ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible?? - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible??

I am starting to think that my husband's ADHD drugs are ruining our marriage. Is it possible to get addicted to ADHD drugs? Do these drugs change behavior for the worse?

My husband has been taking ADHD drugs (first Adderall, then Vyvanse) for a couple of years now. His behavior on the drugs is troubling: although he's super calm and focused after taking them, in the evening he becomes hostile, paranoid, and just really strange. Not himself at all. He has been up very late, on his computer (I can only guess about what he's up to there), or pacing the hallways, or writing long, rambling, incoherent letters. In the past, when his dosage of Adderall was sky high (he needed a special doctor's note to get it filled), he left me (while accusing me of trying to control and manipulate him...he had a bit of a psychotic break and did all sorts of weird things), had two affairs, and got into all sorts of trouble. We reconciled a few months later and he stopped the meds and vowed to commit to the marriage again, but 1 year later, he started "sneaking" ADHD meds (Vyvanse this time).

I can't go through this again: I'm just waiting for the past to repeat itself and either wondering why I'm putting up with this or wondering why I can't be more supportive. He claims that the drugs are in no way influencing his behavior, but I just don't think that's the case (obviously, drugs influence behavior, even prescribed ones). By asking him to stop, am I not supporting his ADHD treatment (which is true: I don't want him on these drugs)? I don't know how hard to push this, but it feels like a deal-breaker to me.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 04:47 PM
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Re: ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible??

Of course. They're amphetamines. And he's abusing them.

Is there such thing as insanity among penguins? - Werner Herzog
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 04:50 PM
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Re: ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible??

Well, all I know is that my relationship with my STBX (who is my ex husband of 14 years and we reconciled last year) went down the tubes last fall when he was diagnosed (loosely) with ADHD and started meds. He blames the ADHD on his terrible decision to pursue reconciliation with me in the first place, but I noticed a marked difference in his personality after he started on the meds. He would never listen to me now though. ADHD has become too much of a crutch for him to blame all of his douchy behavior on. I'm moving out in June.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 01:52 AM
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Re: ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible??

Adderal and vyvanse are amphetamines which are considered a stimulant drug, which are in the same category as cocaine or methamphetamine. Stimulants are dangerous (even regulated ones) if abused and are highly addictive. They can cause a variety of adverse side effects. I know that many (if not all) of the effects you stated that your husband is experiencing are in fact some of the side effects that can be experienced w stimulant abuse.

As a wife....I do not blame you for making this the deal breaker. Addiction is hard to deal with anyway but w this being his second go around and bc the first involved all of this plus infedelity....I know for certain i couldnt be in your situation.

With the side effects you described in your post alone, it sounds like he has the potential to become a danger to himself or someone else, in addition to the dangers of stimulant abuse itsself. Technically he needs to see his psychiatrist and be open with him or her about this before stopping the medication but if i were him I would discontinue use immediately!

I wish you both the best of luck hon.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 11:50 AM
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Re: ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible??

Originally Posted by bettermarriage View Post
A friend of mine who is a counselor herself brought that up.... He does seem to fit the [BPD] profile more than I do.... it would help to get a professional to weigh in, as he somehow doesn't think my therapist (who's been practicing for 15 years) knows what she's talking about. [Your 12/22/13 post.]
Back in 2013, both your therapist and John117 suggested that your H seems to exhibit strong BPD symptoms. In your response to John (above text), you indicated that you would be seeking a second opinion by getting another "professional to weigh in." If you did so, what did that professional tell you?

I am asking, Better, because BPD is sometimes mistakenly diagnosed as "adult ADHD" because -- in adults -- these two disorders share some similar clinical features (e. g. impulsivity, emotional dysregulation, and cognitive impairment). Indeed, some psychologists speculate that adult ADHD and BPD might be the same disorder, at least for some patients. A 2006 study, for example, concludes:
ADHD in childhood has been reported to be highly associated with the diagnosis of BPD in adulthood and adult ADHD often co-occurs with BPD. Treatment studies revealed an efficacy of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and DBT-based psychotherapy, respectively, in BPD and adult ADHD as well as neuroimaging and psychopharmacological studies showed some evidence for a potential common neurobiological dysfunction suggesting the hypothesis that ADHD and BPD may not be two distinct disorders, but represent at least in a subgroup of patients two dimensions of one disorder. See 2006 Study.
Similarly, Dr. Robert Friedel (author of BPD Demystified) states that adult ADHD occurs in at least 25% of BPDers -- five times what is seen in the general population. He cautions that, when BPD and ADHD co-occur, patients often do worse when treated for ADHD because the medication (i.e., the stimulants) can exacerbate the BPD traits -- causing an increase in emotionality, aggressive impulsivity and even paranoid thinking. He concludes, based on his clinical experience and anecdotal reports seen in the scientific literature, that this problem can be effectively managed in one of two ways:
When the symptoms of ADHD are mild, behavioral treatments alone may be effective, thereby avoiding the risk of increasing the symptoms of borderline disorder with a stimulant. However, if medications are required to bring the symptoms of ADHD under optimal control, it appears to be helpful to initiate treatment with a low dose of an antipsychotic agent for the symptoms of borderline disorder [Medications]. Doing so permits the use of a stimulant to produce a beneficial effect on the symptoms of ADHD with a minimal risk of worsening the core symptoms of borderline disorder. See Treatment of ADHD in Patients with BPD.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible??

Thanks for your responses everyone. The BPD discussion never went well. I do not know the extent of his issues, and I have not tried bringing it up again. I do know that I can't control his behavior, so I've filed for divorce. I'm not having a repeat of the craziness, and there are signs that it's starting again. After this experience, I am 100% convinced that ADHD stimulant drugs are not only addictive but also can cause all sorts of mood swings and psychological side effects.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 09:15 PM
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Re: ADHD Drug Addiction?? Is that possible??

Yup. They can totally be a problem. I work in the banking industry, and it's shocking how many people abuse ADHD meds to "give them an edge". Some to the point of stealing it from their own kids.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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