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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Ritalin Question Please HELP!

I am in desperate need for answers. I have always had severe anxiety and trouble controlling it. About 5 years ago my doctor put me on Lexapro and I have been on that since then. Prior to that I was diagnosed with ADD and since 10th grade in high school I have been taking some form of stimulant. I use to take a very low dose, 15 mgs a day, and only some days. I rarely took it in the summer or on weekends, if ever. I continued this pattern through high school and into college. When I started college I would not take it that often, and it was still about 20mgs, as prescribed. I would never take it on the weekends. Now I am in my junior year of college and for the first time am very worried about my Ritalin use. I have gotten into a habit of taking Ritalin everyday. I will not go a day without taking it, even if I do not have homework to do, I will do other assignments early. For the first time I started taking it just to clean my room, or if I didn’t have homework to do. Now I make sure that I take it everyday, even on weekends, and even on vacations. I often take it and don’t end up doing the work I intended. I usually take 60 mgs at once, and then 20 more as an hour or so goes by. I know this is an unhealthy dose. But when I tried to go down, I just felt very depressed. Also, my anxiety increases a LOT when I take Ritalin, but I still feel the need to take it. Im just confused as to what happened, why I now feel like I must take it everyday, does this mean I am addicted? As low a dose does not work anymore, so I just increase it by myself. More recently I have become VERY anxious and scared about being addicted, and reading about depression with withdrawl scares me even more. I just don’t know what happened, if I can get back to a lower dose, and not feeling like I need to take it every day, and if I am in fact addicted. I feel like going out with friends less, but I still feel like I need to take it. The thing is I wouldn’t be able to concentrate with out it. I need to know if I can break this habit but still use it, I’m very confused and don’t know what this means or what I should do. Im scared to turn to my docotor because I don’t want them to take my perscriptin away because I need it to do homework, I cant without it. But I don’t want to suffer from severe depression when I do go off the medication. I need to know what constitutes as addiction and if I can get back to my old habits
13 Responses
401095 tn?1351391770
with true ADD ritilin actually calms the person...and many children grow out of this condition..and if u r feeling energy from the ritilin, there is a good chance u have grown out of ADD because as a rule, those who have it do not get energy from taking it...opposite effect...or it could be the high dose u r taking..i am not sure...but u r probably battling an addiction..and if u r...it is very hard to go back and use as prescribed...is that what u r asking?
Avatar universal
Yea. Im just not sure. Because when I do take the Ritalin I am able to sit and focus more than I am otherwise. I try to read for school without it and suffer immensly. The anxiety I feel when it wears off is like depression/worries, not energy. I am only worried because my dose has increased in the last year, and so has the amount of times I take it per week. I use to be at 15 mgs maybe 3 out of 5 days of the school week, now its 80, every day, regardless of anything else.
Avatar universal
ok, so i started taking ritilin when i was 9 yrs old, i am truly adhd and no that stuff does not slow me down, i laugh when i hear people say that narcotic speed like ritilin or adderal slows the truly adhd child down
i am not laughing at you worried, just the idea
there is also another popular idea that adhd meds prevent the adhd teen from seeking other drugs to self medicate, therefore it prevents an addiction, because we all know that many addicts, maybe all have adhd
so this thread is a great chance to state the truth, when you give adhd kids narcotic speed, it does speed them up, and it does become habit forming
sarah, i hope you can find an na meeting in your area, so many of us have experienced what you are going through, infact everytime i share my story i begin by talking about my adhd and experience with speed, its a big part of my story
Avatar universal
why do you think it only became habit forming in this past year, if I had been taking it for so long? is there a way to break the habit, and go back to not needing it on a daily basis? is there hope for me getting to a middle ground?
Avatar universal
well if you have been taking it for so long it would make sense that your body has gotten use to it and is not doing the normal things on its own.
have you ever researched what type of deficiences could be causing your inability to concentrate?
Avatar universal
Yes. I had an EEG beam study done monitering my brains activity..and it showed very overactive brain activity and firings over  the entire brain even during sleep.
401095 tn?1351391770
Then perhpas u were misdiagnosed?  has this ever occurred to u? i hate to disagree..but a truly adhd child does not speed up after taking ritilin...and many are misdiagnosed as children..perhaps even u mtgoat...and no it is not a laughing matter...but even the lamest of doctors would not put an hyperactive child/that was not true add/ on sumpin that speeds them up..and most adhd (add) children are hyperactive, fidgety and have difficulty focusing/so the diagnosis is difficult/hence many false diagnosis which it sounds like u were one of them mtgoat...my brother had this condition and the ritilin calmed him to where he could slow down and study...we were the same age for 11 months..me born is jan and he born in dec of the same year...he would tell me how he felt so much calmer after taking his "pill" when we were like 7 years old... and when he was in his early 20s this stopped and he got a speedy effect...he is not a drug seeker so he stopped the drug..without a big problem to boot ..the medcation served a purpose for him ... my nephew has the same problem..he is 13....after he takes his med he is noticeably calmer...but i do believe people use this med for any type of out of control child at times when that is not the case..if it is a true adhd/which over 50% are not, the drug can be very useful...many bipolar children are misdiagnosed....the drug has its place for tis disorder but unfortunately it was used as a "treat all" for an era and it is proven that those who were on it are more likely to abuse meds later in life/but then again most children that were placed on it had some type of depressive disorder/if not truly add/that would have made them prone to substance abuse anyway
