Adderall... addictive?

by Patricia
(Los Angeles)

I am an alcoholic who was also addicted to Vicodin, Xanax and clonodine. I have been clean and sober for 23 months and I have just been diagnosed with ADHD for which my pyschatrist wants to put me on Adderall. I hear about people getting addicted and wonder what the dangers are for being addicted again?

Hi, thank you for writing in

I can share with you my own personal opinions about using Adderall while in recovery, but keep in mind that I am not a doctor and that you should ultimately make this decision with your psychiatrist.

I personally believe, as do many people, that Adderall is very addictive. It can be abused easily, and it is not something that I would ever choose to take if I could avoid it. For me, Adderall is way too similar to drugs that I used to do and I also abused Adderall, so it would never be a safe drug for me to use, even as prescribed. You didn't list Adderall or any kind of stimulants as drugs that you abused, but I would still be cautious about taking it.

Sometimes there are certain medications that we have to take, whether we are in recovery or not. Is Adderall something you really need, or are you functioning okay without it? The other option is to talk to your psychiatrist about non-stimulant ADHD medicines. They are sometimes considered much safer and much less likely to be abused.

Again, this is just based on my own personal experiences. I have seen people in recovery relapse on prescribed drugs, Adderall included. Does that mean you shouldn't take it? No. It's really going to be based on how you feel about it and how your psychiatrist feels. Make sure you discuss your history of addiction with your psychiatrist before he/she prescribes anything.

I hope this was helpful. Feel feel to write back in with any comments or questions. Thanks!


Comments for Adderall... addictive?

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 27, 2013
by: Anonymous

This is a is always a controversial topic for me, a crack addict, started at the ripe old age of 40, after stopping adderall-very addictive 2 those who do not have adhd. Only 8 perc of children carry it 2 adulthood-w/serious symptoms, such as thinning of cortex.not only did cocaine calm me down - the euphoria got me hooked, no euphor,a w/adderall. If not 4 it, I could not sit and type this. Still crave the high, but remember the "beating"

Apr 15, 2013
Comfortable in our addiction
by: MsCarmenMarcano

From experience - I believe psych meds are the next thing, we as addicts, the to. I am by no means a professional but I have eyes and God has blessed me with discernment. My opinion is that psych meds are a way for addicts to be comfortable in our addiction. It is socially acceptable. We think, "well I'm not drinking - I'm not doing dope anymore - why not let people believe that what we are doing now is for our health." However, as an addict we know the truth. When I was arrested I was taking five different psych meds and had also developed a dependency on alcohol. This med to balance that med and taking all concurrently made me unable to recognize how the alcohol was affecting me too. I am clean & sober and have been for sometime! No psych meds, no alcohol, no tobacco, no caffeine. NOTHING! My name is Carmen, I am an addict. I can turn anything into an addiction. So I choose my Higher Power now - I call Him Jesus! Follow me on twitter @mscarmenmarcano - find me on FB /mscarmenmarcano

Dec 07, 2012
by: Rae

jdunmyre - thank you for your input.

I think I made it very clear that I was not telling anyone to never take Adderall. If you reread my response, you will see that. I shared my personal experience and I also said that my experience doesn't mean this is how it is for everyone else. Nowhere in my comment did I say everyone should reject stimulants if they really need them.

I think it would be a disservice to not mention that it is a highly abused drug. For some people, there are also effective non-stimulant drugs for ADHD.


Dec 02, 2012
adderall is effective medication
by: jdunmyre

I have adhd and I take medication for it. The medication works for me because I have ADHD. If I did not have ADHD, then the medication would act as a stimulant, effectively speeding me up. It does not. Because I have ADHD. What is important for the addict is: Do you actually have ADHD? If you do, then you should seek effective medication to help you with your executive function. You can also seek ADHD coaching. Now that I've been taking medication for a few years, I find that when I do NOT have my medication, I start to behave in way that is not truly sober. In other words, part of my sobriety program and part of my commitment to my kids and (ex)spouse is that I stay medicated.

Substance abuse never helps us make good decisions. For a person with true ADHD, the medication will help moderate your impulse control and activate your motivation system.

I'm glad the author of this blog pointed out that she is not a doctor, because to suggest that a person immediately reject stimulant medication just because it was abused by her personally is grossly irresponsible. ADHD is real. Medication for it can greatly assist a person suffering from it.

Sep 04, 2012
Yes it can.
by: Robrestored

You mentioned Vicodin as one of the drugs you used to abuse? Well in my addiction when I couldn't get a hold of Hydrocodone or Vicodin I would steal my girlfriend's kids Adderall. It was the closest thing I could find. I would avoid it if I were you. Rae is right on!!

Jun 30, 2012
by: Rae


I am glad you will speak to your psychiatrist. I do know what you mean about wanting the prescription - someone wants to give you drugs, legally, that you are 'supposed' to could you not want them??

Definitely try to share about that in a meeting because I imagine a lot of people have had similar situations. Just think of the big picture - sobriety is so much better than any kind of high. Good luck and take care of yourself!


Jun 28, 2012
Adderall is VERY Addictive!!
by: Anonymous

What Rae said...she said it very well...I would seek an alternative medication!!


Jun 23, 2012
by: Patricia

Thank you so much for your response. It is very helpful!
I do feel that since I was addicted to so many prescription drugs that it would be foolish to take Aderall. I will discuss with my pychiatrist alternatives and hopefully there will be one that is not a stimulant.
There is a part of me that wants to fill the prescription because I now know it is addictive. There's a part of me that wants to know how it feels.I think I need to get honest with myself and my pychiatrist and let him know how I am feeling. I think I need an NA meeting, and quickly! It's so hard to resist when it is so easy to get.
Again, thanks for your response. I'm going to try and stay strong!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to

Do You Have a Question About Substance Abuse?

Share Your Story 

Ask a Question