I am new to this site, this is my first post. I have been desperately searching the web for forums with people who might be able to relate to the despair that I am feeling right now. I am in my 30s and have been an ER nurse for three years, I started in the ER fresh out of nursing school
. In school, I was in a very competive nursing program, most of my classmates wanted to get jobs in critical care after graduation. I have always been a high acheiver and push myself as hard as I can to reach my goals. I suddenly found I was having a difficult time focusing in my classes. I had always been a daydreamer but it had never seemed to matter much before. I had been seeing a psychiatrist for years, I had suffered from depression and anxiety since my teens. I was already taking antidepressants but expressed to my doctor that I was having a very difficult time focusing in school. He prescribed Adderall as needed, he informed me that the med was addictive, I didnt think much of it at the time...
It has now been four years since I took my first adderall. Since I began taking it in nursing school, I cannot even imagine being a nurse and not taking it. I have never worked a day as a nurse when I have not been on Adderall. I have tried to start my shifts without taking it and I only make it a few hours until I find myself having to pop another pill. When I don't take it, my mind is foggy and I find myself moving slowly and having difficulty calculating med dosages. I work in a busy ER and I have to be on my toes all the time, I have to think quickly and move quickly, my patient's lives depend on it. I cannot afford to have a slow and foggy mind because if I make a mistake I can kill someone.
I started to find myself very lethargic and unmotivated on my days off from work, so I started to take the Adderall on those days, too. As with any drug, I find myself having to take more of it to get the same effect as before and even then, the effect does not last long. When it wears off I feel moody and immediately want to take more. Now I spend more time coming off of the drug than I do feeling the "good" effects of it. I am living my life from one pill to the next. My doctor continues to prescribe it because he doesnt know that I am feeling this way. I do not tell him because I am terrified he will stop prescribing it and then I would not be able to function at work.
I love my job and I dont want to lose it. Nobody at work knows that I take Adderall. I am sickened that I let this happen to me, knowing that this med was so addictive. I feel so alone and lost right now. I worked so hard to get to where I am in my career, but maybe that is because the adderall gave me the confidence to get to where I am. My entire life I have always been introverted, a bit of a loner that would keep to myself. I was very shy as a child (and as an adult) and was never comfortable meeting new people. When I started taking Adderall I noticed that it was much easier to talk to people. Not only did this drug make me happy and focused, I was able to be more social and engage people in conversation.
I would love to hear from anyone that can possibly relate to this and any advice you might have. Please no criticism, I am hard enough on myself about this, I dont need anyone else to be.
Thank you for listening....
Jul 15, '11
No judgement or criticism from me at all. I hope just some encouragement.
see the post below....
Last edit by diva rn on Jul 15, '11
Jul 16, '11
Quote from Lucky724
I'm a little confused by the post...if you are legally prescribed the Adderall by a doctor and it helps you - why do you want off of it? Some people need to take medications - for a variety of reasons - for years or life. If it's reached the point you/your doctor want to test the waters without if then there should be a plan in place to come off it - just as there is with antidepressants and most other long term drugs. There would be no reason to tell your coworkers however, if its all above board there is no reason to lie or hide it either.
If you are taking this illegally, then that is a whole different ball game..you are smart enough to know its criminal and you could lose your license. I suggest, like others have, to see your current doctor. If he doesn't know about the Adderall, level w/him - if he does - have him help you formulate a plan to come off it - good luck and don't be ashamed -
Just because you are prescribed medication by a doctor does not mean you can not become chemically dependent or physically addicted
I was prescribed opiates and benzodiazapines very legally by my doctor and became very physically addicted. This is not something you start out hoping to do. However, as your tolerance increases, your dosage increases and your usage...to achieve the desired effect...until you are using the drug to get through the day and not for what it was originally intended. Then you begin to use the drug because you NEED
to use the drug...
The length of time for this to happen, of course varies, but can take years, months or even just weeks. It begins to then take over your life.
You worry all of the time..."will I run out before my script is refillable?"..."if I do, will I go into withdrawal?"...so you also begin to play the game with your doctor..by telling him your pain is increasing (or your focus is still not working)..in hopes he will increase the doses..when that no longer works you start doctor shopping, that's ok as long as the multiple pharmacies you are using for those scripts are not plugged into a data base.
Finally, and this may not happen to all nurses, but it does happen to many, one night or day shift, you look at a waste of morphine or demerol or dilaudid and think "why not?"..."it's only a waste"....
and then ...welcome to the IPN
this may happen only 1 time (like to ME)
or it could go on for years
Three years ago, I never ever believed I would ever be able to function in the real world without the drugs ...now I do not think I was even IN the real world back then.
As I said before, It is so wonderful to be clean, clear headed and sober and I am SO grateful for this gift!
To the OP, If you feel the Adderall is causing a problem...then it IS
a problem. Please get help now.
Do not let the other posters try to convince you that because you have a script it's ok...you are addicted..you are not using it as it was prescribed...you will NOT be able to do this on your own. There is NO "plan to come off it" unless that plan includes a safe detox program. Talk to your Dr, but seek help with an Addictions specialist.
The sooner you do it, the sooner you will be "on the other side"...trust me, I know.
God Bless you and guide you in this decision.
Last edit by diva rn on Jul 16, '11