Submitted by ididabadone t3_10kkg6g in tifu

TIFU by abusing my adhd medication.

please pardon formatting errors and typos, am mobile. 

I recently started on Ritalin following a diagnosis for adhd which explains quite a bit of my past, like school performance and things like that. I excelled in English and history and was in AP classes for those, because I liked them. meanwhile, I was in remedial math and science because I hated them and they were hard. I was never officially diagnosed with anything as a kid. I grew up in a neglectful/abusive environment that viewed neurodivergence as a point to gossip about instead of something to be addressed. my autistic cousins on my mom's side got similar treatment. I could never sit still in class or church, could never just get my work done. even as an adult, I struggled with managing and completing tasks until my most recent psychiatrist suggested this may be an issue and we explored it together. she suggested a stimulant to help me focus at work at which point I disclosed to her that I have a history of substance abuse. she said we would start on the short action Ritalin  in a small dose to determine what is helping and go from there and change to an xr med if needed or other xr meds that could be explored, etc. I was like, okay. good plan. 

I tell my boyfriend about this. we make a plan together for him to dole out my meds for me once a day and lock them away in the meantime so I can't get them. I go and get my script, bring it home and immediately hand it to him. for the duration of the first script all goes well. until today when it was time for my first refill. 

I think to myself, it's a long admin day at work and I need an extra one. junkie thinking, you know. so I go and get it on my lunch break and, long story short, 1 turns into 8. 0 self control. I know. I accept any and all vitriol my way for that. 

I got home and made dinner and while I was cooking I was like, okay. I'm going to tell him. I'll straight up tell him the truth. I don't want to lie to him about anything ever. so I do. I told him that I went and got the script with the intention of taking an extra pill and 1 turned into 8 because I'm a reprehensible junkie. I handed him the pill bottle, which he promptly locked away. I went to serve him the dinner I made for him and he said he wasn't hungry and just kind of sat on the couch reading. 

went into the living room after awhile and asked if he was angry. he said no. I said, you're allowed to be angry with me. I did a bad thing. he said "it's whatever". so I left the room. 

anyways, I fucked up. I clearly cannot have any kind of authority over these meds at all because this is the first thing I do. when I use them as prescribed they help lots but this is clearly a problem... I think I should tell my doctor what happened but I'm also scared she'll send me on a grippy sock vacation if I do. 

tl;dr did a bad one with drugs and now my bf is mad. that's all.



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McWalking_Episode t1_j5r77tu wrote

Not telling your doctor is the first step you should take to not get better. Manipulation and lying in order to continue getting a medication that youre abusing is exaxtly what is going to keep you sick. Been there, no offense. But, that is a recovery thought-train error. Youre not gonna get sent to treatment over this. That, im almost postive because i have told my doctor way worse things on a regular basis. But, dont tell him and continue down this path, you may need treatment. Used to take 300mg vyvanse/ 80mg ritalin a day. Good luck!


AndyZep t1_j5r8mgi wrote

The only answer to the actual question you asked that can be taken seriously is Yes, you did FU by abusing your ADHD medication. I think that there is an unstated question that is less definite and that question is "Am I totally screwed" The answer to that question is a solid "Maybe"

It certainly is not "Good" that a former substance abuser who is in recovery has just abused another substance. That said, it is predictable that a former substance abuser who is taking Ritalin may "Slip". It happening even once is very concerning. You do, however, sound very sincere in your desire to nip this in the bud and even though 99% of addicts can talk a good game at this point it has only happened once. Just don't be an idiot and become a "Golden slipper" which is someone who talks a great game but slips pretty much all the time.

Right now it's about 60/40 on where you end up on the AH/Not an AH spectrum with it leaning towards AH. Every week that goes by where you do not screw up again moves you further and further away from AH. But, keep in mind that moving towards AH moves at the speed of a rocket ship and moving away from AH moves at the speed of a snail. So let's not get upset if it takes a long long time before you have any idea what the answer to that question is because the only answer that comes quickly is "Yes you most certainly are an AH" So be happy that you do not have an answer yet.-


ididabadone OP t1_j5r9ppt wrote

does AH mean asshole? I was just sharing this story on today I fucked up. I wasn't really asking a question just sharing my screw up. but I mean, I will say that I am an asshole. I sure do feel like one. he has every right to be pissed and/or disappointed in me for this. I don't think I want to take them at all again for a long time :/ I'm mad at myself for having such little self control and for even having the thought to begin with. idk. talking to my doctor is the option here. I want to see if there are meds available with less abuse potential that will help me instead of these.


ididabadone OP t1_j5r9yyq wrote

thank you. I agree. I think I should be honest with her about what happened and tell her that I want to explore medication options with less potential for abuse. hopefully what you say is true and no grippy sock vacation will ensue. my only real gripe with that is not being able to be away from work.


