Avatar universal

Adderall has ruined our family

Not really a question, but I wanted to share my story to see if anyone has experienced similar events due to adult adderall abuse:

My sister, who is a divorced, 39 year old  has completely destroyed our family due to her addiction and abuse of adderrrall.  

About a year and a half ago we all noticed she began to look very thin.  We confronted her about having an eating disorder or abusing drugs.  She denied both. After investigating further, we figured out that she had been taking adderall.  When this came to my realization, I thought back and recalled how about two years prior she was always worried about her weight, and asking me how to lose weight.  

So I guess the cycle began when she started taking her 9 yr old daughter's ritalin.  I guess this wasn't enough?  Her older daughter (15) had told us that she was also prescribed adderal for ADD, but that her mom would rarely give her the pills.  In fact she would hide them from her daughter, and when the daughter would go to look for them almost all the pills would be missing.  So I guess that's where it all started (with weight issues), but it has turned into a year long nightmare.

Now along with the weight loss, we began to see some very bizarre behavior from her.  Bizzarre conversations, etc. She was claiming that her identity was being stolen, and calling the local police with accusations of neighbors breaking into her house; staying out late hours driving; covering all windows in her house with bedsheets; she never would eat and rarely sleep.  Meanwhile the 10 yr old child was still living there.

Our rather large family decided this had to stop.  We had a very stressful 6 hour intervention, which resulted in her running from the house.  Long story short, the next morning we found her, and I had her 302ed into the local hospital.  The hospital sent her to a nearby treatment facility (drugs/mental health) for her 72 hours.  After reviewing her case a judge extended the stay another 72 hours.

We were all hopeful that this short time away from adderall and the counseling would allow her to clear her head enough to get the help she needed.  Although the facility diagnosed her as having adderall induced psychosis and recommended inpatient drug treatment, she left the minute her extended 72 hours was up.  She came home and went back to her doctor and got her pills again.

After leaving message after message with her doctor, finally he stoppped prescribing her the pills.  So now she "doctor hops" around the area to get what she "needs."

In the months since, she has been arrested for public intoxication, and has become homeless.  Her youngest daughter now lives with her dad, but my sister is making their life a complete nightmare.  She shows up and causes a scene almost nightly.  They don't want to call the police, because that would be too traumatic for the little girl.  The ONLY one in the family who will still give her the time of day is my mom, and she treats my mom like absolute sh*t.  Saying nasty things and stressing her out. She has absolutely NO friends.  She used them all up.  

The fact that she is hurting these children, and stressing MY mom out like this is what is making me so angry.  She has not once shown any remorse for anything she has done.  She blames me 302ing her for her homelessness, etc.  She says nasty, awful things to us all.  She looks awful, less than 100 lbs.  AND SHE FINDS THESE DOCTORS TO KEEP GIVING HER THIS STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She's becoming more and more bizarre and mentally ill.

Honestly, I don't think she'll ever get any help!  I'm thinking our only hope is for her to get arrested and be forced into treatment.

I know some may have had some positive experiences with adderral, but my sister's abuse has caused a never-ending nightmare for our entire family.  I'm posting this to share my story; ask for any suggestions; and see maybe if others have experienced similar problems with this drug.


7 Responses
82861 tn?1333453911
Addiction is addiction no matter what the substance of abuse may be.  As you pointed out, adderall has its place in medicine - as long as it's taken as prescribed and only by those for whom it is prescribed.  ANY drug can be abused and destroy lives including over-the-counter medications.  Your sister's story is no different from that of most other addicts: it's all about loss.

I hope you aren't feeling guilty about the intervention and 302 business.  Without a professional interventionist to help guide the intervention (and having a rehab bed ready to go) and keep it short and to the point, these things tend to be doomed to failure.  You did the right thing but until your sister is ready to accept help and seek it out for herself, no amount of therapy will make one iota of difference.  And yes, your sister may very well die before that happens.

Right now, you and the rest of the family need to detach from your sister and her toxic behavior.  The whole family needs to agree unanimously on the issue of no contact unless she's sober and willing to go to rehab.  Leave a door cracked open and an addict will blow through it and kick you in the teeth for your efforts.

I pray her daughter's father will figure out that calling the police is the best thing he could do in response to her nightly raging appearances.  Sure, it may be traumatic for the daughter to see her mother hauled off in cuffs, but at she won't have to see her pychosis in action every night in creation.  There are a whole lot of folks who have to see the inside of a jail cell - some more than once - before they accept help.  A restraining order wouldn't hurt either along with filing for full custody.  It's time for real action.  Hoping and praying won't change anything for the better in this little girl's life.

