (not the receptors) decrease in number.

the neurotoxicity of amphetamines is thought to work like this: amphetamines (or methamphetamine espescially) releases dopamine, the dopamine is metabolized by the monoamine oxidase enzymes. this metabolism of dopamine releases chemicals that are harmful to the neurons. normally anti-oxidants will neutralize the chemicals, but in heavy repeated doses , the anti-oxidants are depleted and can no longer neutralize them. and the chemicals damage parts of the neuron, killing it. this effect occurs with heavy long term dosing. i do not think that 2 a day is going to be harmful (assuming that the doses are 30mg or less per pill). as long as you dont do it every day for many years.


What "The Man and XX Master" said is true. but is unlikely to occur if you are only taking 60mg a day (but still possible as some people have lower thresholds for these effects, each drug effects everyone differently). Yes, what he said about the psychosis is a very well known effect of amphetamine abuse, but it typically occurs in heavy doses. its so common there is a name for it: amphetamine psychosis. google that. yes , stimulants increase body temperature and heart rate. but i doubt it would go to 104 degrees with just 60 mg.
   
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
vert_igo Offline
Member
Welcome me, I'm new!
*
 
vert_igo's Avatar
 
Name: Verti
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: Underwater

Posts: 27
Blog Entries: 18
Join Date: September 3rd 2011

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 16th 2011, 02:30 AM

You are very right David, it is simply not a good medication for anyone who has any sort of eating disorder. It makes starving myself downright easy. In the end, I may go an entire week on no more than XXXcalories a day(sometimes it's just flat-out fasting), however, I feel like my metabolism has been completely shot by my anorexia and adderall usage. Even if I lose XXX pounds(which would put me underweight, and cause a red flag) I will gain back that XXX pounds in a matter of days. Eating even semi-normally is very, very hard for me. If I am not constantly counting calories or starving, then I will eat without any regard for health or calories. I really struggle to find the middle ground of being conscious of what you eat without starving yourself, and it's very frustrating. I was prescribed adderall when I was 18(parents dislike it) and 2 years out of inpatient(and considered stable) for the ED. I know that I should not be on it, I have used ankle weights in the past to maintain that "stability". After almost a year on it and "maintaining" my weight, my doctor does not require me to come in for a check up or be weighed. I just call it in and my parents ship it to me at school. Bad news, I know. I really should find a therapist around school.

I try to take the summer's off of adderall. It's definitely always a struggle not filling those scripts. And this summer was particularly challenging(for a variety of reasons). It was just an awful summer in general, and things have gotten so much better for me socially/academically/job wise since being back on it that it's hard for me NOT to say "Screw it, life's better on amphetamines". But I know that's not true, as most of the happiest moments in my life were spent without the use of them, and I do not want to be taking this stuff forever. I'm going to try to maintain my prescribed dose. I feel like going through the come-down of quitting it cold turkey will discourage me. And it does help my ADD significantly. But the thought of being dependent on it for the next 10 years(which seems pretty common as adult ADD is becoming acknowledged more and more) does not sit well with me.

Last edited by Pandamonium; September 16th 2011 at 03:27 AM. Reason: No weight numbers, please.
   
  (#6 (permalink)) Old
I can't get enough
*********
 
Sincerely Yours ♥'s Avatar
 

Posts: 3,042
Blog Entries: 26
Join Date: July 4th 2010

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 16th 2011, 05:52 AM

My boyfriend takes adderall for his ADHD & he's been taking it for about twelve years now I believe. As he's explained it to me, it makes him moody & spontaneous, which tends to cause problems when he says or does things without thinking them through. Also, if he were to stop taking it right now, it would cause serious damage that could actually shorten his lifespan. Depending on what times you take it, it can keep you up all night. & Yes, it definitely messes with your appetite, so any long-term use is more likely to end with weight loss. I'm not 100% sure if all of this is true, but it's what my boyfriend has told me from personal experience.
   