D3vilUkn0w t1_j5rcily wrote

Based on context I think AH probably has some meaning in terms of the addiction/recovery spectrum but damned if I know what it stands for.

I was going to share that I had a friend who abused Ritalin and Adderall for a while and she ended up in amphetamine psychosis. Completely batshit crazy. Be careful...


compaqdeskpro t1_j5rec3i wrote

I got the same problems but I'm never touching meds, I know I would like them too much. I don't think there any drugs that can do a good thing without doing an equal and opposite bad thing.


AndyZep t1_j5rg5xh wrote

Fair point. In this case I was using Asshole synonymous with a F-up or a screw up. I did think that the question, as asked, was pretty self evident. To me it read like: "I'm a former substance abuser who just recently abused another substance, was that a bad idea?" it seems very self evident to me that anyone with any sense would agree that, "Yes that was a very bad idea." Maybe I'm wrong, mabye that is not the way that would Universally be looked at, but I can't comprehend that anyone with any sense would not see that as a bad thing. I felt like the actual question you were asking was an unstated question more like: "I know that was a bad idea, but am I completely screwed." If that was not, in fact, the question that you were asking us, and yourself, then maybe it should be.

So I looked at it from the point of view that it is not healthy to get too caught up in self flagellation over a mistake because some people actually get caught up in the emotional roller coaster of Screw up, guilt, despair, hopelessness.... and then back to the beginning with screw up. There are actually some people who crave the excitement of that kind of Up/Down emotional roller coaster. Especially people who come from dysfunctional backgrounds. So Self flagellation is not the best reaction to slipping. So thinking that you are completely screwed is not the correct course of action. You also don't want to become a "Golden slipper" who feels like you have it all figured out and just need a few minor tweaks. What you should be doing is looking it as you are someone who is in a car heading straight to crapsville, at a very high rate of speed. You really should turn the wheel, because the further you go down this road the more difficult it becomes to turn the wheel until you finally drive yourself so far down that it is almost impossible to turn the wheel.

So I made several assumptions about what you were actually asking, which may actually be untrue. I also incorrectly changed the question from "Did I F up" to am I a "F up". I guess, if that is the case, my question would be. On what planet would people think that you did not F-up? Because to me it seems obvious that you are in a car headed to crapsville and it would be a good idea to turn the wheel.

Sorry if I answered a question that you were not asking.


mickdeb t1_j5rgjpa wrote

Straterra is a medication that is not based on amphetamines, i take it because anything that is like ritalin make me feel paranoid and i profusely sweat and get anxious


Theamazing-rando t1_j5rq2ex wrote

The important thing is that you already disclosed your prior substance abuse problem to your clinician, who then came up with a treatment plan, which included the risk that you may abuse the meds, keeping you on a low dose. Impulse control is a significant ADHD trait, where self medicating and an inability to set or keep to moderate limits are a real destructive force. What I mean is that you can allow yourself a bit of room to understand that you abusing your meds is as much a symptom of your neurodiverse impulsivity, as anything else, and one of the main reason to take the meds in the first place is to help reduce these symptoms.

One of the big issues with stimulant medications and ADHD, is that if the dose isn't strong enough, it has no helpful effect and so while starting you off small is one way to tackle the risk, if it's not strong enough to help with your symptoms, then you're going to feel the symptoms and there's a real risk of that inpulsivity to take more to increase the effect being present. This doesn't diminish your responsibility to being safe with your own medication but there needs to also be an empathetic reaction to it too, and a drive to help you reach the right place and support.

On a personal note, it can be easy to want to chase a euphoric feeling the meds give you, when you first start taking them and plenty of people feel that way, then question the efficacy of the meds when it doesn't, so don't blame yourself so much for that aspect. Short acting meds may be worse for this as they aren't going to cover remotely the time you need them to and keeping on top of medication timing's is remotely easy when you only have to take one long acting, rather than juggle multiple.