Have you or anyone else in the family given Alanon or Naranon a try?  I just started going and wish I'd gone a long time ago.  Alanon tends to have more meetings available but they accept anyone affected by alcohol and/or drug abuse.  Meetings are not about sitting around and griping about someone's addiction.  It's about finding a backbone and learning how to stand up to the addict so their actions can't hurt us.  It's also about learning how not to enable a person's addiction.  So often we become enablers through the guise of helping the addict.   "If you'll just stay sober I'll pay your rent and buy your food" kind of a thing.  Bargaining with an active addict is a losing proposition every time.

One thing you'll read a lot on these boards is "if nothing changes, nothing changes."  Right now, your sister can't change and none of you can change her behavior.  What all of you (and most particularly, your mother) CAN do is change your own behavior where she is concerned.  Go to Alanon and work the program.  It really does help.
Avatar universal
I think we all know what is the right thing to do.  We all have told her she is no longer a part of our lives and that rehab is the ONLY way back into them.  The problem is she knows exactly how to get to all of us...by using the child.  She uses her daughter (who still loves her mom and does not understand why everyone is "being mean to her mommy") to get brief glimpses back into everyone's life.  When her daughter is not around the doors are slammed in her face.  A much more gentle approach is taken when the daughter is part of the picture.

She is a user in every sense of the word.  She uses people, the government, doctor's, children to get what she wants.  She has never had a steady job and works harder at filling out disibilty forms and getting various diagnosis from doctors to get things for free.  I firmly believe she is only staying in her child's life so she can get back on section 8 housing.  I'm ashamed to to be her brother, and even if she were to get help at this point, I don't think I could be by her side like I promised 4 months ago.

I've missed too many days of work, lost too many hours of sleep, and just can't waste time on her.  But my niece's life is being destroyed.  And there are no answers for her, which *****.  

Se looked us all in the face, and showed none of us that she loved us.  And she just makes it worse daily.

We have checked into counseling for all those involved, but have yet to attend.  But, believe me we all know what is best.  Our hands are tied and we can't do anything until she decides to get help.

82861 tn?1333453911
Much of what you'll learn either from attending Al-anon or reading some of their literature is how to change how you behave toward your sister.  She is still controlling the family and everyone is allowing it in the mistaken belief that it's the best thing for her daughter.  It's not easy to stop focusing on the addict and her behavior and turn that focus on ourselves.  

By allowing her any contact with her daughter while she is so sick (meaning your sister) there are no consequences to her using.  It does her daughter no good to see her mother as she is in such chaotic situations.  Someone has to be adult enough to put a stop to the madness and insist that your sister leave whatever premises she shows up at.  Keep it simple and polite.  "If you are sober and respectful, come on in and visit.  If you aren't, you have to leave even if the police have to be called."  Don't get sidetracked with an argument or engage in bargaining.  Just state your case and follow through.

Tell your niece that her mother is sick.  It's the truth.  Addiction isn't a moral failing or character defect or even an illustration of a lack of willpower.  It is an uncontrollable disease of compulsion and all the bad behaviors are just symptoms of that disease.  I'm not in any way excusing her behavior, just trying to give you a different perspective.  

The best way all of you can help your sister is to make the consequences of her use very clear and stick to your guns.  Without those consequences, the addict never has to take responsibility for her own actions.  She has to be allowed to fall down under her own steam.  Many times it's a crisis situation that finally results in a person asking for help.  Don't take that opportunity away from her.

I hear you about the shame and guilt of having an addict for a family member.  I hid under my security blanket for years just to avoid the big scenes and arguments.  Gosh, that really did some good - not!  It wasn't until I cut off the finances and laid down the law that anything changed.  