401095 tn?1351391770
Then perhpas u were misdiagnosed?  has this ever occurred to u? i hate to disagree..but a truly adhd child does not speed up after taking ritilin...and many are misdiagnosed as children..perhaps even u mtgoat...and no it is not a laughing matter...but even the lamest of doctors would not put an hyperactive child/that was not true add/ on sumpin that speeds them up..and most adhd (add) children are hyperactive, fidgety and have difficulty focusing/so the diagnosis is difficult/hence many false diagnosis which it sounds like u were one of them mtgoat...my brother had this condition and the ritilin calmed him to where he could slow down and study...we were the same age for 11 months..me born is jan and he born in dec of the same year...he would tell me how he felt so much calmer after taking his "pill" when we were like 7 years old... and when he was in his early 20s this stopped and he got a speedy effect...he is not a drug seeker so he stopped the drug..without a big problem to boot ..the medcation served a purpose for him ... my nephew has the same problem..he is 13....after he takes his med he is noticeably calmer...but i do believe people use this med for any type of out of control child at times when that is not the case..if it is a true adhd/which over 50% are not, the drug can be very useful...many bipolar children are misdiagnosed....the drug has its place for tis disorder but unfortunately it was used as a "treat all" for an era and it is proven that those who were on it are more likely to abuse meds later in life/but then again most children that were placed on it had some type of depressive disorder/if not truly add/that would have made them prone to substance abuse anyway
401095 tn?1351391770
How can one know if they r truly ADHD?  like ms, fibromyalfia..a bunch of others, there is no true diagmostic  tests..no blood tests etc that say  "YES..u r ADHD for sure..it is a group of symptoms...but one way to rule this diagnosis out is when given the amphetamine type dugs/like ritilin or adderall/they feel the effects of hyperactivity..of nervousness and "a speed like high"  if the child/or adult feels this way off the meds..either the med needs to be adjusted to a lower dosage..or it is a false diagnosis
Avatar universal
I think that perhaps what my problem is realizing that when I take 80 mgs of ritalin I know longer get the effects I use to get-instead I get the "speed high" effects. However, at 20 mgs I could sit and concentrate easily, and felt calm. Do you think I will ever be able to get over needing the "speed high" and just be able to take it like I use to at the low dose so it works again? do you think it is possible?
401095 tn?1351391770
I think...and who fricking knows..that with the help of ur doctor and honesty with ur doctor///that there is a chance u can get results/or help for ur add but it may have to be with a different med.....i do know that when we abuse we build extra recepters///read in the health pages about dopamine....i also know that it is very hard to not abuse a med after we have abused it...strict discipline and perhaps someone to hold u pills would be in order..but first u need to be honest with ur doctor so he can help u...when u cross over the therapuedic dose to a dose that gets u high i would think there is a way to control the add in another manner so u can study etc...talking to ur doctor is imperative..can u do that?  a drug holiday may be in order but ask ur doc.//k?
Avatar universal
i am not going to debate the issue with speed slowing down adhd children, i already stated my experience working in mental health and living with adhd
i do want to mention that peditrician, who should not even be treating adhd are putting millions of kids on speed everyday, usually after one consultation
so back to sarah, you asked if you can go back to using your pills without abusing them
i say no, and so will your doctor
once you have become addicted to a medication, you cannot return to use it as prescribed
its like this, once you pickle a cucumber, it will never go back to a cucumber
i recommend stopping the drug, and finding help with your living problem (adhd) in na, you are like me, we caught our addiction from a leagle prescription, but once we catch our disease of addiction we must take the time to treat it
adhd is not an illness that you will die from is you stop your medication, right now the meds are not working for you, so now its time to start living with your condition instead of medicating it
Avatar universal
I'm apparently 4 years too late... But I can only hope you figured this out and finally went to your Dr. With your concern!

I had the exact same issue happen to me with adderall back in 2002. I feared telling my Dr. Exactly what you described, in fear that the Rx would be pulled from me .. When it indeed was a very productive and positive factor for most of my daily life.

Finally one day I just took a huuuuge gamble and told my dr the truth... And to my surprise  he increased my dose and moved it to a "time release" capsule!!!  Best thing I never could have imagined would happen!!! I sincerely hope you finally got a similar remedy!!  

Hope all is well these days !
~Aly
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