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Smoking, Drinking, Substance Abuse, and ADHD

Is a stimulant calming affect?

Here’s my question?  If you take a stimulant medacation or smoke crack or meth and It makes you “hyped up” does this mean you DON NOT HAVE ADD??
I have been on Ritalin, Stratera, Focalin made me fall asleep litteraly!!! And I take Adderall currently. And I use to smoke crack.  I never tried meth so I can’t give my experince on that. BUT EVERY ADD MED AND CRACK CALMS ME DOWN!!! Can you have ADD and get “hyped up” from stimulants?


If you become calm from Ritalin and other meds that is meant to energies you- then you are not ADD but; ADHD

Posted by Seebird claus on Jul 01, 2014 at 10:37am

I agree, I’m ADHD and ALL stimulants, even coffee, settle me down/have a calming effect.

Posted by liz321 on Feb 25, 2015 at 10:41pm

I am so happy to have found this thread!  I too get a hyperfocused calming effect from my Ritalin. I have used crack, meth, coke and never got high like euphoria just super concentrated on having a conversation!

Posted by Novalie79 on May 31, 2016 at 10:28am

This questions reflects a real need we all have to understand more about our own ADHD and how ADHD medications work. I’m an ADHD coach (and I have ADHD) so while I understand how ADHD and meds work, just a disclaimer - I am not a medical expert and I am neither pro or anti meds, just trying to share information.

ADHD brains are understimulated and lack dopamine so they are constantly on the lookout for stimulation. The feeling of not being calm comes from that relentless search for stimulation. That’s what distraction is - your brain constantly looking for something stimulating. That’s what hyperactivitiy is, as well - the activity is an attempt to stimulate yourself so you can focus better. So it’s present in both inattentive and hyperactive types. (more about subtypes below)

Stimulant meds work because they are an artificial introduction of a stimulant to the brain - now your brain doesn’t have to seek outside stimulation, and it can settle down and pay attention to what you want it to pay attention to. (In theory. I know it doesn’t always work so smoothy in practice, there’s a lot of trial and error in finding the right med and dosage and it’s very individual).

People with ADHD are drawn to all sorts of addictions for exactly the same reason - those substances or behaviors stimulate our brain so that they can stop their non-stop search for ways to boost dopamine. Our first addiction is usually sugar - then caffeine, cigarettes…and it goes on from there.

(Personally, the first sign I’ve forgotten to take my wellbutrin for a few days is recognizing I’m on a nonstop quest for sugar., because that’s how my brain attempts to boost dopamine)

So when client tells me that he’s addicted to porn/over-eating/ drinking too much/ smoking weed/ and staying up too late playing video games , my first question is usually, tell me how your medication is working for you ....

By the way, officially there is no ADD vs ADHD - we call it all ADHD, with 3 subtypes - inattentive,  hyperactivity, and combined type. And all they subtypes share this lack of dopamine/need for stimulation. So stimulant based meds don’t just work for hyperactive types.

Posted by SueWB on Jun 21, 2016 at 5:32am

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