LitLitten t1_j5s0z9r wrote

Also, a psychiatrist won’t necessarily think the worst if you tell them your med is working at some points better than others. It’s not uncommon to have a supplemental medication for towards the middle/end of a stimulants med’s duration.

You however did tell your psych your substance abuse history, so she/he is taking this to account w/ your medication plan. Try to keep in mind treatment plans aren’t cures — there are ups and downs and falls and leaps, especially when just getting started.

Look at what you’ve succeeded in— you’ve reached out for help. You’ve communicated your history and problems with your psych. You made a treatment plan. You communicated with your partner at every step. You practiced active awareness of the risks of both medication and substance abuse. Though you did slip up, you immediately communicated this to those necessary.

That’s a lot of real, positive progress, man.


Bossanova87 t1_j5s5f4c wrote

People that play up the "I'm not mad" because they don't know how to communicate was my takeaway from this. Be with someone that speaks their mind.


ScarletDarkling t1_j5sbjrx wrote

Addiction doesn't make you bad. Falling off the horse will happen. You just gotta remember that a slip up doesn't mean you can't get back to things. Just try your best not to, and definitely have someone dole them out. I was addicted to butabitol in my early 20's because my head would hurt, and I would forget, and take it again. Then I got rebound headaches... Eventually was taking 22 a day. Weaning too fast actually killed me, needed resuscitation and medication induced coma.

You are not bad. Addiction is a demon, you'll have to fight it every day, but you can win.


RumTonRum t1_j5sdz7a wrote

there are literal chemical imbalances in your brain. Correct medicine/dosage helps regulate that.
What you determine as feeling opposite or "bad" is probably what stable/normality feels like. But people generally dont get to this point since it takes taking the medicine for longer than a couple weeks along with lifestyle changes to start seeing any real progress.


Xenolithium t1_j5sllfk wrote

As someone who was on Ritalin for a long time....

Get. The. Fuck. Off. It.

Seriously. It will ruin you. I lost my childhood because of it.


scaztastic t1_j5so9cj wrote

Considering all the people whose lives were ruined by prescription medicine, I think his worries are justified. There are very real downsides to taking meds.

The "bad thing", for example, could be developing bad side effects to an anti depressant he's been taking for years, but now he's chemically addicted and when he tries to quit, he goes through extremely weird-feeling withdrawals. So either he deals with the side effects of continuing, or with the constant nagging pain/discomfort/emptiness of quitting.

Either way, his life changed for the worse, maybe permanently.


Affectionate_Math_96 t1_j5svtb1 wrote

Dude, didn't you get a migraine? O.o

I've accidentally taken two in one day (I forgot I took one) and I was bedridden with nausea and a headache that felt like someone smashed my skull in.


youlple t1_j5swqux wrote

Good call and I agree with your advice, but just have to mention that ritalin is also not based on amphetamines. It's a stimulant, methylphenidate, but totally different otherwise.


yogopig t1_j5swvx4 wrote

That is not how the prescription of drugs works.

Are you a physician or other healthcare provider? Have you thoroughly evaluated OP and their condition in order to fully inform your suggestion? What is informing you in this situation that makes you more credible than their doctor?


yogopig t1_j5sy52x wrote

Honestly you need to give yourself some credit in this situation. Yes you fucked up, but there’s really nothing you did wrong, if that makes sense.

You are not some “junkie” looking to get high here, you have a monster inside you thats vying to take control of you, and you seem well equipped to fight it.

You are just trying to treat a health condition, whose treatment unfortunately has risks. You knew going into this that there was a chance of this sort of thing happening. You made sensible and thought out plans to account for that chance. Instead of hiding your history, you made sure to be completely transparent with your physician about these risks. Both of you balanced the benefits with the risks and mutually decided to proceed. After it happened you immediately went and told your boyfriend (which was kinda sweet honestly), and of course he isn’t going to be happy about that, but honestly thats okay.

Except for that single moment of weakness where the addict inside you took control, you did the right responsible thing at every single step. That’s really a huge deal, and will carry you more than anything else.

Go easy on yourself, your doing fine.


No-Hippo5631 t1_j5t0g76 wrote

Jesus I'm just glad you're alive... I once accidentally took 2 adderall (or 5 minutes apart bc I forgot the first dose), I'm very tolerant to stims (can drink 2-3 monster energy drinks in the morning and only feel slightly less sleepy), I thought I was going to throw up due to nausea and my eyes felt like they would explode.


