Substitute For Meds

Hello everyone,


I have been battling with myself for the past year and decided that this forum would be a start to a healing process that I am in desperate need of...


To start, I am a Biochemistry major and junior at my university. I have always been a good student throughout high school and never had any problems academically. University proved to be quite a challenge, especially while working and completing undergraduate prerequisites as a biochem major. I was able to make it through the first couple of semesters with no problem. However, my life became pretty hectic very quickly and I always had to be on top of my game.  I spoke to my doctor about being very overwhelmed with work and school . Thats when adderall came into my life. I knew exactly what it was for and its potential, never realizing that I would one day become dependent on it for everyday life. At the beginning I was using it as needed, progressing until  I've had to use it for almost everything. I try to not use more than 10-20mg in non-consecutive days when I need it. The days that I don't take it I can't seem to complete anything, especially school work. I do drink bulletproof coffee almost everyday(except when i take it) and have tried some nootropics such as aniracetam, but it doesn't seem to help much. In fact, I have noticed that aniracetam actually throws off my mathematical abilities quite a lot making me feel "spacey" for a lack of better word. I have tried gaba wave and that seems to help a bit. Also I take B-complex, vitamin C , krill oil daily.

To make a long story short, I am at a breaking point. I have decided that I do not want to go through life depending on a pill.


After a year, I am still at a very small dose and still feel hope that indeed it is possible to return to the genuine guy that was full of life before this medication destroyed me. I went through a crisis at the beginning of the semester and I had to drop one of my classes and decided that it might be a good plan to take the next semester off as a sort of mental health break to balance myself out again.




Is there any suggestion/ guidance to help me with the process? Especially getting through this semester...




  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited November 2015

    Just going off your "Substitute For Meds" thread title, it sounds like you're looking for a nootropic that you can get without a prescription to replace Adderall. I don't think there are any unregulated nootropics that compare to adderall.


    Also, I think the medicated/unmedicated distinction is kind of silly. Supplements are drugs, different drugs have different effects, some of them require prescription, and some are illegal. If you need any evidence that the lines between legal supplements, prescribed medications, and illegal drugs are blurry, just look at totally legal bath salts, prescription drugs with low benefits and terrible side effects, and totally illegal MDMA despite clear therapeutic use. Just to be clear, I have no problem with anyone taking drugs for whatever purpose, but since you've said you don't like being dependent on a drug, I don't think switching to another drug and justifying it with it being a "supplement" makes sense. 


    If you're taking a semester off, and you haven't listed any immediately alarming side-effects, why not moderate now and quit cold turkey during a semester off when you can afford a few weeks of low brainpower? 


    Also, I don't think you should use an experience of overwhelm a few semesters in to college as evidence that you can't hack it without some external help. College is supposed to be hard, occasional overwhelm should be expected. A few instances where you recognize you can't complete all the work and do triage by selecting what is most important to complete and letting the rest go are also valuable experiences. That can happen in a work environment too, and whoever you work for will want you to have experience making smart choices even when there is no perfect option. 

  • Thanks for the response ACH85.


    I just worry that after using it for a year I will never be the same again. I do intend on finishing my degree, but wonder if I will be able to after quitting..

  • Coke and meth addicts have gotten back to normal after quitting. One of my most successful friends used ADD meds every day in high school and now does not use any, though I think he was prescribed ritalin back then. 


    But if you don't believe you can do the work "un-enhanced," it's probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, and sure, perhaps in that case replacing with another drug makes sense. But before committing to that I'd give it a try without any drugs, and keep in mind you did handle a few semesters without drugs, and only had one crisis, which again is par for the course. Also keep in mind millions of people have taken adderall in college and stopped while maintaining careers. And that hundreds of millions of people completed college back when amphetamines either weren't available or were only for fun.

  • edited November 2015

    thanks again ACH85,


    After taking the next semester off I will definitely try and see where I am mentally and go from there. I am thinking that full recovery should be around 90 days with amphetamines? probably less since I am at a low dose and don't take it every single day..but i haven't read any statistics anywhere this is just my thinking.


    I'm just curious, but what is your friend's profession?

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