  (#7 (permalink)) Old
vert_igo Offline
Member
Welcome me, I'm new!
*
 
vert_igo's Avatar
 
Name: Verti
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: Underwater

Posts: 27
Blog Entries: 18
Join Date: September 3rd 2011

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 16th 2011, 04:38 PM

(Whoops, forgot about the weight number rule, my apologies!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sincerely Yours View Post
My boyfriend takes adderall for his ADHD & he's been taking it for about twelve years now I believe. As he's explained it to me, it makes him moody & spontaneous, which tends to cause problems when he says or does things without thinking them through. Also, if he were to stop taking it right now, it would cause serious damage that could actually shorten his lifespan. Depending on what times you take it, it can keep you up all night. & Yes, it definitely messes with your appetite, so any long-term use is more likely to end with weight loss. I'm not 100% sure if all of this is true, but it's what my boyfriend has told me from personal experience.
Sounds familiar. I feel like I'm practically inducing bipolar disorder when I'm on adderall - or atleast the extreme mood swings. Never in my life have I gone from loving everything to becoming depressed, anxious, and moody in such a short amount of time. Adderall does not make me do anything spontaneous. It actually curbs my impulsive habits and everything just feels "Right" when I'm on it, when I'm off of it I cannot pay attention for the life of me, I can't organize myself, I make stupid impulsive decisions in terms of finances and life in general, and I don't feel like I can manage the thoughts racing through my head or pick just one to focus on. Adderall actually sometimes works against me because I focus too much. I will spend 8 hours perfecting one assignment(or something totally unrelated to school, more often) and in the blink of an eye, I've run out of time to do all my other assignments or tasks. The come down is very harsh for me though. I've heard that some people actually get suicidal with the come down(I've also heard this for esctacy, which I have never done before, but I can definitely imagine how some of those people feel now..it's not pleasant).
   
  (#8 (permalink)) Old
I can't get enough
*********
 
Sincerely Yours ♥'s Avatar
 

Posts: 3,042
Blog Entries: 26
Join Date: July 4th 2010

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 16th 2011, 05:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by vert_igo View Post
Sounds familiar. I feel like I'm practically inducing bipolar disorder when I'm on adderall - or atleast the extreme mood swings. Never in my life have I gone from loving everything to becoming depressed, anxious, and moody in such a short amount of time.
Yeah, my boyfriend takes mood stabilizers for when his bipolar is really bad.
   
  (#9 (permalink)) Old
Batman. Offline
Protector of Gotham
I can't get enough
*********
 
Batman.'s Avatar
 
Name: Julz
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Location: Ontario, Canada

Posts: 2,724
Blog Entries: 5
Join Date: December 14th 2009

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 17th 2011, 05:57 PM

Wait, when you say it "induces bipolar disorder", can you explain the symptoms? Like, how you feel, how long it lasts, etc. for every mood state you've gone through.

Medications can have whacky side effects, but there is also the possible issue of misdiagnosis, too.


Dare to be Different, to be Weird, to be a Freak.
Overall, Dare to be yourself.

Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation



   
  (#10 (permalink)) Old
vert_igo Offline
Member
Welcome me, I'm new!
*
 
vert_igo's Avatar
 
Name: Verti
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: Underwater

Posts: 27
Blog Entries: 18
Join Date: September 3rd 2011

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 17th 2011, 11:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen View Post
Wait, when you say it "induces bipolar disorder", can you explain the symptoms? Like, how you feel, how long it lasts, etc. for every mood state you've gone through.

Medications can have whacky side effects, but there is also the possible issue of misdiagnosis, too.

Oh, I realized how that can be unclear.
Obviously, because of it's stimulant properties, adderall can send me into a manic-like state - I feel on top of the world, ready to take on anything, don't sleep(I don't necessarily engage in impulsive or dangerous behavior though, which I know is associated with mania), then when it wears off, I come down hard. I get incredibly moody and depressed and very irritable. This is partially to be expected, but the longer that I've been on it - the more my moods feel unstable. Even though my medication won't have worn off, I'll suddenly feel very depressed when just minutes before I was completely and excessively euphoric.

I do know that adderall can definitely do wonky things with your mood, and I have heard of people getting downright mean whenever they take it. I have been diagnosed with Major Depression. I never had the tendency to act manic before I started taking adderall - but my friend who is nearly 20 is only just starting to experience bipolar symptoms in the past few months and has been diagnosed with it, so I guess it's always a possibility. Whenever I'm not on adderall I never feel that manic, and if I am feeling depressed then the switch is never ever that rapid or drastic. I'm much more likely to be chronically depressed mood-wise.
   
  (#11 (permalink)) Old
Antihero
I've been here a while
********
 
Ghost On The Highway's Avatar
 
Name: Ghost
Age: 29
Gender: Duderino
Location: Galaxy 5-0-0

Posts: 1,045
Join Date: January 16th 2010

Re: Amphetamine/Stimulant - long term affects on the brain? - September 26th 2011, 02:11 AM

Over time, you begin to forget the difference between "effects" and "affects"



The neon burns a hole in the night, and the Freon burns a hole in the sky.
You can find my kind living right on the fault line, eyes on the seaside, lives on the B-side, kites on the power lines.
   
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
affects, amphetamine or stimulant, brain, long, term

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All material copyright 1998-2019, TeenHelp.
Terms | Legal | Privacy | Conduct | Complaints

Powered by vBulletin®.
Copyright ©2000-2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search engine optimization by vBSEO.
Theme developed in association with vBStyles.