You have to remind yourself that you are not responsible for your sister's addiction or any of her behavior for that matter.  She is the only one responsible for her actions.  It's like telling a person with cancer or diabetes that it's your fault they're sick.  Doesn't make any sense, does it?  I know it's a tall order, but if you can control your temper and disgust when she shows up and stick to your guns about asking her to leave, (or even having the police remove her if necessary) you'll have taken the first step in your own recovery.  It would be great if the rest of the family could be on the same page, but don't let that hold you back.  Get started with counseling and/or Al-anon and take control over your life again.
Avatar universal
My brother went down the same paranoid path which ended with death by a gun to his mind that he couldn't stop. We too begged the doctor to stop giving him the Adderall to no avail. My story is long and I'd be happy to share if you desire. Just wanted to warn you about the ultimate destruction of this addiction. Our craziness with him went on for approx two years bf he died. They are very hard to help. My brother did not have kids and I am sorry to see your sister is caught up in this addiction with the kids. I am in recovery from alcohol for 11 years so I feel her pain and wish her the power to see a different future.
Avatar universal
I'm having trouble with my sister too. She is divorced with 3 young children. She has been taking adderall for over 5 years now and has lost her mind.  She is starting fights and verbally attacking my mother.  When my mother reacts my sister withholds her children until my mom apologizes.  Her children beg my mom to apologize so they can see her again.  She thinks everyone at work is out to get her.  Her face is always twitching and has a blank look to her.  She buys things like crazy.  my niece told me her credit card stopped working because she owes $14,000.  why does an 8 year old know that?  Now we have to set up appointments with her to see her children but she will only give my mom 5 minutes.  it is so sad.  My mother has asked her to please stop drinking and taking adderall and she replies with this is the proper therapy my physician and therapist have given me.  It's sad to see a family torn apart from addiction but I do not feel comfortable around her and I don't want her near my son.  She is spiraling out of control.
Avatar universal
I have been believing that my daughter has a mental illness. Either Bipolar, Schizophrenia, or Schizoaffectivedisorder.
However, none of it makes sense.  The common thread to the behavior that has generated these diagnoses is Adderal and alcohol.  What is it about Adderal that Psychiatrists so readily prescribe it, even when the patient is addicted? It is killing my daughter and our family.
Avatar universal
Thank You for sharing your story and don't forget the power of prayer! We are not helpless, hopeless martyrs in all this at least we can CHOOSE to find something bigger than us , bigger than this horrible drug that ruins families, shredding, tearing them apart piece by piece!! I have lived it too with my husband's addiction to Adderall!! And for too long I have tried everything I could possibly think of to save the amazing man I married that I knew was still in  lost somewhere. I caused myself so much pain !! I didnt think I had a part in his behavior!! But thru Alanon principles andAA regular daily attendance I have found a power big enough to save me from myself and loves me enough to patiently guide me, teach me, never going to leave me! He shows me that I have a choice today whether I focus entirely on chaos, or trying to control the addict even though my intentions are right, good!? I don't know more than God and I need to focus on my part in this family disease of addiction!! ?? I felt so powerless, broken, hopeless, I cried EVERY single day for the past 5 years!! I refuse to be a victim of Adderrall madness today!! I refuse to accept abuse and justify it with their illness leading to pity that never ends and EVERY boundary is pushed to the f***ing limit!!!! I refuse!! I'm no longer going to make excuses for my PAIN, my HURT that an active addict selfish and self-centered doesn't have the ability to give me the comfort I'm craving and turn away from the Adderall monster and choose me instead!! He can't he's powerless just like me over this illness. But there is HOPE  my story is a long, excruciating tale of destruction and loss same as everyone else who's lives have been impacted by careless Drs prescribing a drug with no awareness of the families being torn apart!!?? But there I go judgingblaming always looking for somewhere to focus my anger!! Somewhere to be heard so people can be warned!! So children will not be prescribed such evil!! But today I'm trying to accept that this Higher Power My God has a plan and I only need to know and do MY part and that means taking care of me and saying it's ok for me to find happiness even though the person I love the most is dying before my eyes!! It sounds crazy to me but yet I'm so over pain and tears that yield no results!! This addiction is a soul sickness and I'm no good to a sick dying person when I'm full of self-pity rage , broken down and tired of their broken promises and  the angst of glimmers of hope that maybe this time is the one that will really work!!?? Only to be crushed. And start the whole dance ALL over again!! I'm not going to live like that anymore!! I don't have to!! Thank You God!!  I can trust if I do my part (God's will) and trust He loves him He has a plan I cannot control thus!! Than I can be loving and kind instead of aggressive and hostile aNd INSANE!! All under the heading of I love you!! What a joke my judgmental arrogant ignorant uncompassionate words and actions I so regret that I have yelled angrily at a sick soul sick individual who is hurting and lost!! But allowing God to  be responsible for saving him frees me up to find out who I am and what makes me happy!! And again the best part is I'm able to be free from the pain !!! Which allows me to truly love with words and actions the man I love enough to ❤️ love myself too!! And above all take it one day at a time, it's a journey this life thing. Learning to accept the good and the bad just the same! Because they both have such value!! Now I can learn from the bad  and move on instead of staying stuck on the chaos and damage!! Today I accept I'm not in charge but I can choose peace love joy for myself even living with active addiction because GOD has us ALL!! Life is so much easier!!
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