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Author Topic: ADD / ADHD medications and Sobriety  (Read 32070 times)

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ADD / ADHD medications and Sobriety
« on: May 19, 2010, 04:26:04 pm »
Hello, I'm 40 year old adult, I have long time clean time, recovering from alcohol and drug addict. I have tried many different strategies how to deal with everyday life without having to use ADD / ADHD medications. But none of them seem to work for me. My psychiatrist and therapist suggested that I should try ADD / ADHD medications as last resort. I am taking adderral which helped me to focus better, able to meet my responsibilities and commitments. I still go to 12 step meetings and therapist every week. I am not sure if it is good idea for me to continue using adderall while I am in 12 step program? I can't seem to find out more information about ADD / ADHD medications and recovery from this smart&strong site as well as internet. I think this topic is not listed in this site. But I feel this is about how mind works. Any suggestions or opinions? Thank you.

David Evans

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Re: ADD / ADHD medications and Sobriety
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 05:09:24 pm »
Hi Timothy,

There simply aren't a LOT of great studies that I'm aware of on the use of psychostimulants in people who are in recovery, but there are a few. It sucks, because there are definitely people with ADD/ADHD who are also in 12 step programs.

I am familiar with AA, NA, CMA, etc. and how the programs work. It's sticky. There are some people in AA, for instance, who think that even traditional antidepressants are a mood-altering substances and that people who take them aren't really sober. Also, sponsors in 12 step programs may know a lot about staying clean and about spiritual growth, but they don't always know a lot about psychological and neurological conditions.

As for the science, here's a study indicating that people with substance abuse histories can remain abstinent while taking ADD/ADHD treatments: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3493001.

If there's one drug I would definitely avoid it is Provigil. It actually comes with a warning label about the increase in compulsive behavior in those who take it.

At the end of the day, you might have to make a choice to treat your ADD/ADHD despite what friends in the program have to say about it. That's a rough situation to be in, but it isn't impossible, especially if you have at least a few people (including your therapist) with whom you can be completely honest about any compulsive thoughts or feelings that you have. I should close by saying something you probably already know. If your ADD treatment truly threatens your sobriety, then you probably should avoid it at all costs.

I really wish you luck with it and hope you'll tell me/us how things go.



  • Newbie
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Re: ADD / ADHD medications and Sobriety
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 05:36:04 pm »
Hi David,

Thank you so much for helpful information. I am member of many different meetings such as AA, NA, CMA, etc. I am aware of some people manipulate their doctors or psychiatrists to get medications when they really don't need it. They goes by saying: "I'm under doctor's care". Slowly, things will become out of control then possibly relapse.

It is important for me to be honest and genuine with my therapist and psychiatrist. I've talked to my AA sponsor about this, but he have no opinion about medical or medication issues. He clearly said this is between me and my doctors.

I see therapist every week and see psychiatrist once a month for follow up. I feel 10 mg 2 times a day is enough. I do not want to get addicted to adderall. I wouldn't dare to ask my psychiatrist to increase dosage. I have to follow 'sober' behavior without being very sneaky or manipulative. I know a lot of sober people are manipulating their doctors or psychiatrist, but this is not considered as 'sober' behavior.

I agree with you that if I feel ADD treatment threatens my sobriety then that is when I should stop. But again, I will lose focus, commitment, responsibilities. Sometimes I am often called scatterbrain.

Thank you for kind words and encouragement. I appreciate it a lot.



  • Member
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Re: ADD / ADHD medications and Sobriety
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 03:23:18 pm »
Hi everyone, who has posted an alcohol or drug addiction accompanying ADD I feel you should definitely treat the ADHD first because this disorder often creates impulsiveness  which creates Drug or Alcohol addiction. Many people in AA NA are against using any drug to treat your condition, they are dogmatic in my opinion about medication 


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