SomaFarkreath t1_j5t6aam wrote

i recommend setting the pickup of your script so only your boyfriend is approved to pick it up this way you avoid having it in your hands at all


ididabadone OP t1_j5tuvl2 wrote

I would absolutely do this if it wasn't a controlled substance that requires id to grab. maybe I will bring him along with me to get it and just immediately hand it over on our way home or something.


ididabadone OP t1_j5tvjkn wrote

the thing is, he really /wasn't/ mad. I assumed he was,but he wasn't. he told me to come to bed an hour later and we're fine now. he was just understandably upset and needed a little time to cool off/process. i have exes who would have reacted violently to that and who I would not have been honest with about this situation out of fear.


Xenolithium t1_j5ubdoe wrote

I was on Ritalin for 10 years when I was a kid. I have ADHD and have had it since I was a kid. I had to be hospitalized when I was younger because the psychosis caused by the Ritalin got so bad. I walked out of school without a word and walked home. Had no recollection of it. I also put our family cat in the microwave during an episode according to my family, almost killed my mom, had serious hallucinations that made me violent against people. I can't remember half of my childhood and only memories I have come in fragments.

So, no, I'm not a physician or psychologist. But, I am very, very familiar with Ritalin and will always steer people away from it from personal experience. There are other options.


yogopig t1_j5ue17i wrote

I’m really sorry that Ritalin didn’t work out for you, you aren’t the first and won’t be the last.

However, I think it’s important that when you say you are “very, very familiar with Ritalin” you mean you are very familiar with how YOU and only you respond to Ritalin, not anyone else.

I understand you have only the best of intentions, and I’m not trying to be rude, but frankly its actually harmful to use your anecdotal experience to dissuade other to take Ritalin. Because, many people respond entirely different to Ritalin than you did, and for them it is a life changing drug that works better than any other ADHD medication out there. If your advice prevents one of those people from taking Ritalin, you just worsened their life.

Treating brain conditions is a somewhat of a controlled guessing game because with so so many drugs we don’t fully understand the pharmacology and even if we did we don’t fully understand the implications and their tremendous variation. Please let medical professionals do their job and go through the process.


depressed-salmon t1_j5ugpr6 wrote

There are actually non stimulant medications for adhd too. But some of the issue might not actually be the effect it has, but how you see it. If you're seeing it as a "get me through the difficult parts of the day" vs "this is just medication like antibiotics or blood pressure pills", that's going to make it much more tempting to abuse.

Also, your boyfriend just giving you the colder shoulder and not communicating is a little immature honestly.


Huskey1998 t1_j5uh32p wrote

Don't knock yourself down. I used to take Ritalin for my ADHD too and I have done the EXACT same stuff you have done. LITERALLY! being all like man, this isn't working, and then discovering that if you take more it helps you do stuff more, and boom, it's a problem. For me it jumpstarted years of hardships with all kinds of substances. Frankly I'd say it was irresponsible of your doctor to give you a short acting medication after mentioning that you used to have substance abuse problems. Especially since ADHD is known to cause impulsivity, and especially with substances. It really is not your fault, you're dealing with a disorder that messes up your brain chemistry to want/need dopamine hits. It kinda scared me away from taking meds, since most carry the abuse risk. The one I'm taking now is Wellbutrin. its not ideal, gave me side effects, but it helps me focus and keeps me stabilized. Best part is, no risk of abuse! maybe you can look into that. It's a neverending struggle really but don't beat yourself up for having messed up brain chemicals :) If you have more questions you can always hmu!


eatassordiefast420 t1_j5vbh12 wrote

Same reason why I won't go back to the doctor. I don't trust myself. Either I want none of it... or I want all of it and everything and extra and more and more. Drinking, smoking, drugs. No self control. Good on you for recognizing it.

Best of luck to you


CheckIntelligent7828 t1_j5y0cmu wrote

Just wanted to say I'm sorry this is a struggle for you. If the universe was kinder it wouldn't make taking your necessary meds also the trigger for your substance abuse struggle.

I'm a long term prescription pain medication patient. At one point I was using a crazy amount a day, all as prescribed (Drs were just trying to keep me from losing my mind after ending up with 24/7 migraines following a stroke). I know how blessed I am that I was able to make the decision to reduce the meds and then do it without my brain and body chemistry working against me at every step. I'm sorry you don't have that luck. But I believe you can find an answer.

I do agree that your Dr needs to know. And I hope she can help you find an effective med that isn't such a siren call to you. GL <3